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I started using the Travelwifi (formerly Tep Wireless) device back in France (in July 2019). Soon after, I used this international portable wifi device again in:
- Vietnam (August 2019),
- Canada (October 2019),
- Aruba (November 2019),
- and even in New York (January 2020).
Having used the Travelwifiin Europe and North America, I thought it was about time to write an honest review about this portable wifi for travel.
TL:DR; Besides the rare instance when the Tep takes a few minutes to connect to a local network, I love having the Tep with me since I travel so much to such a large variety of countries. I recommend buying or renting one depending on your travel needs!
What is Travelwifi?
The Travelwifi is a portable internet provider that used to be formerly known as Tep Wireless. Now Tep Wireless and Sapphire, another related company, are now under one roof, Travelwifi.
Their mission is to help reduce the cost of crazy roaming charges that your cell phone provider might charge you and give you high-speed internet while traveling abroad.
They do this by either selling you or renting you their Teppy.
What is a Teppy?
The Teppy is the name of the pocket wifi device that Travelwifi sells. It is essentially a small device that gives you wifi signal at high speeds around the world.
You can either buy or rent a Teppy depending on how often you travel aka how much money you want to save.
How does the Teppy work?
You know the wireless router in your home that provides password-protected wifi to you and your family? The Teppy is quite similar to that except that it’s portable!
Wherever you are in the world, the Teppy provides you a secure, private network for you and up to four other family members or friends to connect to.
Basically it does this by using its patented SIM technology to automatically connect to a local network, which is why you get fast, reliable data from the local region.
To use the Teppy, all you need to do is:
- Charge it (if you haven’t),
- Turn it on when you arrive at your foreign destination, and
- Go to the wi-fi settings on your phone, select the Teppy’s network and input the given password.
That’s all! Once you put the password in once, you don’t have to do it again.
Does this international wifi hotspot device work everywhere?
The Travelwifi device works in all these countries listed below so if you are traveling to multiple countries, you don’t need to buy multiple sim cards and switch them out from country to country. Since this portable wifi device finds the best local network to piggy back off of, it works seamlessly across these countries:
- Europe: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican.
- Central America: Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico.
- North America: Canada, Mexico, and United States.
- Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, and Saipan.
- Africa: Algeria, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zambia.
- Caribbean Islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.
- South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
- Middle East: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
For example, if you were flying from Australia to Vietnam in one trip, you could use the Travelwifi device in both countries without a hitch!
Note that this wifi device will not work in places where a cell phone would not theoretically work. For example, if you’re on a cruise in the middle of the ocean, this (along with your cell phone) will not work in the ocean.
It did not work when I was out on Halong Bay, which is when I realized it’ll only work in places where your cell phone would theoretically work. I loved it though because Mike and I had a lot of quality time.
What are the benefits of Travelwifi?
There are so many benefits of getting a Teppy portable wifi device. I love it because:
- I don’t think about how I can get wifi in a new country anymore. I simply reply on the Teppy to get me wifi wherever I go by reupping data through the app.
- Up to five devices can connect to the device, which includes smartphones, laptops, tablets and even gaming consoles. When my husband travels with me, he hops on the Tep too.
- The internet is 4G speed meaning it’s really fast.
- There’s free voice calling included if you use the Tep+ app.
- For personal safety, Kitestring is included and free. It helps make sure that you’re safe while traveling!
What are the cons of the Travelwifi?
There’s only one con of the Teppy device and that sometimes (not all the time), the device is a bit slow to start up. I’ve had two instances where it took about 10 minutes for it to find a local data network to connect to.
Note: You actually don’t need to save battery because it lasts for 13 hours, but if you want to be safe, you can carry around this small portable charger, which I always have on me for my phone, Sony A6000 (if that’s the camera I’m bringing out for the day) or the Teppy.
Should I buy or rent a Teppy?
After talking with someone at Travelwifi to learn more about this wifi device for you, I found out that most people buy a Teppy for the convenience if they’re frequent travelers. That way they don’t need to keep renting a Teppy device and always have one on them.
Basically, you should buy one if you travel frequently or your trip has an indefinite end date.
You should rent one if you don’t travel frequently and have a finite number of travel days!
See the cost of buying a Teppy vs. renting one here. It’s definitely cheaper than the data charges that your mobile provider charges you while you’re abroad!
What’s your final review of this portable hot spot device?
Besides the fact that this portable hot spot device is a bit slow to start up sometimes, it’s solid about 95% of the time, and overall, super handy to have traveling from country to country.
I love that I don’t have to Google how to get data in the next country I’m going to and simply re-up the data on their handy app.
It’s also great for my husband since up to five devices can be connected on the device. If he needs to stay in touch with work, he’ll connect with either his phone or laptop and check his e-mail through this secure network (instead of an open network at the airport that’s not secure).
Overall, I’d recommend you to buy or rent the device if you’re a frequent traveler, plan on going to multiple countries and/or going to have multiple people use one device to save money. So many ways to use this handy portable wifi device for international travel!
Thanks for making it all the way down to the end of the post. I’d love to connect. Come say hi to me my Instagram @sarchetrit, especially if you found any part of this post to be helpful.
Till then, thanks for stopping by, and have a great day!
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