Mobile internet for travel — Droam review
It can be hard to balance data needs and costs when travelling outside of your home country, but new service, Droam, is changing all that. With fixed-cost plans for international data roaming, there’s a sane way to use your mobile phone abroad.
We have been road-testing our Droam through all the countries of #IndieRail and are suitably impressed.
- No-hassle Internet access wherever you can get a decent mobile mobile signal.
- You avoid roaming costs when you jump over borders.
- It has a small form factor, and recharges quickly.
- You can connect multiple devices to the one connection.
- You need a starting address in order to have the Droam shipped to you.
- It takes around 30 seconds to boot up.
- You need to monitor your data usage over time to avoid extra charges.
How we used our Droam
There’s nothing quite like getting lost in a strange city, not speaking the language, the night dark around you, and you’re late for an appointment to meet friends… who you can’t call because you’ve got no credit on your phone. Several times so far, we have fired up the Droam, searched Google maps, and gone from there. If we were still going to be late, calling from Skype did the trick.
Sharing is caring, and during #Indierail we wanted to be able to share photos and updates from the road. While Instagram tended to eat up data, we could still easily upload photos to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to keep people in the loop. Well worth it!
We’re running a business from the road, and need to talk with advertisers, clients, designers, and — of course! — our listeners all the time. Droam allowed us to download emails, type away while on the train, then upload our replies without over-long delays.
It would have been wonderful to use the Droam regularly with all our computers and mobile devices hooked into it, but this would have blown through data (Craig often went through 80-120 gigs a month while “at home” in New Zealand). Because of this, we tended to use the Droam in several “bursts” during the day: uploading a photo and doing an email send/receive at the same time, and maybe throwing a quick Facebook check in too. We tended to use our mobiles over our laptops, to lower the risk of background processes eating up data.
Who is it good for?
The Droam is going to come in handy for a lot of people in a lot of different ways. There’s a premier cost, but it’s miles cheaper than many roaming plans, and that makes it a winner when you need internet right here and now.
It’s certainly for you if you’re heading overseas and:
- You can’t change the SIM card in your phone because it’s locked.
- You’ll be changing countries often, so the cost of new SIM cards in each country will kill the cost-saving potential of local data cards.
- You have more than one device to hook up to the internet (a couple, family, or a single user with a few devices).
- You don’t have the time to research, buy, register and set up new SIM cards in each country.
- Your phone’s bandwidth range won’t allow you to use your phone in your destinations (the US and Japan are particularly tricky).
Pricing and availability
Droams are available in dozens of territories worldwide, including parts of Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania. To check availability and pricing for your trip, visit droam.nl/en.
Mobile internet for travel — Droam review by Craig Martin was originally published on Indie Travel Podcast (find in iTunes). They also have travel books, travel resources and guides to Asia, Europe, Oceania, South America, and more.
Date: October 31st, 2012 @ 13:00
Categories: Independent Travel