Since moving to Poland over a year ago, it’s been a whirlwind, exciting time. Not only have I been living in a new country immersed in an incredible culture that I knew nothing about before, but I have also enjoyed running my online business for the second year which has been just as successful as the first.
With the business comes traveling and in the last year alone, I’ve run with the bulls in Pamplona, I drank more than a few beers and danced on the tables in Munich’s Oktoberfest, and I spent my first Christmas away from home in snowy Boston, USA. Epic, right?
While traveling is truly amazing and I’m thankful for it every day, it doesn’t come without its challenges. The top one that comes to mind? Finding Wi-Fi on the go. Hours have been spent searching for free Wi-Fi, worrying about the security of public Wi-Fi, and pulling out my hair when I can’t seem to connect or when the connection drops at the most inconvenient moment (why does that always happen?!).
It is these moments where I dream of connecting effortlessly and enjoying a constant stream of uninterrupted Wi-Fi on a beach somewhere with a coconut in hand. This is what led me to come across mobile hotspots (when I actually had Wi-Fi to search for them).
Rent ‘n Connect Wifi: International Mobile Hotspot
So my search led me to Rent ‘n Connect!
There were a lot of other Wi-Fi hotspots out there, but great reviews and the affordable price made me check out these guys and boy am I glad that I did.
Rent ‘n Connect ticked all the boxes that I wanted. They promised a fast, secure, reliable, and unlimited connection at an affordable price; they offered multiple connection capabilities so that one device would be sufficient for a group of friends, and they guaranteed that I would no longer have to worry about roaming charges or buying local sim cards ever again!
With multiple trips booked around Europe, I decided to give Rent ‘n Connect a chance to put their money where their mouth is.
Why Pay for a Mobile Hotspot?
Before I delve into the review, I just want to quickly explain why someone would pay for a mobile hotspot when there are a lot of public places that offer free Wi-Fi.
While public Wi-Fi can be great, it does limit you to the areas of where this is available, not to mention that the connection isn’t always great or reliable either. This can be a real pain when you work for yourself online or when you’re trying to navigate your way around a new country. Then you think about the areas that people travel that are not on the beaten path – a lot of the time, you can’t guarantee that there will be WI-FI so what do you do then?
With a mobile hotspot, from the moment you switch on your device, you can instantly connect your mobile phone, computer or iPad and you’re good to go! You can use the internet from almost anywhere. No more hassle with finding actual good WI-FI where the signal doesn’t drop – doesn’t that sound worth the money to you?
eSims such as the Nomad App are another great way to stay connected as you explore the globe.
How Does it Work?
Rent n’ Connect covers 100+ countries, giving you a flat rate fee per area at a fixed rate. As soon as you order your device online, this gets delivered to your doorstep before the beginning of your trip or you can order it for a duration of your trip and get it delivered to the hotel that you are at that current moment in time. Pretty cool, right?
Depending on the package that you decide to use, your device will be preloaded with this plan. All you have to do is turn it on and you can instantly connect to any type of device within seconds (which is perfect for tech-amateurs like myself!). It’s just like you connect to your Wi-Fi box at home: you find the device name, you enter the password and voila! Instant internet.
Once your plan is up (as you would have specified the dates that you would be renting the device beforehand), the internet will stop working and you can simply mail the device back to Rent n’ Connect in their pre-paid mailing envelope that they provide you with.
What’s in the Box?
Delivery was quick and when I opened the box, I found one hotspot device, a standard charger, and one power bank which I thought was a great touch. All the equipment came in a little zipped bag, making it easy to carry around when needed.
The Key Features
They have multiple devices available at Rent n’ Connect depending on the countries you will be traveling to. For example, they have a Germany only device, a European Union device, and a global device which differ only on price and data limit (see below).
Here are a few key features which make Rent n’ Connect stand out:
- Small and lightweight mobile hotspot device
- Unlimited data at 4G* speed or 1Mbps (*for global devices only)
- Can connect up to 5 devices (some devices offer 10 connections)
Even if something sounds good on paper, the decision ultimately comes down to price. So how much will a mobile hotspot from Rent n’ Connect cost?
The price depends on which package you choose and the duration of your trip.
Using the same three devices as mentioned above, here is the daily cost of renting a mobile hotspot:
- GL Mobile Hotspot – Unlimited global connection at 4G speed – €8.40 per day.
- EU Mobile Hotspot – 5 GB at 4G speed per day then will slow down to 1Mbps unlimited data for select EU countries. Data usage will reset daily at midnight local time – €8.40 per day.
- DE Mobile Hotspot – 2 GB at 4G speed per day then will slow down to 1 Mbps unlimited data for Germany only. Data usage will reset daily at midnight local time – €5.99 per day.
I had the EU Mobile Hotspot and it worked perfectly for me. 5 GB of data per day at 4G speed was more than enough for me to get the work done that I needed while traveling Europe and I used it a lot for navigation too.
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My Rent ‘n Connect Wifi Experience
As I was visiting my family in the UK first before traveling to a few European countries, I had my Wi-Fi hotspot delivered there on the date that I would be arriving. All went completely to plan: it was there before I got there and as connecting it was so easy, I actually used it around the UK a lot before even leaving for my trip.
Once I was connected, which was incredibly quick and easy as you just type in the password, I got quite used to having Wi-Fi everywhere I went pretty quickly. While I was home, I took a few train journeys back and forth Wales and England so for those few hours I was actually able to work!
Usually, I attempt to connect to the train Wi-Fi multiple times before trying to work offline and then giving up to blankly stare out the window while listening to music, but with the hotspot, it was a whole different story. Not only did I connect both my laptop and my phone instantly before the train even moved off the platform, but I also had a steady and uninterrupted connection for the entire journey.
As I usually work on WordPress or Google Docs, a consistent connection is really important for me. Let’s just say I’ve lost more than a few articles because of a dodgy connection preventing automatic saving.
So, immediately I was impressed and I got accustomed to having unlimited Wi-Fi incredibly quickly; by the time I was traveling around Europe, I actually couldn’t imagine being without the device. Sad, but true.
During the time that I rented the device, I traveled via plane, train and car from the UK to Poland and around Central Europe (the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary etc). As you can imagine, there were plenty of times where I needed Wi-Fi and the hotspot more than lived up to what they claimed it would be.
The moments that stand out to me the most on my travels were the times where having this device made my life so much easier (and even saved me once). I’m talking about being able to get all the tabs up that I needed to work offline in the airport before my flight, being able to work on any train anywhere, and the time where I was driving from Slovenia to Slovakia and was able to maintain a steady and reliable Google Maps connection.
This is the time where the device saved me as my phone connection was rubbish and my battery was about to die; the hotspot allowed me to connect my phone to make sure that the maps signal was up-to-date, but I also used the power bank to charge my phone! I literally don’t know how I would have made it to my accommodation if it wasn’t for these two gadgets because I was staying in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.
That power bank actually came in handy a number of times, mainly for my phone, but also for the hotspot itself as the device only lasts 5 hours. This didn’t matter so much when I was at my accommodation or somewhere with a plug point because I could charge both the device and power bank, but on days where I traveled a lot, the extra battery was essential.
During my time in Europe, I was easily able to access the internet at almost any given time and my connection remained pretty consistent right up until I reached my plan’s limit.
I was very impressed. Like I mentioned previously, the only negative that I had with the device really was the battery life but this is something that is common amongst wifi boxes.
I will definitely use Rent n’ Connect’s services again, even if I’m traveling to destinations where public Wi-Fi is known to be reliable just because I love the freedom and hassle-free experience that it gives me. What are your thoughts on this? Have you tried a mobile hotspot before?