The best travel routers can keep you in touch no matter where you are. Look, we all say on our out-of-office email auto-responders that we won’t have access to the internet due to traveling. But, we usually bring several, if not all, of our devices along for our convenience.
As far as access to the web? It’s almost impossible not to be connected. But that’s exactly why you must consider what travel wifi routers can do for you.
It’s not always secure or reliable to join any old wifi that happens to be around. The internet can also be more spotty than we’d like in remote areas.
In such situations, the solution is a travel wifi router, a smaller, portable version of the wifi router we keep at home. Dallas-based travel consultant Bryan Mondy never leaves home without one of his travel routers, saying:
But with so many travel routers on the market, which is best for you?
Best Travel Routers by Cateogry
If you are looking for a quick summary version of the best travel routers, here’s a table highlighting the key aspects of our top picks:
|Best Overall||TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router|
|Most Secure||GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel AC VPN Router|
|Best for Road Trips||Amazon eero mesh WiFi router
|Best for International Travel||NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router|
Some want the best possible internet access while in transit, while others don’t want their kids to hog the limited bandwidth on the road by streaming Netflix all day.
Our Favorite Travel Routers
Let’s get into our favorite portable wifi routers for travel. Here are the ones we like that will keep you in touch with the people most important to you.
These portable travel routers were selected based on standard and band, how it’s powered, available ports, and usage modes.
We used several options compared to professional and end-user reviews and ranked them based on versatility. The more convenient and powerful the travel router, the better!
Best Travel Router for Frequent Travelers
1. Best Overall: TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
An excellent value for its capabilities, this may be the best portable wireless travel router for overnight travelers. It’s tiny but has several modes besides router mode, making connecting to a hotel’s ethernet quick and easy.
Its lightweight and small size make this likely the best portable router available, as you can slip it into your pocket. Once you’ve set up a password, the travel router will connect all your devices to the hotel’s wifi without needing additional logins.
It offers a micro USB port for a charger or laptop and can function as a power bank. It’s fast too, so if slow hotel wifi makes you want to punch the pillows, this travel wi fi router may solve all your problems.
This product streams like a dream offers speeds of up to 733 Mbps, and supports dual bands on top of everything else it can do. Buy one for the road and one for home, as it’s such a small wireless router with a strong, fast connection.
- Pros: flexible modes for connection, lightweight and small, high speed
- Cons: unclear instructions and aggravating layout with manual switches
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Our travel router review on this lesser-known brand favorably notes the half-pound weight and slim dimensions of this RAVPower unit that makes it simple to pack. This device connects easily to hotel wifi and has an ethernet port for situations where you’d rather use the hotel’s wired internet.
The battery life is more than adequate, thanks to a 6700 mAh external USB battery, even when streaming to multiple devices. It also works well for transferring files.
With this dual-band travel router, you can get those Instagramable vacation photos and videos off your mobile phone each night at the hotel.
The full-size SD card slot handles several formats. Although not a hotspot, It’s a handy wifi network hub that you can connect to a mobile hotspot and then use as a bridge for your other devices.
- Pros: dual-band, long battery life, handles several devices at a time
- Cons: cumbersome to set up, slow transfer speed
Best Wireless Travel Routers
3. Best Wireless Travel Router: HooToo Tripmate Titan
The HooToo wireless travel router, at a tiny nine ounces, can convert a wired network to one wireless. Once set up for connecting to an available wifi, linking multiple devices is easy.
The travel wifi router can also work as network-attached storage if you plug in a flash drive or other external storage. What also makes the HooToo router one of the best portable wifi routers is its ability to power your devices while you’re on the road with its massive 10,400mAh power bank.
Be prepared to read and re-read the instructions–they’re a little unclear and probably weren’t written in English originally. It supports 2.4 GHz Radio Frequency and has USB-A, micro USB, and ethernet ports. Weighs 9-ounces.
- Pros: compact, NAS capability, huge battery
- Cons: slow streaming, ugly
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Best For Portable Wireless Access Point Use
This inexpensive TP-Link travel router is small enough to carry on trips but powerful enough to reach speeds of 300Mbps with a 2.4 GHz band secure internet connection. It has multiple modes for functioning as a router, repeater, client, hotspot, and access point and is powered through a micro USB port.
As a portable wireless router for travel, it’s light at over 7 ounces. Set it up as a wifi network first and set your devices to remember it. Despite its teeny-ness, it’s a fully functioning travel router, and everything will connect automatically to your network.
Set up in this way. You can also use your Fire Stick or Chromecast in your hotel room because you only need to log in to the hotel wifi once with one of your devices.
And if you love your grandma but hate how a visit to her house cuts you off from the rest of the world, this handy travel router may strengthen your relationship and your internet connection.
It’s not the fastest or most comprehensive range, but it still has the features and the small size that make it a solid portable wifi router.
- Pros: small, versatile, works as a signal booster
- Cons: slow, comparatively weak signal strength
A portable wireless router workhorse, it has Openwrt firmware preinstalled and supports a long list of VPN service providers and hotspots. The Openwrt firmware makes 2000 packages available for any customization you need.
It also features two WAN/LAN Ethernet and two USB ports (USB 2.0 and a micro USB port). This wireless travel router has a data transport speed limit of 300Mbps with a 2.4 GHz band connection but four types of connection modes.
While it’s a reliable wifi travel router, it does require a 5V/1A wall charger. If sending all your devices through a VPN client is important, you’ll like this one ready to protect your privacy immediately. This is definitely one of the best travel routers for secure internet access.
- Pros: fast wifi, supports a virtual private network, small but powerful
- Cons: not straightforward during setup; you will need your USB wall adapter
Tiny and weighing barely an ounce, the RAVPower Filehub wifi travel router can turn a wired internet connection into a wifi network. It lacks an internal battery, but a battery pack can be connected through a mini USB port.
This is the best travel wireless router for those who don’t need many extras and like its portability. Works well for streaming photos and videos to a TV or laptop via a built-in DLNA server.
It features one USB port for sharing media and one ethernet port to hook up to hotels, cruise ships, Airbnb treehouses, etc., and can even act as a wifi extender to strengthen signals. Supports 2.4 GHz band connection.
- Pros: super portable, USB port, has repeater mode
- Cons: no SD card slot, lacks an internal battery
Why doesn’t everything need electricity to do this? Its data transport speed maximum is 150Mbps with a 2.4 GHz band connection, and it has three connection modes: router through ethernet or wifi, repeater, and AP.
Choose whichever connection mode you need by sliding the button on the side. It also has an ethernet port and a couple of USB ports–one for sharing files and one for powering other small devices. There is no streaming, however.
This is a good travel router for extending signals, charging devices via a USB port, and sharing files. You can turn off the network capability without disrupting the USB functions. Plug it where you need it permanently, or throw it in your bag for your road warrior days.
- Pros: interchangeable plugs, great portability, versatile
- Cons: slow performance, limited range
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Another serious contender for the best wireless router for hotel use, it allows private, secure web access from public networks. It has a USB port for connection to laptops and power banks for charging.
It weighs less than two ounces, too, so it’s easy to travel with. It offers preinstalled OpenWrt and VPN capability for terrific security and has dual ethernet ports. Since there’s no internal battery, this travel router needs to be charged via laptop, external battery, or at the wall.
As a portable travel router, it will transport data at a max speed of 150Mbps with a 2.4 GHz band connection. Hotel wifi can be dodgy, but having the ability to create your own personal wifi network should help you sleep easily.
- Pros: supports VPN, dual ethernet ports, secure and highly programmable
- Cons: not straightforward to set up, only supports 2.4 GHz
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This may be the best portable wifi router. If you have lots of money, you don’t know what to do with it as it’s on the pricey side. But it offers super fast internet speeds even in super remote areas.
Definitely watch your data usage if your plan has limits. To help conserve data, you can connect the travel router to a hotel or other facility’s wifi with the helpful Offloading feature.
The ethernet function is slow and only uses the 2.4 GHz band. The data transfer rate for this traveling router unit is 150.0 Mb per second on dual bands. It has an app so the face of the thing can be programmed as you like.
It will show you how many devices are connected, how much data is getting used, the unit battery level, and its network password. Despite the comparatively large dimensions, this dual-band travel router only weighs 8.5 ounces. It comes with a 19.78 Wh lithium-ion battery; additional batteries can be purchased, and a charger is also included.
Other wireless travel router reviews report that you can go through power pretty fast, depending on how much you’re doing with it. But with moderate use, the NETGEAR portable wireless router for travel should last the day.
- Pros: Gigabit LTE access, dual-band, very customizable
- Cons: pricey, large
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Photographers love this battery-powered travel router for its ability to transfer images directly from the camera for easy viewing quickly.
If you’re a photographer out in the field shooting wildlife, families, scenery, brides, grooms, polka bands, or whatever, this will make displaying those precious shots a breeze.
You probably won’t have much choice in charging options either, so your best travel wifi router being battery-powered is a plus. As a small wireless router, it’s efficient and versatile. It provides a moderate range and can stream video quite well.
Transports data at a max speed of 150Mbps with a 2.4 GHz band connection.
- Pros: fast, easy-to-read lights on the top, sleek design
- Cons: only listed cellular modems are supported, battery drains quickly
This unit may be the best travel wireless router for more advanced users looking for maximum power and flexibility. Features dual band wifi, three-gigabit ethernet ports, and has OpenVPN pre-installed.
No matter what kind of hotel wifi you’re stuck with, this traveling router offers privacy and security. It can also be a portable wifi access point in your home. Data transfer comes at a rate of 750.00 MB per second.
- Pros: dual band wifi, three-gigabit ethernet ports, supports VPN
- Cons: not straightforward to set up; some configurations need solid technical knowledge
A portable travel router that keeps you secure is important if you’re on the road more days than you’d like to admit (or maybe you love sleeping in a different city every night).
This travel router is also a 4G LTE mobile hotspot that protects you no matter where you are. OpenVPN and OpenWrt provide high levels of safety and security.
It also has dual-band support, and the data transfer rate is 433.0 Mb per second. Quickly transfer files between devices with a microSD card reader or USB port.
- Pros: TDR and VPN support, 4G LTE support, WireGuard encryption
- Cons: large, pricey
This small wireless router packs a lot of features inside, including built-in VPN support and dual ethernet ports. It’s tiny, weighing less than two ounces–similar to the GL.iNet GL-AR150 detailed above.
This version has an external 2bdi antenna. Use it to convert your smartphone’s 3 or 4G connection and create a private, secure wireless network for all the devices you’ve got with you.
Its data transport speed is 150Mbps. Regarding wireless travel router reviews, it’s getting really good comments from users who love its versatility and the ability to connect multiple devices.
Think of bringing your voice-controlled virtual assistant (Alexa, Google Assistant) along on your travels for wake-up calls, music, reminders, and more. Pretty cool.
- Pros: supports VPN, dual ethernet ports, supports 4G
- Cons: not straightforward to set up, only supports 2.4 GHz
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This inexpensive travel router for hotel wifi is lightweight and works to protect your privacy while offering a good data transfer speed of a maximum of 300Mbps in 2.4GHz.
Log in with your smartphone and connect to your room’s wifi without knowing a ton about configurations. Pack this portable wireless router for travel; all your devices will be connected faster.
Features pre-installed OpenWRT offering more than 4000 packages and OpenVPN for security. Despite its whimsical color and light weight of 1.41 ounces, it offers all the functionality of a full-size router with dual ethernet ports. It can serve as a gateway for Internet of Things (IoT) development.
It works well for families with a gazillion devices, all needing room numbers, passwords, blood type, and whatever else the hotel needs for internet access.
- Pros: inexpensive, nice, bright color, lightweight
- Cons: vague instructions, clunky user interface
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This one may be last on our list of best portable routers, but it’s not for lack of features. It provides 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band wifi and comes with a 2550mAh battery.
The download speed is 150Mbps and supports 4G LTE. As a portable wifi access point, It’s not as small as the others on our list, but it’s still lightweight with rounded corners and seems to resist fingerprints.
The unit also has a screen that tells you speed and data usage as it’s working, which is a pretty cool feature. It does not give you any diagnostics about your signal.
For reconfigurations to make it the best travel router for your needs, you’ll have to use its web interface, as there’s no developed mobile app. Transfer files with the MicroSD card slot or USB port. The above is our list. If you want to check for more options. Take a look at the best sellers as ranked by Amazon.
- Pros: good performance, long-lasting battery, nice web interface
- Cons: bulky, pricey
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Tips for Buying a Travel Router
Whatever your reason is for buying a portable router, here are some tips on choosing the best one for you:
- Make sure that your data plan can handle tethering if you plan to use a mobile hotspot, especially with multiple devices
- Check whether or not the travel router is compatible with third-party networks
- How much data do you need daily to use a mobile hotspot?
- Where do you travel to? If you travel internationally, you must ensure the travel router has maximum flexibility and a secure wireless network (consider using a VPN server).
- What devices will be connecting to your portable travel router?
- What Wi-Fi network speed do you want?
If you’ll need to use your portable WiFi for business and personal purposes while moving. Select one that offers simultaneous dual-band transmission. The main difference between these types of wireless Internet devices is the networking capacity in terms of bandwidth.
Because single-band routers only transmit data on one channel, they offer lower speeds than dual-band or tri-band models (single-bands can achieve approximately 30% less lag than dual-band).
Since you’re going to use a gaming router for both work and play, it must switch between two 5Ghz networks automatically when you play games.
What is a travel router?
Portable wireless connection points are known as routers. They can operate in the same way at home for years without interruption and may even be taken on trips. Consider having a portable router during your trip since you’ll require a Wi-Fi router to join the Internet at home.
It’s a small, portable wifi travel router pocket extender that may connect any of your devices to a wireless network or an ethernet cable anywhere you need to travel, remote locations, hotels, resorts, etc.
Then, other travel routers provide their wireless networks without needing an existing wifi network.
Do you need a travel router?
Many hotels and restaurants can only use the same smartphone or computer at the wireless access point. We can use all our connected WiFi devices simultaneously with a travel router without additional charges or bandwidth issues.
We recommend getting a travel router that supports a VPN service to use public Wi-Fi on those overnight stays or length vacations, especially if you frequently use public wireless networks such as trains, hotels, buses, etc.
If you frequently travel to places with a wired network you feel comfortable using, such as a family or friend’s home, a travel router may not be necessary. Or, if you only use your mobile devices with a strong data connection, a travel router may be something to skip.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Which travel router is best?
As you might have guessed, there isn’t the best travel router for everyone. Consider what type of travel you do, your own devices, and the locations you use wifi.
If you use a public internet connection, need instant access, or want a reasonable range for large areas, then a traditional portable WiFi router will work.
But if you use your WiFi often, need high-speed performance, and need an on-the-go device, look for models that can connect to an ethernet cable and supply their internet connection while being secure and packable.
Which portable WIFI router is best?
I’d recommend something small, light, has long battery life, and can also be used with wired internet access or has its router mode to be used as a mobile hotspot.
Do travel routers have a secure wireless network?
Yes, they do! Many travel routers offer pretty good security features, such as a private VPN server – so if you want to feel a little safer when you’re out, a portable router with secure WPA2 encryption is best. Check for this option under wireless settings before buying a travel router.
Do travel routers work on cruise ships?
Travel routers are best used while traveling by train or car. For cruise ships, a travel router will work if you have a wired connection or the Wi-Fi connection allows wireless travel routers.
How do I get better wifi when traveling?
If you are looking for uninterrupted, strong Wi-Fi when traveling, it’s best to use a portable travel router.
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