Portable Wifi-box or not?

Hello all,

I currently rent a two bedroom place (entire place) on Air in Seoul, South Korea. I have high speed wifi in the apartment, but I’ve had a few inquiries about whether I provide a portable wifi box.

Currently it seems like 1/4 listings in the area offer a portable wifi box.

I have a few questions about the portable wifi box.

  1. Does anyone have experience providing them to guests? (I’m wondering if it’ll be a headache for me)
  2. Would I need to attach a security deposit to apartment (currently don’t) to protect against a lost/damaged device? Would Air cover the expenses if I just made a claim? How could I best protect myself?

Any insight would be appreciated. BTW, not really struggling with bookings. Currently above 70% occupancy for the first 3 months the apartment has been up. Just gauging if it’ll improve guest satisfaction and future bookings.

Thank you!

Wi-fi is so prevalent now that I’m not surprised people prefer it, especially for those who only travel with cell phones and need the wi-fi if their cell signal is poor.

I would get wi-fi, if it were me.

I don’t think that @TuMo actually answered the correct question. Portable WIFI, as you call it, is actually called MIFI. The boxes are about $200 and you can carry them with you receiving a signal from a cell provider. The cost of the monthly data plan is based on your local market, but here, if I added it to my regular cell phone plan would be about $20/month.

Loosing that MIFI box is absolutely a concern, as is theft.

I have rented these boxes in Spain and Turkey and the cost was about $5/day.

If your competition is offering these boxes at no charge, that is a huge benefit to foreign travelers. Your guests can continue to use their phones while out of the AirBNB space and don’t need to buy a local SIM card for phone calls, etc. But, that loss factor is concerning. I bet that your home owners insurance might be willing to cover this, or if you purchased it with an AMEX card, you would get their theft insurance on the device.

I have seriously considered offering such a unit, but haven’t figured out how to secure a deposit for the unit using the AirBNB system without violating the TOS.

1 Like

Let me share my experiences about this issue, because I have founded a mobile wifi rental company in Turkey. I think @smtucker was one of our clients in 2015 if I’m not mistaken :))) The world is small after all.

If you are OK with monthly cost of data plan, I can strongly advise you to offer mobile hotspots for your guests, it will create a very positive impact, and since it is something interesting, your guests will definitely mention it in their reviews. Another good advantage for glowing reviews.

I’m also an Airbnb host and started Alldaywifi.com with my Airbnb guests first and they loved it.

Let me give you some statistics. We are renting out 100s of MIFIs everyday and our stolen/lost percentage is less than 0.5%. Our guests are paying a daily fee and agree to pay a deposit in case of lost device, but this is a very rare incident according to my data.

Besides that, you can add a small note about security deposit of your portable wifi into your house rules. In case of a lost, you can open a ticket on Airbnb and ask for security deposit, since Airbnb has this option for extra services host offers.

After all, it is a very good additional item to create a very positive affect on your guests’ overall experience in your country.


Yes!!! I was one of your clients in Istanbul. What a small world it is after all. [That is a silly American song.]

To expand on @erincerinc 's service. They delivered the unit with power charger and wires to my apartment, leaving it with the manager. When the time was over, I left that same unit with the same manager and they sent someone to pick it up. This was about the most convenient service I have ever used. In Spain, I had to pay to have the unit delivered to Malaga, and then to save money, I returned the unit in person in Barcelona.

I will add that if you offer a MIFI and make it part of your listing, you will now be personally responsible for tech support. If that isn’t something you are comfortable with [teaching idiots how to do simple things calmly and patiently] you might be better off finding a nearby service that you could recommend for your guests.


Very cool site and service. It’s reassuring to know that the stolen/lost percentages are so low. I will start pricing rentals on Monday and see if they have plans that would work.

I give a MIFI to my guests, but I ask 100Euro deposit to cover the loss of the device

1 Like

I do provide wifi in the apartment, the question was in regards to portable wifi or Mifi as I have now learned. Nice way of throwing your plug in though

1 Like

True 'dat!!!

20 20 20

@r_davis_ROK - Glad to hear you are offering Wifi. My response was meant to highlight (in response to your comment above - “Just gauging if it’ll improve guest satisfaction and future bookings”) that it’s an important feature of having it in your apartment.

From what we see and speaking to a few property managers yesterday for you to get a sense of what guests want, many hosts don’t think to provide it either in the MiFi version or the fixed line WiFi version. MiFi has become a norm in terms of expectation as guests don’t want to deal with the hassle of purchasing sim cards at airports (or via the internent) and having to download new settings for their mobile devices. Knowing their host has organised MiFi in advance makes a big difference to reviews as well. Hope it’s working out for you. If you are still pricing, let me know as we have some property managers who could recommend the providers they use.

Where exactly is this the norm? I can’t find one listing in my large metropolitan area that offers this amenity. Certainly never saw one last year when we were traveling around France, Spain and Turkiye.

That’s my point @smtucker - guests are expecting it (so the norm around expectation) but in many cities, hosts still aren’t providing it.

If you look at Airbnb’s in Japan, a high proportion are offering it.