Wiwander international portable hotspot review
Much cheaper than most roaming charges, but can't beat having a local SIM for value.
- Preconfigured to work in multiple countries
- Cheaper than most roaming fees
- Slow 3G speeds in some 4G areas
- More expensive than some local SIMs
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.
Price$ 5.00 (AUD)
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
- Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- How to find the cheapest flights
- Roving Rachel's best crowd-funded travel products that are online right now
- Incase City Backpack
- Cosmic Watch app review
- Moto 360 2nd gen. smart watch review
- Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- One reason why you should wait before buying the new Samsung Galaxy Note 7
- Linksys Max-Stream AC1900+ WiFi Range Extender RE7000 review
- WiFi review: Does MU-MIMO currently make a difference?
- Linksys AC600 MU-MIMO WiFi USB adapter review
- AC5300 Router reviews: Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear Nighthawk X8 vs. D-Link DIR-895L
- Which is the best travel SIM for Japan?
- New, colourful LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C was designed by Neil Poulton
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTJunior Applications SupportQLD
- FTField Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTLinux System AdminstratorQLD
- FTWintel EngineerSA
- FTApplication Support Analyst - Mortgage SolutionNSW
- TPNetwork AdministratorWA
- FTSoftware Development Manager - CloudACT
- FTService Desk Operations AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTPolicy & Programme OfficerACT
- FTServer Engineer l Windows l VMWare l Active DirectoryNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystSA
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- FTFinancial ERP Customer - Solution Consultant / System AccountantNSW
- FTIT ManagerVIC
- FTSenior IT Business AnalystNSW
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT
- FTApplication Support Analyst - Accounting SoftwareNSW
- FTHead of ArchitectureNSW
- FTLead Change Manager- Culture & Process ChangeNSW
- CCService Desk AnalystNSW
- CC3 x UX Designers - 3 month contract initially - IT Services company - SydneyNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- TPGIS Officer | Map InfoQLD