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Pocket Wifi

My wife and I will be travelling in Austria and Switzerland in June and would like to rent/buy a pocket wifi to use while we are there. Our car rental from Europcar does not have one available. We will land in Munich then drive to Salzburg, Dachstein area, Krimml, Mayrhofen, Innsbruck, Reutte, Brand, Appenzell district and :Zurich. What wifi company would be the best for this area? We need to keep up on work emails and phone calls while we are there. We would want unlimited if possible. Thanks for any input!

Posted by
4223 posts

Pocket wifi devices are becoming less and less common as international data roaming rates become more "reasonable" and 99% of accommodation has wifi. I am not a specialist of US/Canada phone service providers, but I know that some of them have decent deals for travelling to Europe. And for US-based folks at least, a service called "Google Fi" gets frequent mentions on this forum.

Posted by
5 posts

We used Travelers Wifi in late 2019 in Switzerland and were happy with the rates and service. We picked up ours at the Zurich airport and returned it in a prepaid mailer in Lausanne. We’ve also used WiTourist in Italy. I’d google for the latest ratings and so forth, then compare.

Posted by
5770 posts

Why exactly would you want to spend more money just to have one more device you need to keep charged, not lose/have stolen, carry around....when all a pocket wifi device does is use the exact same cellular signal that any phone or tablet does (once you buy a local SIM for it, which are ubiquitous, cheap, and easy to find)?

15 years ago, pocket wifi devices were handy and helpful. Nowadays, for most travelers in Europe? Fuggedaboudit. I own one. It's now under a thick layer of dust, and I don't expect to ever use that expensive brick ever again (I hope!). It was a miserable, expensive, painful, glacially s-l-o-w, complete pain-in-the-arse gadget that has long since outlived its usefulness, and was one of the absolute worst technology experiences I've ever had (and that says a lot).

I would urge you to reconsider and think about your real needs, and how best to address those (in almost all cases, I think, that will be getting a SIM for your phone/tablet).

Posted by
6951 posts

We carry a T Mobile Smartphone with a very inexpensive international plan, and cut the plan off upon our return. We can receive and make phone calls and do our business exactly like we can at home.

We also carry a tablet instead of a laptop for when we're in hotels with WIFI. With it, we can easily make hotel reservations and look up where we're next going on Google Maps, etc. Wifi hotspots are also easily found at restaurants, etc.

We were once in Budapest and were receiving phone calls from our 3 year old granddaughter at 3:00 a.m. She didn't know anything about a 7 our difference in the time zones.

Posted by
21326 posts

If at least one of your phones has an e-SIM slot, you'd be able to add European data service without removing the SIM you use at home. That sounds as if it's simple to do; I haven't done it because I have Google Fi.