When traveling to other countries maintaining an internet connection can be hard, especially in underdeveloped places. This can raise problems if you are working remotely and need a reliable internet connection or if you are traveling and need the internet to navigate or communicate with others.
My wife and I wanted to mitigate many of these problems while living in Mexico and Costa Rica so we bought a Tep, a wireless, pocket-sized hotspot. (We bought ours when they were called Tep, the company has since rebranded and they are called Teppy, but this writer thinks the name is too cutsie so he’s sticking with Tep)
How It Works
Without getting too technical the Tep can adapt itself to connect to data networks in practically any country in the world. Once the connection is made it offers unlimited internet for up to five devices. To activate it simply turn it on, find the wifi name and password of your Tep, find that same wifi name on your device, plug in the password provided and you have secure reliable internet.
It really was that simple when we used it in Mexico and we never had problems locating the network or getting internet coverage wherever we were.
Countries it can be used in
The Tep comes in two flavors; region specific and global. You could buy a Tep that operates only in Europe for example or you could buy a global Tep that works not only in Europe but other regions as well.
Honestly, I have no idea why they would offer region specific when the Global costs the same price, maybe they work a little better as they’re tailored to that part of the world, but I couldn’t confirm that from internet research and I’ve only ever used the Global.
The global Tep can connect to any of the major tourist destinations or expatriate hotspots. Odds are your destination will have no problems using the Tep, but if you’re going somewhere not known for tourism, like Afghanistan (which Tep does not cover), then you may want to check the list.
It’s also important to note that international waters don’t receive coverage so your Tep won’t work on deep sea fishing trips far from land or if you’re on a cruise.
There are three ways to purchase a Tep; rent, pay-per-use or subscription.
According to the company’s site the most common method is to rent the device for the time you’ll be traveling. Given that most people only spend a few days to a week traveling abroad each year this pricing makes the most sense. The device will be delivered to your home or hotel and you’ll pay $8.95/day to use it. Once your trip is over you simply ship it back to the company.
The pay per use, which is what my wife and I do, has you buy the device upfront for $129 and then pay $8/day for each day that you use it. You turn on the device, agree to use it for the day and your account is charged $8 for each 24-hour period it’s on and running.
The subscription method gives you the device for free, but you pay $99/month to use it. If you intend to use the device more than 12 days in a month, it’s cheaper to pay via subscription. If you cancel your subscription within three months of purchase then they charge you the full amount for the device, but if you cancel the subscription after three months then you’re not charged for the device and you are simply on the pay as you use plan. A good strategy would be to subscribe for a three-month period, like a summer vacation abroad, and then cancel on the 4th month when you come home.
My wife I did pay per use as we only needed the Tep for whenever the internet would fail abroad. If we ever woke up and found the wifi wasn’t working because of heavy rain, then we’d boot up the Tep and have internet for $8.
This is perhaps the one potential flaw of the Tep depending on your internet needs. The 4G Tep has 1GB of high speed use a day and the non-4G Tep has 500 MB. Once those amounts are used your internet speed drops to 256kbs for either device.
If you’re using basic internet like sending a few emails, browsing sites, or making a few posts on social media then speed will likely never be an issue. But if you are sending emails with large attachments, posting videos to your travel vlog or gaming abroad, then you’re going to eat through your allotted amount rather quickly and have slow internet for the rest of the day until it resets the next. This is especially a problem if you’re using all five devices permitted by the device.
If your traveling casually, want a means of communication in emergencies, or need a backup internet connection for work, then I highly recommend using a Tep for your wireless internet needs abroad.
For more information on the Tep or to get one for yourself then go here.
Author: Benjamin Baker
After serving abroad in a religious capacity for two years Ben has felt the pull to travel and explore ever since. This desire was further fueled by his wife Maddie and the two have traveled to many places over the last few years. Ben’s hope is that by sharing his knowledge and experiences obtained while traveling that others can improve their lives and the lives of others through travel. Check out additional articles written by Benjamin.