Ever had your vacation spoiled by an unreliable internet connection? A travel router can solve your problems. It connects your smartphone or laptop to the web by providing you with reliable Wi-Fi.
That means no more problems with getting directions or updating social media while on vacation. But there’s much more to travel routers than just internet access. Some even provide extra storage for sharing files or streaming music to other devices.
Don’t know which one to get? Have a look at our top picks of the best travel routers to pick the right one for you.
The HooToo TripMate Titan might not be the cheapest option on our list, but it’s certainly a great choice for a travel wireless router.
If you’re curious about how this router works, it converts a wired network into a wireless one via its Ethernet port. You can also use the HooToo wireless travel router as a portable battery charger, as it 10,400mAh power bank charges your gadgets.
The USB-A and micro-USB ports are hidden under the flaps that protect them against dust and dirt. It weighs under 9oz and is 3.74 x 1.73 x 1.73 inches big. Thus, it won’t take too much space in your suitcase or travel bag.
In order to start using your travel router, plug in the Ethernet cable to enable the HooToo as an access point and log in with any device to use it as a router. You can connect up to five devices to your HooToo at once.
If you’re looking for something even more pocket-size, check out the TP-Link N300. It only weighs 7.2oz and will literally fit in your pocket. This router has been around for a while, and still remains on top of the list when it comes to wireless travel routers.
It comes with an Ethernet port and powers via USB. However, it doesn’t offer a USB charging function. This one is more of a simple solution for someone who isn’t looking for anything fancy. Having said that, the TP-Link N300 is capable of hitting up to 300Mbps Wi-Fi speed.
So you won’t suffer through any lag when streaming music and video. Plus, this router is compatible with Google’s Chromecast.
If you thought the first two options were compact, get ready for the absolute tiniest among portable travel routers. TP-Link’s 150 wireless router only weighs 2.1oz while offering the features of the N300. And it comes with an attractive price tag.
The only downside to this one is the wireless speed, which is a little slower at 150Mbps. But that still should keep you covered for most of what you want to do online while traveling, including streaming video.
If you need more than the basics and want something with more features and functions, have a look at the RAVPower Filehub Plus. This device is so multifunctional, it might even allow you to leave behind some other devices you travel with.
It offers a fast 300Mbps network speed and has a 6000mAh battery to charge your devices. Among other perks of the RAVPower Filehub Plus are an SD card reader and USB port. That allows you to transfer files from memory cards to your computer, all with one travel device.
This router is also DLNA compatible, which means that you can plug in a hard drive with movies and other media and stream them directly to your smartphone, laptop, or a TV.
The GL AR300M Mini Travel Router made the list because of its speed. It supports 300Mbps, which might be faster than the router you have at home. It also comes with an internal 128MB of RAM. But that’s not all the perks you’ll get.
The router is open source and programmable. You can thus expand its capabilities by loading extra functionality, like support for webcams and USB disks. On top of that, this travel router has built-in support for VPN credentials. That means that if you have a VPN account for more secure browsing, you can connect all your devices through it when using the router.
If speed is the crucial factor for you when choosing a router, look no further than the TRENDnet TEW-817DTR. The speed limit on this one is up to 433Mbps. It weighs under two pounds and comes with interchangeable plugs for North America, the U.K., and Europe. This is great for international travel.
Capable of working with both 802.11ac and 802.11n devices, this travel router that will have you online in a snap, no matter which part of the world you end up in. And speed isn’t the only cool feature of this router. You can use the TRENDnet to stream music, movies, or photos to any device, like a smartphone, laptop, a TV, or other DLNA-device like Google’s Chromecast.
If any part of this router’s functionality doesn’t work for you, that’s not a problem. TRENDnet offers a three-year warranty and a 24/7 tech support, so you can address any setup questions to the company both from the U.S. and abroad.
Will You Take a Travel Router on Your Next Trip?
With wireless internet widely available in most parts of the world, one might argue that there’s no use for a travel router when you travel. However, if you have traveled enough, you’ll know how painful the search for the right Wi-Fi network can be. And even if/when you find one, it could still be pricey or difficult to connect.
On the other hand, having a portable travel router will solve this and possibly even a few other problems you might run into while on the road.