It’s now a year since I wrote Part 5 and my wife and I have lived in Ecuador for 3.5 years. This post is largely subjective based on my usage and mistakes in Cuenca.
This advice is meant for those on a limited budget and not bringing a container to Ecuador. I am going to start with the most important device and work by way down to the small items that you can’t find or that are expensive in Ecuador.
Smartphone: Invest in an unlocked Nexus 6 or iPhone 6+. These are relatively large phones sometimes called Phablets but they will be your best techonology friend in Ecuador. I also suggest you buy a data plan. In Cuneca I pay $32 a month for minutes and data and never run out of either one. Below are some uses other than voice and texting.
- Maps and directions
- Photo and video ( I haven’t used my expensive Canon in 4 months)
- Easy Taxi – requesting taxis at night and in bad weather
- Learning Spanish (Translate, SpanishDict, Duolingo)
- Music listening ( Amazon complete music library)
- Netflix (watching movies)
- Playing Bridge
Tablet: I have the iPad Mini w/ retina screen but I can highly recommend the Nexus 7. I recommend the larger tablets ( The iPad Air is an excellent choice) if you are not going to bring your computer. I’m sticking to my recommendation of not bringing a computer if you don’t need it for business or serious photo/video editing. A large tablet with a bluetooth keyboard will be powerful and very portable.
Streaming Boxes: These hockey puck devices will be your night time companions if you enjoy watching movies and TV series. You can’t go wrong with the ones below:
- Apple TV
- Roku 3
- Amazon Fire TV
Basically you can watch TV series and movies with these devices connected to your TV. They also have the added advantage of wirelessly connecting some of your devices ( computer, iphone tablet ) wirellessly to your TV. Important note ***. To fully utilize these services you need to purchase a VPN (virtual private network) Router. I use the Sabai Cisco router because of the excellent technical support. I go to great lengths to describe the challenges of watching TV/Movies in Ecuador. I recommend using the search facility on this blog and typing in “VPN” and you will see several posts with recommendations.
Google just came out with their own streaming box called Nexus Player but I haven’t seen enough reviews to recommend buying that device.
- Netflix subscription- $9 per month – Invaluable
- Amazon Prime subscription $8.25 per month – (Music, Movies, Books, Unlimited Photo Storage(
- Bluetooth keyboard for your tablet or smarthone
- Thumb drives (32 gb) for transferring information or bring data to be printed
- VPN subscription – I use Strong VPN and it’s about $8 a month
- Skype subscription – Free Video Calls to other Skype users.
- MagicJack – Practically free phone calls to any cell or landline in the U.S.
Some of the subscribers of this blog have great success with Ooma. It’s worth a look for cheap and dependable calls back to the U.S.
Again this are my recommendations based on my experience. I haven’t used my DVD player in 2 months and my camera in 4 months. Save the room in your suitcases for good sheets and towels 🙂