Low-cost internet access while traveling overseas

AT&T international data roaming is expensive. Usually, I’ve relied on hotel and conference WIFI or I’ve purchased a small data plan for my iPAD. But for my recent trip to Melbourne Australia I decided to get a MIFI.

Originally, I was going to rent a MIFI from XCom Global. However, the rental with insurance was going to be roughly $292, which seemed too much. So instead, I purchased the same Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 from Amazon.com for $80 (only came with a 110v adapter, which won’t work in many countries) and when I landed in Australia I brought a pre-paid data plan SIM with 3Gig from the Vodafone store in arrivals for $30.

There were a couple of issues with configuring the MIFI. First, Vodafone’s instructions had the wrong APN name. Fortunately, google got me to this useful site, which said to use  vfprepaymbb. Also, in my jet-lagged state I thought the store had activated the SIM but it turned out that I had to do that via a website. It’s a shame that I needed internet access to get internet access.

Once I activated the SIM and correctly configured the device, it worked quite well. I was able to connect my laptop and my iPhone.  I’m looking forward to using it again when I next travel abroad.

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