In my comparison guide on the Best Mobile Wifi Hotspots for Travelers, I showcase Skyroam and Keepgo as two solutions for international data roaming, however, although they both offer international data roaming, their service comes in different forms, so today I'm going to breakdown and compare the two options to help you decide which is best for your needs when traveling abroad.
DEVICES: Winner – It's A Toss-Up
Keepgo offers two different options for international data: 1) WiFi hotspot devices, and 2) World SIM Cards that work with your existing unlocked mobile device. Their hotspot devices last up to 11 hours on a charge and can connect up to 16 devices at once.
Skyroam's Solis doubles as a 6000mAh power bank, lasts more than 16 hours on a single charge, and can power up to 5 devices with Internet at once, while simultaneously charging one of them.
In the device category, it's a toss-up because Keepgo offers two different kinds of devices. In regards to hot spots, the Skyroam Solis has a longer battery life and is less expensive, but can only connect 5 devices at once versus Keepgo's ability to connect 16 devices. And in regards to SIM cards that work in any unlocked phone, Skyroam does not offer this type of service. An International SIM Card would be a better solution for a traveler who doesn't want to carry an additional device.
PRICE: Winner – Skyroam
You can BUY the Skyroam Solis device for $149.99 + shipping and pay $9/day for unlimited Internet with Skyroam, and that price includes 1 Free Day Pass. Or you can RENT a Solis for $9.95/day + shipping in both directions, which includes the device and unlimited Internet access.
Keepgo's SIM Cards cost $49 and their WiFi Hotspots cost $99 with free shipping to 38 countries. Data is priced in bundles at $14 for 500MB, $26 for 1GB, $61 for 3GB, $88 for 5GB, and $165 for 10GB. Their new GoFi Europe USA Plan offers data at a flat rate of $8/GB in those regions. You can switch between the plans anytime. They do not offer device rentals or unlimited plans.
Skyroam wins in the price category for travelers who will require regular Internet use. Their hotspot device costs more than the Keepgo hotspot to purchase, but they offer unlimited Internet, and they also offer the option to rent. Unlimited Internet is an attractive feature with Skyroam, whereas, the least expensive you can get away with Keepgo is buying data at $8/GB in Europe and USA or in packs of 10GB which come to $21.90 per gigabyte for worldwide data.
Keepgo, however, wins in the price category for travelers who are looking to barely use Internet each day, but have access to it for emergencies or occasional use. And the reason is because the data you purchase with Keepgo does not expire for a year. So if you're planning on using less than 50-100 mbs of data per day (just for emergencies for example), you can make 1 GB last for almost a month. So although Skyroam would be less expensive for active daily Internet surfers who require unlimited data, Keepgo would be more cost effective for folks who are just looking to have access to emergency data when they need it.
Note about RENTING vs BUYING… Due to the cost of shipping, if you plan on using your Skyroam on more than 2-3 trips, it's recommended that you BUY a device instead of RENT it. The difference in service is only $1 per day to rent versus buy, but the cost of shipping the device in both directions starts to add up quickly. Also, don't forget that you can save an additional 10% off at Skyroam using our exclusive TRAVELISLIFE promo code at checkout.
4G DATA THROTTLING: Winner – Keepgo
Hotspot devices that offer unlimited data like Skyroam have to abide by international data roaming agreements, which limit the amount of 4G service a subscriber can use in a given day on unlimited plans. Skyroam limits your 4G usage to 500mbs per day before reducing you to 2G/3G speeds.
Keepgo, on the other hand, does not throttle your 4G data in a given day since you are paying per gigabyte. So although paying per gigabyte is more expensive than getting unlimited data, your data won't feel very “unlimited” once you're throttled to 2G/3G speeds anyway.
In the data throttling category, Keepgo wins for not throttling 4G speeds. If you require a high speed connection every time you access the Internet, and you're willing to pay for it, then Keepgo will be a smart choice. If you're just looking to access e-mails, messages, and social media on your trip, and aren't too concerned with being speed throttled after you hit 500mbs in a day, then Skyroam would be more cost effective.
COVERAGE: Winner – Skyroam
Skyroam advertises that they work in 110+ countries and destinations around the world, whereas Keepgo advertises 70+ countries and destinations. So technically I have to give the win to Skyroam here. However, before I sway you in one direction or another based on coverage, let me ask you this… Does it really matter how many countries it works in? Or is a better question, Does it work in the specific countries where I'm ACTUALLY GOING? Because what good is an extra 40+ countries if you have no intention of visiting those countries?
The best thing you can do when comparing 4G hotspots is to view the coverage pages on the individual websites for Skyroam and Keepgo and see how their coverage is in the places you'll be going. Don't let the numbers fool you!
OVERALL WINNER: Skyroam vs Keepgo
Skyroam wins for folks who require unlimited Internet but aren't overly concerned with their 4G data being throttled after 500mbs each day. Their flat rate daily pricing is easy and attractive and removes the hassle of having to count your gigabyte usage in order to keep your data bill down.
Keepgo wins for travelers who don't require unlimited Internet and would just like to have easy access to 4G data when they need it. Since data with Keepgo doesn't expire for a year (which you can actually extend your entire data package for another year just by adding a little more), it's a great solution for emergency international data or occasional users.
And lastly, Keepgo also wins for travelers who don't want to carry an extra device with them and would rather simply stick a SIM card in their phone for their trip.
And there you have it! I hope this article helps you make an informed decision regarding your next international mobile hotspot and whether to go with Skyroam or Keepgo. Also, don't forget that you can save an additional 10% off at Skyroam using our exclusive TRAVELISLIFE promo code at checkout or save 10% off at Keepgo using any of our referral links on this page.
If you need more options, check out my post on Best 4G Hotspots For International Travelers.
Feedback/Questions? Drop a comment below. And enjoy your trip abroad!
SEE ALSO: Best International Data Plans from US Cell Phone Carriers