Disclosure: Travelwifi sent me the Teppy for this Travelwifi Review. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.
Sometimes it feels like my new life motto is “do you have WiFi?”
While I love being a digital nomad and wouldn’t trade it for anything, there is one thing that I’m always, always stressing about.
WiFi. Where is it? Is it reliable? Is it fast? Is it free?
So, imagine my excitement when I discovered the Travelwifi device (aka the Teppy). It’s a portable wireless internet hotspot that lets you take your internet wherever you go.
For a while, I was doing this really fun thing where I would buy a SIM card in every single country I visited in order to ensure that I would always be connected. Not only was this habit expensive, but the data wasn’t always strong enough to withstand Skype calls and uploading large files. I knew something had to give.
I’ve used the Travelwifi device in Europe as well as during my trip to Egypt and quickly discovered that it’s the best portable WiFi for travel. Keep reading my Teppy review to learn who should use Travelwifi, where it works (and where it doesn’t) and how you can get a Travelwifi discount code!
Table of Contents
Meet “Teppy,” The Portable Travelwifi Hotspot
This is Teppy. It goes by a number of names: an international WiFi hotspot, a portable WiFi device, a global WiFi hotspot, a pocket WiFi, a pocket hotspot, a portable WiFi hotspot and any more you can think of. The point is, it’s a small, internet-enabled device that allows you to stay connected in 100+ countries all around the world. The best part? You can use it for up to 5 devices.
This isn’t my first Travelwifi, technically. I originally published this post a couple of years ago and I love the Teppy so much that I just haven’t stopped using it since. The Teppy did get a makeover from its original look below but only for the better – not only is it even smaller and more chic-looking, but it’s also a lot faster and now uses 4G internet instead of 3G. This Travelwifi review has been updated for 2020.
Why Teppy? The Best Portable WiFi Hotspot for Travelers
I know you’re probably wondering why you need a Travelwifi hotspot. Can’t you just buy a roaming plan, a local SIM or use public WiFi? Technically, you can, and as someone who has enough foreign SIM cards to wallpaper a room, that’s what I’d done in the past. But nowadays, I prefer Travelwifi. Here’s why.
Why You Need Portable Pocket WiFi
- Your roaming plan (even the free one, like T-Mobile’s) is expensive and/or has a tiny data limit. You can easily eat up all your data just using Google Maps. With Travelwifi you get unlimited internet. If you use more than 1 GB of data within 24 hours, the connect speed slows down to 256 kbps, but you will never be cut off.
- Switching out local SIM cards is annoying. I should know – I used to do it. Every country brought about an array of new rules and plans, language barriers during setup and when resolving tech issues, and oftentimes, high fees. Even within Europe, there are lots of rules about using free roaming within the EU. With Travelwifi, you just turn on your device and after a few minutes, it locates where you are and connects you to the best network available.
- Public WiFi is slow. I’ve stayed in so many hostels and have been to so many cafes where the WiFi speeds were as slow as dial-up internet from the 90s.
- Sometimes, you have to pay for the internet anyway. I never understood why nice hotels don’t give all their guests free WiFi but hostels do. Nonetheless, if I’m going to have to pay for WiFi at the hotel anyway, I’d rather be able to take my WiFi with me and use it on the road.
- You get unlimited internet: 1 GB of high-speed internet per day which then slows down and resets after 24 hours. You’ll never be cut off.
- You’re covered in 130+ countries worldwide and you don’t have to buy a new plan for each country. Simply choose the global version and voilà.
- Connect up to 5 devices with one Teppy. You can easily share your Teppy with friends and family!
- Teppy charges quickly (2.5 hours to full charge) with 6 hours of device usage from one charge. Pro tip: bring a powerbank if you’ll be out all day!
- Travelwifi offers a ton of cool extras like your own on-demand TEP guru, a safety check feature, the Tep+ app, and more.
- Travelwifi offers a satisfaction guarantee. If they can’t fix any problem you have with your Teppy, they’ll give you a credit or a refund.
How does it work?
Once you receive the device, turn it on and give it a few minutes to power up and locate which country you’re in. Use your WiFi settings on your laptop/phone/electronic device to securely connect securely to your password-protected network. That’s it!
How’s the coverage and where does it work?
The device uses 4G internet and offers 1 GB of fast internet per day. The connect speed slows down after 1 GB is used within 24 hours, but you will never be cut off. The speed returns to normal the next day.
Travelwifi has coverage in 130+ countries. I typically spend most of my time in cities and towns, and I almost always have coverage that is sufficient for my needs: social media, Google Maps, emails, internet calls, and blogging.
IF you’re planning on camping or spending lots of time in rural areas, I recommend getting in touch with Travelwifi first before renting a Teppy. I didn’t have any coverage in the middle of the White Desert in Egypt, but I also didn’t have cell service out there either, so I wasn’t entirely surprised.
Who should rent a Teppy?
I was a little skeptical about why I actually needed this device because “there’s free WiFi everywhere, right?” Wrong. Travelwifi has actually saved me in quite a few pinches on these last few trips:
- In Hurghada, Egypt when our hotel only had WiFi in the lobby
- In Cairo, Egypt, when the lobby WiFi didn’t work
- On an overnight felucca ride on the Nile in Egypt
- In Tarifa, Spain, when the WiFi was slow and weak
- In Tallinn, Riga, and Sigulda when I didn’t buy a SIM card
If you work online
There’s a trend here. WiFi is supposedly everywhere, but it’s not always reliable. In fact, I’ve found that it’s unreliable more often than not. As someone that needs to be able to work on the road, questionable WiFi is incredibly nerve-wracking. Travelwifi powered me through many, many work projects over the last few months. If you work at all while you’re on the road, this WiFi hotspot is a necessity.
If you want to stay connected on the go
In today’s day and age, we rely on our phones for everything. Even if you aren’t a phone addict, having internet to keep in touch with loved ones back home (especially if you’re traveling solo) or simply use Google Maps while in a foreign country makes trips that much easier.
If you’re traveling to multiple countries
I’d also recommend the Travelwifi hotspot for people who are traveling in multiple countries during one trip. As someone who has experienced the hassle and expense of frequently switching out SIM cards, let me tell you – having this device is MUCH more convenient.
Note: If you are planning on spending an extended period of time in one country, getting a local SIM might be a cheaper option, depending on the country. However, if you’ll be visiting multiple places and need reliable internet, this beats the local SIM, the roaming plan from home, and public WiFi any day of the week.
What comes in the box?
Your Travelwifi hotspot comes in a zippered carry case with:
- Travelwifi portable hotspot
- Charging cable
- International travel power adapter
- Instruction manual
Cool Extras by Travelwifi
- Prime WiFi: For an extra cost ($19.95), you can access in-flight WiFi and 60+ million WiFi hotspots via Tep’s Prime WiFi app (flight WiFi works on American Airlines, Lufthansa, Etihad, and Air Lingus fleets equipped with WiFi).
- Kitestring: Kitestring is an amazing and free safety check feature offered by Travelwifi. Kitestring checks up on you with a text message and you reply to the message to check in. If you don’t check in, Kitestring sends your emergency contacts a personalized alert message. As a solo female traveler, this service is an invaluable addition for safety purposes.
- Tep+ App: For impressively cheap calling and texting (think Skype, but better) when abroad (free to download). More information about the app will be provided in the next section.
- TEP Guru: For an extra cost ($3.95/day), TEP Guru allows you to access personalized recommendations and assistance during your trip from a local whenever you want. Note: I tested this service out when I was in Barcelona and it was awesome! My contact recommended several delicious restaurants and local gems to me and I asked her questions for the whole time I was in Barcelona. It was like having a local guide in my pocket!
Can I use it for calls?
Technically, no. You can use your phone for internet-based calls: Skype, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, WhatsApp, etc but you can’t use your Teppy for regular calls.
However you can now rent a SIM card from Travelwifi if you really want to make calls or just use data on your phone rather than on multiple devices. Be sure to check if the SIM is available in the country you’re visiting – it’s not as flexible as the Teppy.
PLUS Travelwifi has a free app that allows you to make regular calls and send text messages for incredibly low rates. Essentially, it works just like the Skype App (except you don’t have a special number), but it’s cheaper. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:
- You can call and message anyone who has the app for free and call and send SMS text messages to everyone else at incredibly low rates. Check the rates here.
- Top up for as little as $10 and use that credit to call and text.
- You need to be connected to the internet for it to work (any internet).
- You’re never charged to receive a call and you can keep your home SIM card in your phone.
- All other questions you might have about the Tep app can be found here.
How do I get a Teppy?
You can order your own Teppy here.
- Order a Teppy – Choose your coverage destination, dates, and the number of devices. Note that one device can connect up to 5 devices.
- Add in your Teppy extras – You can get a a car charger and insurance for the device.
- Use my Travelwifi promo code – enter code PASSPORTANDPLATES to get 10% off your rental.
- Choose your travel extras –
- Prime WiFi for WiFi on the plane (extra cost).
- Kitestring for a safety check when you’re out and about (free).
- Tep+ App: For impressively cheap calling and texting when abroad (free to download).
- TEP Guru for recommendations and assistance during your trip, whenever you want (extra cost).
- Choose your delivery and pickup method – You have the option to either mail or pick up / drop off your device. Shipping to the U.S. (and the UK) is free and costs $5.95 to return. There are also free drop offs at Heathrow Airport and Paddington Station in London as well as the Travelwifi Paris office.
- Place your order and pay for your device – It starts at $5.95 per day depending on the region (and don’t forget to use the coupon code PASSPORTANDPLATES to get 10% off your rental).
How much is it?
If you rent your Teppy, costs start at $5.95 per day for 4G internet.
If you purchase a Teppy, it costs $149 for the device which includes 1 GB of 4G data free and special data pricing. If you’re a digital nomad or on the road frequently, it might be a better deal for you to purchase your device.
- The data usage is visible directly on the device, so you always know how much data you have left.
- The more devices that are connected to Teppy, the slower the internet gets.
- 1 GB is totally sufficient for normal internet usage, but I recommend avoiding streaming or uploading large files, as this can burn through data fairly quickly.
- I highly recommend downloading the Tep+ App. They offer seriously cheap prices for calling and texting worldwide.
- Other FAQs you might have can be found here.
My Travelwifi Review
As you can see from this Teppy WiFi review, I personally had a great experience with Travelwifi. There were a few moments where I had some issues with connectivity (mostly in Egypt), but I was able to quickly resolve them by contacting their outstanding 24-hour customer care team. The only time I really, really went off the grid was during my camping trip in the middle of the White Desert…where not even a cell phone signal could be found. I was pretty impressed overall though!
Tell me: how do you find reliable internet while traveling?
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