Last updated: 12:00 PM ET, Tue June 28 2016

Wireless Traveler CEO Talks Pocket Wi-Fi, Travel Safety

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | June 28, 2016

Wireless Traveler CEO Talks Pocket Wi-Fi, Travel Safety

Photo Courtesy Wireless Traveler

There are myriad ways to stay connected with friends and family when you leave on your business or leisure trip.

One company offers a few ways that will keep you tethered to the world at large while also maintaining a great deal of your cyber privacy.

We had the pleasure recently of speaking with Ian Benson who is the CEO of Wireless Traveler, a company that supplies Wi-Fi solutions to all manner of intrepid traveler.

Benson offered insight into his company as well as to the value of bringing along a dedicated wireless solution on your holiday.

We will plunge into things a bit more in time, but Wireless Traveler essentially offers a few options you have at the very least flirted with utilizing.

There is the Pocket Wi-Fi, which makes you your own walking, talking hotspot. And the Wi-Fi calling app, which enables you to make calls Internationally for literal pennies.

Benson explained: “Your very cheapest form of calling is Wi-Fi calling. We’ve developed an app about three years ago. We went for an app that you can call anybody. You can call any phone anywhere, anytime – as long as you’re on Wi-Fi.”

Benson explains the usefulness for such a solution extends beyond just Wireless Travelers offerings. This kind of gadget gives the modern traveler flexibility at an advantageous cost.

Benson’s company charges two cents a minute with the app, unless you are calling someone with the same app – then it’s free. (Much like apps like Viber)

Then again, you can always turn your phone into a device that works abroad: “The next tier up from that is the global SIM card. And the global SIM card will give you the option of a pre-paid account that you can use sort of globally without monthly fees.”

Or, you can always just take the Internet with you wherever you go.


Photo courtesy Wireless Traveler

“If you have a Pocket Wi-Fi with you...  You don’t have to find the public ones (because) you have your own," he explained. "Now you can make your calls across a high-speed Pocket Wi-Fi. You can send your emails and you can be contacted on the web. You can also look up emergency notifications and also receive data when networks are blocked.”

Essentially, you want to have something on your person that is there when disaster strikes.

Benson recommends getting a device that will be there when you least expect the need to arise: “something there that’s a backup that works anywhere and everywhere.”

The CEO said, “Have a nice pre-paid or top-up service, so it won’t just run out on you. Safety wise, always have something that you can make a call in a moment’s notice.”

Safety extends to matters of ones and zeros as well, as Benson also noted the advantage of being off the grid in a manner of speaking.

“Public Wi-Fi is an open source system and will give you warnings how other people can see your information,” Benson said.

Free and public Wi-Fi can turn from a quick, inexpensive luxury into a reason you have to call home for funds.

If you have the means and are so inclined, you can flirt with the notion of several devices to grab before you go.

The CEO continued: “If you have a pocket password-protected pocket Wi-Fi device you’re absolutely offline, you’re working on a cellular network. You’re virtually untraceable at that point. And certainly nobody can hack into you in any short period of time.”

As a matter of a final word: “Personally, I wouldn’t do one credit card transaction unless I was on my own network or my personal hotspot.”

These are just a few suggestions from Wireless Traveler. Calling your carrier to extend service Internationally may make more sense to you.

For others, especially those with multiple parties on the trip, a dedicated Wi-Fi hub may make fiscal logic.

In any case, it’s a useful reminder to take special care of your digital assets when you’re abroad. And no matter what solution you use, it’s important to have an idea of how you will get in contact with home if and when you need to.


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