Numerous satellite based products are now available to keep you in touch with the world while out playing in the no service zone, but what if you simply want to use your phone to send a quick message to let everyone know you are ok from time to time? Text Anywhere is a two way satellite messaging device that pairs with your phone, tablet or laptop to send messages from almost anywhere in the world, no annual contract required.
The Text Anywhere device connects to your phone via Wifi. No special phone app is needed, you simply open a browser to send and receive full 160 character text messages or emails. The messages get transferred via satellite to their intended recipient over the Iridium Satellite Network.
Although you aren't sucked into an annual contract, the two way satellite messaging service does not exactly come cheap. The Text Anywhere device itself costs $399. After a one time $35 activation fee, service is $29.99 per month for 100 messages. Each message over the limit costs $0.27. If you want to only use the device during your summer backpacking trips, you can put the service on hold for $5 a month and reactivate only when needed.
Setup is straight forward. Simply register your device, pay the activation fee and first month service fee, then you are ready to go. Your online account lets you enable or disable features such as security, Facebook and Twitter connection, or the free location proximity link that allows friends and family to see where you are during your adventure.
Text Anywhere can use both Alkaline 'AA' non rechargeable or NiMH rechargeable 'AA'. You should be able to send up to 350 messages on one charge. A blinking red light on the top of the Text Anywhere device indicates that an inbound message is waiting for you.
As is the limitation with most satellite based devices, Text Anywhere only works in countries where the Iridium Satellite service is available. However, Iridium appears to be the most globally available of all of them, even offering service at the poles even if not in North Korea.