Connected In France With A LeFrenchMobile Hotspot

LeFrenchMobile
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When I was recently in the French Alps, hiking I might add, my friend Erin replied to my email, “Stop emailing and keep your eyes on the path!” I had sent her this picture stating, “If you never hear from me again well….”.

LeFrenchMobile
Hiking down to Chamonix France from Plan de l’Aiguille near Mont Blanc

OK, I like to stay connect when travelling to France. Who doesn’t? Emailing friends and family, looking up directions, searching for a great restaurant for dinner, or sharing photos and experiences through social media is all part of travelling for many of us and it’s much easier when we have easy access to the internet. But what’s even better is when you can do it without going broke.

Avoid Enormous Roaming Bills

There are scary stories of travellers using data on a trip and being surprised by enormous roaming bills. Even the international roaming plans from your mobile phone provider can be extremely expensive. With my home provider, a Europe Passport Plan (800MB data + 300 minutes voice + unlimited texts) costs $150. And if you go over, it becomes very costly. (ie. $5.00/30MB for data).

Why LeFrenchMobile?

Yet for the past 4 years I have purchased a local (France) SIM card for my unlocked iPhone and it has been much cheaper (€20 or $28 for 1GB data. Calls within France would be €0.20 per minute and €0.38 for calls to North America). I did a lot of research and found the prices from the company Le French Mobile to have the best rates. I also liked how they would mail me my SIM card so I would have it upon arrival in France. It provided me with excellent phone and data service and was very easy to use.

BUT, I don’t like to do everything with my iPhone. The screen is too small for my blogging and I prefer to use my tablet or laptop. The solution? A mobile Wi-Fi hotspot (also known as a Mobile Wireless Device). It’s an incredibly lightweight, battery-powered Wi-Fi router that can fit in your pocket (75 grams or 2-5/8 ounces). It’s just like providing Wi-Fi to you when you are at home.

LeFrenchMobile Hotspot

Le French Mobile Hotspot
Le French Mobile Hotspot

The company offered to provide me with a hotspot for my recent trip to France in exchange for a review. While I already liked the company’s products, I wanted to see if it would make my life easier “on the road”.

Here’s how I used it and how it helped me. As always my opinions and reviews are my own.

How I Used It

LeFrenchMobile Hotspot
LeFrenchMobile Contents: Huawei brand Mobile Hotspot, USB charging cord, battery
  • The Huawei brand Mobile Hotspot arrived quickly and came with:
    • a SIM card already inserted (1 GB for 30 days)
    • a battery, charging cable and instructions in English
  • I activated the SIM/Hotspot immediately upon arriving in France
  • It was very convenient. Not all my hotels had free Wi-Fi and to be honest I don’t trust hotel Wi-Fi. With the hotspot, my internet connection was always secure as it was password protected. This is a major point when using hotel wifi which is not always encrypted.  Hackers can create fake networks (ie. “Guest WiFi”) and if you sign in, all your data and communication becomes vulnerable.
  • When I did connect my laptop to the regular hotel Wi-Fi, the internet was dreadfully slow and spotty. Sitting outside on the terrace with my hotspot however, I had excellent reception (mainly 3G) and sites loaded quickly.

    LeFrenchMobile
    Refuge du Nant du Beurre in the French Alps (Savoie Mont Blanc)
  • When I was high up in the French Alps I could easily connect with friends using social media and email. I really wanted to send a picture of the beautiful views.
  • In 11 days I used up almost 1GB of data.
    • If I needed more data, it would be “pay as you go”. As it is prepaid, there would be no “surprises”.
  • LeFrenchMobile’s website is in English and their customer service was very helpful when I had a few questions
  • I was actually surprised how long the battery lasted, averaging 6 hours. Recharging was fast through a USB cord (provided).

Verdict

I loved it. It made connecting to the internet easy and reliable once I figured out how to initially connect and set up my account.

 Few More Advantages of LeFrenchMobile Hotspot:

LeFrenchMobile Huawei Hotspot
LeFrenchMobile Huawei Hotspot
  • You OWN the hotspot. You don’t have the nuisance of returning it.  It is delivered free of charge with the SIM card already inserted and configured. Many companies offer hotspots but through a rental program (ie. 5 Euros a day with a small daily allowance of data). I can use this hotspot again on a future trip.
  • With travel companions, up to 10 devices can be connected to this one hotspot, so the savings for everyone are even higher
  • The data SIM card that comes with the hot spot is transferable. I could put it in an iPhone or iPad.

The information I have provided is accurate as of July 2016; however, you need to check out the LeFrenchMobile website to read about their plans and terms and conditions.

Website: LeFrenchMobile

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24 Comments

  1. Hi Jan,
    I have an older version of Huawei and I’m just about to upgrade it. Thanks for the heads up. Not going to rely heavily on hotel WIFI in the future.

  2. I have not used mobile hotspots in my travels to date, but am certainly looking at them for the future. I have the same concerns about hotel wifi that you do. LeFrenchMobile looks like a good option for travel in France.

  3. Great info, Jan! We just returned from 10 days in France, and although we had WiFi most of the time in our hotels, it was a bummer not to be able to sit in the garden and upload photos and such. For next time, will certainly check out LeFrenchMobile Hotspot.

    1. You can use it anywhere but the SIM card that you get with your order would only be for France. It’s more expensive and not as cheap outside of France.

  4. I always depend upon a mixture of hotel wifi (if available) and data packages from my normal provider. But as you say, hotel wifi can be unreliable and data packages can be expensive. So I like the idea of a personal hotspot – something for me to look out for.

  5. Wow, this sounds fabulous. Is it only available in France? Travelling as we are at the moment on a cruise it would be soo useful. And in Australia internet is very expensive … I wonder if we’ll ever get it there. Loved the pic you took by the cliff’s edge 😉

    1. Thank you. I like that picture too! You can order a hotspot from many companies. What applies to France is the SIM card…so data/voice only in France. They do have a SIM card that covers Europe (excl Switzerland) but the cost is high.

  6. Great post and just in the right time for me. We are travelling to France for about a month and we won’t have internet in some of the houses. I was wondering how to manage these internet gaps. I will check out LeFrenchMobile Hotspot’s website. Thank you!

  7. I am constantly amazed by the upgrades appearing to keep us connected. LeFrenchMobile is an excellent solution and you were certainly in a remote location getting it to work. I am about to try a service in Alaska. Will be interesting to see if I can connect in our off the grid location!

  8. We frequently use these type of hot spots when we travel. I love that you keep the unit I’m always worried it’s not gonna get to you on time or get lost during shipping. We’ll check it out for our next trip.

  9. Thanks for sharing this, it is exactly what I need for travel. I like that it is something you keep and can use again and is more secure than the hotel wifi!

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