The 7 Best Wireless Travel Routers to Buy in 2017

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 WiFi. 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.

Released in 2015, the title of the best-of-the-best travel routers handily belongs to the HooToo TripMate. Packing a super powerful battery that enables up to two smartphone charges, the HooToo can quickly convert a wired network into a secure wireless one. Internally, the MTK7620 chipset offers faster overall performance and, with one USB hub, you can attach up to a four-terabyte flash drive for dropping or transferring files. The HooToo functions as a wireless router upon connection to a DSL, modem which is most commonly found in hotels or motels around the world.

Additionally, the TripMate Plus app is available for both iOS and Android and it allows you to control all the settings straight from your smartphone. Plugging in directly into a wall outlet allows the HooToo to recharge its battery for another day of smartphone charging. As a bonus, the HooToo offers the direct capability to input the username and password from the portal of a paid hotel WiFi network directly into your computer, tablet or smartphone, so you can bypass the need for any direct connection to your hotel's insecure Internet.

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 WiFi 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.

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 WiFi 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).

Offering super fast speeds of up to 433Mbps WiFi 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 WiFi network with onboard encryption ensuring privacy and anonymity.

Working with both WiFi 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.

With a very budget-friendly price, the HAME wireless Wi-Fi router is an outstanding choice that makes for easy transitioning from a wired to a wireless network. The inclusion of a long-lasting battery quickly transitions this wireless router into a 2-in-1 extra battery lifeline for both your smartphone or tablet. The battery also doubles as juice for the wireless router and provides up to seven hours of use and 15 hours of standby time.

Additionally, the HAME includes extras such as direct streaming access to a Chromecast, Roku or other DLAN devices courtesy of its SD card USB reader that can support up to 1080p videos. With WiFi speeds up to 150Mbps over an 802.11b/g/n connection, the HAME is a quick and inexpensive way to get online securely and privately.

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 WiFi 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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