An absolutely wonderful little gadget I could not live without.

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Let me tell you about this absolutely wonderful little gadget that I simply could not live without.

This gadget allows us to connect to the internet, with up to 10 devices at the same time, from absolutely anywhere that has cellular coverage. It’s called a Portable Wifi Hotspot.

picture of a portable wifi hotspot

This little beauty works like a cell phone in that it works on the cellular network, has a sim card, and a phone number. You cannot, however, make phone calls with it. It is designed to give you wifi internet connection on the go. It’s small – it fits into a coin purse I have, so it lives permanently in my handbag.

You can purchase them from any phone shop, or directly from Telecom or Vodafone (New Zealand). When we bought ours it was $99 plus $20 for the sim card. It came with one months supply of data if I remember correctly. You have to top it up online and can either buy a plan or use it on Prepay, just like a mobile phone.

We use ours in all sorts of places. While motels offer free wifi to guests in New Zealand, Hotels charge the earth for it. So we use this hotspot when staying in one. We’ve used it in the car – I’ve been able to do all my emails, check Facebook, look up Google Maps when we’re not sure where we’re going, and catch up on some work all while hubby drives the car. Wonderful! It means that when we get to our destination I have time free to enjoy my surroundings.

Another place it comes in handy is in airport lounges while waiting for flights. At friends places if you want to show them something and they don’t have wifi, you can pull out your hotspot and your iPad and be instantly connected.

A few weeks ago I went clothes shopping. I was going to a particular store, part of a national chain, because I like their clothes. I had found some items I was very interested in on their website. When at the store, I was able to bring up their website on my iPad, and the sales lady was able to get the stock codes from it, put them into their computer/till, and tell me if they had them in stock, in what sizes and where in the shop to find them. It was great! It saved us both a lot of time and frustration trying to find the items I wanted.

Do you have one of these? What useful places have you used it?  When has it most come in handy?