We have a how-to-guide for travelers who need reliable Internet access in all countries they visit: the concept is based on prepaid SIM cards. If you are traveling, but don’t want to make the effort to get a new SIM card in each country you visit, a gadget can manage all that for you, and provide Internet access at a reasonable fixed price.
The gadget is Skyroam Solis. In essence, it is a 4G/Wi-Fi router with a SIM card in it that gives you Internet access in more than 100 countries.
First, you have to buy the Solis router for $149. Then, when you arrive in a country where you want to get online, you pay $9 for 24 hours of unlimited Internet access.
I like the concept, because you know exactly how much you have to spend to get online, and the product gives unlimited access for one day for reasonable price.
Here is how the Solis works. It emits two signals: Wi-Fi and 4G (or 3G and 2G if 4G is unavailable). The Wi-Fi signal is for your laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other Wi-Fi enabled device. The 4G signal connects the Solis to a mobile network (and to the Internet) in the country where you are. You can connect up to 5 devices to the gadget’s Wi-Fi signal and it routes them all to the Internet.
The battery can provide Internet access for up to 16 hours, but it really depends on how many devices are connected and heavy the traffic is. The Solis can double as a power bank for other mobile devices, but since it eats the total battery capacity, it is not a feature I would use.
The Solis works well for travelers who hop from country to country, staying a day or two in each, and being offline a day or two in between (if you stay a month in one place and pay $9 every day for the Internet, it adds up). If you stay more than a couple of days in one country, managing your own prepaid SIM cards is more economical and gives you more control how and when you use your Internet access.
Just a reminder for travelers who are going to roam in EU countries: European Union recently banned roaming charges from mobile networks. If you have a SIM card purchased from an EU country, you can roam in other EU countries without extra charges. You just pay for the mobile data plan that you originally bought. Staying in another country for a long time, however, won’t work but you have to get a local SIM card.
TNW has reviewed the Skyroam Solis.