Telecom Square Global Hotspot

The Good Telecom Square's Global Hotspot service delivers a wireless data connection in many countries around the world. The ZTE MF60 hot spots are compact, and the ordering process is easy. Customer service is available 24 hours a day.

The Bad The base price is for one-country use only. For more countries, rates are more expensive than competing services. You must pay for overnight shipping, and cheaper options aren't available.

The Bottom Line Telecom Square's Global Hotspot is a dependable and convenient way to access the Internet while traveling, but you'll need to be a heavy data user to make the service economical.

Editors' Rating
7.7 Overall

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Review

Easy Internet abroad, but best for heavy data users

Telecom Square's international hot-spot service delivers a simple and effective way to access the Internet when you're traveling internationally. And though it doesn't come for pennies, it's comparable with rival services and, depending on your use, cheaper than using a roaming plan from a US carrier.

I used Telecom Square on a recent trip to Germany and Greece. Like any cellular-run hot spot, I had to depend on a local carrier's network to get online. Of course, that meant that performance varied widely depending on my exact location -- I'll explain in detail below -- but on the whole I was pleased with the experience. And as long as you consider your options and planned data use carefully, I suspect that you will be too.

The service and cost
After you sign up for a hot-spot rental, Telecom Square overnights you the device just before your departure date. Then, after you use it on your trip and return home, you send it back to the company in an prepaid envelope. It's a simple process, though the shipping can cost you up to $29.95 without any special promotions (which the company occasionally runs). Alternatively, you can save yourself that fee by picking up a device in New York City or Los Angeles, but it would be better if the company also offered slower and less-expensive shipping options.

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