Our thoughts on how to stay online while being on the road, and our review on the wireless pocket size modem by Tep Wireless.
On our roadtrip through Mexico and Centralamerica (sofar), we’ve been taking our time to test out the mobile hotspot, by the company Tep Wireless. here’s our verdict and explanation on why a Teppy will save you money spent at McDonald’s and why it’s absolutely perfect for your next roadtrip!
Thought on how to stay online
I’ve always wondered how travelers run their blogs, and how bloggers and whatmore work while being on the road. I’ve been on a fair amount of road trips where ‘finding the next McDonalds free wi-fi’ has been a daily turning point. I couldn’t imagine that’s how everybody does, so I started to look into what options I had for staying online while being on the road. Here’s what I found.
1. There’s satelite communicators that allows you stay online almost where ever you are as long as you can see the sky
2. Then there’s roaming on your cellphone with your regular plan from back home
3. Buying a phoneplan in the country/region you’re in
4. Finding wifi
The fifth option was the one that I found smartest. A tiny electrical gadget that uses the 3g/4g network to make a wi-fi access point for you. There’s a lot of different companies that provides this service. I stumbled upon the company, Tep Wireless, and their device, a “teppy”, which I will be reviewing in this post.
Getting the right Teppy
In order to run a blog, and stay online in general, Tep Wireless, kindly sent us a 4g modem. At first we were really disappointed, because it did not work! We turned it on, and it told us: “no service available”. Then we wrote an email to Tep, and they were really helpfull with switching the 4g- to a 3g modem which would work in Mexico, Central- and South America.
Tep connects worldwide, so it doesn’t matter if you’re going to Africa, Asia, Southamerica or Europe. Tep has the device that will connect you on your travels, allthough you will have to get a Teppy for each continent. This is where it comes in handy, that you don’t have to buy a Teppy when you’re traveling. In stead you can just rent it. Now that’s pretty convenient!
How does the Teppy work?
Once we got the right modem in our hands we were really excited to turn it on and get started on the big setup proces. So I did the following:
1. I pressed the start button and the network appeared on my smartphone
2. I typed in the Wi-Fi password and I was online.
3. Start browsing…
When you buy/rent your Teppy, you can buy a certain number of ‘days online’. Basically that means, that whenever you like it, you turn on your Teppy, navigate the menu and press “start”. Once you have pressed ‘start’ you have internet access for 24 hours (given you are a place with 3g/4g coverage)
Cudos to Tep for accessibility. Not to hate on monkeys, but a blind one could use this device without messing it up.
Plans offered by Tep
Whenever I travel, and I turn on my mobile data, I close a lot of apps on my phone because I know they use a lot of data. Even though I do that, I’m always a bit nervous when I turn roaming on, because of the roaming prices. This is where Tep’s unlimited data plan comes in handy. To me it’s worth every penny. Not having to worry about every little kilobyte is freedom reincarnated. for 8$ you can use as much data as you like in the next 24 hours.
Here’s an unfortunate experience with our Tep, that despite all ended up good. In San Cristobal, Mexico,our Teppy told us we had 3G. Then we started our 24 hours and it went to H++, and after that we had no connection. That sucked as we wasted a full day of internet (8$) on it. I was bummed over the episode and wrote an email to Tep explaining it. They replied with a guide on how to fully reset the Teppy, and informed that they would credit me with a day of internet as compensation.
The best use of the Tep sofar, has been while we were on the road. The Tep works really well on the move! Of course, in the deep valleys of the Mexican mountains, it has its challenges of getting signal, but almost everywhere else we’ve had great success. Keeping our experience in San Cristobal in mind that makes good sense to us; once you start the Tep there’s really no way back, and you have to settle with however good connection is available. So in order to have an as good chance as possible for great connection – stay on the move. This is why we find the Teppy perfect for our roadtrip.
I’m not going on a roadtrip again without it. Yes 8$ is a lot of money if you use it every day for six months. But in our case, it’s more than enough to turn it on every third day. It’s not for free to use the Teppy, but the money we have saved on cheeseburgers and McFlurry’s has paid off at least a couple of days worth of use of the Teppy.
Even if we tried, there’s nothing bad to say about the Tep support. They are available on email, phone, SMS, live chat (on their website), Facebook and their own app (android and iOS). And their responsetime is just ridiculous. When I wrote about the 3g/4g switch, I got the feeling that their supporters were sitting around, waiting for me to write.