6 Best Travel Router For The Non-Stop Traveller In You


It’s not a secret anymore, rather a well known fact that wifi connection is the worst whenever we travel. Let’s agree, we have all been there and felt that pain. However, the time has changed now and we don’t need to feel that pain ever again; thanks to travel routers!

If you are someone who works while travelling, it is quite relevant that you would need a good wifi connection for the purpose of work. As the name suggests, travel routers are devices that you could take on the go and set up your private wifi connection. A travel router is just like a regular home network router, instead it is smaller and portable, so you can carry it around. You can have a wireless connection on your devices with the help of a travel router and enjoy the same features that a home router offers you.

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With the help of a travel wifi router, you can do all kinds of activities that a home router allows you to do such as connecting all your devices, having a secure network. However, this is not just it, it can double up as a power bank, let you share media files, and so much more.

To know more about these routers, why you should go for them, and which ones are the best in the market, read the article further.

Best Travel Router Reviews

Travel routers were not that common in the past as they are now, infact, they are quite in demand currently. With so many options available to you, it can get difficult to pick one. This is why we are here for you and we have compiled a list of 6 best travel routers. We are going to review each of them, along with their pros and cons. Let’s get started!

1. GL.iNet GL-MT1300 Travel Gigabit Wireless Router


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First up on our list of the best travel router is the GL.iNet wireless router which is the fastest among all. What you get in a regular home network router is what you will get in this travel buddy. Along with great speeds, you also get decent connectivity options. This right here is definitely a keeper.

This is a dual band travel router and you can expect it to support speeds up to 400 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. Although it seems impossible to get these speeds while travelling, just know that they are just theoretical speeds and real-time speeds may vary.

When we talk about connectivities, you can connect this router with up to 40 devices so all your friends and family can enjoy decent internet speeds even on vacation (Check out our article on best wifi router for multiple devices). It has 3 gigabit ethernet ports, a USB 3.0 port, that you don’t easily find even in home routers, a micro SD slot, a USB-C port, and lastly, support for VPN services as well as IPv6.

  • Pros
  • Fast speeds
  • Great security and connectivity features
  • Support for wide range of VPN services
  • Dual-band wifi
  • Lightweight & compact
  • Cons
  • Not the easiest setup


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2. GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel Router


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It might seem like we quite like travel wifi routers from GL.iNet (which we obviously do) and are only going to recommend from these, but trust us, this list has just started. For all you technical wizards, this is the one to go for. As you get more features in this, it is advisable that it must be handled by advanced users.

It’s a dual-band wifi router which is fast and offers total speeds up to 733 Mbps on both the 5 GHz as well as 2.4 GHz band. In addition to this, it also has 3 gigabit ethernet ports, a USB 2.0 port, and a micro SD slot. Since this has an OpenWrt firmware, it can just as easily act as a wifi extender and a hotspot.

This router, although affordable, doesn’t compromise on security. Its focus is on the privacy of the user and hence, it supports VPN services so your internet connection is safe from intruders. It is even pre configured and has built-in support for Cloudflare’s DNS servers for more security.

  • Pros
  • Good storage facilities
  • Open source & programmable
  • Great connectivity
  • Good VPN support
  • Dual-band wifi
  • Cons
  • Setup can be a hassle


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3. RAVPower FileHub AC750 Travel Router


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Next up on our list is a portable router from the house of RAVPower which is not just a router but also acts as a power bank and enables sharing of files. RAVPower is mostly popular for its power banks and hence, it seemed only fair that they include the feature of power bank in their router.

It’s a dual-band router that offers speeds up to 300 Mbps and 433 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band respectively. Along with this, it features an SD card slot, a USB port, an ethernet port, a Micro-USB, and a 6700 mAh battery with 14 hours of backup so you can charge your devices easily.

One of the things that makes it the best travel router is that it has an automatic backup feature. So, with the help of the companion app, you can do automatic backups on external drives. Although the setup is a bit complicated for a layman, you only have to do it once and then you can seamlessly enjoy a secured wifi connection. You can connect up to 5 devices only and one thing that’s missing in this router is the VPN setup.

  • Pros
  • Enables file sharing
  • Acts as a power bank
  • Dual-band wifi
  • Automatic backup & firmware updates
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Cons
  • Doesn’t support VPN setup
  • Slow file transfer rate
  • Complicated setup


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4. GL.iNet GL-AR300M Mini Travel Router


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Here’s another gem from GL.iNet again in the list of our portable wireless router which looks so classy that you wouldn’t want to leave your house without it. The GL-AR300M is your companion if you don’t want to stay away from social media or work when you are on vacation. It’s so compact and easy to carry that you can just put it in your pocket and forget about it.

It is a single band router but the speeds are incredible and this is the reason we included it in this list. It is extremely affordable and we think it’s worth every penny for the features that you get in it. It features 2 ethernet ports, internal storage of 128 MB, and it comes pre-installed with OpenWrt firmware. There is also an OpenVPN client which provides more than 30 users to connect the users. For a better and stable network on your wifi, you can pay an additional amount and get external antennas. (Check out our post on long range wifi antenna)

  • Pros
  • Good battery life
  • Supports VPN services
  • Expandable antennas
  • Highly portable
  • Fast single band performance
  • Cons
  • A bit technical setup for beginners


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5. TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router


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The AC750 is an impressive little router that has made it into our list of the best travel router because of its high performance and the reputable brand name. If you are looking for a portable router that is literally nano-sized, then the tp-link ac750 is a great option. It only weighs 2.01 oz which is perfect to carry around in your pocket.

This is a multi-purpose router which means it doesn’t just perform the function of a router but also a power bank, wifi extender, a hotspot, and a wifi client that you can connect to a network with the help of an ethernet port. Since it is an AC750, it means that it can deliver combined speeds up to 750 Mbps on both the 2.4 GHz as well as 5 GHz band.

There are even 2 built-in ethernet ports and one USB 2.0 port which is helpful in sharing files and media. The only con in this travel wi-fi router is that the port layout isn’t right and the instructions are a bit complicated to understand.

  • Pros
  • 2-year warranty
  • Great connectivity features
  • Compact & lightweight
  • Versatile wifi router modes
  • Fast dual-band wifi
  • Cons
  • Lack of battery backup
  • Poor port layout


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6. TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router


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We wanted to end our list of the best travel router with a bang and this is where the N300 from tp-link came to our mind. It is the most affordable portable wireless router (under $30, but don’t forget to check our post, best router under 50!) in the list and it’s a no-fuss, straight-forward product that does what it claims.

Although it is marketed as a travel router only, it does more than that; it works as a power bank as well. As the name N300 suggests, it’s a single-band router which can offer speeds up to 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. This router can be used as a hotspot and a wifi repeater as well, you just need to connect it to an ethernet cable and you can create your own private wireless network.

A few great things about this portable wifi router is that it is incredibly easy to set up as compared to other routers, it works with Amazon FireStick, and it can be powered via a micro USB port.

  • Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Simple to use and setup
  • Fast wifi performance
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Versatile wireless modes
  • Cons
  • Cannot connect with multiple devices
  • No USB port


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Best Travel Router Buying Guide

When you are choosing a portable wifi router, there are many options available. To make the right decision, you need to tally the different factors and characteristics of the best portable routers.

We have listed some of the factors which will influence the choice as a buying guide for travel routers:

  • Size and Weight

The size of the device as well as the weight are crucial factors to choose the travel router. It is best to choose a compact size and design as you would want to pack it into the smallest corner possible. Some of the portable routers are small enough to move up the laptop bag’s side pockets.

  • Security and Encryption

The last thing you want is someone trespassing into your network because it is not encrypted. Routers that provide WPA2 security encryption are the best choice when you are buying a portable router. While WPA3 is also available today, not many of the best portable routers support this encryption.

  • Range and Speed

This comes down to how you plan to use the wifi during your travel. Depending on the activities you are going to perform, the choice of the router would vary accordingly. If you want to stream 4k movies or play online games, it is best to choose a device that can handle a 300mbps data transfer rate or above.

Dual bandwidth travel routers can provide up to 433 Mbps. In terms of range, with a 2.4GHz bandwidth, you can get coverage that is at par with 802.11ac standards.

  • Connection Options

A travel router with more connection options is always preferable so you can use it without any hindrance. While these routers can connect to ethernet, modem or other wifi connections, they may not connect with all dongles, phone or SIM card. However, few such routers can connect to all the different network sources.

So if you are travelling somewhere remote and wish to use the phone’s or dongle internet as wifi, then choose a router that has the specifications accordingly.

  • Extras and Accessories

The travel routers often come with multitasking attributes. These are always a more useful variant than the plain travel routers. The multitasking devices have functions like built-in storage, file transfer, media streaming and even work as a power bank.

When you travel a lot, such multifunctional devices make your luggage lighter so choosing such a router will always have an edge over the conventional designs.

  • Budget

The price range that you can afford is another important determinant. Usually, these types of routers are affordable enough, but when you have a budget constraint, do note your options and features you get, also will be limited.

As we are dependent on the internet for every little thing today, a travel router is always a good investment. When the factors mentioned above are considered, choosing the best option becomes easy. The key is to narrow down your list of requirements and then choose the right device that fulfils all your criteria.

What Do We Like About Travel Routers?

One thing that we enjoy the most about travel routers is how lightweight they are and how easy they are to carry around. They are so compact that you don’t even need to pack them separately when on a vacation, you can just put them in your pocket just like you put your smartphone and hit the road.

Another great thing about travel routers is how versatile they are; one moment they are just regular travel routers and in another moment, you can use them as a wifi repeater! We often don’t notice this but the hotels we stay in or the cafes that we visit do not have even an average wifi network. These portable routers can come handy whenever you experience a weak wifi connection; use them as a wifi repeater/booster. It will strengthen the wifi signal and you can continue doing your work without any distractions.

Lastly, we love how incredibly affordable they are! If you don’t have the budget to buy those expensive wifi extenders, do give travel routers a try and you will not regret it.

Limitations Of Travel Routers:

Everything has a good side as well as a bad side and we are here to explore both. These portable routers are great to carry and can easily be modified into different modes, however, there are a few limitations of these routers.

Since these travel wifi routers are compact, their signal is a bit weak and they can only be connected to fewer devices unlike regular home routers that can connect to 20 or 30 devices simultaneously.

As we noticed in all the best travel routers listed above, the limitation that has been consistent in every product was the setup. These routers, although easy to use, are mostly made for people who are good at technicalities and this becomes a challenge for those who are beginners. Our only advice for beginners is to take some time to understand the manual that they provide. First, understand how things work theoretically and then move on to practical work.

Do You Need A Travel Router?

There’s a simple answer to this question; it depends.

Do you travel a lot?

Do you work while travelling?

Do you find yourself seeking internet connection while travelling?

Do you have more than one device to be connected to the internet?

If you found yourself nodding along and saying ‘Yes’ to every question, it’s clear that you do need a travel router. We have made a list of the best portable routers that consist of great features and are easy on the pocket as well.

FAQ’s

The mobile hotspot can only turn the smartphone’s network into wifi but with a portable router, you can convert any network connection in the vicinity into a wireless one and use it. However, do note, the router you have should be compatible with the available networks to do this.

A portable router of 2.4 GHz bandwidth can provide a range equivalent to 802.11 ac standards which are more than enough for client devices when you are travelling. The range is much more than a mobile hotspot which is a major reason behind investing in portable routers.

You do not need a SIM card for internet connection on the travel wifi. You can use the router along with a 4G modem. These routers also work as wifi extenders that will boost the overall speed of your internet.

This depends on the encryption of the router. Most portable routers come with WPA2 encryption that is secured enough. So there is no risk of using the portable router. They also have firewall security to protect against DDoS attack and unauthorized access to your network, which is an added advantage.

This depends on the specifications and overall features of the portable router you have invested in. A portable router with a minimum 300mpbs transfer rate is good enough for downloading movies or playing less graphics-intensive games.

However, there are dual bandwidth portable routers as well whose speed can go up to 433mbps and live streaming or surfing through Netflix can be done easily with it daily.

Final Verdict

We hope this article was helpful in choosing the best travel router according to your needs and budget. When looking for a travel router, do not expect incredible speeds because then you will be disappointed.

The main aim of these routers is not to offer excellent coverage or speeds, rather they are here to provide portability, versatile modes, security, and most importantly, compatibility. Just take it easy with travel routers!

Lisa

Hey tech enthusiasts! It’s Lisa this side, just another tech lover like you guys. I have always been in love with the internet and technology. I have grown up as someone who passionately simplifies modern technology for people. My friends and family call me an expert on wifi routers, modems, and every accessory related to it, so I guess that struck me the most to start a blog of my own. Hopefully, you`ll find my website as useful I thought it would be to you. I will keep posting about the routers and their reviews. Check them out!

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