In April 2015, it appeared like Google launched their Venture Fi wi-fi service virtually in secret.
Whereas they’re actively selling it now, it nonetheless feels prefer it’s flying beneath the radar even amongst in-the-know-travelers. And, that’s a disgrace as a result of it’s actually the most effective worldwide cell plan for vacationers.
I’ve had loads of frustration with the key U.S. cell carriers — domestically and particularly internationally. AT&T supplied nice worldwide protection, however their international knowledge plans had been laughable ($60 for 300MB?!).
And trying to find an alternate whereas touring — one which’s reasonably priced, dependable, and affords nice protection — grew to become a trouble. I used to be sick of getting to juggle new SIM playing cards and fear about international knowledge service in each new vacation spot I visited.
So, in late 2016, I jumped aboard the Venture Fi bandwagon to see if it lived as much as the hype. It’s been 18 months, and I’ve traveled to a number of dozen nations and 4 continents with Venture Fi. So, I figured it’s about time for my very own Venture Fi evaluation …
Venture Fi Evaluation 2018
A fast phrase about this Venture Fi evaluation: as a result of I journey usually, my expertise is in utilizing Venture Fi outdoors of the U.S.
This evaluation of Venture Fi is prone to be most related to you if you happen to too are a frequent traveler.
The Skinny on Venture Fi
What Is Venture Fi?
In Google’s personal phrases:
Knowledge overseas prices the identical as at dwelling — Venture Fi works in over 170 nations and territories. No want to change your plan to take pleasure in limitless texts and knowledge for a similar worth you pay at dwelling.
How Does Venture Fi Work?
Venture Fi isn’t really a cell community unto itself. As a substitute, it’s an MVNO (cell community digital operator), that means it piggybacks on different networks.
On this case, these three 4G LTE networks are Dash, T-Cell, and U.S. Mobile. By combining the worldwide networks of all three carriers, Venture Fi is ready to present a considerable quantity of protection.
The Traveler’s Take: A Venture Fi Evaluation (2018)
How’s the Protection?
Briefly, I’ve been completely thrilled with the protection. The official protection map consists of 170+ nations and territories. Within the U.S., there’s a ton of overlap with Verizon’s protection map:
In my very own expertise during the last 18 months, it’s labored in practically each worldwide vacation spot to which I’ve traveled. I’ve referred to as and texted dwelling from the southern tip of South America, southern Africa, Mexico, everywhere in the Caribbean, and dozens of U.S. locations.
The three exceptions:
- Cuba (virtually unimaginable to get any form of international protection due to authorities paperwork)
- Mauritius (one of many uncommon nations with which Fi doesn’t have an settlement to work)
- Antarctica (… as a result of it’s f**king Antarctica!)
Mauritius is an outlier in Venture Fi’s in any other case stellar protection map. And nearly no cell plan that I do know of (wanting Iridium) works in Cuba or Antarctica, so I wasn’t precisely upset.
Instantly after touchdown, my cellphone will alert me as to whether or not I’ve protection in that exact vacation spot. If Venture Fi works the place I occur to be, it normally connects to the native community in lower than three minutes.
Plus, the service consists of Wi-Fi Assistant — entry to greater than two million Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe. Everytime you’re in vary of a preselected hotspot, your cell and knowledge service can join robotically (which helps you save large on knowledge!). The changeover from cell service to Wi-Fi and again once more is seamless, even if you happen to’re in the midst of a name. Plus, the connection to those hotspots is secured via a digital non-public community backed by Google’s ultra-secure servers.
In lots of creating nations, the native LTE service is quicker than a lot of the free Wi-Fi you’re prone to discover. With tethering enabled on my smartphone, I’m assured lightning-fast wi-fi Web nearly wherever I have to work.
Venture Fi Pricing: What’s It Value?
The pricing construction is useless easy. In a nutshell, Google guarantees limitless knowledge wherever on the planet for a one-person plan for simply $80 per 30 days.
However, if you happen to’re good about utilizing Wi-Fi whereas touring overseas, it’ll seemingly value a fraction of that. When damaged down, the pricing is $20 per 30 days for limitless home calls and texting (worldwide calling begins at $0.20 per minute, and varies by nation), plus $10 per GB of knowledge.
New for 2018 is Venture Fi’s Invoice Safety. When you attain 6GB of knowledge utilization in a single month, the characteristic kicks in supplying you with limitless knowledge so that you’ll by no means pay greater than $60 for knowledge.
To be clear, Venture Fi isn’t the most affordable worldwide wi-fi service choice for vacationers. It’s straightforward to seek out dirt-cheap worldwide knowledge plans in virtually each vacation spot around the globe. However, for me, worth wasn’t the one issue.
What I like about Venture Fi is that it’s reasonably priced and handy. Journey already includes loads of planning and logistical work. I like not having to fret about discovering a brand new SIM in every single place I land, determining the pricing construction for the native cell service, praying for midway respectable protection and knowledge speeds, and watching my knowledge utilization add up, questioning if I’ll run out earlier than the top of my journey.
Venture Fi means one cellphone, one SIM, and one plan with easy pricing virtually in every single place I journey.
Plus, Venture Fi is the uncommon service that really refunds you for knowledge you don’t use. So, if you happen to’re on a 4GB plan, however solely use 3.5 GB in a given month, you’ll obtain a refund for that 0.5 GB distinction.
What About Venture Fi Telephones?
The one potential wrinkle with Venture Fi is that their collection of telephones is proscribed.
Whereas this wasn’t a difficulty for me and the telephones they do provide are nice, this is perhaps a difficulty if you happen to’re useless set on utilizing a selected cellphone mannequin.
Listed below are the present new cellphone choices (as of Summer time 2018):
- Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- Motorola Moto G6
- Android One Moto X4
- LG G7 ThinQ
- LG V35 ThinQ
Technically, Venture Fi will work with different older telephones (just like the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, and Nexus 6P) as effectively. Google doesn’t formally help compatibility with such telephones, however it’s an choice. Simply know that, if you happen to run into technical snags making an attempt to setup, say, an iPhone with Venture Fi, you’re by yourself.
One good characteristic is that Fi prospects with respectable credit score can rating a brand new cellphone with a two-year, same-as-cash fee plan. So, as a substitute of dropping, say, USD $900 upfront on a shiny new LG V35 ThinQ, you may as a substitute pay about $38 per 30 days for 24 months with no curiosity.
Venture Fi additionally accepts trade-in telephones. Relying in your explicit mannequin, you may land a credit score of as much as USD $440 on the Google Retailer.
How’s Venture Fi’s Buyer Service?
I’ve wanted to name customer support twice within the final 18 months. The primary time was from the Dominican Republic days after I activated my service. My cellphone wasn’t connecting to the native community although it assured me that I had service. Seems Google wanted to make a couple of changes on their finish to get issues shifting alongside. They had been well mannered, environment friendly, and I used to be in enterprise in lower than 10 minutes.
The second time I referred to as was about a difficulty with my Nexus 6P (my first Venture Fi evaluation cellphone which turned out to be a junker wrought with points, however that’s a narrative for an additional day …). Sadly, the cellphone was six months out of guarantee, so there was nothing they might do.
However, I additionally wanted to switch my private cellphone quantity from AT&T (which I definitely gained’t miss) to Venture Fi. They prefilled all the mandatory particulars to facilitate the switch of their system. Then, I purchased a brand new Motorola Moto G6 by way of the Venture Fi web site.
When it arrived, I ported all my outdated cellphone’s particulars and transferred my AT&T quantity to Fi — all in about eight clicks. The whole course of, from receiving the package deal to twiddling with the brand new cellphone to receiving the textual content confirming the switch was full took lower than 20 minutes. That was final week, and it’s labored flawlessly since. I didn’t even should name AT&T to say, sayonara!
The Backside Line
After one minor hiccup within the D.R., my expertise with Venture Fi has been clean crusing since. Their customer support is spot-on, the high-speed protection works in 170+ nations, and the worth construction is straightforward, handy, and reasonably priced, notably for worldwide vacationers. Whereas their cellphone choice is proscribed, it does embrace among the greatest smartphones in the marketplace. All of which is why I extremely suggest Venture Fi.
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Are you a Fi buyer? What’s your personal Venture Fi evaluation?
The submit Why Fi? I Minimize My Worldwide Wi-fi Invoice in Half by Switching to Google Venture Fi appeared first on Vagabondish.