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I recently featured the Skyroam Solis in my ultimate tech travel-kit, and with good reason: It’s a mobile hotspot that works all over the world, with a price tag that’s really tough to beat.
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The Solis is a little orange hockey puck that connects to cellular networks in over 120 countries. Once connected, it allows up to five devices to share the 4G LTE data goodness (where available) via Wi-Fi: your phone, tablet, laptop, etc.
Just as impressive, its battery can last for up to 16 hours, even when Wi-Fi is active. In fact, the Solis’ battery is so robust, the whole devices doubles as a mobile charger. (For the record, it’s a 6,000mAh battery, so you could probably fully recharge a dead phone and still get nearly a working day’s worth of connectivity.)
Here’s what I particularly love about the Solis: Each day-pass gives you 24 hours of unlimited data and costs just $9. (You also get one free with the purchase of the device.) Contrast that with mobile-hotspot Keepgo, which also works internationally but charges $35 for a single gigabyte of data. (It’s also limited to some 70 countries.)
If you’re a frequent traveler, Skyroam now offers a subscription plan as well: $99/month for unlimited access.
Now for the bad news: Both the day passes and subscription plans have a high-speed cap of just 500MB per day. After that, you’ll get throttled back to a “reduced” speed (roughly 2.5G, not much better than dial-up). What’s more, in my informal tests of the Solis, it frequently got stuck during the sign-on process — a problem echoed by at least a few Amazon customers.
I have mixed feelings about the puck’s USB-C port as well: It’s great in theory, very forward-thinking, but also a hassle if you want to charge any legacy devices. (Skyroam does include a dongle adapter, but of course it’s easily misplaced. I know because I misplaced it.)
As long as you go in with realistic expectations — this is a hotspot for email, app stuff, maybe some map data — you should find the Solis a boon to travel both foreign and domestic. The high-speed data cap will no doubt bother some, but this is still a dirt-cheap way to stay connected nearly everywhere you go.