In this always on world, one of the biggest frustrations when traveling out of the country is figuring out how to keep all your devices connected. International roaming plans are not always cheap and finding a local WiFi hotspot or buying a local SIM card can be a hassle. Roaming Man aims to make things easier with a mobile WiFi hotspot that gives you global data access with the push of a button.
Roaming Man is a device that connects to the local 4G cellular data network and creates a WiFi hotspot for your phone, iPad, laptop, or other devices. It saves you from expensive data roaming charges when you are traveling and means you don’t have to frantically search for a cafe with free WiFi just to check your email or upload that Instagram photo.
During my recent trip through Central Asia, I never once had to go searching for a local SIM card like my fellow cyclists each time we crossed a border. As I was stuck with an AT&T locked iPhone anyway, I wouldn’t even be able to benefit from a local SIM card.
The device is small and lightweight — about the same size as your phone if not smaller. It’s extremely easy to use — simply turn it on and securely connect your device via WiFi using the password written on the back of the Roaming Man unit. In the meantime, the unit searches for the local 4G network and shows when it is connected via a panel of LED symbols — you are now ready to surf, text, and email to your heart’s content. This same panel also shows the amount of battery you have left.
Roaming Man claims the service works in over 130 countries and regions across the world. During my trip, I found it worked great in Kazakhstan and the rare parts of Tajikistan where they had good cell phone infrastructure. It did not work for me in Kyrgyzstan — something the company warned me about before I left — and it did not work where there was no service or limited cellular data services in much of Tajikistan until we got close to Dushanbe. Not many people plan to travel to these remote areas, however, so someplace like Europe and South America will definitely offer a better experience.
At a $9.99 per day rental fee, you may be better off signing up for your local service provider’s international roaming plan depending on how much Instagram selfie posting you plan to do. For example, AT&T offers Passport which gives me unlimited text and up to 1G of data over 30 days for only $60. But if I had tons of work to do on my laptop or needed to use data-heavy apps like Google Maps, Roaming Man probably would make the better choice as it gives you unlimited data use. You can also connect up to five devices so perfect for a family that is traveling overseas.
You can rent a device from the Roaming Man website, telling them the range of dates you want to use it for and the countries you plan to travel. The company will then send a unit to you in the mail before your trip and when you get back, simply mail it back to them with the prepaid label and packing provided.