​Wiwander international portable hotspot review

Much cheaper than most roaming charges, but can't beat having a local SIM for value.

Wiwander International portable hotspot
  • Wiwander International portable hotspot
  • Wiwander International portable hotspot
  • Wiwander International portable hotspot
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Preconfigured to work in multiple countries
  • Cheaper than most roaming fees

Cons

  • Slow 3G speeds in some 4G areas
  • More expensive than some local SIMs
  • Bulky

Bottom Line

If you're going to a single country then a local SIM can be cheaper and faster. However, this provides internet access without local shopping and is cheaper than roaming fees.

Would you buy this?

The Wiwander is a portable mobile hotspot that comes preconfigured to work across various countries. You connect to it via WiFi and it provides internet access over the local mobile phone network.

We tested it on a trip to Taiwan. We turned it on when we landed at Hong Kong and sure enough, we had 3G internet speeds. In Taiwan, again, it worked on landing and when we were out and about at a conference - with 3G speeds.

However, the 3G speeds can feel a bit slow these days. Furthermore, on landing at Taipei’s airport we popped into the telco shop which is right by the Arrivals gate and bought an 4G SIM with unlimited data that lasted a full week for just $500NT – that’s just over $20 Australian.

Data on the WiWander isn’t unlimited – you’ll get shaped (slowed down) if you break the (rather stingy) Fair Use policy (which is described as approximate in each case): Unlimited for Singapore; 1GB per day for China, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Taiwan; 500MB per day for Europe, Hong Kong, USA, Thailand.

Prices can be seen here and vary between $5 per day and $25 per day depending on where you go. You order the device at least five days before travel with delivery costing a not-insignificant $14 to $28 depending on where in Australia you live.

Wiwander does list that 4G speeds are available but it’s not clear where. We were stuck with 3G throughout our travels and subsequently relied upon our separately-purchased 4G SIM card’s data.

The device itself is quite bulky at 145 x 83 x 16mm and it weighs 200g – it’s basically like a very chunky mobile phone without the screen. Much of the weight comes from the battery which is rated to six hours – less if multiple devices are attached.

Ultimately, it’s a far better bet buying a local SIM card when you land (or use services like Vodafone’s $5-a-day roaming) – for most people. However, some travelers, especially those passing through multiple countries, won’t easily be able to do that. Furthermore, if you (or your employees) usually just turn on their Australian phone, on landing, and get stung with massive roaming charges, this will make things feel a whole lot cheaper.

If it consistently used 4G speeds and had better data allowances it would be a better bet for most people, but as it is, it’s a pricey, convenient way to quickly hook up to a foreign network without too much hassle.

Read more: ​Review: HTC One X9 and OPPO R9 - mid-range Android phones
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?