While not suitable for our core audience of US-based nomads, if they work, global Cloud SIM hotspots may be useful for those with occasional or hypermobile international excursions.
We track some of the global hotspot options available and often test them when we go international for short bursts.
While this Gear Center entry does not go in-depth on particular systems, we do keep a list of interesting Global Cloud SIMS - and are always on the lookout for systems that are highly applicable to US-based RVers and Cruisers.
We do keep a Gear Center entry which focuses on well-marketed Skyroam system, which we have tested, here.
Here is our guide to international options for US-based travelers:
Global SIM/Hotspot Providers:
- Airalo - Airalo bills itself as an eSIM "store" that provides access to eSIM-based data-only plans in various countries. Using the mobile app, customers can sign up for data plans on phones that support eSIM. Prices vary by country but are typically around $3 per GB.
- AlwaysOnlineWireless - Sells SIM cards for use in phones, hotspot devices, or tablets by the hour, day or megabyte in over 45 countries. If you've got an iPad device with an Apple, you can skip the SIM cards ordering and get a plan directly.
- Amigo.US - Short and long term rentals of hotspot devices, Blackberry devices, or a SIM card for BYOD. Pricing and data usage varies by country.
- GigSky - Data only services, no voice or text. GigSky offers regional data plans with differing data allotments that vary from 300mb per day to 5GB for 30 days. No unlimited options are available. Compatible with eSIM devices (including dual-sim iPhones), but they also sell SIM cards for $10 on Amazon. GigSky does not sell or rent devices, customers must bring their own unlocked, compatible device. Data purchases and account management are made through the website or companion app.
- GlocalMe - Data plans based on the country of travel with differing data allotments and lengths of use before expiration. Offering 3 different types of hotspots, GlocalMe devices are portable, SIM-free, and support a maximum of five devices. The G2 and G3 devices can serve as powerbanks in addition to hotspots. One of the biggest differences we noted between the devices is battery life. This is not a US-based company, as evidenced by the poor English translation on their website.
- iRoam - Prepaid, International roaming SIM which roams in the US on AT&T, and in Canada on Rogers. Phone or data-only plans available - although data buckets are quite small (2GB/30 days).
- iWiFiTravel - "Unlimited" 4G global data for $10/day. Targeted to short-term travelers. Customers pay in advance and receive a global hotspot in the mail which must be returned at the end of the rental period.
- The unlimited 4G service comes with the following restriction: "The data that you receive is unlimited, but the rate at which you use the data must stay within the International Fair Usage Policy. This simply means that you cannot stream video or use excessively large amounts of data for more than short periods at a time. All telecom companies that offer unlimited Internet access still require you to follow this policy."
- US Coverage is provided by AT&T, Europe, India and Australia coverage is through Vodaphone. Coverage in other countries is available by emailing iWiFiTravel support.
- KeepGo - Hotspots and global SIM cards for watches and data devices.
- KiMiFi: -An Indiegogo funded global mobile hotspot. Data price info not yet available.
- MyWebSpot - Provides a global mobile hotspot and up to 2GB/ data a day, depending on the country.
- Nommi - Provides a global mobile hotspot with up to daily unlimited data, depending on the country. It also acts as a Wi-Fi extender and can offload its connection to Wi-Fi networks over an included VPN when Wi-Fi is available.
- RoamingMan - The data plan for RoamingMan is deceiving - technically 'unlimited', but after 500MB of high-speed data per day, you are throttled to 384kbps until the next day. $9.99 per day. Cellular based. Must rent device - no purchase option.
- Simo Wireless - An app-based, data-only option priced per-GB depending on location available to a limited number of Android smartphones with eSIMs. Uses Skyroam's network access. The data cost is $6/GB in the US and around $9/GB in other countries.
- Skyroam - See our dedicated review.
- tep - A global data plan rental vendor, tep offers rented hotspots for between $10.95/day (3GB/LTE) to $12.95/day (5GB/LTE), with additional fees for chargers and device insurance. After LTE data is used, speeds are slowed to 256kbps for the remainder of the day.
- Travel WiFi - Travel hotspot from a France-based company that focuses primarily on France and Europe: unlimited 4G data in France, 5G/day in Europe and 1GB/day for rest of world.
- Vision Global Wifi - Global hotspot you can pick up from an airport, data price depends on location and amount.
- We.Stream - The data plans from We.Stream appear lackluster. The "unlimited" plan only included 2GB of high-speed data a month, and then speeds drop to being only suitable for text and email.
- WorldSIM - Offers data-only and phone SIMS for a variety of countries - up to 5GB is available per 30 day period.
- RedPocket - Offers data-only SIM cards for either $9/ first GB, then $8/GB for 30days or $15/ first GB then $14/GB for 30days - dependent on country of travel.
- PokeFi - A product of travel-centric company, SmartGo, PokeFi's hotspot device must be purchased up front (and is pricey). You can then purchase data as a day pass (actualy data usage limits unknown), or in GB allotments.
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
For other featured cellular data plans ideal for RVers and Crusiers - here's some other options to consider:
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Selecting the right cellular data plan for your mobile internet needs is only one part of the equation. Here's some further guides on understanding the selection process as well as the additional gear you might need.