Stay Connected Wherever You Go With a Travel Router

No power source? No problem

A travel router is a category of broadband routers designed for people who are on the go and need to connect to the internet when they are away from a power source. They're best for when a single network connection—like an Ethernet cable or a tethered smartphone—must be shared with several different devices.

Travel routers aren't as common as they used to be, given that most of these portable devices now serve as Wi-Fi hotspots on cellular data networks instead of acting solely as a router.

Belkin Wireless G Travel Router F5D7233

Characteristics of Travel Routers

Travel routers possess several characteristics that distinguish them from other broadband routers:

  • Compact size: Many travel routers are a few inches wide and can slip into a pocket. Their small size makes them convenient to carry from place to place.
  • Battery-powered: A quality travel router features a built-in rechargeable battery that allows the router to be used for a few hours without being connected to an electrical outlet.
  • Tethering capability: To supply online connectivity when wireless hotspot services aren't available, a travel router accesses the internet through a tethered cell phone. High-end mobile routers incorporate a built-in cellular modem that eliminates the need for tethering.
  • Wi-Fi client support: Advanced travel routers can join hotspots as Wi-Fi clients and share connections out to other clients with their own built-in access points.

Common Uses for Travel Routers

Use mobile routers to:

  • Reach the internet in areas where there is only cellular service.
  • Share one paid internet connection at a hotel.
  • Allow business travelers to share files easily with one another.
  • Stay connected while hiking or boating.

Many manufacturers of full-size routers make mobile hotspots. These include Novatel, Huawei, Netgear, and Linksys. Cellular providers often sell travel routers under their brand names.

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