≡ Menu

Review: The goTenna, Communicate Via Smartphone Without A WIFI Or Mobile Connection

The goTenna is a device that allows for mobile communication without an internet connection.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

The goTenna is a device which allows a user to communicated with people with their mobile phones without a WIFI or mobile connection.

gotenna (3)

It is basically a six inch antenna that you can connect to your phone via bluetooth and their specialized app. All of the people you wish to communicate with must also have the antennae and app hooked up to their phones — you can’t use it to communicate with just anybody — and they must be within a mile from you. It basically gives your mobile phone walkie talkie functionality — walkie talkie functionality in the form of text messages. There are no voice capabilities.

Its creators said they got the idea for the product when at a crowded concert where there was too much mobile interference to communicate with their group.

One of the goTenna’s biggest upsides is that it allows for GPS and mapping access from anywhere in the world. This means that you can be far outside the range of an internet connection and have real time access to maps. In my opinion, this is actually one of the product’s most beneficial features.

At first, this seemed like an extremely useful device for those times when you are out with a group of people beyond the bounds of WIFI and mobile data — such as when hiking, in the desert, on a cruise ship, or in a country that you don’t want to be bothered to get a local sim card and mobile plan in. I was excited to get this product for this reason — I could really use something like this when out traveling with my family. But its limitations are currently severe. The range is short, the only people that you can communicate with also must have the antennae attached, powered on, and have the goTenna app installed, and you can only text.

gotenna (4)

It seems as if the goTenna’s developers are on to something. If they could just tweak a few things this could be a big boost for communicating when traveling in remote locations.

Find out more about the goTenna here.


The only way I can continue my travels and publishing this blog is by generous contributions from readers. If you can, please subscribe for just $5 per month:


If you like what you just read, please sign up for our newsletter!
* indicates required
Filed under: Travel Gear

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3722 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: New York City

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment