28 September 2015

Staying connected when travelling overseas - Mobile WIFI

It's so hard these days to travel overseas and be disconnected from the Internet. The itch starts to set in to want to stay connected. By day two, it's cold turkey.

In the past, I would subscribe to the Singtel overseas daily plan when needed. This can range from $15 to $30 depending on the country. In some countries, buying a prepaid SIM works out to be a better deal. Set it up on a mobile WIFI device and the whole family can use the connectivity. Unfortunately, it tends to be used up real fast.

At Changi Airport, a service centre has been set up to provide such services for travellers, both inbound and outbound. I paid $8 for 5 days (special rate with a coupon code from a travel fair) for 6 days of use in Japan, as the first day's charge is waived.

Check it out: https://www.changirecommends.com/owifi.aspx

And if you use this link to make a reservation, I get a $5 voucher for the recommendation: https://www.changirecommends.com/owifi.aspx?rc=if0nn88]

The data plans vary across countries. These can range from 400 MB limit per day to unlimited. In some countries, once the limit is reached, throughput is throttled, but still functional. In other countries, the mobile WIFI is completely cut off when that happens! So need to check.

For Japan, the limit was 1 GB daily. 1 GB is a lot for a day. Unless you're surfing video none stop! It sure was handy for my Google Map app on my smartphone as I used it extensively to navigate around in Tokyo and to check which train lines to take and connect to.

I encountered frequent dropped connections on my second day there. Resetting the device seemed to work. I wasn't sure what the reason was. Initially, I thought it occurred whenever there were a lot of strong WIFI signals around. And there are plenty in Tokyo!

But I think the problem was that the battery power drained by the afternoon after several hours of use. Once that happened, it must have gone into a power saving mode. I connected it to a power bank for continuous use. That seemed to work fine thereafter.

Else I would have been completely lost in the maze of Tokyo undergrounds and trains! Happy travels.


Jes said...

Hi Lizardo,

It might be good not to be connected all the time. Going overseas means to relax and go unconnected... it is more like a holiday that way :)

Lizardo said...

Hi Jes,

Yes indeed. I was pretty cut off from work when overseas on holidays. But the connectivity is essential for navigation/transportation, searching for information for the touring, and staying socially connected to friends and family.