The 7 Best Wireless Travel Routers to Buy in 2018

Pocket routers for Wi-Fi networking on the road

Whether you’re a road warrior or trying to relax on vacation, sometimes you just want to kick up your feet and see what’s going on back in the real world. If you’re staying in a place with unreliable wireless internet, a travel router can help you connect to your mobile devices or laptop easily to the Web for reliable Wi-Fi. Beyond creating a secure internet connection, travel routers can also help with built-in storage for sharing files or streaming music to multiple devices. Need help picking one out? Here’s our vote for the best handy-in-a-pinch travel routers.

Best Overall: HooToo Wireless Travel Router

This little router packs a ton in the way of features, and spoiler alert: it is way more than just a router – that’s why it made its way to the top our list. For starters it operates an MTK7620 chipset and will turn both a wired Internet connection (when in AP mode) and a wireless network connection (when in bridge mode) to a standard Wi-Fi network at pretty impressive speeds. Pretty impressive for a little thing that’s only 2.28 x 2.28 x 2.28 inches. But beyond that, this little guy offers you the capability of a four-port USB hub, a 10400mAh portable battery to charge up your devices, as well as the functionality to connect a flash drive or external hard drive to host/transfer files on the go.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: RAVPower FileHub Plus

Essentially a 3-in-1 travel gadget, the RAVPower FileHub Plus offers direct capabilities as a media streamer capable of reading an SD card and external hard drives up to four terabytes in size. Secondly, the RAVPower functions as a personalized wireless router that connects directly to an Ethernet cable inside a hotel. As its third and final trick, the RAVPower operates as a battery for emergency charges (it's capable of powering most smartphones up to 2x before running dry). Moreover, an SD slot allows for accessing photos and videos, as well as streaming directly to a Chromecast.

As a wireless router, the conversion from a wired line to wireless connection allows extra security, plus the opportunity to share a trusted and secure Internet connection with others in your party. The inclusion of the MTK762N built-in chip offers the best performance of both hardware and software and keeps your router up-to-date with the latest firmware for added levels of security. The RAVPower supports PPPoE, static and dynamic IP signals for a slew of capabilities for connections inside a hotel, Airbnb or other travel locations.

The pocket-sized TP-Link N300 is capable of hitting up to 300Mbps Wi-Fi speed and the 2.4GHz band connection ensures lag-free video streaming and online gaming over a wide space. The inclusion of compatibility with Google’s Chromecast highlights the flexibility of the N300, which can also function as a router, repeater, client, AP and hotspot.

The N300 is powered through a microUSB port that can connect directly to a wall charger or laptop. Installation happens in just under a minute with a WISP access point that can be shared by multiple users even in a hotel room next door. And since portability is key here, it weighs an ultra-light 7.2 ounces.

Best Budget: Medialink

Available for the price of just three Starbucks lattes, the Medialink wireless travel router is another favorite that’s pocket-friendly (it weighs only two ounces). It can create a connection over 802.11n up to 150Mbps, so it's perfect for a hotel room, dorm room or anywhere else you might need a secure Internet connection. The foldable AC plug allows the Medialink to plug directly into a wall for an unlimited supply of power. As for setup, it's a cinch. It's done directly from the router settings screen with your smartphone, tablet or computer, so you won't need any additional app downloads.

The Medialink has three modes: it can create a more secure wireless network, act as a wireless access point (creating a Wi-Fi signal where there wasn't one before) or a repeater (which can help extend the existing wireless signal deeper into a house or hotel where a shaky signal already exists). Unlike other travel routers, the budget-friendly pricing does limit some of the extras (there’s no on-board storage for streaming videos or pictures or even built-in battery life for charging a smartphone on-the-go).

Best Speed: TRENDnet TEW-817DTR

Offering super fast speeds of up to 433Mbps Wi-Fi over 802.11ac and 300Mbps on 802.11n connections, the TRENDnet TEW-817DTR is a serious speed demon. Weighing just under one pound, it's compact and portable and offers interchangeable plugs for North America, Europe and the U.K. right out of the box, so it's ideal for international travel. No matter what part of the world you’re in, you can quickly attach the TRENDnet to your existing wireless network and create your own secure Wi-Fi network with onboard encryption ensuring privacy and anonymity.

Working with both Wi-Fi AC and N devices on-the-go, the TRENDnet is the fastest travel wireless router on the market with a setup time that will have you online in just minutes. Fortunately, speed isn’t the only attractive quality of the TRENDnet. It can also stream videos, photos and music to a smartphone, TV, media player or other DLNA-device (like Google’s Chromecast, for example) effortlessly.

Additionally, the onboard toggle switch can quickly shift the TEW-817DTR from router mode to WISP/AP/Repeater mode or turn it off. And if you run into problems, Trendnet offers a three-year warranty and unlimited 24/7 technical support for any setup questions while Stateside or abroad.

Best Value: GL.iNet GL-AR300M Mini Travel Router

The Mini Travel Router earns its “value” spot on the list because it is, in a word, fast. At 300 mb/s, it’s faster than a lot of at-home routers, and it features an internal 128 MB of RAM. But what’s extra cool here is its open-source nature. You can expand the out-of-the-box capabilities by side loading in tons of functionality to support everything from webcams to USB disks. Plus for an extra $20 or so you can add a super powerful external antenna to the package for a wider, more stable network. Add that to the built-in VPN functionality (that supports more than 20 different existing clients) and you’ve got a powerhouse that fits perfectly in your pocket (or your carry-on).

Best Security: GL-MT300A

The GL-MT300A marks another entry into the travel router space that’s well worth the price of admission. The 1.41-ounce, pocket-friendly design is truly portable and can be powered by any laptop USB, power bank or 5V DC adapter. Once powered on, the MT300A assists in the conversion of a wired network at a hotel or office to a private Wi-Fi connection that can be shared among multiple devices securely and easily.

Providing an extra level of security is the addition of both OpenVPN and Tor client (there are 20+ VPN providers for securely masking your connection and the downloadable TOR firmware ensures privacy). Additionally, the MT300A includes 128MB of RAM for faster performance, as well as 16GB of storage onboard for securely transferring files or multimedia. Beyond its secure performance and storage, the MT300A also includes dual-Ethernet ports for multiple connections, as well as a microSD card slot for even more file storage and sharing.


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