Data Decadence

Xcom Global Broadband Rentals

Jetsetting is a nightmare for untethered internet junkies — particularly when papa corporation isn’t footing the tab. Sure, most U.S. wireless carriers can keep the data flowing, but at their rates, careless users will lose their shirts faster than a night of craps at the Bellagio by just checking email. Frugal types may go through the hassle of buying an unlocked phone and conducting a world-wide bodega tour picking up local SIM cards — but the savings to time spent ratio often doesn’t equate.

Xcom’s Global broadband rental service is a new option that essentially splits the difference by providing reliable 3G access in over 195 countries using just one WWAN device for a reasonable daily rate. After signing up for the Global Travel plan service online and selecting travel dates, Xcom mails customers a preconfigured device ready to provide access wherever the winds may blow. $12.95 a day is the going rate for unlimited 3G data via a USB stick. $14.95 a day covers unlimited daily data for a MiFi device capable of connecting up to five wireless devices at once. Once the trip is done, returning the device is as easy as dropping it in the prepaid envelope.

While Xcom’s plans still cost more than buying data locally, they’re unquestionably a better value in terms for heavy users looking to email in Estonia, watch Netflix in Nigeria, Twitter in Tibet, and Google in Guatemala, all on the same trip.

Buy Now: $13+ (daily rate)