Our Tep Wireless Review: Hello Travel WiFi, Goodbye Roaming Charges

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Tep wireless review

This is our honest review of the Tep Wireless travel WiFi hotspot, based on a few years of traveling while using our Tep!

Updated in 2019! We first tested the original Tep a few years ago, but have now switched to the faster 4GLTE Tep. Everything we talk about in article is up to date and refers to the new Tep 4G LTE model.

Good Internet access is a necessity for us when we travel. Without the Internet, this blog would grind to a halt. Plus, we use WiFi to keep in touch with family and friends, and stream TV and movies in our downtime.

Getting good Internet on vacation is a constant struggle. Using data roaming can cost a fortune. Airport WiFi is often expensive, and slow with short time limits, restaurant WiFi is hit and miss at best, and hotel WiFi is weak and spotty. Buying a local SIM card requires an unlocked phone, and can be a hassle.

Tip! To get 10% off now, use our link to Tep Wireless and enter code barefootnomad.

Click here to see prices now.

Tep Wireless in Western Canada
Tep Wireless in Western Canada.

Tep wireless review

How do you beat expensive data roaming charges, hassling with local SIM cards, or scrounging WiFi at airports and restaurants?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a portable, reliable, Internet that travels wherever you do, at a reasonable cost?

Oh wait, that does exist. And it’s called Tep Wireless.

Tep’s given us special discount just for our readers – just enter code barefootnomad on their website which will get you 10% off! Click here and enter code barefootnomad to get 10% off.

Tep Wireless is a small, portable WiFi device that lets you bring your own Internet access with you wherever you go.

It costs $9.95 a day for unlimited Internet*, and you can connect up to 5 devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops. There’s also a shipping charge, which varies depending on your dropoff and pickup locations.

Click here to see prices now.

*Tip: Tep says that speeds will slow after about 350 MB of data use in a 24 hour period. We found that our data speeds were still strong after using around 500 MB, but yours may vary.

Will it work anywhere in the world?

Not everywhere, but darn close. Tep Wireless works in the UK, Spain, France and most European countries. It also works great in the US, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the Middle East, South America, Central America, Oceania, and more plus they’re adding more countries all the time. Check out their coverage info for more details.

How do I get a Tep?

You just go online, order your Tep Wireless device, and it is shipped to you, along with a handy pre-paid envelope for shipping.

Click here to see prices and details.

Tep portable WiFi 4GLTE box

So how does it work?

We got our Tep just before we took off on a three week long road trip across Western Canada, with a bonus flight and week in New Hampshire in the USA.

I didn’t have a chance to look at the Tep until the night before we left, and I unboxed it and got it up and running within five minutes (including the time it took to make a video).

what’s in the 4GLTE Tep Wireless box

This video is of the older (non 4G original model, but the setup and package are virtually identical for the 4G Tep).

What did we think?

During our road trip, I was slammed with work, and the Tep was a godsend. It kept me connected, meaning that I could write blog posts, send invoices, and catch up on my email all while on the road.

The little Tep even saved my bacon late one night after a few days at the lake, when seven year old Jordan could only be soothed by Netflix when she was covered in itchy mosquito bites and couldn’t sleep.

Thank you Tep for that one, especially.

Tep Wireless in a wheatfield in Saskatchewan
A pic of our original Tep still working, even in the middle of truly nowhere, Saskatchewan.

We took the Tep from the West Coast of Canada, all the way to the center of Canada in Manitoba, plus a road trip through most of New Hampshire and then back home again. All in all, it was well over 50 hours of total driving time.

Using our Tep 4G in Jasper, Canada
Using our older 2nd generation Tep 4G in Jasper, Canada

Since the Tep works off cellular data, we only hit a couple of small dead spots on our trip where we couldn’t get a WiFi signal, and those were where there was no cell signal to be found. One was in the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, and that lasted about 20 minutes of our drive, and the other was a zone of about 30 minutes where we had a spotty connection in Saskatchewan. Given that Western Canada, and especially the Rocky Mountains, are known for spotty cell service, that’s pretty impressive.

2019 Update: We’ve  had a little 4G Teppy for almost three years now! We’ve used our Tep on multiple trips to Mexico and the United States, and within Canada, and it’s worked well every time. We’re now using the newest model, the Tep4GLTE.

I liked my Tep Wireless so much that we got our own Tep device (you can rent or buy online) for whenever we travel.

smartphone connected to Tep 4G device
Connected with our very own Tep 4G device!

How fast is the Tep Wireless, really?

We gave the 4G Tep a week long trial during our last trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Over the course of a week, the Tep clocked in consistently at a speed over 30 Mbps. That’s a pretty good speed, rivaling a lot of broadband at home internet connections.

30 Mbps is  fast to stream video on multiple devices, and plenty fast for email, phone calls, social media, and streaming. Tep itself says that the 4G speed is likely to be around 18.6 Mbps, but we’ve found our Tep 4G to be faster almost everywhere we’ve tested.

33 mbps Tep 4G service in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
33 mbps Tep 4G service in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. Our new Tep4GLTE gets even better speeds!

What we didn’t like

We had our Tep shipped to Canada, and also returned it from Canada. The cost was pretty prohibitive ($61), but that’s unfortunately pretty standard when shipping to or from Canada.

Other countries are much cheaper. Getting a Tep shipped to the USA costs only $9.95 for drop off and $5.95 for return, while you can even pick up and drop off your Tep Wireless at London Heathrow for free.

Who would the Tep be good for?

Honestly, anyone who wants a stable Internet connection that travels with them wherever they go.

The Tep would be great for:

  • anyone who wants to be able to video chat or keep in touch with family or business partners
  • people like us, who work online, and need to be connected to keep their business up and running
  • anyone who’s traveling through multiple countries, and who doesn’t want to deal with multiple country SIMs or data roaming charges
  • anyone who wants a fast, easy solution to having WiFi when they travel

Should you use data roaming, a local SIM or get a WiFi hotspot?

Using data roaming on a cell is an alternative to WiFi, but roaming costs are notoriously high and even then you’re often limited to only one provider in another country. If you haven’t personally been hit with a sky-high roaming bill after a trip, it’s almost guaranteed that a close friend or family member has.

We used to buy local SIM cards when we travel, but it’s a huge hassle to determine which SIM to buy, tracking down a place to pick one up and overcome the language barrier. Plus, data limits and extra data charges can be a problem.

Want to check it out?

Zip on over to the Tep Wireless website. You can learn more with their helpful FAQ, or place an order and have your Tep on the way in less than 10 minutes.

Tep’s given us special discount just for our readers – just go to the Tep Wireless website and enter code barefootnomad to get 10% off!

Click here to see prices.

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Using the 4G Tep at the Drumheller Hoodoos in Alberta, Canada
Using the 4G Tep at the Drumheller Hoodoos in Alberta, Canada
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Tep 4G working like a charm on the beach in Mexico
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Tep wireless with horses in background
Tep Wireless working on a farm with barn in background
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Tep Wireless in case

What is the Tep price?

8 Responses

  1. Dave Briggs

    This looks like a pretty useful addition to the travel gear list! I could have done with one of these when cycling through Europe recently. I was really shocked with how bad WiFi access still is when staying in budget accommodation in Northern Europe, and it looks like this would have been perfect!

  2. Arthur

    It’s a really good device that covers many countries that is important for a multicountry travel. TEP Wireless
    keeps the network connection secure and stable with a good speed of 7,2mbps and it is featured in a global mobile guide Savvy.one

  3. Swash

    Why are the pictures showing Skyroam device? Is the Tep wireless device just a brand labeled Skyroam?

    • Charles Kosman

      Tep Wireless was using the same device but had it’s own SIM card and system. They now have their own device (it’s called the Teppy) however we haven’t tried it yet since the old device still works fine for us.

  4. Ron Perrier

    Sounds a little expensive at $9.95/day. Is that US$? Maybe ok if have business and deductible but for the average traveler, it would be too much – $300/month.

    • Charles Kosman

      Ron, I think the idea is that you can share it with your travel partners (up to 5 devices at once) so the cost becomes more negligible. The Tep Wireless is also great if you’re bouncing between countries without having to grab a new SIM card in each country.

      Lots of higher end hotels charge $8 or more a day for the use of their WiFi. Sometimes that’s per guest and doesn’t work outside your room, so $8.95 a day to rent one (the price has dropped) or $8 if you own the device to take it with you doesn’t sound too unrealistic.

      Here in Canada, most companies charge $10 a day for out of country data and they have very low limits on the amount you can use and only certain providers they work with. Tep deals with multiple providers and I love how if you own the device, like we do, you can use it for 24 hours and then stop using it.

      When we’re traveling, we often use it here and there as we need it rather than the entire duration to save on costs. That said, if we’re somewhere and need or want internet, we pull it out of our bag and voila, instant WiFi.

  5. Laura G

    I can’t speak for rental – but I bought a Skyroam hotspot through TEP 18 months ago. It never really worked properly. Most recently I was in Denmark and the device just froze at 15%. Apparently, this can be a software or firmware problem – but the company wasn’t; able to solve it and told me my device was defective and out of warranty. Part of the problem appears to be that there are no emails about updating your device routinely that go out to customers. So, you don’t know that you have a problem until you are on a trip – need Wi-Fi and are screwed. There are no links on the company website to software of firmware updates – you have to contact customer support – which makes no sense. Plus – you need to have a computer (connect to Wi-Fi) with you to perform the update – so it’s like a catch 22. Overall the customer support responds quickly but can’t really help you. Also keep in mind that they ask you for your order number for any help provided – so I would write that sucker down and paste it to the back of your device since you won’t be able to access any old emails about the order easily if you have problems. I’m going to try Keepgo instead – I’ve heard they have less technical problems.


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