If you were just going to one country, then the alternative was to buy a SIM that would only work locally, but local SIMS posed problems because they also had local phone numbers.
Another option is to use international hotspots, which are available at many airports and on-line. These are portable devices that talk to cellular carriers and link to your phone or computer via WiFi. Notably, the connection is secure, which spares you from connecting to unprotected public connections all the time.
There are two main ways to obtain a mobile hotspot device: to buy your own or rent one for the duration of a trip. The former is a good option for folks who will need the coverage on several trips per year and don’t want to hassle with receiving and returning devices.
Renting is good for companies or people who don’t travel as frequently and don’t want to pay for the device.
When purchasing a device, typically you buy it and then pay a set daily rate on days you connect to the service.
When renting, you’ll typically order a device via the company website for your travel dates. The company then ships a device to you by expedited delivery (or you can pick up at company and affiliate branches, or even at airport kiosks).
The package you receive will include return mail instructions, packaging, and prepaid shipping and tracking labels, and at the end of your trip you ship it back (or take it to a provider office or kiosk if you prefer).