Best Travel Wifi Devices: Stay Connected on Dive Trips

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Women traveling and using a mobile hotspot for their cell phone

Ah, the internet. In this age of wanderlust and Wi-Fi, staying connected while exploring the world is pretty much like packing your toothbrush – essential. Whether you’re shark diving in Fiji or tapping away on emails from a Bali beach, having a trusty online lifeline makes adventures way smoother.

Although a “digital detox” is appealing, having access to the internet isn’t just about sharing pictures from your latest dive or chatting with friends. It’s also about having access to maps, navigation, and being able to make a call during an emergency. This is why so many scuba divers have chosen to invest in a mobile wi-fi device.

What is a Mobile Wi-Fi Device?

Also known as a mobile hotspot, this device is a small, battery-powered gadget that connects to cellular networks.

Mobile hotspots act as portable hubs, providing users with their personal and secure Wi-Fi networks wherever they go. These devices have revolutionized the way individuals stay connected on the move, offering a reliable and convenient alternative to public Wi-Fi.

The Inadequacy of Cellular Data: Embracing Mobile Hotspots

Relying just on your phone’s data plan won’t always cut it while traveling. Designed for everyday use, these plans often have downsides:

  • Limited data: Not enough for streaming, working, or uploading photos.
  • Expensive roaming: You could get charged a lot extra for internet abroad.
  • Spotty coverage: Some areas have weak or unreliable cell signals, leaving you offline.

This can mean slow internet, dropped connections, and a lot of frustration when you’re trying to stay connected on the go.

Public Wi-Fi Pitfalls: The Risks You Can’t Ignore

Public Wi-Fi might seem like a free win for staying connected on the go, but it’s a bit of a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s almost everywhere, but relying on it can be risky and frustrating. Here’s why:.

  • Speed demons (not in a good way): Think molasses internet. Public Wi-Fi can be painfully slow, making things like video calls and streaming a nightmare. It’s also not available on the go when you need it the most.
  • Security issues: Public Wi-Fi networks are prime targets for data breaches, putting your passwords and personal information at risk.

The Benefits of Using a Mobile Hotspot

Here are key reasons why a mobile hotspot is often a better choice:

  1. Cost Efficiency:

    • Shared Data Plans: Mobile hotspots allow users to share a single data plan across multiple devices. This can be more cost-effective than having separate data plans for each device, as is often the case with relying solely on cellular data.
  2. Increased Connectivity:

    • Connect Multiple Devices: One standout feature is their ability to connect multiple devices simultaneously. This means you can use your laptop, tablet, and other devices with a single hotspot, providing a seamless and synchronized online experience.
  3. Improved Security:

    • Private and Secure Connection: The connections created are private and secure Wi-Fi networks, reducing the risk of unauthorized access or data breaches. This is especially important when handling sensitive information, conducting business transactions, or accessing personal accounts while on the go.
  4. Enhanced Battery Life:

    • Offloading Data Usage: Utilizing a mobile hotspot can contribute to better battery life on your smartphone. Since the hotspot handles data-intensive tasks, your phone is freed from the burden of constant data transmission, resulting in extended battery performance.
  5. Better Coverage and Speed:

    • External Antennas: Some devices come equipped with external antennas, improving signal reception and coverage in areas with weak cellular signals. This can be a game-changer in remote or rural locations where relying solely on cellular data may result in slower speeds and frequent disconnections.
  6. Flexibility in Data Plans:

    • Customizable Data Plans: Users often have more flexibility in choosing data plans that suit their specific needs. This allows for customization based on anticipated data usage, ensuring you only pay for the data you require.
  7. Dedicated Device for Connectivity:

    • Focused Functionality: A mobile Wi-Fi device is designed specifically for providing internet access. Unlike a smartphone, which serves multiple purposes, a hotspot is optimized for data transmission, potentially offering better performance and reliability.

Ready to invest in your own mobile Wi-Fi device? Below you’ll find a list of our favorite options.

SOLIS 5G Hotspot

The 5G Hotspot is the newest mobile Wi-Fi device from SOLIS. Users can get domestic and international coverage from more than 200 local carriers! Even better, SOLIS has recently created the Lifetime Data plan, which provides at least 1GB of global data each month.

The device is small and lightweight, easy to pack and carry in a pocket. Its rugged design helps to protect it from wear and tear, dust, dirt, and accidental spills. As the name indicates, 5G is supported and the device seamlessly switches between 4G and 5G to provide the fastest connection possible.

Subscribers have several Global Data Plan options:

  • Global Daypass, $9: 24 hours of unlimited Wi-Fi
  • Global Pay-Per-GB, Starting at $12: Purchase GB as needed. GB do not expire.
  • Global Unlimited Data, Starting at $99: Choose from 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months of unlimited global data.

SOLIS also offers a rewards program where subscribers can earn points which can be redeemed for rewards and discounts.

What do divers love about the SOLIS 5G Hotspot? The Wi-Fi can be shared with up to 16 different devices, making it easy to help your dive buddy connect! The device’s battery can stay charged for up to 24 hours. The included power bank makes it easy to charge other devices, like cell phones, on the go!

Netgear Nighthawk M1

The Nighthawk M1 is a solid option for any traveler! This LTE mobile router allows ultra-fast connections. It has enough power and speed to share with up to 20 different devices! This device also has a port for an ethernet hookup.

The user-friendly screen makes it easy to set it up, change settings, and monitor data usage. It includes a rechargeable battery and a second battery can be purchased and easily swapped out when more power is needed!

Netgear does not offer data plans, Instead, the Nighthawk M1 can be used with several carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, GoogleFi, and Verizon. A SIM card and data plan can be purchased from the chosen carrier. This allows the user to choose the carrier that provides the best coverage in the region they are traveling to!

GlocalMe Numen Air 5G

The Glocal Me Numen Air 5G hotspot supports more than 50 commercialized 5G countries and more than 100 operator networks as well as the global mainstream 4G operator network.

Each lightweight device works in more than 150 countries. The large screen is intuitive and easy to navigate.

Data plans vary and depend on the destination. For example, a 2 GB a day, 7-day package in the Maldives is $22.50. The same package for Thailand is $9.00.

Not sure if you want to invest in the Numen Air 5G? The company allows you to rent their devices! The perfect way to test one out without the commitment.

Do you use a mobile hotspot service that you love? Let us know so that we can share it with the rest of our diving and travel community!

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