FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions.

  • General
  • Countries Covered
  • Network Coverage
  • Delivery / Pickup
  • Return
  • Managing your Order
  • Billing
  • Data Usage
  • Trip Services Support
  • Satisfaction Guarantee

A Portable Hotspot – also known as a pocket wi-fi, MiFi, wireless dongle, global, mobile hotspot – works similarly to your wireless router at home. When turned on, it creates a wireless hotspot which anyone in the vicinity can connect to, assuming they have the password.

But, unlike your wireless router at home, Portable Hotspot is small, portable (it fits in your pocket), doesn’t require any setup, cables or installation, and works seamlessly over the world. Simply turn on and connect!

This means you can travel the world with your smartphone, laptop, tablet, game consoles etc., knowing that you can securely and reliably connect all of your devices to the internet, whenever you want.

Non-technical answer: Imagine a little gnome lived inside your phone, and every time you traveled abroad it would swap your SIM card for you, so that you’re always connect to local networks, at local rates. This is basically what’s going on inside your Portable Hotspot.

Technical answer: Portable Hotspot uses patented virtual SIM technology to allow seamless connectivity all over the world. When you power a Portable Hotspot on, it will automatically figure out what country it’s in, and choose the best network operator for you, via a bank of SIM cards it can access in the cloud. It will then connect to the data network of that operator. All this stuff happens discreetly in the background, so you never have to fuss with it.

The Portable Hotspot works with any Wi-Fi-enabled device, such as laptops (e.g. Windows & Mac), smartphones (e.g. iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone) tablets (e.g. iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Kindle) and anything else that can connect to Wi-Fi(e.g. game consoles).

To connect to your Portable Hotspot, first power it on, then locate your Portable Hotspot’s unique network name (SSID) and password. Now find your Portable Hotspot’s network name in the Wi-Filist of your smartphone or other device, and enter the password. That's it, you will now be connected to the internet. The below video shows how easy it really is!

Yes, because the Portable Hotspot uses wireless internet, it works even with carrier-locked devices!

You can connect up to five different devices to one Portable Hotspot. Please note that the connection speed will be shared among each device connected, so having five devices connected at the same time could result in noticeable speed slowdown.

A Portable Hotspot with a fully charged battery will lasts at least 6 hours while connected to one device. The device can be charged via a USB or wall outlet (both cables included). You can also get an external battery pack if needed.

Non-technical answer: The speed of your Portable Hotspot’s connection depends on coverage. Basically, the stronger the coverage, the faster and more reliable the speed. Adverse weather can also inhibit your connection speed. But, unless you’re in an area with really poor coverage, your speed should always be fast enough for ‘normal’ internet use, e.g. browsing the web, sending emails etc. If you want the fastest speeds possible, be sure to opt for the 4G upgrade.

Technical answer: You may have heard operators brag about their data speeds, e.g. 100 megabytes per second (Mbps) or even 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps) on 4G. While it sounds impressive, these are merely theoretic data speeds, i.e. conducted in a perfect environment where there is zero latency (network lag). This means that, unfortunately, when out in the real world, your speeds will never approach that speed (yet). For that reason, below we’ve outlined theoretical and real-world data speeds, so that you can know what to expect:


4G

  • Theoretic data speeds: 100 Mbps when moving, e.g. in a car, 1 Gbps when standing still.
  • Real-world data speeds: 18.6 Mbps and upload speeds of 9.0 Mbps

The Portable Hotspot only gives you an internet connection, it does not enable regular voice calls via your cellular network, however it does allow VoIP calls such as Whatsapp, Skype, Viber, GoogleVoice etc.

Portable Hotspot only gives you an internet connection, it does not enable regular SMS / MMS via your cellular network, however it does allow messaging via WhatsApp, Skype, Viber etc.

Yes, VoIP will work. This includes Skype, iChat and Facetime.

Yes, from the moment you turn on your Portable Hotspot, you get unlimited internet, which is never cut off. You can use up to 1, 3 or 5GB on 4G plans (this is dependent on the plan you select), per day, before your connection speed maxes out at 256kbs - This speed still allows for light browsing, social media and email. The connection speed will return to normal the next day.

Absolutely! Head over here to buy your very own Sapphire 2 or T2 Portable Hotspot. You will also be given the option to buy your Portable Hotspot after renting.

If you aren’t a regular traveler, i.e. you travel just a couple times a year, then renting a Portable Hotspot is probably best for you, so you don’t have to fuss with owning another small gadget. Renting a Portable Hotspot is also advisable for first-time users, so that you can see what it’s all about – you will be given the option to keep your Portable Hotspot after your rental is over.

TravelWifi was one of the earliest entrants into the travel connectivity market – we recall a time when we only had one direct competitor outside of Asia! Since then, we’ve seen a flood of small, mostly regionally focused competitors, who have done their best to replicate our business model, with little innovation. You may even have noticed similar (or the same) wording or imagery on their websites, because indeed a few bad apples have been rather unabashed in copying from us! But that’s honestly ok, because we know that the most important aspects of our business are very difficult to copy.

The way that we differentiate ourselves is very simple: we are not a technology company, we are a service company. That’s why we offer more than just internet connectivity, and promise to continue innovating on the travel experience. That’s why we deliver worldwide and charge as little as humanly possible for delivery. That’s why we’ll give you $20 for every friend you refer to TravelWifi. That’s why our in-house customer service team can be contacted 24/7 via a ridiculous number of channels. That’s why we live by our genuinely no-BS Satisfaction Guarantee. And that’s why we receive real positive reviews from real travelers every single day.

Thanks for putting your trust in us!

Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Corfu, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes Island, Romania, San Marino, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican.

Central America: Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico. North America: Canada, Mexico, and United States.

Asia: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, and Saipan.

Africa: Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Gibraltar, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zambia.

Caribbean Islands: Aland Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin Island, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Middle East: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

If you are traveling to multiple countries within Europe, you can get the European daypass or data plan which works seamlessly across the following destinations:

Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Corfu, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes Island, Romania, San Marino, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican.

If you are traveling to Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, you can get the Oceania Portable Hotspot.

If you are traveling to multiple countries within North America, you can get the North America Portable Hotspot, which works seamlessly across the following destinations: Canada, Mexico, and United States.

If you are traveling to multiple countries within South America, you can get the South America Portable Hotspot, which works seamlessly across the following destinations: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

If you are traveling to multiple countries within Asia, you can get the Asian Portable Hotspot, which works seamlessly across the following destinations: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

If you are traveling to multiple countries around the world, you can get the Global pocket wi-fi, which works seamlessly across all the destinations listed below.

Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Azores, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Corfu, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madeira, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes Island, Romania, San Marino, Sardinia, Serbia, Sicily, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and Vatican.

Central America: Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Puerto Rico.

North America: Canada, Mexico, and United States.

Asia: Armenia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Oceania: Australia, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, and Saipan.

Africa: Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Gibraltar, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Reunion, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Zambia.

Caribbean Islands: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Martin Island, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Middle East: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

Your Portable Hotspot is not meant to be used outside its intended destination. Please contact us beforehand if you intend to do so. To test the device, you can turn it on and connect to it, however be cautious that you do not use the internet (i.e. do not open your browser and temporarily disable apps that use internet in the background e.g. Dropbox and iCloud).

You may lose connectivity briefly when moving across a national border (as you connect to a new network), but other than that your connectivity will be seamless.

TravelWifi connects to all cell towers in the area, and partners with the largest network operators worldwide to ensure you receive the best connection available. Coverage will always be great in 'populated' areas, (i.e. cities and towns). If you are traveling to rural or uninhabited areas (such as the Alps), we recommend you get in touch with us in advance so we can verify the Wi-Fi coverage.

In general, the better the signal in your area (indicated by more reception bars), the faster the connection speed should be.

The device will not work while you’re out in the open waters. But, the closer you get to land, the more likely your device will be able to pick up a terrestrial signal and allow you to connect to the internet. Please note that even if your cruise advertises mobile connectivity on board, it’s most likely satellite-based, and will therefore not work with the Portable Hotspot.

Not necessarily – cell phones work off of different networks than your Portable Hotspot, meaning the two are not connecting to the same signal. This is because the Portable Hotspot connects to data networks; e.g. 2G, 3G, LTE, 4G. On the other hand, cell phones connect to cellular networks.

Since cellular networks have been around a lot longer than data networks, coverage is better because there’s more infrastructure in place (i.e. cell towers), especially in rural areas. For this reason, you might be able to make calls in a rural area but still won’t be able to access the internet.

In the rare event that there is no coverage at your location, and you won’t be traveling to any other location where there may be coverage, you can cancel your rental (there is no cancellation fee).

To ensure availability, ideally place your order at least 10 days prior to travel departure date - however, you can still place orders closer to your departure date. For last-minute order, your Portable Hotspot will arrive latest the day before your rental starts.

You can choose to have your Portable Hotspot shipped to your home before you depart, or have it shipped directly to your destination. Alternatively, if you are traveling through the UK or France, you can opt to pick up your order at our collection points such as our TravelWifi Store in Paris, the Parisienne Airport, the UK Airport, Paddington Station and many more. See our full list here.

Please note that any duty or customs charges for deliveries to non-EU countries (e.g. Switzerland, Norway etc.) will be charged back to you.

Your Portable Hotspot is guaranteed to be delivered 1-3 business days before your chosen rental start date. If you need the device earlier, you need to indicate an earlier rental start date.

We deliver all over the world (as you’ll see on our booking page). Our warehouses are in the USA, UK, France, Chile and Singapore - we can deliver in 1 or 2 business days globally! We ensure delivery is always a minimum 3/4 business days before to your departure. Easy!

TravelWifi ships with FedEx guaranteed next-day delivery, so any last-minute orders can be fulfilled. Even better, if you’re in central London or Paris, TravelWifi can get you a device on the same day. Please contact us for more details.

If details in your shipping address prevent your device from being delivered, you will be contacted by the relevant delivery service (e.g. FedEx) upon the first delivery attempt. Any redelivery costs will be charged back to you. Furthermore, if you request a change to the delivery address after we’ve already shipped your unit, then there will be a small penalty fee.

If you would like to request shipment to a country not offered on our website, or have specific delivery requests, please email us before placing your booking so we can make the necessary arrangements.

A few options are available to you:

  1. You can drop off the device at London Heathrow Airport, London Paddington Station, Charles De Gaulle Airport, or our TravelWifi Store in Paris.
  2. If you’re in the UK or USA, you can get a pre-paid return envelope which you can use to return the device at any post office.
  3. We can help you organize a FedEx collection at your convenience.
  4. Alternatively, you can organize your own return.

You can drop off the device at London Heathrow Airport, London Paddington Station, Charles De Gaulle Airport, or our TravelWifi Store in Paris.

Heathrow pickup and drop-off points are located just outside the customs & baggage reclaim exit, at the 'Excess Baggage Company'. To get there, follow the signage towards 'Left Luggage'. Simply quote your order number to the Excess baggage representative, and they will hand you your Portable Hotspot.

  • Terminal 2: Open Mon - Sun, from 05:30am - 10:00pm local time.
  • Terminal 3: Open Mon - Sun, from 05:00am - 11:00pm local time.
  • Terminal 4: Open Mon - Sun, from 05:30am - 11:00pm local time.
  • Terminal 5: Open Mon - Sun, from 05:30am - 11:00pm local time.

Please note that the pickup point within Heathrow Airport is landside, meaning that if you are transferring flights at Heathrow, you will need to check-out to reach the drop-off point.

The Paddington drop-off point is located next to platform 12, at our partner the 'Excess Baggage Company'. To get there, follow the signage towards 'Left Luggage'. Simply quote your order number to the Excess baggage representative, and they will hand you your Portable Hotspot. Open Mon - Sun, from 07:00am - 11:00pm local time.

If you are organizing your own return, most choose a tracked and signed shipping method (e.g. FedEx) when shipping their Portable Hotspot back to us, guaranteeing that the device doesn't get lost. If you need any assistance or recommendations for delivery services, please do not hesitate to contact us – we’d be more than happy to help.

We have two logistics warehouses you can return your Portable Hotspot to – we recommend you choose the closer one to minimize shipping charges!

US Warehouse:

TWNC returns Department

6011 Fayetteville Rd

Suite 203

Durham, NC 27713

United States

+1 877 888 3741

UK Warehouse:

Ingram Micro / TravelWifi

TravelWifi Account

A. Smyth

71 Bilton Way

Enfield, EN3 7EP

United Kingdom

+44 20 3318 2523

Important: When returning your Portable Hotspot to our UK warehouse from outside the European Union, please indicate the below information on the commercial invoice and airway bill to ensure custom & duties charges are avoided:

Harmonized Code: 8517120090

Description of Content: Used Mobile Device

Returned CPC 6123f01

The value of your package should be set at GBP 10 and marked as 'electronic used device'. This will ensure that no additional customs fees are incurred. Should any fees occur, we will charge them back to you.

Again, if you need any help, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!

To ensure that your Portable Hotspot can make its way to the next user in time, it's important that you help us by returning it as fast as possible! We therefore kindly ask that you drop-off / postmark your return package maximum two days after your rental ends. We'll be flexible if this poses a problem for you, but please contact us beforehand so we can work something out.

You are responsible for the safe and timely return of your Portable Hotspot. For this reason, we always recommend using a trackable return method.

If you want to change your rental dates or delivery details after placing your order, you can of course do so. Just contact us and we'll make the necessary arrangements.

Yes, you just need to get in touch with us ahead of time, so we can make the necessary arrangements.

Once your order is confirmed, you will receive emails with important information regarding your rental. For this reason, please make sure the email you provide (in the shipping section) is one you check regularly. If necessary, you can contact us and provide an alternate email address after placing an order.

You can cancel your rental anytime you want, there is no cancellation fee. If your device has already been dispatched, then we will not be able to refund relevant shipping charges. We also cannot refund days with usage on the device. If you already have the device, you will need to return it to us immediately.

Depending on the currency that is selected when you place your order, you will be charged in either US Dollars ($), Euro (€), or Pound Sterling (£). If your bank account is in a different currency, your bank may charge you a conversion fee.

We accept card payments from Visa and Mastercard (debit and credit), as well as American Express. We also accept payments via PayPal by Braintree.

You will be billed immediately upon placing your order. The charge will show up in your bank account from 'TRAVELWIFI.COM'.

The charge will show up in your bank account from 'TRAVELWIFI.COM'.

TravelWifi will not charge a deposit for orders placed using a credit card via the official TravelWifi website.

Yes, all prices indicated on the website include VAT.

Yes, please email support@travelwifi.com to request one.

MB and GB stand for megabyte and gigabyte, respectively. To get the GB value from a MB value, you need to divide the MB value by 1024, e.g. 1024MB = 1GB, 512MB = 0.5GB and 3072MB = 3GB.

The user guide included in your TravelWifi pouch will include instructions on how to do so.

A standard web page is likely to download between 200-500KB of data. However, websites with a lot of media content (pictures or videos) such as Facebook may use substantially more data.

A general rule of thumb is that 50MB is enough for 250 emails. However, any attachments can greatly sway this number. A simple text email will only be a few bytes.

A simple voice call via Skype will use around 4KB /second, while a video call will be 650KB /minute. However, this will vary according to coverage, as Skype will automatically increase or decrease call and video quality according to your internet speed. As a reference, a 15 minute audio call could use around 5MB, while a 15 minute video call could use around 10MB.

Online gaming on a PC will use maximum 100MB /hour - usually around 70-80MB /hour. This is regardless of the type of game, because graphics do not factor into data consumption, meaning games like Minecraft and Call of Duty will use the same amount of data. However, one important aspect to consider is ping time – mobile data connectivity can be a lot slower than your home LAN network. For this reason, players may experience lag while playing simply because the internet speed is insufficient (e.g. when connected to 3G). For games where success depends on reacting quickly (shooters), a 3G connection may be too slow for the game to be playable. If you want to avoid latency issues, opt for the 4G upgrade!

There are a variety of factors that could contribute to rapid data usage.

The main way to use a lot of data quickly is by downloading or streaming audio / video (e.g. Spotify, Netflix, P2P); this can easily result in data usage of over 100MB in 15 minutes. For your reference, a standard-definition movie is usually around 700MB.

In addition, certain programs will consume data in the background without giving any indication of doing so. For example, system updates are usually downloaded and installed automatically without prompt. Backup software (such as iCloud, Dropbox and GoogleDrive) will continuously use data throughout the day - in fact most Mac / iOS devices come pre-configured with a backup feature always enabled. Other programs such as Skype and other chat clients will also contribute to data usage if kept on continuously. Finally, you should be wary of email clients such as Outlook and Entourage, which constantly download both emails and attachments.

Remember that any data usage is amplified when sharing the connection between multiple devices or people, meaning even 'normal' activities such as web browsing will consume more data when multiple devices are connected at the same time. For that reason, we recommend you share the above information with anyone who will be using the Portable Hotspot with you!

Please consult this page to contact our Trip Services Customer Support.

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Please consult this page to consult our Trip Services Review/Cancel policy.

We get it; while traveling, internet is crucial to keep up with work remotely, maintain contact with important people and prevent yourself from getting lost. It’s also pretty important to keep up with important sports developments, post on Instagram and stalk your friends online :-)

For that reason, our mission is to ensure that your experience with our service is uncompromising in enhancing your traveling.

If for whatever reason your travel plans change or are cancelled, if you want to amend your order, or you have any concerns about your Portable Hotspot - our promise is to address and resolve everything proactively, effectively and for free!

In fact, we want you to trust that, if things go not as planned, our 24/7 customer support team are always there to help, and will do whatever it takes to remedy an unexpected situation...and feel free to ask them the impossible, they take pride in solving complex situations to bring the smile back to your face.

What traveling should really be all about!