If you travel, you know the pain of getting online wherever you go. Either you pay offensive tethering charges when you really shouldn’t be, or, in some cases, it’s just impossible to access the Internet unless you’ve got an in-country SIM card. As we’re increasingly global, this is increasingly annoying, but there’s one Kickstarter, Anqor, that supposedly has the solution.
The Anqor itself is fairly straightforward, as a device. It’s about the size of a novelty paperback you get as a gift, and relatively light, although that’s just the prototype; the end goal device is roughly the size of an iPhone. And it works relatively simply, as well; it connects to a 3G or 4G network in the area you’re in, connects to up to ten of the devices you have handy, and we’re off to the races. It’s how it connects that’s more interesting.
As we all know, to access a local mobile network, you need a SIM card, which is profoundly annoying. What the Anqor does is determine where you are, riffle through the company’s library of SIM cards, upload the profile, and you’re done. The tradeoff, of course, is that this doesn’t come cheap. Global travelers looking for this convenience will be paying roughly $52 a month for the library, although you can pause a subscription at any time, and for just one country, it’ll be a more reasonable $16 a month.
If you’re a world traveler, you know from experience that you’ll be running around juggling SIM cards anyway, so you may as well clean some of the clutter out of your life. And, if you never leave the country but your job requires constant Internet access, this might be worth it as well. The device, without data plan, will start at around $270 if you get in early on the Kickstarter.