For travelers, a portable Wi-Fi hotspot is a must-have. Wi-Fi on the go means you can use Google maps while driving, you can look up info about historic sites and you can find a good local pub for lunch or a pint. All without paying data charges to your mobile carrier back home.
Skyroam makes connected Wi-Fi hotspots; I wrote about their Solis unit here. Now the company has a new version of this product which lets you get a month of data at a time, making it perfect for snowbirds or long-term travelers.
What is Skyroam GoData?
GoData is Skyroam’s new usage plan. While previously you could buy the Solis hotspot for about $149US and then pay for unlimited Wi-Fi by the day (it was about $10US/day or $99 for the month), this new plan is a dedicated (but capped) monthly offering. You get 1GB of data for the month for $9, with the ability to add more gigs for $9 per GB. This is a significant cut to costs for travelers.
Is Skyroam GoData worth it?
That’s quite amazing. In Canada where cellular roaming rates are insanely expensive, we pay about $8-9/day to use our roaming—and to access the 7GB of data we currently have access to each month. With the new GoData plan from Skyroam, I could pay for 7GB of data and it would still cost me just $63 for a month, compared to the $270 I’d pay to my cellular carrier for roaming.
What’s the difference between Skyroam Daypass and GoData?
The key difference between getting Daypasses and using GoData is that Daypasses give you unlimited data, while the GoData holds you to 1GB per month.
While having unlimited data with the previous Daypass plan was fine, this is a much less expensive option—and you can add more data if you need to, paying only for what you use.
How many devices can I connect to Skyroam?
With Skyroam, you can connect up to 5 devices on one hotspot, and there’s no contracts to sign. Just pay for what you use.
Which countries does Skyroam work in?
You can use Skyroam in many, many places around the globe. It works in over 130 countries worldwide, including Canada and the US, plus Europe and more. For the full list of what countries does Skyroam work in, click here.
What is Skyroam Solis?
Skyroam Solis is a wireless, portable Wi-Fi hotspot that’s made for travel. The device consists of a small hockey puck-sized device that keeps you connected no matter where you are. You turn it on, and you can access the internet. The device also doubles as a power bank for your devices.
How to get Skyroam Solis GoData set up
If you read my previous review of Skyroam, you saw that it was a mighty struggle to get the device set up and connected each time. While it performed well overall, it was finicky to get each day’s data rolling. I’m ecstatic to report that the process for swapping to GoData was quick, easy and absolutely painless. And it works like a dream.
GoData uses a mobile app on your phone, whereas previously, you needed a computer to configure things. The app is streamlined and walks you through what you need to do. Here are the steps:
- Download the App
- Power on the Skyroam Solis (small oval-shaped button on the side of the puck)
- Wait for the light on the top of the unit (with the Wi-Fi symbol inside) to stop cycling
- Follow the prompts in the Skyroam app. You’ll be asked to scan the QR code on bottom of Solis.
- Register your device. If you were previously registered on the daily/daypass plan and you’re now converting your account to a
- GoData plan, you’ll need to sign up again, since your old account is essentially deactivated.
- Put in your e-mail address and choose a password.
This time, working with Skyroam was a breeze. The instructions were simple and easy to follow. I got right down to the last step which is to push the virtual button on the Solis app to get Wi-Fi… and I got an error message that it couldn’t connect. Instead, the app asked me to go to my phone’s Wi-Fi settings and connect manually. I did, but the Solis wasn’t appearing in the list of available Wi-Fi networks.
Undeterred, I waited a few minutes and tried again. It took about 3-4 minutes but finally my Skyroam Wi-Fi network appeared in the list and I was able to click to connect. I had Wi-Fi!
Using it while travelling over several weeks was seamless and easy. I’d turn it on, and drop it in my bag. The device connects automatically to my phone and tablet, so there’s no re-connecting each day. It’s brilliant.
How does Skyroam Solis work?
Skyroam Solis connects to cellular networks in 120 countries, and uses them to provide you with roaming-free, worry-free wireless internet. It works in hotels, cars, and even remote tourist destinations. Pretty much anywhere there’s cellular service, you’ll get internet, so it’s unlikely you can use this on a cruise ship, for example, or on top of Everest.
How to get cellular data without changing SIM card
You turn the device on, and it’ll automatically find the best local signal wherever you go, so you don’t have to do the legwork. What makes the magic happen behind the scenes? Skyroam’s ‘virtual SIM technology’ delivers local data, internationally, allowing you to connect to dozens of different cellular networks without changing your SIM card!
Skyroam battery life
The battery life on Skyroam Solis is amazing. When I bring it with me, it easily lasts about 12 hours. Of course you can recharge it by connecting it to wall power, or a power bank if you’re running low. You can check the device’s battery level at any time by going to your app.
I’m definitely not an expert on network security. I don’t know anything about it, nor am I qualified to make pronouncements about whether the device is safe and secure. I read this blog by Kiled Jian who’s been evaluating the device and at his last writing, he seemed to indicated the device is not encrypted.
So perhaps stick to mapping and don’t try to log into your bank.
Does Skyroam work on Cruise Ships?
Skyroam will work while in ports or on land where there is cell reception, but not far out at sea (only satellite technology is available far from land).
Will Skyroam work on Airplanes?
No, your hotspot will not work on an airplane. Skyroam uses cellular data signals, and once you get a few hundred feet off the ground, only satellite technology works.
Overall review of Skyroam Solis GoData
I can’t say enough what a pleasant experience this was compared to my previous time with Skyroam. Again, when the Solis was working it was amazing, and it still is! But with the new mobile app and the easier monthly plan, things now work better, they’re easier and it makes life so much simpler on the road—not to mention so much cheaper!
In short, if you need a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for your next trip and you want to avoid paying data overages, roaming and extra fees, get yourself a Skyroam Solis and use the new GoData plan. It’s definitely worth it.
Skyroam Solis sells for $149US and a GoData monthly pass is $9US/GB. It’s available from Skyroam’s website.
How to get a Skyroam Wi-Fi hotspot for travel – Skyroam promo code
You can buy a Skyroam for $149USD or rent one from Skyroam’s website or from Amazon. If you use the code TECHGADGETSCANADA you can get 10% off your purchase on Skyroam’s website.
I really enjoyed my Skyroam experience and plan to continue using it, so I’ve activated their affiliate links here. This means if you purchase a Skyroam by clicking here I get a small commission for referring you. For that I thank you very much for considering purchasing using one of these promo codes as it helps keep the old blog afloat.