Best Travel Routers – 2022 Round-up

Austin
| Last Updated: February 1, 2022

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If you’ve ever found yourself using the free wifi at a coffee shop or logging into the connection at a hotel and wondered about how secure the connection is, you’re not alone.

These days, you can’t be too careful. That’s why having a travel router is essential for anyone who spends a lot of time online while away from home.

IMAGE PRODUCT
  • WiFi range extender for much better coverage
  • Pre-encrypted password protection for better security
  • Micro USB port for Easy power options
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  • Ethernet and wired connections included
  • Comes with 128MB of ram included
  • Can be used with a VPN server
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  • Ample storage size
  • Affordable pick
  • Compatible with over 30 VPNs
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  • Best Travel Router for Hotels
  • Makes use of dual frequency bands of 2.4 and 5Ghz
  • Can be used for a variety of connection options
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  • Best Wireless Travel Router
  • Made with a durable construction to last longer
  • Easy ethernet and wired connections included
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RAVPower FileHub RP-WD009
  • Best Travel Router for Chromecast
  • Easy managing app included for ease of use
  • Allows up to 5 devices on travel router

What to Look for When Buying a Travel Router

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a travel router. Here are a few things to consider.

Speed

When it comes to the internet, speed is important. When you’re traveling, there’s a good chance you want to be able to stream movies or music, so you need a fast connection. Look at the specs of the router you’re considering and make sure it’s capable of doing what you need it to do.

Size

When you’re traveling, you need a router that’s small enough that it won’t get in the way. While all of these routers are small, some are more compact than others. Do you want something that comfortably fits in your carry on or something you can slide into your pocket? There are a lot of options out there to choose from.

Functions

As you saw from our reviews, some of these routers have a lot of functions. To be honest, a lot of them are really useful. Having a travel router that can also function as a power bank and transfer files for you is a pretty nice thing when you’re traveling.

Review of the Best Travel Routers

If you’re looking for a good travel router, you’re in the right place. Here are some of the best options out there covering a wide range of functions and prices.

Best Overall:
TP-Link TL-WR802N

TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router(TL-WR802N) - WiFi Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, Mobile in Pocket

PROS

  • External power supply
  • Pocket-sized for portability
  • 300 Mbps wifi speed, 2.4GHz band
  • 2-year warranty, 24/7 tech support
  • JD Power Award for customer satisfaction

CONS

  • Difficult to configure
  • May not reach promised speeds

What Recent Buyers Report

Most users report that this router is effective and does what it promises. A lot of people mention they use this when traveling for work and that it works great in hotel rooms. That said, a few people - even those who claim to do IT for a living - had a difficult time configuring it.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love how quickly you can use this router to set up a portable hotspot that you can share with family and friends. In addition to having multiple modes, it’s also fast enough to work with streaming video, including from a Chromecast or Amazon Fire Stick. The security encryption is great, too, so you can rest assured that your data is protected.

It’s a travel router, so it’s going to be small, but we still love how easily it slips into your backpack or purse. This router also comes with a lot of useful accessories, including a power adapter, nano router, Ethernet cable, USB cable, resource CD, and installation guide.

Bottom Line

This is a great choice if you’re looking for a travel router that’s convenient enough to fit in your pocket. It has multiple modes, advanced encryption security, and is covered by a two-year warranty.

Runner-up:
GL.iNet GL-AR750

GL.iNet GL-AR750 (Creta) Travel AC VPN Router, 300Mbps(2.4GHz)+433Mbps(5GHz) Wi-Fi, 128MB RAM, MicroSD Storage Support, Repeater Bridge, OpenWrt/LEDE pre-Installed, Power Adapter and Cables Included

PROS

  • 1-year warranty
  • Compatible with 3G/4G USB modems
  • OpenVPN and WireGuard pre-installed
  • Dual-band router with wireless speeds up to 300 Mbps
  • 3 Ethernet ports, 128 MB RAM, USB port, and MicroSD slot

CONS

  • Setup can be tricky
  • Cannot handle too many devices at the same time

What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, people are pretty happy with this router. Setup can be a bit of a headache, but once it's up and running, users were satisfied. That said, there were a few complaints about service cutting out or slowing down when too many devices were connected.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This router converts either wired or wireless networks into a secure wifi signal that you can share with your friends and family. OpenVPN supports more than 20 service providers, and it has impressive data encryption so you can feel comfortable about your data and security.

We were impressed by this router’s external storage. It supports microSD up to 120GB and has 128MB of RAM and a 16MB Flash. There are three Ethernet ports, too, so you can attach multiple devices.

Another great thing about this router is that it can use a laptop or power bank as the power supply, a great feature to have when traveling.

Bottom Line

This programmable router is a good choice for someone who wants something they can customize. With three Ethernet ports and a flexible power supply, this router is an ideal travel companion.

GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 Portable Router

PROS

  • Affordable choice
  • Has 4 modes
  • 300 Mbps data transfer speed
  • Larger storage capacity
  • Supports over 30 or more VPN providers

CONS

  • Has only 2 Ethernet ports
  • Compatibility issues at first setup
  • Lesser-known manufacturer

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, the GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 Portable Router is one of the best travel routers in the market, and it can handle anything you throw at it. With 4 modes – Router, Repeater, HotSpot, and AP plus two Ethernet ports, this little device will keep you connected no matter where you are.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The GL.iNet’s GL-AR300M16 Portable Router boasts whopping data transfer speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which is an incredible feat for a travel pocket router with such as compact size.

This tiny powerhouse unit comes with a larger storage capacity of 128 MB RAM, making it perfect for busy households, dynamic travel vloggers, researchers, or small businesses. 

In addition, it supports over 30 VPN providers so that you can keep your browsing and streaming habits totally private. Whether you’re at home or outside, this router delivers anywhere you go.

This portable router is for anyone who wants a combination of affordability and high-quality performance. While a lesser-known manufacturer makes the GL-AR300M16, it's still one of the best travel routers on the market today for users who want to stay connected all the time.

Bottom Line

Upgrade to the GL-AR300M16 to enjoy faster speeds plus more extensive and more reliable storage capacity. This router is tailored for professionals, small businesses, and travel vloggers who are always moving around and require a stable internet connection anytime and anywhere.

Best Travel Router for Hotels:
TP-Link TL-WR902AC

TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router(TL-WR902AC) - Support Multiple Modes, WiFi Router/Hotspot/Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, Dual Band WiFi, 1 USB 2.0 Port

PROS

  • 2-year warranty
  • 750 Mbps data transfer rate
  • Unlimited 24/7 tech support
  • Uses a micro USB adapter to charge
  • Dual-band wifi for a reliable, fast connection

CONS

  • Tricky to set up
  • Poor instructions

What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, people are really happy with this product. The signal is great, and the speed is impressive. There were some mentions that the device didn’t work as a repeater as well as people had hoped. Some people also felt it was a little tricky to set up and that tech support wasn’t very helpful.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The small size and mini USB power supply are convenient and ideal for travel. It uses the fastest wifi technology which makes it a great choice for streaming and running multiple applications at the same time.

We also like that this router can work as a portable charger, splitting power so it’s easy to recharge multiple devices while on the go. It has multiple modes and functions as a range extender, access point hotspot, and, of course, a router.

It’s also covered by a two-year warranty, which is a good sign that the company is willing to stand behind its product.

Bottom Line

Here’s another great option if you’re looking for something multifunctional, which is a safe bet when you’re traveling. It has multiple modes and works fast and reliably. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a two-year warranty.

Best Wireless Travel Router:
GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2

GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2(Mango) Portable Mini Travel Wireless Pocket VPN Router - WiFi Router/Access Point/Extender/WDS | OpenWrt | 2 x Ethernet Ports | OpenVPN/Wireguard VPN | USB 2.0 Port | 128MB RAM

PROS

  • 1-year warranty
  • Works as a WiFi hotspot
  • Compatible with 3G/4G modems
  • Open source and programmable for versatility
  • Pre-installed OpenVPN client compatible with more than 30 VPN providers

CONS

  • Open VPN unreliable
  • Unreliable customer service

What Recent Buyers Report

A lot of people were honestly surprised by how well this product worked, especially considering how affordable it is. Setup is easy and most people agreed that it performs reliably. Others mentioned that it worked great for a while but didn’t have the longevity they were hoping for.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The thing that stood out to us the most about this product is the price tag. It’s extremely affordable, and better yet, it works. Since it has OpenVPN and Wireguard, it supports more than 30 popular OpenVPN service providers, making set up pretty easy.

This product is small, lightweight, and easy to use. You can connect it to public Ethernet, an existing wireless network, or an access point. It’s open-source and programmable so you can tweak it if you have some IT skills. Plus, it’s covered by a one-year warranty.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a device that’s affordable and has all the basic features you’re looking for, this is a great product to try. We love that it’s open-source and programmable but also easy to set up at the same time.

Best Travel Router for Chromecast:
TP-Link N300 Portable Router

TP-Link N300 Portable Router

PROS

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Supports a wide range of OS
  • Chromecast-enabled unit
  • Swift data transmission speeds
  • 2-year warranty

CONS

  • Check device compatibility before buying
  • Has only 1 Ethernet port
  • Plenty of used items on sale

What Recent Buyers Report

A consumer reported that this is a very versatile travel router. The device is so tiny that it can be packed away when not in use. It has an easy-to-use software program for switching between modes of operation, making this product perfect for traveling.

Why It Stands Out to Us

The TP-Link’s N300 Router is an excellent budget-friendly option for various users such as students, educators, professionals, and mobile gamers working within a target budget.

This device has incredible versatility as it can support a wide range of operating systems such as Linux, Windows, Mac, and UNIX, making it great for both personal and business use.

Additionally, it’s Chromecast-enabled, making it easy to stream from your smartphone to larger LED television screens for your favorite movies at home or professional presentations at work.

This tiny router is perfect for people on the go. It has a 2-year warranty and has only one Ethernet port, so you can be sure it will last. Whether you're using it at home or on the road, this router is an excellent option for anyone who needs internet access anytime and anywhere.

Bottom Line

The TP-Link N300 Router is Chromecast-enabled, making it easy to stream your favorite shows and movies without any frustrating buffering delays. On the other hand, it is vital to check the portable travel router’s compatibility with your current devices before you buy.

What is a Travel Router?

A travel router is just like the router you use at home, only it’s smaller and meant to be taken with you for convenience. Instead of using the internet coming into your home from your internet service provider, a travel router is meant to use public wifi, providing you with an extra layer of security.

There are a lot of options for travel routers out there. Some perform the basic functions of a router while others are multifunctional and can come in handy while you travel.

How Does a Travel Router Work?

Travel routers work just like any other router, only they are designed to use public wifi. That said, a lot of people who live in small apartments or dorms use them as they would a regular router. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

Once the router connects to the internet, it connects your computer to the internet. The router does a lot of things. It works as a sort of dispatcher, making sure your connection is the best it can be. Routers also have built-in security, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular with travelers.

Are All Routers for Travel the Same?

No, all travel routers are not the same. As you’ll see when you look at or product reviews, some of them are very simple and some are multifunctional. Before you decide what router is right for you, it helps to think about what you need. Do you want something simple to connect you to the internet safely and securely? Or, do you want something that can also be used as a power bank or that can help you transfer files between devices? Some travel routers work with VPNs, others don’t. Some support multiple devices while others are only meant to support one. So, there are a lot of options out there, depending on what you need.

Advantages of a Travel Router

Do you need a travel router? Here are some of the advantages to consider:

Security

Travel routers add an extra layer of security when using public wifi, and that is so important when you’re traveling. Whether you’re using the wifi in a cheap hotel or sitting at a cafe browsing the web over your morning coffee, having more security is always a good thing on unfamiliar networks.

GL.iNet GL-AR750

Multiple Devices

Sometimes hotels and other lodgings may limit the number of devices you can have connected to the wifi. When you have a travel router, the only thing the hotel’s network sees is the router, not the number of devices connected to the router. That means you can have multiple devices on the wireless connection, regardless of the hotel’s policy.

Extends Connections

If you’re traveling and the nearest wifi is weak, a router can help boost the signal so you can get better access. They can also work as a wifi bridge, connecting Ethernet-enable devices to a wireless network. Also, if you are somewhere that only has a wired internet connection, you can use a portable travel router to take that signal and make it into a wireless connection so that everyone can share it.

How Do Travel Routers Compare?

If you’re still not sure about what travel router is for you, here are some direct comparisons to consider.

Travel Router vs WiFi Extender

A router connects different networks. Most commonly, it connects your devices to the internet. The internet is made of tens of thousands of networks, all linked together by routers.

A wifi extender is completely different. In your home, for example, it takes the wifi signal it’s connected to and amplifies the signal to rooms and corners that the regular wifi signal doesn’t reach.         

Hootoo vs Ravpower

It depends on what models you’re talking about, but when you look at the basics, Hootoo and Ravpower have many similarities and differences. Both brands have been around for a while now, and they each have a good reputation. Most models can be used as a router, bridge, or access point, but they do not support VPN. They also cannot be used as wireless hotspots, but they do offer Chromecast support.

There are some differences between these brands, but they’re small. The HooToo has a larger power bank and it’s a bit smaller in size. If your choice is between these two brands, think carefully about what you need and see which one best suits you.

How to Use a Travel Router

If you’re curious about how to use a travel router, here are some general guidelines.

How to Use a Travel Router in a Hotel

The first thing you should do is connect the travel router to the hotel’s Ethernet cable. Then, use the wireless signal from the router to connect to the internet using your laptop, and complete the hotel’s sign-in process. This way, the hotel will recognize the travel router as the only device connected to the internet, leaving you free to have as many connected devices as you want to the router’s signal.

How to Use a Travel Router as a Repeater

Exactly how you do this will depend on the model you have, but here’s a general idea. When you’re using a router as a repeater, the big thing to remember is that you do not want the Ethernet cable hooked up to the router. Instead, connect to the wifi signal, which is most likely coming from another router. Make sure the router is set to repeater mode, and you should be good to go.

Conclusion

Now that you know a little more about travel routers and everything they can do, we hope we helped you find the one that works best for you.

People Also Ask

If you’re still having trouble choosing which travel router is best for you, we want to help. Here are some of the most common things people wonder about when shopping for a travel router.

How Can I Increase the Range of My Router?

The best thing you can do is look for any interference. Reposition your router if anything is getting in the way of the signal. You can also try replacing the antenna or installing a repeater or wifi amplifier.

How Does a Router Signal Travel?

Most routers work by connecting to the internet through a modem and then sending a wifi signal out into the air. A typical travel wifi router will project a wifi signal about 200 to 300 feet or so.

Do I Need an Ethernet Cable to Use a Travel Router?

Not necessarily. Some travel routers can connect to the internet wirelessly, which is why you can use them in coffee shops and cafes to create a personal hotspot or access point. An ethernet connection is still faster and more reliable, though. So, if you have the option, say, in a hotel, to use an ethernet connection, you should.

Will a Travel Router Help Keep You Safe?

A travel router adds another layer of security because it creates a separate network from the one it’s getting its connection from, so it will help keep you safe. Ultimately, though, you still have to be very careful when sharing anything over any internet connection, no matter how secure any connected devices may be.

Is it Secure to Use a Portable Router?

A portable wifi router is as secure as any other network connection, but there are some steps you can take to make it better. Make sure you change the admin login password before doing anything else. Make sure you get a router that uses adequate encryption and set up a guest network to keep your connection as secure as possible.



Austin

When the tech company I worked for restructured and I ended up jobless, I decided to put the wealth of knowledge and management skills to use somewhere new. I’d checked out a few buyer’s guides on the site in the past and reached out to the previous owner. A few months later, here we are. Now, I get to be behind the scenes, helping people find the best tech.