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Remote-based professionals who work while traveling abroad heavily rely on a dependable internet connection. However, relying solely on pricey roaming data plans or constantly seeking out Wi-Fi at cafes might not be ideal. Instead, you have alternative options to ensure a reliable internet connection.
How to Secure Internet Connections Abroad?
#1 International Mobile Phone Plan
You can discover international SIM cards designed for global travel, often referred to as travel Esims. Although they may not be as inexpensive as local SIM cards, they can be a better choice if you frequently travel to various regions since they allow you to maintain the same phone number regardless of your location.
Transitioning between coverage networks is effortless, and Google Fi boasts over four million worldwide hotspots. Additionally, you can effortlessly port your number to Google Fi, eliminating concerns about changing your number. With this plan, you only pay for the data you consume, up to 6GB, meaning you won’t be charged for wifi usage.
#2 Securely Connect to WiFi Abroad
We rely heavily on public Wi-Fi when traveling. However, such networks are extremely vulnerable to hackers, plus they are often hosted by the attackers themselves and intercept your data. To ensure access to the Internet while traveling and not expose yourself to additional risks, you should use a VPN. With its help, you can send incognito email, surf the Internet safely, protect yourself from phishing, and even change your region to another. The latter is useful if you encounter regional restrictions from various services. Some VPNs even offer a free trial period. If your trip is less than a month, you can invest in a free trial.
#3 Local SIM Card
One affordable way to access travel Internet is by using a local SIM card. However, finding a suitable SIM card at your destination might consume a significant amount of time. Hence, I do not consider this option unless my trip extends beyond a month.
Various points of entry, such as airports, train stations, and bus terminals, offer local SIM cards in most countries. It is advisable to inquire at different kiosks to identify the SIM card that offers the highest data volume at a reasonable price.
Additionally, ensure compatibility of the SIM card with your phone and its ability to share data with other devices. This becomes crucial if you are traveling as a couple or a family to avoid the hassle of purchasing multiple SIM cards.
#4 International Mobile Hotspots
International mobile hotspot companies worldwide have established partnerships with 4G wireless carriers, allowing seamless network transition without SIM cards or frequent local mobile plan changes.
Certain services offer a fixed fee for wireless access across all covered areas, while others have specific rates for each country. Consequently, there may be instances where you incur higher costs compared to using a local SIM card.
However, opting for international mobile hotspots eliminates the inconvenience of sourcing a local SIM card. This approach grants immediate internet access upon arrival, enabling effortless carrier switching.
Alternatively, you can carry a hotspot during your travels and activate it briefly as needed. Also keep in mind that although this approach is much safer than public Wi-Fi networks, you still bear numerous risks. You can try the free VPN browser extension on your laptop and prevent a significant portion of cyber attacks, including DDoS, phishing, MITM, viruses, and malware.
#5 Unlocked Portable Router
Another simple and practical way to access the internet while traveling is by using an unlocked portable router. The primary advantage of this device is that it allows you to connect multiple devices simultaneously, including laptops. This makes it an ideal option for traveling with family and friends, as well as for work trips.
These portable routers are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry in a backpack or bag. Some models are even small enough to fit in your pocket. However, it’s important to note that these routers require charging every day. Therefore, it is recommended to start the day with a full charge.
Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that you’ll need a compatible SIM card with network coverage for your destination. Not all SIM cards work with these types of devices, so you’ll have to purchase one upon arrival.
#6 USB dongle
When traveling, a USB dongle can provide internet access. However, I specifically recommend this option for those who frequently connect with a laptop rather than a mobile device.
This particular USB dongle is one of the best options available. It functions as a portable router, generating a shared Wi-Fi network. Keep in mind that it needs to be connected to a power source, either the laptop’s battery or a USB plug, in order to work. As a result, it may not be the most ideal solution if you want internet access while exploring a city.
Compared to other options, this USB dongle isn’t the best choice for travelers seeking a comprehensive internet package. USB dongles tend to have limitations in terms of speed and stability, and you’ll also need to purchase a SIM card at your destination.
On the other hand, if you travel for work and require internet access on your laptop, a USB dongle could be a suitable option. However, I believe an unlocked portable router or the Solis plan may be more practical.
Knowing the spots with wifi availability can greatly assist you during your travels. Opting for accommodations with wifi will initiate your journey in a new destination. In areas experiencing weak wifi signals, you have the choice of acquiring a local or international data plan or using a hotspot. Conducting research to determine the most affordable option in your current location is essential, as prices for local plans can differ significantly.