The Best Mobile WiFi Hotspot for International Travel

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by Michael Rozenblit


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If you’re embarking on a trip overseas these days, one of the things most people want is to be able to access the internet on the go. That’s why more and more people are looking to find the best mobile wifi hotspot for international travel!

Historically, your options were to pay extremely high rates to roam with your existing mobile phone provider or buy local SIMs when you arrive at your destination. For certain destinations such as within the European Union, you can buy great SIM cards before leaving home, however, depending on your destination that isn’t always possible.

Mobile Wifi (also referred to as MiFi) allows you to access the internet abroad without needing to buy local SIM cards and at much cheaper rates to using roaming with your home SIM provider.

This is a super convenient option if travelling to multiple countries where local SIMs don’t always work across countries (e.g. travelling in the Balkans) or you simply don’t want to waste your precious time overseas in mobile phone shops trying to buy a local SIM. In some places like Baku, Azerbaijan you’ll need to spend at least a couple of hours dealing with bureaucracy to get a local SIM!

Our guide to the best portable WiFi hotspots currently available will help you make the decision about which one to buy for your upcoming trip!

Want a quick answer? My choice for the best mobile WiFi hotspot for travel is GlocalMe G4 Mobile Hotspot (also available direct from GlocalMe here)

Mobile Wifi Hotspot Comparison

Mobile HotspotDescriptionPrices
GlocalMe G4
GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, 5” Touch Screen LCD Display WiFi with Lifetime US+EU 16GB & Global 1GB Data,Dual Band Portable High Speed WiFi Device,SIMFREE,Pocket Router for Travel (Black)
Weight: 408g
Countries Covered: 140+
Data Included: 1GB + 16GB in USA
Battery Life: 15 hours
Recharge Options: Numerous
Check on Amazon

Check on GlocalMe
MightyWifi M1
Global Travel WiFi Hotspot Portable Internet Router, Lowest Price Plan for US Europe Asia Japan Korea Singapore China HK International Mobile Wireless Device NoSIM Card (10GB US or 5GB Global*)
Weight: 190g
Countries Covered: 150+
Data Included: 5GB + 10GB in USA
Battery Life: 12 hours
Recharge Options: Limited outside of USA
Check on Amazon
Netgear AC797
NETGEAR Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot, 4G LTE Router AC797-100NAS, 400Mbps Download Speed, Connect Up to 15 Devices, Create a WLAN Anywhere, GSM Unlocked
Weight: 272g
Countries Covered: Use any SIM
Data Included: Use any SIM
Battery Life: 11 hours
Recharge Options: N/A
Check on Amazon
RoamWiFi
RoamWiFi 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Router, Worldwide Portable High Speed Hotspot with US 10GB & Global 1GB Data 30Day,No SIM Card Needed,Pocket Hotspot for Travel in 160+ Countries
Weight: 180g
Countries Covered: 160+
Data Included: 1GB + 10GB in US
Battery Life: 18 hours
Recharge Options: Limited outside of USA
Check on Amazon
GlocalMe DuoTurbo
GlocalMe DuoTurbo 4G LTE Portable WiFi Mobile Hotspot Device for Travel, SIMFREE, No Contract, with Lifetime US 8GB & Global 1GB Data in 150+ Countries, Support 10 Devices Connected (White)
Weight: 148g
Countries Covered: 140+
Data Included: 1GB + 8GB in USA
Battery Life: 12 hours
Recharge Options: Numerous
Check on Amazon

Check on GlocalMe
Simo Solis
SIMO Solis Lite 4G LTE WiFi Mobile Hotspot, Local & International Coverage Router, Multi-Carrier Access, No Contract or SIM Card Required, 10 Connected Devices, 1GB/Month Lifetime Data
Weight: 139g
Countries Covered: 135+
Data Included: None
Battery Life: 16 hours
Recharge Options: Numerous
Check on Amazon


What is Mobile Wifi and How Does It Work?

Do you know that internet router that you have at home to access WiFi? Imagine that same device except cordless, a fraction of the size and can work anywhere in the world. That is exactly what some of the best portable WiFi hotspots are.

Mobile hotspots connect to mobile networks around the world (i.e. 3G or 4G networks) and give out at WiFi signal which you can then use to connect to the internet on your laptop or smartphone.

Like your internet router back home, you can typically connect to multiple devices at once meaning you can share amongst family or friends or simply multitask across your devices!

Depending on the device you choose, the provider will have different data plans to choose from which allows for flexibility depending on where you’re travelling and the length of your trip.

The best MiFi devices are also small and fit right into your pocket. Many of the newer models have a great battery life, which is an added bonus when compared to using your smartphone as a mobile hotspot as this tends to quickly deplete your phone’s battery!

You can use a Mobile Hotspot on your Phone and Laptop!
You can use a Mobile Hotspot on your Phone and Laptop!

Is Pocket Wifi or SIM Card Better for You?

If you’re debating between taking a mobile WiFi hotspot for your trip or buying a local SIM card then there are a few things you should consider.

Where are you travelling?

The destination of your trip plays a huge role in determining whether investing in the best portable wifi is worth it. More mainstream destinations such as countries within the European Union have plenty of local SIM card options that work across all countries in the bloc due to laws passed by the EU.

As mentioned earlier, regions like Balkans don’t have SIMs that work across all countries so having a mobile hotspot will save a lot of unnecessary time in sourcing local SIMs in every country.

There are also a number of countries where language barriers or bureaucracy can make it extremely difficult to buy a local SIM card. Having a mobile hotspot with you will save a lot of time and be likely cheaper than simply roaming from your home SIM, particularly if you are a frequent traveller.

How do you want to access the internet?

One big advantage that the best MiFi devices for international travel have over local SIM cards is that you can connect to multiple devices at once.

That means you can use the internet across laptops, smartphones and share with fellow travellers. When using roaming on your home SIM card or a locally bought SIM card there can be restrictions on using the SIM card as a mobile hotspot.

If you’re looking for the best pocket WiFi in Europe without wanting to invest in a MiFi device, the Orange 30GB Prepaid SIM Card is one of the best deals that allows you to use the SIM card as a personal hotspot. However, coverage is predominately limited to only some countries within the European Union.

Length and budget of your trip

Like many things in life, deciding whether it’s worth investing in one of these devices comes down to how much time you have and money to spend.

If you’re travelling on a tight budget and have the luxury of time, buying local SIM cards (or not buying internet at all and relying on free WiFi as long as you have a quality VPN like ExpressVPN) is the best option.

If you’re short on time and want to ensure that you have internet access as soon as you land, then it’s undoubtedly worth buying a mobile hotspot for travel.

Data Allowance Required

Portable Wi-Fi hotspots can become very expensive if you plan on using them heavily to download large files or excessively stream YouTube or movies.

If you plan on using the hotspot in excess of tasks like e-mails and basic internet browsing, then you’re probably going to be better off purchasing a local data SIM which in many countries will give you a much higher data limit. For example, in Armenia, you can purchase a 100GB SIM for around $20USD!

I would recommend expecting to use a mobile hotspot for the same tasks you use mobile data back home if you want to keep costs down.

Yerevan, Armenia
Data SIM Cards are very affordable in Armenia!

Best Mobile WiFi Hotspots for Travel

GlocalMe G4

The GlocalMe G4 (also available direct here) is undoubtedly one of the best MiFi devices available.

Weighing 408g, the device has a battery life of up to 15 hours, an LCD touch screen and is small enough to fit directly into your pocket making it perfect for travellers who want to keep weight down in their travel backpack!

GlocalMe uses its own technology to connect to the best local 3G or 4G network that is available in the area you’re travelling to without needing to purchase a local SIM card.

This device currently supports over 140 countries including most of Europe as well as many countries in the Americas & Asia. Most of the gaps that exist in their coverage are currently in Africa and the Middle East.

You can connect up to 5 devices at one time on your mobile hotspot and one of the best features of the GlocalMe G4 is that they have a huge range of flexible options when purchasing data.

For example, you can buy global data packs or country and region-specific packs for lengths ranging from one day to one year. You can also easily recharge online so you’ll never run out of data on the road.

It also comes with 1GB global data pack and 16GB data pack for the US included as a bonus! There is also a travel case that can be purchased separately.

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, 5” Touch Screen LCD Display WiFi with Lifetime US+EU 16GB & Global 1GB Data,Dual Band Portable High Speed WiFi Device,SIMFREE,Pocket Router for Travel (Black)

MightyWifi M1

The MightyWifi M1 is another great mobile hotspot for international travel that is worth considering when searching for the best MiFi device.

It has many similar specifications to the GlocalMe G4 however it has slightly worse battery life (only lasting up to 12 hours compared to 15 hours) and the country coverage list isn’t as extensive.

It also allows you to connect up to 5 devices and uses similar technology which connects to the best mobile network in the country you are in without requiring a local SIM card.

One advantage that this device has currently is that it offers a 5GB global data pack and a 10GB USA data pack when purchasing the hotspot.

This makes the MightyWifi M1 an appealing product for travellers looking to use the device predominately in the USA.

They also have flexible data plans for travelling globally and have increased their coverage significantly over the last couple of years.

Global Travel WiFi Hotspot Portable Internet Router, Lowest Price Plan for US Europe Asia Japan Korea Singapore China HK International Mobile Wireless Device NoSIM Card (10GB US or 5GB Global*)

Netgear AC797

The Netgear AC797 is a great option for people looking for a device to use with their own SIM card.

This can certainly be a more affordable option for some travellers, particularly for those heading to popular destinations such as countries within the European Union where it is straightforward to get a prepaid SIM card that works across multiple countries.

The device offers a battery life of over 11 hours, allows you to connect up to 32 devices and has and is lightweight at only 272g.

Overall, the Netgear AC797 is a great option for travellers who don’t want to invest in a SIM plan offered by some of the other options listed here.

It’s also great for people who don’t want to drain the battery on their smartphone by using it as a hotspot and are happy to buy their own SIM cards when travelling.

NETGEAR Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot, 4G LTE Router AC797-100NAS, 400Mbps Download Speed, Connect Up to 15 Devices, Create a WLAN Anywhere, GSM Unlocked

RoamWiFi

The RoamWifi is another good option, particularly if you’re looking for a hotspot to use within the USA.

While this device works in over 160 countries, the data plans are mainly focused on offering coverage within the US with 10GB US data included when purchasing as well as 1GB of global data.

This device allows you to connect up to 5 devices, offers a battery life of up to 18 hours and weighs only 180g making it an ideal option for lightweight packers.

The RoamWifi is certainly a good option to consider if you’re looking for an affordable hotspot to use primarily within the US, though its extensive global coverage means that it might also serve you well for really off-the-beaten-path travel destinations.

RoamWiFi 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Router, Worldwide Portable High Speed Hotspot with US 10GB & Global 1GB Data 30Day,No SIM Card Needed,Pocket Hotspot for Travel in 160+ Countries

GlocalMe DuoTurbo

The GlocalMe DuoTurbo (also available direct here) is an alternative to many other mobile WiFi hotspots if you’re looking for a guaranteed stable internet connection.

It has dual modem functionality meaning you have a backup connection in case you have to deal with any dropouts.

The device is also lightweight, has a battery life of up to 12 hours and allows you to connect up to 10 devices

Users of this device have access to the same plans as the GlocalMe G4 and also get a bonus of 8GB US data and 1GB global data when they purchase the hotspot.

The GlocalMe DuoTurbo is ideal for users who are looking for the flexibility of their data plans but need a more stable internet connection.

GlocalMe DuoTurbo 4G LTE Portable WiFi Mobile Hotspot Device for Travel, SIMFREE, No Contract, with Lifetime US 8GB & Global 1GB Data in 150+ Countries, Support 10 Devices Connected (White)

Simo Solis Mobile WiFi Hotspot

The Simo Solis has an in-built power bank that might appeal to travel minimalists who want to cut down the number of electronics on their travel packing list.

It lets you connect to up to 10 devices, has a long battery life, and covers over 135 countries though it doesn’t offer as extensive coverage in Europe as the GlocalMe hotspots.

The data plan options do have several plans to choose from and also don’t require a physical SIM. You can purchase day passes, monthly subscriptions or pay per usage.

However, the Simo Solis doesn’t have as extensive coverage in Europe with several countries from the Balkans and the Caucasus not currently covered in their plans.

SIMO Solis Lite 4G LTE WiFi Mobile Hotspot, Local & International Coverage Router, Multi-Carrier Access, No Contract or SIM Card Required, 10 Connected Devices, 1GB/Month Lifetime Data

Investing in one of these best portable hotspots for travel can be a great way to ensure you have reliable internet access when abroad and not have to bother dealing with buying local SIM cards in every destination that you visit!

Are you looking for the best mobile hotspots? Have you found one that isn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments below!

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Michael is a co-founder and writer for The World Was Here First. Both solo and with his partner, Maggie, he has travelled to over 50 countries across the globe and has a particular affinity for the Balkans and Eastern Europe. He’s lived in numerous countries worldwide but currently resides in his hometown of Melbourne, Australia. Read more about Michael

Comments

  1. I’m really struggling to find a mifi device that will either cover Bosnia, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montengro – some don’t even cover Croatia. Its also very unclear whether they have a SIM slot as it seems this is the only option in some of these countries?

    Reply
  2. Hi,
    Going to Europe for about three months, mainly France and Germany. Which device would you recommend for 2 people?
    Thanks.

    Reply

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