Hip Pocket Wifi

Jun 1st, 2017, 02:00 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 310
Hip Pocket Wifi

We will be in France in late June and have been searching for a wifi solution. We have stumbled across a vendor call Hip Pocket Wifi, which will give us 1 GB of data for less than 5E a day. We can pick up at CDG or they will deliver to our hotel. On departure, we just drop the device in a prepaid envelope at the nearest mailbox.

In theory this provides a good solution for us to stay in connected for business purposes. Has anyone else used this vendor with success?

burta is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 02:28 AM
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No but I simply took a SFR prepaid card. 35 for one month and 5 or 50 Go. I get mine at a newspaper stand ...
WoinParis is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 03:46 AM
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It sounds overpriced to me. Is that 1 gb per day?

Did you know that most phones now can be used as "pocket wifi" devices? You could just buy a SIM card with a sufficient data allowance, as Wo did.
bvlenci is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 04:12 AM
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It is 1 gb per day, so say 4gb for 4 days or 10gb for 10 days, use it up sooner and the speed is throttled.

It costs €59 for 10 days according to their website.
€138,60 for 14 days unlimited data.

If you have an unlocked smart phone I'd get a Sim for it in France and use that - you can usually connect several devices to it.

I see Hippockket is not offering free European roaming yet on it's site. I assume it will do in two weeks time.
hetismij2 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 04:26 AM
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Sounds like a complete scam for tourists for me. I live in France, have a SIM card with WIFI, landline telephone, and television for 39 € a month. I could go to a tabac and get an SFR or Lebara or Free or other SIM card for 5 € that would last me a month. Or more.


Isn't that just hunky-dory? Good advertising, I guess. But useless, overpriced product.
StCirq is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 05:45 AM
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You are definitely paying a steep price for convenience. Without knowing how many days you will be using it, how much data and where you draw the line between cost and convenience, it is hard to know how to advise. There are better options revolving around using your phone as a wifi hotspot with a local SIM.
rs899 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 06:55 AM
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I think the key phrase here, in all this talk of cheaper options, is "if you have an unlocked phone."

My phone is not unlocked, so I do not have the option of plugging in a local SIM card, great as that would be. (I have an unlocked iPad Air 2 but really have no desire to carry that walking around Paris all day long. )

Yes, it is a matter of convenience -- and utility, along with weighing its cost within the overall cost of your trip. For me, on two trips to Paris last year it worked fine to rent a local hot spot (MUCH cheaper than an international plan from my US carrier). Our time in Paris was significantly better spent having access to all that data access can provide. My experiences:

HipPocket: I used them my first visit. Worked beautifully, except -- we arrived on a holiday weekend, and when we picked up our device at a droguerie in the 7th on Saturday it had not been set up properly. Because of the holiday, my many emails to support went unanswered until Tuesday. The fix was easy. They assured me that they would address weekend support in the near future (and refunded part of my payment) but -- lesson is, if you can pick it up at the airport, with real live help present to make sure it works, that's better.

Travel Wifi: I used them last fall, with easy pickup on arrival at CDG. No problems at all, worked beautifully. I'm in Paris again in September (it's kind of addicting) and using Travel Wifi again.

Just remember that with any hot spot, if your party splits off someone will lose access. And bring a portable charger (for your phone mostly).

And yes, for a visitor, being able to drop the device in the mail at the end of the trip is a nice convenience. On both occasions we used our devices right up to the time we walked through the doors of the airport for our flight home. One less thing to worry about.
didan is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 07:57 AM
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>My phone is not unlocked< I don't know where you're from, but in the States, all mobile devices can be unlocked upon request, normally after one year of service, sometimes sooner. You can also purchase an unlocked phone directly from Apple, or at Best Buy (iPhone and Samsung).

As far as service goes, we've been using T-Mobile for several years and have always had great reception when traveling in France, Spain and Portugal, all at no additional cost.
Robert2016 is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 08:29 AM
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didan: I think the key phrase here, in all this talk of cheaper options, is "if you have an unlocked phone."

My phone is not unlocked, so I do not have the option of plugging in a local SIM card, great as that would be. (I have an unlocked iPad Air 2 but really have no desire to carry that walking around Paris all day long. )

Buying an unlocked phone for use in Europe is not that expensive, if you will travel there very often. Two weeks in France at 5 Euros per day would probably pay for a phone. And of course, a smart phone is much more useful than a WiFI hotspot. I already had a cheap Android that would have worked in Europe, but I bought an international version of it for $90 because it would work as 4G in Europe.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 08:34 AM
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Hmm, interesting. My understanding was that Verizon -- my carrier -- was always locked. Perhaps, in the words of Humphrey Bogart, I was misinformed. I'll have to look into it more. Thanks.
didan is offline  
Jun 1st, 2017, 08:42 AM
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If you have a 4GLTE phone, Verizon does not - cannot - lock it, per agreement with the FCC. I used a Verizon Android phone on T-Mobile's network for a year, roaming. In fact, I never even used it on Verizon.

If you ask Verizon for an unlock code for a 4GLTE phone, they will have nothing to give you, whether they want to or not.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 1st, 2017, 09:44 AM
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Getting hold of an unlocked GSM phone for use as a hotspot in Europe is not hard or expensive.
rs899 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2017, 06:58 PM
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1 GB per day should be more than enough. But the thing you need to watch out for is to make sure your iCloud is turned off and make sure that you aren't watching videos. Because if you leave the iCloud on and stream videos you will be left will extremely slow internet. Ive looked at the Hip pocket wifi website and i do think that it is a bit overpriced. When I was in Europe i went with travel wifi. I didn't have any problems with the internet and i thought the price they offered was pretty good. Here's their website if you are interested. https://www.travel-wifi.com
kenanicoz6767 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2017, 07:04 PM
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For reference, I used about 2GB of data in 17 days in Europe last month (and I used more near the end once I realized I'd have lots leftover from the 3GB I had paid for). I didn't stream videos, and I had nothing like an iCloud turned on. I used the phone mostly for Google Map walking and public transit directions, checking Facebook and email, and tethering my laptop and tablet on trains and in places without WiFi. About half of my data use was just tethering (hotspot) during my trip.
Andrew is online now  
Jun 5th, 2017, 11:33 PM
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Thank you all for the advice. Good tips here!
burta is offline  
Jun 6th, 2017, 09:41 AM
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I don't thikn that product is a "scam", there are various products that are priced higher and provide a convenience for tourists, some people think the extra cost is worth it. I agree the cost of that is pretty high, though.

FYI I just bought a cheap unlocked GSM phone for Europe at Best Buy. It was about $45 at Best Buy. Not the fanciest of course, but not the cheapest (which you can get if you don't want a smartphone). The brand was BLU and it has dual SIM slots in it, which I thought might be convenient. There is no reason whatsoever to buy overpriced phones like iphones or Samsung just for this purpose when you can get one for about $50. In fact, you might want a cheap second phone to take to Europe anyway, rather than your main one.

This is the phone I bought, it now costs $50, I think I got it for $46 a couple weeks ago.

Christina is offline  
Jun 6th, 2017, 09:47 AM
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But St. Cirq LIVES IN FRANCE, lol. That's really the point of her every post.
NewbE is offline  
Jun 6th, 2017, 03:34 PM
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I recently got back from France and Belgium, and I hate to admit this but I used Verizon's International Plan for my iPhone over there. Extremely easy option, but admittedly expensive, at $10 a day, but you only pay for the days you use the plan.
You have 24 hours of service from the time that you use the phone for a call, or whatever. They send you a warning message one hour before that time period is up. Plenty of data available, as you get the same as you have at home.

It worked perfectly in Paris and Belgium, with never a glitch. I only used it when I was out and about, for mapping, directions, train tickets, Uber, etc. as I had good wifi in my hotels. I liked having my own phone and apps, so in spite of the cost it was worth it to me, and I didn't have to use the plan everyday. I didn't need to be bothered with a travel hotspot device, another phone, buying SIM cards or anything else. If I were gone for a longer trip (more than a couple of weeks) I'd probably go with something cheaper, though, like buying a cheap phone for the trip.
Sue4 is offline  
Jun 6th, 2017, 03:45 PM
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Using your regular mobile company's international plan - if they offer one (mine doesn't) is certainly the easiest option even if not always the cheapest. There's nothing wrong with paying more if it saves you the hassle - or if aren't frugal like some of us.

On my 17 day trip to Europe last month, the cheapest option I had for a working phone over there, other than buying a European SIM card was to switch to T-Mobile for a month, but that would have cost almost $100 USD. Buying the Dutch Vodafone SIM as I wound up doing and getting 3GB of data for a month (more than I needed) cost about $30 USD total, plus now I have a SIM for next time. And it was surprisingly easy to setup before I even left the US. I can imagine some people not wanting to mess with it, however. To each his or her own!
Andrew is online now  
Jun 6th, 2017, 03:55 PM
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Andrew, that's certainly a better option than mine was! However, at my "advanced" age, and being very un-tech-savvy, the hassle free is the best! Verizon is an expensive option all the way around (at home), though, and I've thought about switching to t-Mobile here anyway. But don't think I can use my Verizon phone with them - so will have to wait for the next phone. Not anytime soon!
Sue4 is offline  

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