Last year I wrote an article about the Best WiFi Hotspots for International Travelers, and of the eight companies I featured on that list, TEP Wireless has been one of the most popular options. They are the only hotspot available that allows subscribers to upgrade their daily allotment of 4G data from 500MB to 1GB for an additional $1.95/day – which has made it a popular choice for folks who need more high speed data. And my readers have also been a big fan of their flat rate pricing, worldwide coverage, and VOIP phone service which no other competitor offers. In this post, I'll give you a full breakdown and review of TEP Wireless, compare them to competitors, and also offer you an exclusive 10% off discount code for TEP Wireless.
- TEP Wireless Full Review
- TEP Wireless Alternatives
- TEP Wireless vs Skyroam
- TEP Wireless vs Roaming Man
- TEP Wireless vs Geefi
- TEP Wireless vs Keepgo
- TEP Wireless Promo Code
Just here for the TEP Wireless discount code?
Use this link to TEPWireless.com and discount code A7YKMS7Z10 for 10% off your rental or purchase.
TEP Wireless Mobile Hotspot Review 2018
This is a detailed breakdown and review of TEP Wireless to save you the trouble of pouring through their site for the information. I work with a rep at each hotspot company and I am very familiar with the industry, so I've done my best to transparently explain and review their service offering below. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment at the bottom of this post or e-mail me at [email protected]
About the Company: TEP Wireless is based out of London but serve a worldwide clientbase. They are a pioneer in the WiFi hotspot industry (one of the original companies to offer this type of service) and have earned a solid reputation amongst travelers since they launched in 2011. I can also personally testify to their stellar customer service. You can read over 4000+ unmoderated customer reviews on their website – which I appreciate their transparency of showing all reviews and not just the good ones.
Devices: They offer a pocket WiFi “Teppy” device that you can purchase or rent. It lasts up to 6 hours on a charge and you can connect up to 5 devices to it at once. It fits in the palm of your hand as you can see in the photo above.
Cost: You can RENT a Teppy for $8.95/day (free shipping) which includes the device and unlimited Internet access, or you can BUY a Teppy for $129 + $9.95 shipping and pay $8/day for Internet services, or lastly you can get a FREE Teppy for subscribing to their $99/month unlimited Internet access plan. Buying the device for $129 includes 3 Free Day Passes ($24 value). If you own the device, you can start and stop service anytime for 24 hour coverage windows. As an add-on, they also offer a 4G Upgrade for $1.95/day which adds 500mbs to the amount of daily allotted 4G data.
Speed Throttles: Technically they offer unlimited Internet for a flat price – but they throttle your 4G speed at 500MB per day before slowing you down to 2G/3G speeds. This means that after you use the first 500MB per day, your connection speed is slowed to 256kbs for the remainder of the day and then is reset back to highspeed the next morning. Or if you purchase the optional 4G upgrade (+$1.95/day), you get a full 1GB of high-speed data per day. All WiFi hotspot services that offer unlimited data throttle your 4G speed past a certain daily use, but TEP Wireless is the only service that offers a $1.95/day upgrade which lets you double your allotment of 4G data.
Extras: Part of what makes TEP Wireless standout as a WiFi hotspot provider are the extra features they include with their service. TEP Wireless is the only service to offer these types of features including:
- Kitestring – An SMS based emergency service that checks in on you while you travel via scheduled text messages (you set the frequency of those messages). If you don't reply to the text, Kitestring sends your emergency contact an alert message.
- Concierge – A service that privately connects you with locals via their TEP+ App who you can ask for recommendations on things to do, places to eat/drink, and where to stay. The service operates from 9am to 8pm every day.
- VOIP Phone and Text – Via their app, you can send and receive international calls and texts with prices that start at $0.01/minute – which is pretty cheap for VOIP calls but I use a combination of Google Voice which is free and also Verizon WiFi Calling & Texting which is included with my plan.
- In Flight WiFi – This service is coming soon and it looks like it will offer free or discounted Internet service during flights. I will update this post when that feature is released and more details are provided.
Coverage: TEP Wireless offers coverage in 80 countries and 100+ destinations including:
Best TEP Wireless Alternatives & Competitors
You can read a full breakdown of each competitor in my article on Best WiFi Hotspots or continue reading below where I compare TEP Wireless vs Skyroam, Roaming Man, Keepgo, and Geefi in the next section.
TEP Wireless vs Skyroam
TEP Wireless: TEPWireless.com
DEVICES: Skyroam's Solis hotspot doubles as a 6000mAh power bank and can power up to 5 devices with Internet at once, while simultaneously charging one of them. It can last more than 16 hours on a single charge (if not used as a power bank). TEP Wireless's device, the Teppy, can also connect up to 5 devices at once, but can only last up to 6 hours on a charge. Skyroam wins for having a longer lasting device and also being able to double as a battery pack.
PRICE: You can RENT or BUY a device with TEP Wireless or Skyroam – but TEP Wireless wins on device price. Their Teppy device is only $129 to purchase versus Skyroam's $149 Solis, or you can get their device for FREE if you subscribe to their $99/month plan. The cost of daily Internet service with both companies is about the same at $8-10/day – and both now offer a $99/month unlimited plan.
THROTTLING: Both companies throttle your 4G speeds past 500MB each day, but only TEP Wireless offers you the option to double your 4G allotment to 1GB for an additional $1.95/day. It's nice to have that option so TEP Wireless wins this category.
COVERAGE: Both TEP Wireless and Skyroam advertise that they work in 100+ countries and they seem to offer similar coverage areas. The reality is that coverage very much depends on the specific location you'll be traveling. These devices don't have their own towers, but instead operate through international data roaming agreements with other providers. That's why I give them a tie in this category, as they both offer an impressive amount of coverage. The best thing you can do is check the individual websites for Skyroam and TEP Wireless and view their coverage in the specific areas you'll be traveling to ensure that the devices and service will meet your needs while abroad.
EXTRA FEATURES: TEP Wireless wins this category by default because Skyroam does not offer any extras like Kitestring, Concierge, or VOIP which I wrote about earlier.
OVERALL WINNER: If you need the option to purchase a higher allotment of 4G data each day, you should go with TEP Wireless because Skyroam doesn't offer that upgrade. (Use this link to TEP Wireless and promo code A7YKMS7Z10 at checkout for an additional 10% off your purchase or rental.) If you need a device with a long battery life that doubles as a battery pack, you should go with Skyroam. (Use promo code TRAVELISLIFE at checkout for an additional 10% off your entire purchase or rental.)
TEP Wireless vs Roaming Man
Roaming Man: RoamingMan.com
TEP Wireless: TEPWireless.com
DEVICES: – Roaming Man offers a hotspot that can power up to 5 devices at once and lasts over 12 hours on a charge versus the Teppy's 6 hour battery life. Since they offer a hotspot device with twice the battery life, Roaming Man wins this category.
PRICE: – You can RENT or BUY a device with TEP Wireless but you can only RENT with Roaming Man. The option to purchase the device and save on shipping costs is a significant savings with TEP Wireless if you're looking to use the service often, so they win in this category. The cost of daily Internet service is about the same with each company at $8-10/day, however TEP Wireless offers a $99/month unlimited Internet access service that will save you money over Roaming Man for monthly usage.
THROTTLING: – Both companies throttle your 4G speeds past 500MB each day, but only TEP Wireless offers you the option to double your 4G allotment to 1GB for an additional $1.95/day. It's nice to have that option so TEP Wireless wins this category.
COVERAGE: – Both TEP Wireless and Roaming Man offer similar coverage areas, and as I mentioned earlier, their coverage area is only as important as the areas you'll be traveling – so check the individual websites for Roaming Man and TEP Wireless and view the coverage in the specific areas you'll be traveling.
EXTRA FEATURES: Roaming Man does not offer any extras like Kitestring, Concierge, or VOIP – so TEP Wireless wins this category by default.
OVERALL WINNER: If battery life is important to you and you only plan on RENTING the device for a short trip, you should consider Roaming Man since their device's battery life is twice that of the Teppy. Although keep in mind that an inexpensive external battery pack could solve that battery life difference easy. (Use this link to Roaming Man and promo code TILORG for $10 off your entire purchase or rental. Valid until April 30, 2018.) However, if you plan on BUYING the device and using on multiple trips, would like to save money with a monthly plan, or if you'll need the additional allotment of 4G data each day, then you'll want to go with TEP Wireless. (Use this link to TEP Wireless and promo code A7YKMS7Z10 at checkout for an additional 10% off your purchase or rental.)
TEP Wireless vs GeeFi
At the moment, Geefi is non-operational, so TEP Wireless wins in all categories by default.
TEP Wireless vs Keepgo
TEP Wireless: TEPWireless.com
DEVICES: Keepgo offers a hotspot device or a SIM card that you can use in your existing unlocked device. TEP Wireless only offers hotspots that you can BUY or RENT. I'm giving the win to Keepgo in this category because of their added ability to use my existing device.
PRICE: Keepgo's SIM Cards cost $49 and their WiFi Hotspots cost $99 with free shipping to 38 countries. Data is priced in bundles at $19 for 500MB, $35 for 1GB, $85 for 3GB, $119 for 5GB, and $219 for 10GB. They do not offer device rentals or unlimited plans. You can RENT a Teppy for $8.95/day or BUY a Teppy for $129 and only pay $8/day for unlimited Internet (includes 3 Free Day Passes), or you can get a FREE Teppy for subscribing to their $99/month unlimited Internet plan. It's tough to call a winner in this category because we're not comparing apples to apples. Keepgo charges per GB and TEP Wireless charges a flat daily or monthly rate. The benefit of Keepgo is that you can stretch your pre-paid gigabytes out over several days or weeks, so depending on your Internet usage, that might be a more cost effective solution.
THROTTLING: Keepgo does not throttle your speeds at all since you are paying per gigabyte. TEP Wireless throttles your 4G speed past 500MB per day with an option to double that to 1GB for an additional $1.95/day. Keepgo wins for never throttling 4G speeds – if you're willing to pay for that luxury.
COVERAGE: Both companies offer worldwide coverage, however, Keepgo advertises a smaller coverage area by about 10 countries. You'll want to check each company's website for their specific coverage areas to determine whether or not those 10 countries matter to your travels.
EXTRA FEATURES: TEP Wireless wins this category by default because Geefi does not offer any extras like Kitestring, Concierge, or VOIP calls/texts.
OVERALL WINNER: If you'd like to use your own unlocked device and are only looking for occasional international Internet access, go with Keepgo because you can purchase a few gigabytes of data and make them last for a long time. (Use this link to Keepgo for 15% off your purchase with no promo code needed.) If you're a heavy Internet user or don't want to count gigabyte usage and would prefer to activate unlimited Internet for a day or month at a time, go with TEP Wireless. (Use this link to TEP Wireless and promo code A7YKMS7Z10 at checkout for an additional 10% off your purchase or rental.)
What's your review of TEP Wireless or their competitors? Have you had a positive or negative experience with one or another? Let me know in the comments section below. Or if you've got any questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below and I'll do my best to help you out.
Don't forget to use your TEP Wireless promo code!
Use this link to TEPWireless.com and discount code A7YKMS7Z10 at checkout for 10% off your rental or purchase.