The Skyroam Scam
It's not smart. It's not unlimited. It's a scam.
Jan. 19, 2018
May 6, 2018
This post makes the following assumptions: You are a digital nomad who works online while traveling internationally, you change countries frequently (every other month or more), and you need large amounts of data (more than 10 Gbs per month). If these assumptions do not apply to you, this advice may not, either.
May contain affiliate links.
Why are travel bloggers always praising the Skyroam? Oh, that's right, the affiliate program. In other words, because they're paid to. As a long time digital nomad, traveling and living abroad for over 5 years, any so-called "influencer" that praises Skyroam instantly loses both my trust and my respect. Despite their branding, Skyroam is not smart. Contrary to their claims, it's not really unlimited. Skyroam is a scam. And here's why:
- If you rent the device, you pay $9.95 every day, regardless of whether or not you use it.
- In most places of the world, you can easily get a local sim card with several GBs of data for $10-$30. In other words, for the same amount you pay for 2 days of Skyroam service you can get several times more data—from 2 weeks to a whole month—by going local.
- After you buy a SkyRoam Solis and realize you're overpaying, their device only works with their service, so you have no choice but to continue overpaying, otherwise your device becomes a useless brick. If you need to get a travel mifi, you'd be better off going with a GlocalMe, which has 2 sim card slots to let you use their service or, or any unlocked Huawei device and an international or local sim card.
- If you buy the device ($75 or $149.99) you pay only for the days you use, but still $8-$9 for a max 1 Gb (more on their throttle point below)
- For the 3G rental Skyroam Hotspot, once you reach 500MB it will throttle down to 2G for the rest of the day. They do not tell you this on the site, you need to talk to customer service in order to find this out. The Solis will throttle you after 1GB.
- If you don't want to look for a sim card when you arrive in a foreign country, you can order one on Amazon.com. Orange offers international data sims at 1 Gb for $15, 3 Gbs for $24, or 9-12 Gbs for $50 , all of which cover 60 destinations. AIS offers 4 GBs for only $30, 3 Gb over 8 days for $16, 4Gbs for $20, or "unlimited" data (throttled after 4 Gbs) for $23; but those sim cards work in fewer counties than AIS's 4 Gbs/$30 sim card—mostly just in Asia.
I break down a dollar-to-dollar international mobile hotspot comparison in another post, and find that the Skyroam is only the best deal for trips of 3 days or shorter. So let me ask you, why is your favorite blogger recommending it? Do they not know that it's significantly more expensive than other options, or do they not care, selling you out for their meager affiliate commissions? I personally wouldn't care which is the case, but I can tell you that that's why I don't trust any travel blogger that recommends Skyroam. It's a scam for people who don't know any better.