Gadget Review – Mobile Wi-Fi from XCom Global

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XCom%20Global%20-%20mifiPrior to my recent trip to the Yucatan Peninsular in Mexico I was contacted by PR representatives from Xcom Global. Would I be interested in testing their global Mi-Fi device in Mexico for free. I did not deliberate long.

I am an internet junkie. Between keeping in touch with work and posting pictures from my travels to Amateur Traveler, I welcomed the use of a Mi-Fi device which allows multiple internet devices.

Ease of Use

The device is simple enough to use. Press the button until the light turns green which means that it has connected to the GSM cellular data network. To turn it off, hold the button until the light turns red. I cannot comment on the battery life, because I never used up the first of two batteries that was included with the device.

The device came configured for Mexico so no other setup was needed.

Connection Speed

Connecting via the GMS network, in Mexico at least, is a great way to get connection when another Wi-Fi connection is not available. But when we had a local connection form the hotel that was generally faster. I did not get a chance to use the connection while in the case on this trip, since I was driving, but have used similar devices in the U.S. while mobile.

Coverage

I found the coverage to be good when in the populated Merida, Cancun or Playa del Carmen, but had no signal in the jungle near the ruins of Uxmal. I also had no coverage in the smaller town of Uzamal, although the coverage maps did seem to show that Uzamal should have coverage.

Cost

Currently XCom Global is offering the device and connectivity for $14.95 per day which is a sale from the list price of $17.95 per day. This probably puts the device rental outside the reach of many independent travelers but no more than a typical cost for internet at business class hotels. A deposit is also required for the rental of the device, even for bloggers like me. You really don’t want to lose this as its sleek and simple design belies the cost of the device.

Conclusion

Mobile wi-fi coverage cane help you keep in contact with home or work while you are traveling. For those who can afford it and who are not traveling too far from population centers and cell towers, this device is an interesting option.

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by Chris Christensen

I am the host of the Amateur Traveler. The Amateur Traveler is an online travel show that focuses primarily on travel destinations and what are the best places to travel to. It includes both a weekly audio podcast, a video podcast, and a blog.

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