Pros We use this service in order to maintain connectivity while abroad, keeping costs under control. $200 for 200MB on AT&T is not an answer. Travellers can connect their iPhone for email and VoIP dialling, iPad and PC for internet.
Cons Shipping from Cali can be expensive. Travellers have to remember to inform us of the trip so we can order the country specific package.
Summary Good product, a little clunky but by far the best option I have found. I would rather know the cost will be ~$20 per day for a traveller to have unlimited data acess and VoIP calling, versus the x thousand dollar charges from AT&T for a traveller using iPhone and iPad to download email, PDF and using straigt AT&T voice while abroad... works really well in China, India and Brazil.
"It depends..."on by usalexz
Pros Getting multiple devices connectivity on the go
Cons At time frequent reset makes it unreliable
Does not work when plugged into computer USB port
Require almost immediate Fedex drop off after the trip--not very practical
Summary I took xcom mifi to two separate trips to Europe. First trip to France and Beligium. Second trip to Switzerland. The two experience differs dramatically in terms of connectivity. Perhaps I was given a lemon device on the first trip, but I had to reset the device nearly every few minutes. It would work continuously at most for a couple of hours. The second trip was much better. Not only did it never require reset. I hardly need to log in again despite having the mifi off for the evening. I would feel better about the service if they can upgrade to more reliable hardware or services. I'm not sure what is the root cause of the problem.
My second complaint is the return period. The device comes with a second-day Fedex envelop which you use to return the device. My first trip ended on a Wednesday which landed late in the evening. I got tied up with work on Thursday and drop off the device to Fedex on Friday. This resulted in a late fee because it arrives a day late. It seems like they do not account for all the need of their customers which are by clearly international travellers. Any snag in your travel plan, jet lag, and work demand can easily hold off return by a day. It does not seem practiclal to expect customers to return the device the very next scheduled business day after an international travel. I felt like I was being nickled and dimed for extra fee.
"My experience"on by NSeattle
Pros When it works, it's great.
Cons Lots of problems with it needing a reset. Did not work outside cities. Rip-off late fees.
Summary I used the mifi on a recent trip to Spain. The main reason I wanted it along (as opposed to a local card) is that we were going to be driving a bit and I wanted to use online maps while in motion as well as to keep connected throughout the trip. I also wanted to be able to use my iPhone as a helper in navigating on foot around cities. I didn't need phone service, just internet.
When it worked in cities for walking around it was very helpful to pull out the iPhone map and figure out where I was going. Saved a lot of aimless walking. I just kept the Mifi in my backpack. Was nice. Downside is the battery does not last very long so I ended up having to dive into the backpack a lot to turn it off and on to save the battery. I sometimes carried it in my pocket to dinner, etc. (nice for translating menus), but when turned on, it gets VERY hot.
What I did not expect, and was a huge let-down, was that it would lose its cell connection as soon as you left any major metropolitan area. This may be more of a problem with the cell service in the local country rather than the mifi itself, but it would have been nice to know either way ahead of time. I ended up resorting to paper maps when traveling between cities as the mifi became useless.
The most frustrating thing was that when I traveled between cities, it would, like I said, lose its internet connection, but then, when you arrived at the next destination, it STILL wouldn't work. Apparently because you have moved between regional cell carriers (or whatever) it needs a complete reset. Sounds simple, right? Just a quick reset? Think again! You have to push in the little reset button first to clear it out. I ended up MacGyvering a special mifi reset tool out of a hotel comb and using it multiple times. A pen is too large for the hole. Then you have to go through multiple menus to do the "reset". Plan on a half hour each time it fails. Total nightmare. And even more annoying, when I called (international rates, btw), they failed to answer multiple times. They had different hours posted on the multiple places on the web which also didn't match the hours in the manual. Which leads me to a ***? If you're offering a product for traveling internationally, you need have 24 hour support service. Period. Anyway, on call number 3, someone finally answered. Then I had to go through I think 3 people before I found someone who knew what they were talking about.
Last warning: they charged me for a dickish extra day rental when I got home. Funny thing is I rushed it to the FedEx place immediately once I returned. There is literally no physical way I could have gotten it back sooner while staying within this time/space continuum. Ridiculous. Not a lot of extra money, but leaves me feeling cheated.
Pros Looks great if they bill as advertised.
Cons 3GB limit?
Summary limits on "unlimited data"Trip report.
We will be in France for 2 1/2 weeks in June.
Ordered the Xcom mifi box with "unlimited data" to use GPS, voice (Line2,
Google Voice) and lots of texts. No video usage.
Approx. how much data might I consume roughly?
I emailed Xcom about data limits and they emailed me back and said
3GB per month. This was info from the Operations Mgr.
I am guessing I may be way over that limit.
Updated on Jun 15, 2011
I received my mifi box with French SIM card. Still at home.
Charged up both the unit and the 'back up battery' . I have seen comments that the mifi
will not broadcast while it its charging. I tested it and the unit they rented me does seem to work
while charging. (in your browser type www.mifi/en/login.cgi and you should see a charging
Getting on line... tried to test it from home (California) and my ipad sees/receives the wifi
signal but I can not connect. Called tech support and was told system will not work until
I am overseas, so no way to confirm it is working til I am out of the country. Do not like that.
Have others experienced the same?
Pros At first it sounds like it was going to be a great product to support my needs in Mexico
Cons The carrier they used was Movistar and it was crap everywere I went. I had to pay for hotel internet fees where I was staying for $30. The Mifi Hotspot was dead. Don't rent from this business you will regret it.
Summary If it worked it would of been ok of a service.