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The Best Prepaid Mobile Hotspots for Travelers in 2024

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How do you stay connected when traveling overseas? Do you rely on the Wi-Fi in your hotel? Scour cafes for free internet? Roam with your cell provider from home, or buy local SIM cards for your devices?

If you’ve ever struggled with slow speeds and flaky connections in your accommodation, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common complaints in hotel reviews, and the amount you’re paying often has little bearing on the quality of the connection.

Wrestling with low-quality Wi-Fi is frustrating, especially if you work while traveling and have deadlines to hit. Relying on public Wi-Fi networks is even worse: now you get to throw in potential data security risks on top of unreliable connections.

Away from Wi-Fi networks, data roaming charges can get seriously expensive, or speeds reduced to the point they’re barely usable. Local SIM cards can be difficult to buy in some parts of the world, and the time you’re least likely to have one–when you first arrive in a country–is the time you’re most likely to need to get online.

Fortunately, there is a way you can get connected safely, securely, and quickly anywhere you go, whether you’re traveling alone or in a group.

Best Overall: Skyroam Solis X Lite

  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 4.8 x 1.7 inches
  • Weight: 5.5oz
  • Battery Life: Up to 16 hours
  • Connected Devices: 10
  • Supported Countries: 130+

Best for Versatility: GlocalMe G4 Pro

  • Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.4 x 1.9 inches
  • Weight: 6.6oz
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
  • Connected Devices: 10
  • Supported Countries: 140+

Invest in a Mobile Hotspot With a Prepaid Plan

A mobile hotspot, also known as a Mi-Fi or pocket Wi-Fi, is a small, lightweight gadget that shares a cellular data connection among several of your devices via a private wireless network.

There are a couple of ways you can utilize a mobile hotspot. One option is to go unlocked. These generally don’t come with data service — you buy the device, then pop in a local prepaid SIM card to take advantage of cheap data rates almost anywhere in the world.

The other option is to buy a Mi-Fi device with a prepaid plan. This method is particularly useful for couples or a group of travelers who need access to a reliable internet connection at all times, or who are traveling through several countries and don’t want to deal with the hassle of buying individual SIM cards.

Prepaid Mi-Fi plans typically give you a certain amount of data, a certain validity period, or both. This makes it easy to control your costs, as the plans typically stop working when you hit your limit rather than charge you extra.

It’s dead simple to use a Mi-Fi with a prepaid plan. Make sure the area you’re in is within your plan’s coverage zone, then just turn the device on and go.

Using a pocket Wi-Fi device (or other cellular data service) also brings security benefits, since it’s a private connection you’re not sharing with strangers. A Mi-Fi will ensure you and anyone you’re traveling with have a safe, stable network almost anywhere you can get cell service.

All of that said, if everyone in your traveling party has a recent phone that’s unlocked and supports eSIM, I’d suggest using that in preference to a Mi-Fi hotspot. Travel eSIMs are usually cheaper than service from the hotspot manufacturer, easier to use, and mean you don’t have to buy, charge, and carry an extra device. I’ve written a lot more about how eSIMs are changing the game for travelers here.

Partially because of all the benefits that travel eSIMs bring, there are far fewer companies making prepaid mobile hotspots than there used to be. A few years ago there were at least half a dozen models that I’d have recommended for international travel; these days, there are only two.

Best Overall: SIMO Solis Lite

The Device

SIMO Solis Lite 4G LTE WiFi Mobile Hotspot, Local & International Coverage Router, Multi-Carrier Access, No Contract or SIM Card Required, 10 Connected Devices, 1GB/Month Lifetime Data

Coming in an eye-catching orange case, the SIMO Solis Lite will be hard to lose or leave behind in a cafe. That’s a win right out of the gate, but thankfully there’s a lot more to like about this pocket Wi-Fi than just its color.

Supporting up to 10 connected devices at once, the Solis Lite has a 4700mAh battery that will last for up to 16 hours between charges, and can be used as a power bank to charge up your other devices if they’re running low.

A round, bright orange device with a thin white stripe down the middle and icons around one edge, being held in a hand above a wooden deck with an orange cable lying on it.

That long battery life and multi-device support makes this a particularly appealing option for group travel, and it’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways for a family to stay connected overseas.

My sister, her partner, and teenage kids used the Solis Lite as their only means of staying connected outside their hotel on a recent international trip, and were very impressed by it. The battery lasted an entire day even with multiple devices connected, and speeds were easily high enough to make video calls.

Likewise, Jordan and her partner use the Solis Lite for all of their travels outside the country. She reviewed her experience here.

The Plans

SIMO provides LTE connectivity in over 135 countries on six continents, most heavily concentrated in the Americas and Europe.

The device comes with a lifetime plan of 1GB of global data for free each month: if you’re only a light user, that might be enough to get you through. If not, SIMO has a pay-as-you-go system, with no contracts required. Plans start at $8/GB for the Americas and Europe ($12/GB everywhere else). You can top up any time.

There are also Unlimited global plans for $99/month, $199 for three months, or $299 for six months. This isn’t without a caveat, however: SIMO will throttle data on its Unlimited plans after you use 20GB in a month, and encourages users to disable background apps and automatic backups to avoid reduced speeds.

Traveling in the US? Unlimited plans are cheaper there, at $89/month, and you get a much larger 100GB/month limit before the speed gets reduced. There’s also a North America (i.e. USA, Canada, and Mexico) version for $109/month with that same large 100GB limit.


  • Impressive battery life
  • Can be used as a power bank
  • Supports up to 10 devices
  • Comes with 1GB/month free data
  • Per-GB pricing isn’t all that cheap


  • Unlimited plans are throttled after 20GB (Global) or 100GB (North America) per month
Buy on Amazon

Best for Versatility: GlocalMe G4 Pro

The Device

GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot, 5” Touch Screen LCD Display WiFi with Lifetime US+EU 16GB & Global 1GB Data,Dual Band Portable High Speed WiFi Device,SIMFREE,Pocket Router for Travel (Black)

The GlocalMe G4 Pro is a versatile hotspot that can be used either via its two unlocked nano SIM card slots, or by purchasing one of the company’s prepaid data plans. It can connect up to five devices at a time.

The touchscreen interface makes it easy to track your data usage, and to top up should you need more. The 3900mAh battery keeps the G4 running for up to 12 hours, which is more than enough for a full day’s work. The G4 also doubles as a USB C battery pack, so you can use any leftover capacity to charge your phone as well.

At just under seven ounces and roughly five inches long, the sleek and slim GlocalMe G4 Pro is no larger than most smartphones: you can easily keep it in your pocket or drop it in your day bag while it’s in use.

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The Plans

The GlocalMe G4 Pro ships with 1GB of global data, plus 8GB for use in North America (USA/Canada/Mexico). GlocalMe’s coverage area spans more than 140 countries, although some of the company’s more substantial plans are geographically limited.

The company offers a dizzying array of plans that start at $4 for a day and vary by region. Rates tend to be lowest in Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand, and mainland China. (GlocalMe is based in Hong Kong).

By comparison, a 1-day/500MB plan in the United Kingdom or EU costs $4, and a 1-day/2GB plan is $6.99 in the US . You’ll get better value on some of the longer-duration plans, though: as an example, 8GB of US data valid for a month costs $45.

Unlimited monthly plans are also available in certain countries, although you’ll have your speeds restricted if you hit certain predefined data thresholds.

None of these prices are particularly cheap compared to the better travel eSIM companies, but if you need both a device and data plans to use with it, they’re not prohibitively expensive either.


  • Slim and sleek
  • Great battery life
  • Touchscreen makes it easy to track and add data


  • Unlimited plans throttle after exceeding cap
  • Somewhat expensive
Buy on Amazon

Images via Brusk Dede (main image), Amazon (Glocal G4 image), Jordan Nottrodt (Solis Lite images)

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  1. Avatar Troy Loria says:

    This information is very useful. We travel in our RV and need a device that allows us to get Netflix or other streaming services. Also was wondering if there is a WiFi and cell phone combo out there. Still not sure which device is best for us. Worried we’ll be paying for more than we need. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. When you say “WiFi and cell phone combo”, are you looking for one device that boosts both types of signal (I don’t know of any), or something else?

      If you need to boost cell service in your RV, we’ve got a guide to the process (using a WeBoost kit) here.

      For boosting WiFi in your RV, maybe take a look at the Alfa kit we mention towards the end of this article.

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