If you have ever poked around your TP-Link Mobile Wi-Fi (MiFi) settings, you may have stumbled upon a feature called “Data Roaming.” Even if you already recognize it, you may be wondering just what it is and how to use it properly.
What is data roaming?
To answer this question, let’s start with some background.
MiFi works just like a hot spot. It generates Wi-Fi networks from a plugged-in micro SIM card (Subscriber Identity Module card), while the actual internet access comes from your cellular carrier.
SIM cards are small chips equipped inside mobile devices. They store necessary information that a mobile device needs to communicate with cell towers of the carrier, which is a basic component of mobile networks.
For example, when surfing via a cellular network, the phone transmits data through the air. The nearest cell tower receives and transmits data to other cell towers, then they work together to carry it to other devices, and vice versa.
Yet, not all cell towers in the world are built and operated by the same company. They belong to various mobile carriers in different regions. And most carriers’ transceiver cell towers are mainly located in planned areas to provide available signal coverage. For instance, it’s easy to get cellular signals provided by the EE company if you are in the UK thanks to its excellent coverage. While traveling, your phone may gradually lose connection only to get connected to towers of EE’s corporate partners. This is what we refer to as “data roaming.”
How to use data roaming properly on TP-Link MiFi
Data roaming usually happens when you keep using the original SIM card while traveling abroad. The following are some tips for when you have a roaming micro SIM card on your TP-Link MiFi.
First and foremost, contact your cellular carrier to learn details about its roaming plans, then:
- Make sure your cellular carrier provides international data roaming service.
- Make sure the supported network types in available roaming areas are compatible with your TP-Link MiFi.
Tip: You can find related information of your model in Specifications > Network Type at https://www.tp-link.com/
- Check if it’s needed to activate the roaming service before using it.
- Ask if there are any cost-efficient roaming solutions.
Second, enable the Data Roaming feature on your TP-Link MiFi settings. Since data roaming typically incurs extra cost (not always), this function is disabled by default. You can enable it through the web management page or tpMiFi app. For detailed instructions, refer to How to use MiFi in foreign countries?