Skyroam vs Tep: what's the difference?
How are Tep Wireless vs Skyroam the same, how are they different?
Nov. 11, 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.
Which international hotspot should you get for your upcoming travel? If you're trying to decide between Tep vs the Skyroam Solis, allow to tell you the similarities and differences, to help you decide.
In this article, I'll address the following:
- Skyroam and Tep: The Similarities
- Skyroam vs Tep: The Differences
- Differences: Things Only Skyroam Does
- Differences: Things Only Tep Does
- Surprise Bonus: Which Hotspot is Best for Solo Female Travelers?
- Tep or Skyroam: Which Should You Get?
But first, what am I even talking about? What is a Tep? What's a Skyroam?!?
Skyroam and Tep: The Similarities
Skyroam and Tep are both companies which offers, for sale or rent, portable internet devices. Skyroam offers the 3G rentable, and the 4G/LTE Solis, which you can either buy or rent. Tep's device is called a Teppy, and also comes with either 3G or 4G capabilities.
These types of connectivity devices go by various names such as:
- portable hotspot
- unlimited wifi hotspot
- unlimited mifi hotspot
- mobile wifi hotspot
- data hotspot
... so on and so forth. You get the idea.
Basically, it's a thing that lets you connect to the internet while on the go, and generally allows up to 5 users/devices to connect through it.
The prices between the two devices are pretty much the same with Tep being consistently a little bit cheaper. A Teppy costs $8.95 per day to rent, whereas a Skyroam Solis cost $9.95 per day. Their day passes, if you own the device, follow the same pattern of $8/day for a Teppy and $9/day for a Skyroam—though the Teppty is about $20 cheaper to buy.
Both Tep and Skyroam also offer a $99 per month subscription service, with even the same throttle point (okay, who is copying whom, guys?) of 1 GB per day.
Their coverage is also pretty similar. Generally, international hotspots such as Tep, Skyroam, or GlocalMe (more on that later) work in around 100 countries. The countries that both Tep and Skyroam cover are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- Christmas Island
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Kitts and Nevis,
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines,
- San Marino
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
So as long as you're going to one of those places, it doesn't matter which you get, connectivity-wise.
Skyroam vs Tep: The Differences
When researching this article, I was surprised by how many differences I found between Skyroam and Tep. For one thing, there were a few places that one place covered that the other didn't. For Skyroam, the only country it covered that Tep doesn't is Iraq. But Tep covers several locations that Skyroam doesn't:
- Isle of Man
- The Caribbean Islands
But really the main difference between Skyroam and Tep wasn't so much in the places where they offer service, but the service they offer their customers.
Differences: Things Only Skyroam Does
Another thing Skyroam offers that Tep does not is their new GoData plan, which offers you 1 Gb of data for only $9 a month (after you purchase the device). This plan does not throttle, you just need to buy another GB for another $9 if you run out of your monthly 1 GB allowance. As much as I generally complain about Skyroam's overpriced service, I have to admit that as far as long-term travelers are concerned, they might have actually come up with a good deal, in GoData. At the very least if there's a loophole that makes it terrible I haven't thought of it, yet.
Differences: Things Only Tep Does
Tep has a lot of really cool features that you can only get with Tep.
- The Tep+ app, which allows you to call and message anyone who has the app for free, as well as call and send SMS text messages to everyone else.
- Local Concierge Service, which is basically a human in over 100 cities that you can text for insider tips, or general questions about the area.
- Kitestring Service, which is a personal safety service thorugh which you can ask Kitestring to check up on you at some future time. At that time, Kitestring will text you to make sure you’re safe, and if you don’t check in, Kitestring alerts the emergency contacts that you set up ahead of time.
Surprise Bonus: Which Hotspot is Best for Solo Female Travelers?
When I first started writing this article I had no intention of looking for something so particular as "which is the best mifi for a solo woman traveler?". But I must say, I am very impressed with Tep's Kitestring Service. To get personal for a second. I am a woman, and I do not travel alone because I've had some very scary experiences that were close to going a bad way. After a few of those I decide traveling by myself was not worth the risk or hassle. I'm now married, and will presumably not be doing a lot of solo traveling anymore. But if Tep had offered Kitestring, it might have made me feel a lot safer. At any rate it would have made my parents feel a lot better!
There are of course a lot of apps that offer this kind of service, but I appreciate Tep going the extra ile to think of what services they can offer their customers.
Tep or Skyroam: Which Should You Get?
If you are a long-term traveler, you may want to consider Skyroam, because of their new GoData plan (1 GB a month for $9)—or there's always my personal favorite, GlocalMe.If you are a short term vacationer, Tep is a little cheaper and also offers unique services, like the Local Concierge or Kitestring. But really, they also have a lot of similarities, they both probably work anywhere you're going to go, and ultimately it's up to you.