Travel Gear: Keepgo Portable Travel Wifi Review
Need to stay connected while you travel? Keepgo’s lifetime mobile travel wifi hotspot has got you covered.
As someone who works remotely and is constantly on the move, staying connected is imperative to my everyday existence. I’ve been in one too many situations where a hotel wireless network is down right at the same time an important video meeting is scheduled or my local SIM card runs out of data in the middle of me trying to go somewhere by a ridesharing app. My life is about mitigating my stress, which is why when Keepgo asked me to try out their travel wifi hotspot, I couldn’t pass up on the offer! From Tulum to Ho Chi Minh City, this travel wifi hotspot has been an absolute lifesaver and I’m excited to give you the lowdown on hardware worth investing in.
How Does the Keepgo Travel Wifi Hotspot Work?
Similar to a personal hotspot on your smartphone, the battery-operated portable hotspot taps into 3G and 4G cellular networks and becomes a secure WiFi router to nearby devices, provided they are able to connect to a WiFi network.
The brand Keepgo currently provides three services a mobile SIM card, the portable Wi-Fi hotspot, and a Smartwatch SIMcard. While the SIM card has its appeal, using their SIM card does require an unlocked phone. I only reviewed the hotspot so that is the only product I can speak to. With the Wi-Fi hotspot, you can equip up to 16 devices with internet access and refill the hotspot via their website with your Product ID number printed on the outside of the hotspot device. You can top up the hotspot as needed, or set it to automatically top up if all your data is depleted. And not to worry, Keepgo sends push notifications when your data is close to running out so you’ll never be surprised when your router stops working.
As I travel around with multiple gadgets and abide by a “sharing is caring” philosophy, the WiFi Hotspot fits perfect with my lifestyle needs. They also have the second smallest hotspot on the market, easily fitting into the tightest of pant pockets and not a nuisance when carrying around from place to place.
HOW TO POWER IT UP:
- Once you receive your device, visit and enter the Product ID printed on the front of the device and your email address.
- After it’s activated, the mobile wifi network (SSID) will be visible under ‘My Networks‘ under your Settings > Wi-Fi controls. Your device’s unique SSID and password can be found inside the device by removing the battery cover. Make sure you test the device to make sure the connection is working properly BEFORE you head on a trip. Note: the device can only be used in countries supported by Keepgo.
How Much Does Keepgo Cost?
The Lifetime 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hotspot costs $99 USD and comes with 1GB of complimentary data that will not expire, under the fine print that you refill the device once per year. It also comes with a charging cable (you will need a USB plug or you can charge it using your computer) and a user manual.
Also included with your purchase: they offer free shipping to 39 countries worldwide (see list here) and have a 30-day customer satisfaction return policy. There is also a one year limited warranty attached to the product.
Where can you use Keepgo Travel Wifi
Keepgo has mobile presence in 120+ countries but are still growing and continuing to expand their coverage in regions like Africa and The Middle East. So if you’re planning to invest in this hardware for those specific areas, I would caution against it. But compared to other services out there, they have a fairly decent portfolio. Also, there are 4G/LTE restrictions in some Carribbean and Asian countries. If you want to know if your Wi-Fi speed will be impacted, you can see the full list of mobile providers here.
CHECK OUT THE GLOBAL COVERAGE BELOW
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela
Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Macao, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Reunion, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
Australia, New Zealand
Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Tunisia
Weighing the Pros and Cons of Keepgo Travel Wifi
The human support team offers 24/7 help via phone, chat, and email, even on holidays.
You can refill the data via the Keepgo app, which is super convenient.
There is no data throttling, meaning you won’t experience slower data even with multiple devices/users.
You don’t have to install any software to use the hotspot. Just push the button on the device and it’ll appear in your searchable wireless network queue.
There is guaranteed network security using this hotspot. Say goodbye to having to scrounge around for public, insecure Wi-Fi.
The battery only lasts for 6 hours so if you are traveling, don’t forget to pack the charging cable or else the device is useless.
The sticker with the product ID isn’t impervious to fading and will rub off over time. Write down the product ID once you’ve activated the device as you will need the ID number to refill data.
1 GB really doesn’t go a long way so you have to turn off the hotspot to make sure devices connected don’t leech data from it when using apps that have GPS location activated.
Some countries only have 3G connectivity so if you are looking for speed, you to make sure that the country your traveling to meet those needs.
How does Keepgo stand out?
Against its competitors, like GlocalMe, Skyroam, and TEP Wireless, Keepgo is:
Other hotspots are priced at $130 to $170 USD, excluding data. The Keepgo Wi-Fi hotspot comes with 1GB of complimentary data that doesn’t expire.
Some of its competitors automatically charge your credit card on file if you exceed your data usage without notifying you.
The rest of the designs on the market do not take into account ergonomics and come in strange disc shapes or are super bulky and clunky.
If you’re interested in a more in-depth look at Keepgo compared to others, read The Awkward Traveler’s comprehensive review here.
My Review of the Keepgo Hotspot
I specifically sought out the Keepgo travel wifi for my bachelorette party in Tulum. It was the perfect setting to test out its group userability. There were six girls who paired with the hotspot, but five of us also had international data plans, so only one person relied on the device full time. Unfortunately, the 1GB runs out really fast, especially if you are using data-heavy apps like Instagram, GPS navigation, and photo sharing, which in most cases we were.1 GB on a WiFI hotspot translates into 350 photo uploads, 130 minutes of video calls, 1000 minutes of music streaming, and 30 minutes of HD video streaming. I wouldn’t recommend using the hotspot for video calls or photo backups, but for standard communication purposes like texts and other messenger apps, or quick navigation needs. If you’re looking for a car GPS, it’s better to download a route ahead of time so you don’t kill your data. While we were driving around Tulum, we encountered a lot of wireless dead zones, but the device clearly shows real-time signal strength and battery life, so we were never taken by surprise.
I used it again internationally when going to Vietnam. I have to shout-out Keepgo’s support team because they were transparent they took initiative in telling me I would be only receiving 3G connectivity while in Vietnam, which helped me plan out my wireless needs. I ended up investing on an extra 5 GB, as it was the best value for a data refill, and I also purchased a SIM card in country. But I reserved the hotspot for working in remote places, like waterfalls, or at cafes with spotty wifi, and it gave me the connectivity I needed. What I didn’t anticipate is that I would end up losing my US simcard during my trip to Vietnam and I relied on my mobile wifi to keep me connected while I sort out getting a new simcard. While the costs to top-up the data might feel expensive, if you are splitting the costs with your travel companions, it’s much cheaper than buying expensive travel simcards and since the data never expires, you’re not limited to geographic borders to use the data, unlike country-specific wireless hotspots and simcards. Portable travel wifi is a practical investment for those who need to stay connected at all times, say for coordinating appointments while traveling overseas, and for those who work remotely and need to get work done.
PRO TIP: Turn off any system updates, icloud syncing, and background GPS locators on some apps while your phone is on standby so it doesn’t leech data.
Update as of Sep. 9, 2021: I lent the Keepgo unit to a friend who was moving to New Orleans from New England and needed trustworthy wifi for her long trip. Only a week into her relocation, she was forced to evacuate due to Hurricane Ida. Having the Keepgou hotspot saved her life as it was her only source of communication to her family in need to contact her. Keepgo forever has my positive endorsement due to this experience!
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DISCLAIMER: The Keepgo Mobile Travel Wifi was gifted to me by Keepgo, but all opinions and photos, as always, are my own.
Would you invest in a portable travel wifi? Let me know what appeals to you the most about the Keepgo portable wifi hotspot in the comments below.
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