How to get a fast and reliable WiFi network on the go (2021)


Looking for reliable, fast wi-fi on the go?

If you have problems with affordable, reliable internet on the go, we feel your pain. In almost 20 years of traveling together, we have suffered from weak wi-fi signals in hotels, cafes and more restaurants than we can count on. Sure, sometimes we get lucky and get reliable internet, but that’s not always the case.

At the moment, we have used almost all available internet connections while traveling, either overseas or at home.

How to get Wi-Fi on the go

The best options for Wi-Fi on the go

In this post, we’ll walk you through your options for getting reliable and fast Wi-Fi on the go, and the pros and cons of each type.

Whether you’re looking for temporary internet for a vacation home, internet for a laptop or phone while traveling, or even internet while traveling by van on a trip, here are a few of the best options.

Couple with a cute dog on the bed in the van

Beg, borrow or steal free Wi-Fi

When we first started traveling together, we spent a lot of time and hassle trying to find free internet for travelers. I swear we have used free wi-fi in all hotel chains and fast food chains for years.

Sometimes wi-fi is fast and reliable, but most often it is smudged and unreliable. We had more of our time when the internet was completely off, or where we couldn’t get a wi-fi signal to our room.

Pros: It’s free. Most hotel, restaurant and public Wi-Fi is free (although there are exceptions). It is also easy to access.

Cons: Security is a big issue here because it is relatively easy to intercept your data. A password manager and a VPN can help with security, but you always take a risk with free wi-fi.

Laptop under a thatched umbrella at Victoria House Belize

Use roaming from your mobile operator

Probably the easiest way to get wi-fi on the go is to simply use roaming data from your existing mobile phone provider.

The danger of this is that when you return home you will be infected with incredibly expensive roaming fees. To avoid a price shock, contact your mobile service provider and make sure they offer you a better roaming plan.

Pro: Easy, instant and generally reliable and safe.

With: It can be extremely expensive. To share your cell data with a computer or other mobile phone, you need to share your connection via wi-fi, USB or Bluetooth. This is called a connection and can slow down the data connection and can quickly drain your phone’s battery.

Get a mobile access point

In the last five years, we have become big fans of mobile internet access points.

A mobile access point is a small device (usually the size of a deck of cards) that allows you to access the Internet wherever you go, whether you are traveling near home or in the country halfway around the world.

You will pay a fee to rent a portable Wi-Fi access point for travel (or you can purchase it directly), and then you will pay for the data plan. Depending on where you are in the world, data plans can range from $ 8 a day internationally or $ 49 for unlimited internet in the U.S. for up to a week.

Most access points allow you to connect up to 10 devices, so they are great for groups or families, but do not offer SMS or voice phone calls (although you can always use an app like Fongo or Google Voice to make calls).

Take a look at ours View the GlocalMe portable Wi-Fi hotspot,, View the accessible Travelwifi page,, Skyroam Solis portable Wi-Fi review, our Keepgo MiFi device overview.

Pros: Convenient, easy to use, reliable connection in most countries and high speed, some with unlimited data transfer. Great for groups.

Cons: More expensive than the hotel’s free Wi-Fi.

GlocalMe outdoor test

Buy a SIM card at the destination

Buying a local SIM card at your destination can be a great way to save money and save on expensive roaming costs or free wireless internet.

However, depending on your destination country, tracking your local SIM card can be difficult. Occasionally a kiosk selling SIMs can be found at the airport, but we often had to tour the new city to find a mobile operator. You can usually get a local SIM card at stores, newsstands, and vending machines.

The biggest disadvantage of a SIM card is that if you travel to multiple countries, your local SIM card may not work in all the countries you visit. It’s also harder to share your relationship with other members of your family or group.

Some countries may also require that you are a citizen or that you need a local address to get a local SIM card, so a local SIM is not an option everywhere.

You will also need to physically remove the old mobile phone SIM card, save it somewhere and insert a new SIM card, which is not for everyone.

Pros: Generally affordable, and speeds are usually good.

Cons: Finding a local SIM card may be inconvenient and may not work in more than one country. You will also need an unlocked phone for this. To share your connection, you will need to create an internet connection or access point on your phone to share your internet connection with your laptop, tablet or other phones.

Buy a roaming SIM card at home

When you arrive at your destination, you can buy a local SIM card, but this can be inconvenient, especially if you do not have enough time.

Some companies simplify passenger internet by allowing you to purchase a SIM card at home for use while traveling. The SIM comes with a data plan, and usually allows you to make phone calls and receive text messages abroad. To use it, you only need to remove the old SIM card and insert the travel SIM card when you arrive in the destination country.

Pros: Affordable (generally under $ 50).

Cons: Same as previous. To use the Internet on computers or other phones, you will need to create a mobile hotspot connection (called tethering). You will also need an unlocked phone.

Internet club

We really show our age here, but when we first started traveling together in 2001, we relied almost exclusively on internet cafes (also called cyber cafes) on how to get away from home.

Their arrays of mailbox monitors and battered desktops meant an instant connection to the internet, at the cost of a small hourly rate. In 2001, almost all travelers used internet cafes as a gathering place and good internet. Today, mobile phones and free wi-fi have almost erased the good old internet cafe.

Although it would be difficult to find internet cafes in most tourist places today, they exist in much less developed areas. If you’re looking for it while traveling, look for gaming centers or toy cafes as well, as many have gone that route, however their gaming computers can still be used to browse the web, print things out and chat with loved ones at home.

Great coffee and pastries at UBC Nest

BTW, the last time we used a dedicated internet cafe in the Philippines was in 2008 and we used it to access the printer, not the internet connection, although over the years we jumped into several game centers to cool the air conditioning and let the kids play some time.

Pros: No computer or mobile phone required, affordable costs per hour, mostly high speed connections.

Cons: Security issues when using a shared computer, frequent noisy environment, and general lack of privacy.

What is your favorite way to access the internet while traveling? Let us know in the comments.


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