The best travel routers allow you to stay connected no matter where you are in the world. Look, we all say on our out-of-office email auto-responders that we won’t be able to access the internet because we’ll be traveling.
But, in reality, we usually bring several, if not all, of our devices with us for our own convenience. What about internet access? It’s nearly impossible to be disconnected.
But that is precisely why you should investigate what travel wifi routers can do for you. Joining any old wifi that happens to be nearby is not always secure or reliable. In remote areas, the internet can also be less reliable than we would like.
In these situations, a travel wifi router, which is a smaller, portable version of the wifi routers we keep at home, is the solution.
Bryan Mondy, a Dallas-based travel consultant, never leaves home without one of his own travel routers, saying, “It always comes in handy and keeps us connected, especially in remote areas here in the United States and abroad.”
Small, compact, and essential for those who enjoy traveling and staying connected.”
But, with so many travel routers on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?
What Exactly Is A Travel Router?
A travel router is a wireless range extender designed for people who are constantly on the move and need to connect to the Internet while away from home. It can also function as a wireless access point.
Just as you would use a home WiFi router to connect your devices to the Internet at home, you may want to consider carrying a portable router with you when you travel.
What Exactly Does A Travel Router Do?
What exactly does a Travel Router do?
Wireless travel routers have a variety of features, but the main one is that they extend the range of existing wireless Internet networks.
For example, if you are in a hotel with a weak wireless signal and are having trouble connecting with your laptop or phone, the travel router will amplify the signal and allow you to connect more easily. Here’s a rundown of the key features of a travel router:
1. Extending Range of Wireless Networks
A travel router can extend the range of wireless networks, allowing you to connect to a network that you may not have been able to connect to with your device due to a weak signal.
A travel router’s powerful antenna can pick up on this weak signal and amplify it so that your devices can connect to it.
2. Protect Devices
To better protect your devices, the travel router also creates a secure wireless network at a public hotspot. When we travel, the networks we connect to are frequently unsecured and unencrypted, which means that anyone could theoretically intercept passwords or other data that we send to and from the internet.
Travel routers include a firewall that protects your personal devices from known DoS attacks and Internet port scans, providing you with a more secure internet connection. However, sharing sensitive information over a public connection is still not advised.
3. Connecting in Multiple Devices
With a travel router, you can connect multiple devices to a network while using a single login. Networks see the travel router as a single device, so even if you only have one login, you can use multiple devices.
You only need to log in once from the travel router using a web browser (or, in some cases, a smartphone app provided by the travel router), and then all of your devices can connect to the network created by the travel router.
4. For Wifi Bridges
Some travel routers can also function as WiFi bridges. These have Ethernet ports, allowing you to wirelessly connect Ethernet-enabled devices to an existing WiFi network. Internet-enabled televisions, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles are examples of such devices.
5. Connect to a Wired Network
Other features of travel routers may include the ability to connect to a wired network and convert it to a wireless network, as well as the ability to charge devices such as phones via USB.
To function without power and even as an SD Card reader or media hub. Some travel routers (including one on our list) can also function as mobile hotspots, but this is unusual. More options in this category can be found in our guide to mobile hotspots.
Top Travel Router Picks By Our Team
Having access to a secure internet connection is essential when traveling for work or pleasure. Most public Wi-Fi networks are insecure, as they can be hacked by anyone, putting your data at risk.
They can also be slow and unreliable, which is dangerous if you are under a time constraint. Many travelers instead carry a portable wireless travel router, which provides them with instant access to a secure wireless network.
This way, you’ll never miss an important Zoom call, you can keep the kids entertained with Netflix, and you can send photos from your trip to friends back home.
1. Overall winner: TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750 Travel Router
Overall winner: TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750 Travel Router
|For frequent travelers, the compact size is ideal.||The included cables are quite short.|
|Quick performance||Security issues exist in older units.|
The TL-WR902AC from TP-Link is an impressive little travel router that, despite its small size, provides lightning-fast performance. This tiny device is also ideal for travel because it takes up very little space in any luggage or briefcase—it can literally fit in your pocket.
The router not only provides impressive dual-band Wi-Fi performance—up to 433Mbps on the 5GHz 802.11ac side—but it is also extremely versatile.
It serves as a router, a range extender (if your home Wi-Fi is weak in certain areas), a private Wi-Fi hotspot for WISP networks, and even a Wi-Fi client, allowing you to connect a wired device to a Wi-Fi network via its built-in Ethernet port. Use it to securely browse the web or work from anywhere.
However, keep in mind that the included cables are on the short side, so position them accordingly. Overall, it’s a great option for anyone looking for a secure, fast, and low-cost travel router—just make sure to get the most recent model, as older models lack up-to-date firmware and are no longer secure.
2. AC750 Wireless Travel Router RAVPower FileHub (RP-WD009)
AC750 Wireless Travel Router RAVPower FileHub (RP-WD009)
|Dual-band||difficult to set up,|
|long battery life||slow transfer speed|
Our travel router review on this lesser-known brand praises the RAVPower unit’s half-pound weight and slim dimensions, which make it easy to pack. This device easily connects to hotel wifi and has an ethernet port for when you’d rather use the hotel’s wired internet.
Even when streaming to multiple devices, the battery life is more than adequate thanks to a 6700 mAh external USB battery. It also works well for file transfers.
You can use this dual-band travel router to get those Instagrammable vacation photos and videos off your phone each night at the hotel, allowing you to take more Instagrammable vacation photos and videos.
The full-size SD card slot supports a variety of formats. Although it is not a hotspot, it is a useful wifi network hub that can be connected to a mobile hotspot and then used as a bridge for your other devices.
READ ALSO: How To Troubleshoot Xfinity Router Blinking Orange? (7 Easy Methods To Try)
3. Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router is the best splurge.
Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router is the best splurge.
|Excellent choice for frequent internet users||Extremely expensive|
|Supports up to 20 Wi-Fi devices at once.||It has the potential to overheat from time to time.|
|The battery life is increased.|
It has the potential to overheat from time to time. Netgear is well-known for producing high-quality home and business routers, so it’s not surprising that it also produces a premium mobile travel router.
If you need to do serious online work, this device is worth considering because it can support up to 20 devices at once while providing fast, powerful, and secure internet speeds.
Unlike the majority of the other travel routers reviewed here, the Nighthawk M1 also functions as a 4G LTE mobile hotspot, allowing you to connect to its Wi-Fi network and access the internet even when there is no other Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection available.
It’s also the first mobile hotspot to support Gigabit LTE, with 4X4 MIMO and four-band Carrier Aggregation, so it can compete in terms of internet speed with your home broadband connection.
The Nighthawk M1 has a good 24-hour battery life per charge and can charge other USB devices like your smartphone. The addition of an LCD screen, which allows you to easily monitor your data usage and signal strength, is also a plus.
The Nighthawk M1 can easily handle large downloads and heavy internet use if you don’t mind spending a little more money on a device.
4. Titan HooToo
|Small size||Slow streaming|
|Nas Capability||A little unappealing|
The HooToo wireless travel router, weighing only nine ounces, can convert a wired network to a wireless network. It is simple to connect multiple devices once they have been configured to connect to available wifi.
If you plug in a flash drive or other external storage, the travel wifi router can also function as a network-attached storage device. The HooToo router is also one of the best portable wifi routers because of its massive 10,400mAh power bank, which allows you to charge your devices while on the go.
Prepare to read and re-read the instructions–they’re a little hazy and probably weren’t written in English, to begin with. It has a 2.4 GHz radiofrequency, a USB-A port, a micro USB port, and an Ethernet port.
5. The best range is provided by the TP-Link TL-WR802N N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router.
The best range is provided by the TP-Link TL-WR802N N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router.
|We like the fast single-band Wi-Fi performance.||There is no USB port.|
|Simple to assemble|
When connected to multiple devices, internet speeds are not the fastest.
The TP-Link TL-WR802N N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router is a cute, compact, and pocket-sized router that delivers 300MB per second for gaming, fast downloads, or simply browsing the web. Despite its small size, the device has a powerful range, allowing you to extend the reach of your Wi-Fi across a large area.
It’s a single-band 2.4GHz network rather than a dual-band, but it should be sufficient for one person as long as you’re not using it in extremely congested areas.
If you’re new to wireless routers, the N300 is simple to set up and use, allowing you to connect for all of your basic internet needs, such as streaming, browsing social media, and checking email. There are also five useful modes included, allowing you to use the N300 to create hotspots or extend the range of your home Wi-Fi.
It can also be used as a wired network to connect to devices that do not have wireless capability, such as printers. While it isn’t the fastest router, especially when multiple users are logged in, the N300 is still a cost-effective and versatile wireless router for leisure or business travel.
6. Securifi Almond – Touchscreen Wireless Router/Range Extender (3 Minute Setup) – Fastest
Securifi Almond – Touchscreen Wireless Router/Range Extender (3 Minute Setup) – Fastest
|It is unique as it comes with a dual-band||Only one USB port is available.|
|highly encrypted security to secure your files|
|It gives the highest speed over WiFi|
This router is made by Securifi Almond, a company known for its high quality and compatibility. The connectivity technology is both wireless and wired. It has a data transfer rate of up to 300 megabits per second. The wireless connection type is 802.11 bgn.
There are three ports on this device. Almond is the only brand that offers its customers wireless touch routers. It is very simple to set up, taking less than 3 minutes. Furthermore, it can function as both a range extender and a wireless router.
Using the touch feature, you can easily set up the router on your own. This device has the most up-to-date features and technology. When compared to other routers, the transmission speed is unrivaled. It only takes 3 minutes to set up all of the systems.
Its new touch wireless technology aids in the avoidance of MAC-based setup. This router can serve multiple functions, including that of a router extender and a wireless router. It is the first router in history to provide its customers with touch wireless technology. It also helps to extend the range of the connection.
The router’s security is enhanced by the latest technologies, which protect your router from a location tracking system. It also works with Amazon Alexa and can function as such.
This router includes a parental control feature that allows you to monitor your children’s internet usage and even set a time limit for them to use the internet.
7. The GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel Router is the best option for power users.
The GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel Router is the best option for power users.
|Up to 750 Mbps||None|
|the capacity of up to 128 GB|
This dual-band router was created by GL.iNet to meet all of your needs. It has a top speed of 750 megabytes per second. You can connect it wirelessly or via ethernet. This device is designed primarily for people who want to use WiFi in public places.
WiFi security is extremely strong. It is compatible with over 30 VPN services. This router makes it simple to connect to multiple workplaces. It has a storage capacity of up to 128 GB for your files and documents.
It is distinctive in that it provides dual-band and highly encrypted security to protect your files and document sharing. This router is compatible with over 30 different VPN service providers. It provides the fastest WiFi speed, i.e. more than 400MB per second.
The device has three different LED indicators that help you determine its speed and power connectivity. The router includes integrated media protocols that improve your music and video streaming experience.
8. The GL.iNet Mudi GL-E750 Portable 4G LTE Mini Travel Router is ideal for road warriors.
The GL.iNet Mudi GL-E750 Portable 4G LTE Mini Travel Router is ideal for road warriors.
|It functions as a 4G LTE mobile hotspot.||There is no external antenna.|
|Fast internet from a long-lasting device|
|Fast internet from a long-lasting device|
The GL.iNet Mudi GL-E750 Portable 4G LTE Router is an excellent choice for frequent travelers, providing a high-quality router from a reputable brand. This router comes with a slew of useful features, such as 4G LTE support, OpenVPN, OpenWRT support, 128GB of internal storage, and DNS encryption.
When these features are combined, users have a versatile router with a plethora of security features, ideal for safeguarding trade secrets and confidential company data. The router is small, smooth, and compact, and it fits easily into any briefcase or camera bag.
When you’re ready to work, the device has an eight-hour battery life and fast download speeds, allowing you to work efficiently.
This router, like the GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext reviewed above, has a plethora of complex features that may be overkill for the average traveler. The GL.iNet Mudi GL-E750, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for business travel, where speed and security are critical.
9. Mini VPN Travel Router GL.iNet GL-AR300M
Mini VPN Travel Router GL.iNet GL-AR300M
|fast wifi||Setup is difficult|
|VPN support.||you will need your own USB wall adapter|
|the small but powerful size|
It’s a portable wireless router workhorse with pre-installed Openwrt firmware that supports a long list of VPN service providers and hotspots. The OpenWRT firmware provides you with 2000 packages for any type of customization you require.
In addition, it has two WAN/LAN Ethernet ports, one USB 2.0 port, and one micro USB port. While it is a dependable wireless travel router, it does require a 5V/1A wall charger. If you want to send all of your devices through a VPN client, you’ll like this one because it’s ready to protect your privacy right out of the box.
10. TRENDnet Wireless N 150 Mbps Router for Travel
TRENDnet Wireless N 150 Mbps Router for Travel
|interchangeable plugs||sluggish performance|
|charging devices||limited range|
When plugged into a wall outlet, this low-cost travel wifi router also functions as a wifi extender. Swappable plugs are included, allowing you to use them in North America, the United Kingdom, and the rest of Europe. Why doesn’t everything that requires electricity do this?
It has three connection modes: router via ethernet or wifi, repeater, and AP. Its maximum data transport speed is 150Mbps with a 2.4 GHz band connection. By sliding the button on the side, you can select the appropriate connection mode. It also has an ethernet port and two USB ports, one for sharing files and the other for powering your other small devices.
However, there is no streaming. This is an excellent travel router for signal extending, charging devices via the USB port, and sharing files. You can disable the network capability without interfering with the USB functions. Plug it in where you need it all the time, or keep it in your bag for those road warrior days.
11. Mini Travel Router GL.iNet GL-AR150
Mini Travel Router GL.iNet GL-AR150
|We like the built-in VPN support.||It can be difficult to set up.|
|Ethernet ports on both sides||Only 2.4GHz 802.11n is supported.|
The GL is a budget pick with a low price tag and a lot of features. The iNet GL-AR150 is an excellent choice for travelers who need to quickly convert wired networks to wireless networks. The AR150 weighs only 1.41 ounces and measures 2.28×2.28×0.98 inches.
It comes pre-installed with OpenVPN for added security. The GL-AR150, which is compatible with over 20 VPN service providers and TOR firmware, provides maximum protection while surfing on insecure web networks.
The GL-AR150 is perfectly sized for tucking into a carry-on or backpack for use at a hotel, remote workplace, or in the office, and can be powered by any laptop USB, power bank, or 5V DC adapter. The GL-AR150 has dual Ethernet ports, 64MB of RAM, and 16MB of flash memory, and it can be expanded with external USB sticks.
The GL-AR150, with a top speed of 150Mbps and low power consumption, can also be used to convert a smartphone’s 3G or 4G connection into a private Wi-Fi network for your other devices.
12. NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Router
NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Router
|Gigabit LTE access||Expensive|
This could be the best portable wifi router for you if you have a lot of money that you don’t know what to do with. However, it provides superfast internet speeds even in the most remote locations. This is due to the fact that this portable travel router also functions as a 4G mobile hotspot and supports Gigabit LTE.
So, no matter where you are, you will have access to fast internet for up to 20 devices. If your plan has data limits, you should definitely keep an eye on your data usage. You can also use the Offloading feature to connect the travel router to hotel or other facility wifi to help save data.
The Ethernet function is a little sluggish and only operates on the 2.4 GHz band. On dual bands, this traveling router unit has a data transfer rate of 150.0 Mb per second. It has an app that allows you to program the face of the device however you want.
It will, however, show you how many devices are connected, how much data is being used, the unit’s battery level, and its network password at a glance. Despite its relatively large dimensions, this dual-band travel router weighs only 8.5 ounces.
A 19.78 Wh lithium-ion battery is included, and additional batteries and a charger can be purchased separately. Other wireless travel router reviews claim that depending on how much you use it, it can consume a lot of power. The NETGEAR portable wireless router for travel, on the other hand, should last the day with moderate use.
Do You Require A Travel Router?
Overall, we found travel routers to be useful in our travels. They are generally simple to use once set up, and they are small and portable.
Given that many hotels only allow you to join a network with one device at a time (or charge extra for multiple devices), having a travel router allows us to use all of our WiFi-enabled devices at the same time without incurring additional fees.
We currently use ours at home to extend the range of our own home Internet and while traveling to extend wireless Internet connections, login multiple devices with a single password, and add a little security while using public WiFi hotspots.
If you intend to use public Wi-Fi frequently while traveling, we recommend purchasing a travel router that is compatible with a VPN service. If you’re looking for advice on how to choose a VPN provider, check out our guide to VPNs for Travel.
What are your concerns about using the Internet while traveling? Have you used, or are you thinking about using a travel router? As always, if you have any suggestions, tips, or questions, please let us know!
CONCLUSION On The Best Travel Routers
These portable routers are extremely inexpensive. The most basic models start around $25, and even the most expensive models with a slew of extra features are usually less than $100.
That’s not much for securing your data. Consider how much it could cost you if someone stole your email, shopping account, or bank account password.
FAQs About Best Travel Routers
What is the primary function of a travel router?
A travel router is a wireless router that you can take with you when you travel. The main reason for bringing a travel router is to extend the range of internet networks, allowing you to have smooth Internet connectivity no matter where you are traveling.
Is it safer to use a travel router?
When you visit a hotel, it is not always safe for your devices to connect to the hotel’s unknown internet connection. The WiFi in hotels may not be safe for your devices, so get your own travel router to be on the safe side.
What are the advantages of utilizing a travel router?
There are a plethora of advantages to using a travel router. The following are some of the primary advantages of using a travel router:
It enables you to maintain a good Internet connection while traveling.
They have a very compact design that makes them easy to transport.
It creates a more private and secure Internet connection.
A travel router can be used to connect a variety of devices that are compatible with it.
They can also be used to extend your home’s WiFi connection.