Oh OK, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little bit, but this unit was extremely helpful to us whilst in hospital. I'll sort of gloss over the fact that we had ordered it because we were in fact meant to be away on a holiday in France over half term (*sobs quietly into the Pimms*) and just get straight onto telling you what it's all about so you can plan ahead for summer. Or for your next hospital stay, maybe.
The TEP unit is a wireless modem that connects any WiFi enabled device to 3G internet. This means you can hook up laptops, smart phones or tablets - yes, I know it's slightly sad that we wouldn't consider going on holiday without these, but Sasha is our excuse for this. Whilst we could all cope without for a week (*coughs*), Sasha uses her iPad to switch off from the outside world and de-stress. I think lots of us like to do that if we're being honest....
So the unit comes with all you need in a compact soft pouch. Included is the unit itself, a user guide, a nifty little plug for charging which covers all 3 and 2 pin sockets, and the lead for when you need to charge it. Also included is the pre-paid postal envelope so you can return the unit at the end of your rental period - my advice would be to keep this in the pouch at all times...
It was so simple to use - just switch on and the unit finds the best signal, then you locate the passcode on the TEP unit, check under the wifi settings on your device to link up with the TEP, enter the code and press start! It resets the connection every 24 hours but you don't need to go through the whole process again, you simply choose yes to confirm another 24 hours use.
Up to 5 devices can share one TEP pocket wifi at any one time, but bear in mind the more devices which are hooked up, the slower the download speeds will be. We had three devices on the go off one unit at once though and didn't notice any problems, even with the girls watching YouTube.
I'd never have thought of using it in hospital, but the first hospital we were in had limited wifi, meaning Sasha could only watch videos rather than YouTube for the first 4 days. When we were transferred to the Royal Brompton, it felt like a luxury to have full wifi access there, but that posed a problem when we realised we were about to be transferred back to the original hospital and full wifi would be lost! So the unit came in very handy as we plugged in as soon as we got back to the original hospital and Sasha had virtually uninterrupted YouTube viewing (but ssshhh, don't tell anyone...).
We found another great use for the unit once we'd left hospital too. In our new house, which is currently 'awaiting renovation', there isn't any wifi yet - or at least there wasn't, until we took along this portable unit! So not just suitable for holidays, it can be a lifeline in other situations.
The order process online is so simple, and it can be delivered direct to your door a day or so before your rental period, or direct to your destination, or you can arrange to collect from London Heathrow or Paddington station. They cover everywhere you might want to go on holiday, Europe, America, Australia etc. Great service, really couldn't be simpler. For more details and answers to all your questions, check out the TEP FAQs. If you'd like to order one, visit their website!