Let me start with this “disclaimer”… I shop local when I can because I love to support “Mom and Pop” stores in my own backyard. From CRAFTEDin San Pedro with their original wares by local artisans to flea markets and local box stores. But, when I need something fast, not readily available or in bulk, I go to my computer and click on Amazon. In this blog, I am going to have a little fun and tell you about my favorite items for tech, travel and back to school as TOMORROW, July 16th, starts their widely popular AMAZON PRIME DAYS. This is when they will suggest and make offers on thousands of GREAT DEALS! But, I am throwing my faves in to this “mix”, too!
And, in turn I want to know your favorites – so use the comment section below. Note, as am Amazon Influencer, I get my “own favorites page” that you will find right below. There are many more items listed on this page than blog space allows and that any proceeds from this page to me go directly to back to the community as I support a wide variety of charities.
I love having all my essential travel products for hygiene in one zipper kit that doubles as a nice bag, too. There are many different configurations of the Convenience Kits line, so check them all out for one of your faves!
I NEVER leave home for a long trip without this inflatable pillow by Therm-A-Rest! This product is the envy of everyone who spots it on flights and train rides and wishes they had one, too!
I first was introduced to the Vision Global WIFIproduct line while attending the LA TRAVEL and ADVENTURE SHOW. I had just returned from Japan, so immediately felt an overwhelming source of irony that I had spent ten days while in Japan seeking viable WIFI options would find them in my own backyard just a day after my return!
After several meetings with representatives from Vision Global WIFI, I agreed to take two of their products out for a “test run” and also have an affiliate account if others were interested. (Consider this my disclaimer, too.)
The two products I have been using are their G2: 4G Wireless Data Terminal for international and United States data needs and the MiFi device by Verizon, strictly for use within the USA. Both arrived within a day of my ordering and were packaged with all the accessory ancillary pieces in one nice carrying pouch.
The G2/4G is a hunk of a powerful tool. It is a little bit hefty but, when you consider you are able to connect with lightening speed to WIFI it is worth the few extra ounces. This device came with international connections – to help with recharging, etc. I would definitely suggest this product to those “on the go” with their travels. That includes bloggers and influencers who need to be “always on the ready” for their trips.
NOTE: Keep in mind that Global Vision WIFI is seeking bloggers/ influencers for their new affiliate program, so if that describes YOU – connect here.
In all honestly, I have been toting around the MiFi device for a few weeks now and love it. As you may know, I often am working as a social media correspondent in places that have little to no WIFI. You would think that a major hotel or red carpet would come equipped with WIFI – but no such luck. In lieu of eating up my data plan, I have been using this MiFi device and give it two thumbs up. The cost is almost a “break even” if I was to increase my personal data plan instead of using this device. The advantage is that other media correspondents and myself could connect to the same device at the same time. Thus, we didn’t waste unnecessary data on five devices.
The plusses are many, but one of my favorites is the seemingly endless battery life. I am not the best at recharging WIFI units, but this one seems to have an extra long battery life and that has saved me many times. Here is an example, just this past week I was visiting at the magnificient Terranea Resort. While my friend and her hotel room had WIFI we had so many devices going at once during our work meeting I was afraid we wouldn’t get super connectivity. Then we heard a band playing outside her room. What a concert? Yes, indeed! Apparently, One Republic was booked at the resort for a private concert and we had first row seats! Now I needed a stronger signal to record this impromptu event and didn’t want to use a ton of my data – so I popped out my Vision Global MiFi device and three of us were able to record and post to social media without any interruption in service or connection. The device was still charged after being in purse for almost a week!
Takeaway- have this device in your pocket/ pocketbook for those times when you need WIFI and a strong signal without wanting to use your data plan.
I recently interviewed Luke Nakagawa, representative from Vision Global WIFI. Here’s more of the scoop:
(Louise) How many devices can connect to these WIFI devices?
(Luke) One device can connect up to 5 devices. Great for family vacations.
(Louise) Where are users able to get services?
(Luke) The G2 can be used in more than 60 countries alone. (That is the device I mentioned above). We cover more than 130 countries with all the devices available.
( Louise) What about service in the United States?
( Luke) The US device is mainly for customers that visit US, not customers looking to rent for domestic use.
(Note: I would almost have to add that US customers would like this device if they are going places where they don’t want to use their data, such as vacations, media correspondents, travel by Recreational Vehicle, sporting events, etc.)
( Louise) Any discounts or incentives?
(Luke) After 13 days our long-term discount kicks in so looking at a more affordable connection up until 30days.
The extra message from Vision Global WIFI is simply… If you are a blogger or influencer and often travel – they want to talk with you.
Have you ever traveled to a place that has pretty slim pickings when it comes to WIFI friendly establishments? Or have ended up in a hotel that wants to charge you $8 or more a day for a single device use? Maybe you are at a conference and the venue isn’t providing free WIFI except for in the lobby. And my personal favorite – when your own WIFI service doesn’t work in port when you are on a cruise. For a person like me, who is WIFI dependent, a frequent traveler and often can’t “do without”, I need reliable WIFI?
Recently, I met at the LA TRAVEL and ADVENTURE SHOW my solution to help me out – Vision Global WIFI. This company offers pocket sized portable WIFI hotspots that can be flexible with their service packages and powerful enough for five devices to work off a single device. Great for people on the go, go, go!
Based in Japan, Vision Global WIFI, has a huge presence in Asia between their Wifi device rentals and their popular SIM card business. Now they are seeking to “break-out” in to the United States market with a robust social media marketing campaign.
First, let’s learn how it works. In the United States you can order via this easy link and it will arrive FedEx. Be sure to let them know the exact length of your rental needs. The rental starts from your departure date from the US until the return date to the US. Next, request to learn about the options for rental devices. Chances are you will rent their most popular and agnostic device that can provide you with Wifi access across 130 countries! Next decide on a plan. It is important to convey the exact length of your needs – 14 days, 30 days, etc.
Unlike other plans, a major differentiator is that FIVE devices can use the same equipment as long as you are within radius and for usually less money that running competitor versions or racking up data usage bills on your mobile phone plans.
Once the device is literally “in hand” set-up is easy peasy!
Step 1: Turn on the WIFI device and set your telephone / computer/ tablet to receive a WIFI signal
Step 2: When the device is on you will see the WIFI address. Look for the address on your personal device, as well.
Step 3: Add the password that will appear under the Wifi Name (my photo does not show this for security reasons.)
Step 4: When you return from your trip or the period of loaning is completed- be sure to return pronto!
Now, I am about to embark on using the above Vision Global WIFI device in order to give an authentic review of the actual workability. So far, during my set-up process, I was duly impressed. It was less than two minutes and I was set up and ready to use the incredibly fast WIFI.
Note: I am receiving this device free of charge in exchange for an honest review. But, I promise to let you know the pros and cons, as transparency is what social media should be all about.
This winner to this Giveaway has been announced and awarded. Thank you for your interest.
~Louise Sattler March 5, 2015
Earlier this week I wrote a blog that introduced FREEDOME – a new technology by F-SECURE that uses VPN to stop hackers and phishing on your mobile devices. I installed it earlier this week and five days later I am shocked to learn that 241 tracking attempts on my iPhone have been blocked. (See the slideshow below for snapshots of what a tracking “window” looks like on this app) I am duly impressed with this app and that is why I agreed to hold a sponsored giveaway contest to encourage my readers to at least look in to FREEDOME and see if you too would like some extra layers of online security.
F-Secure is offering an opportunity for me to hold a giveaway of a iPAD MINI 3 and one year of a FREEDOME subscription
I just watched a video that has gone viral about the “good old days”, titled –I CAN’T BELIEVE WE MADE IT. It really highlighted how “baby boomers” were raised as “outside” children who used motor skills far and beyond their opposing thumbs on a gaming controller. It also discussed how we were a culture that took more “risks”, found networking in our school yards not our computers, and gave respect where and when it was due.
It got me thinking that the newer generations may share many of the same values, yet some things are lost on our millenials. Case in point- the use of a PHONE! Now please note that I am a lover of the text message, afterall it was one of the first really contemporary technologies that helped the Deaf community have equal access. However, there is a time when I wish people would simply CALL ME. (Am I the only one?)
I also wish that when a company says “If you have a question please CALL us at 123-45-6789” that they would ANSWER the phone. Especially if the question is time sensitive, such as wanting medical reports, information from a billing office or about my LA taxes! (Yes, tried to EMAIL all of the aforementioned, too… same result.. nada!)
So I write this article with the hope that those who are of my generation will share on what I am missing (when is the best time to call a company and get a HUMAN to answer) and also millenials will convince me that I am simply wasting my time and give me more viable options. Oh.. and here is the video that got my brain thinking about all this “phone stuff”…
I wrote a blog earlier this month that highlighted some of my favorite women bloggers. That blog was just the beginning. Please meet some more of my favorite women bloggers and know that there WILL be a Part 3 forthcoming!
It is not easy being a parent and juggling all there is to do in a course of a day! Sometimes raising a family and trying to be a good employee can conflict. Sharon is there to be the voice of reason. Known to many by her popular website: http://www.proactiveparenting.net/ . Sharon also can be found on MOMTV.com and soon in a bookstore near you with her soon to be released parenting book. You will love getting to know Sharon Silver through the many media outlets simply at your fingertips. I am proud to call her a friend for life!
Margaret McSweeney is one of the kindest and gentlest souls I have EVER met! She mixes southern charm with good old city “know how” in all she does. Her passion is to help and support girls/women in crisis. She is deeply rooted in her Christian faith, however is open to discussing on her blog all kinds of topics. I truly am a fan. Margaret, like me, is also an addict of the FLIP Camera! Connect with Margaret on Twitter as @McSweeney
I first met Beth a few months ago in sunny, albeit windy, Chicago. She is a stitch! I must say that I love a woman who brings her laptop to a meet and greet lunch! She is non-stop, highly caffeinated and ultra groovy. She also is a terrific talent, writer and a single mom. Her agenda is to help families, especially mom’s post-divorce. You will LOVE Beth and her Mommy On a Shoe String partner- JENNA RIGGS. I have never met, Jenna in person, but we both have an interest in children’s literacy and the arts. She also is a media personality and quite the traveler. She and Beth have been best friends since college. You have to admire a duo that can sustain such a long and deep friendship through “thick and thin”.
Sometimes you meet people virtually and just know that you could be the best of friends because you both strive for a common cause- that is how I felt when I “met” Debi Taylor from the Sprit of Autism. This mom of a child with Autism also dedicates her energies to being an EMT. She has written some of the soundest informational packets to help Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) learn more about helping children with Autism. I admire her stamina and love her blog. Connect with Debi on TWITTER – @SpiritofAutism