We have all felt the pain of a poor Wifi connection while on our travels. The connection is either too weak, insecure, limited, needs multiple logins for different devices, the list is endless.
This is where travel routers come in. Designed to be light and portable a wireless travel router will covert a Wifi or ethernet connection into your own Wifi network. You’ll be able to connect all your devices and your friends and families too, to a private and secured connection no matter what is available in the airport or hotel.
Not only do the best travel routers create a private wifi connection they also have extra features and can double up as a power bank, share media files, boost the Wifi range, provide extra security, become a hotspot, and more. They’re an incredibly useful device for anyone who moves around a lot.
In this review, we have chosen some of the best travel routers around, and there are a lot to choose from. We compared them against each other and have highlighted their features, pros, and cons so you can make an informed decision and find the best travel router for you.
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Best On A Budget
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The HooToo TripMate Titan Travel Router is a great multi-purpose travel router that easily coverts a wired or wireless network into your own private network. Simply connect to the hardline or Wifi using the mobile app and you’ll have a secured network that’ll connect up to 5 devices.
It has it’s own battery power and doesn’t need to be plugged into a power source to give you your connection, making it very portable. Just be sure to charge it for when you’ll need it on the move.
Not only is it a wireless travel router but it also doubles up as a power bank and holds enough juice to charge an iPhone 3 times. It comes with a single USB-A port, a micro-USB port, and a single ethernet port. You can also connect a hard-drive to the router and share files across all your mobile devices too.
It’s also compatible with Chrome cast and other media players so you can stream your favorite movies on the TV where ever you are. This router weighs just 9 oz and is compact at 3.74 x 1.73 x 1.73. It’ll slip into your carry on luggage with ease.
The downsides are that you’ll have to upgrade the firmware on arrival to get the best Wifi speed, and this is a little tricky. It also doesn’t support VPN’s. Other than that, it’s a great travel router at a great price.
The RAVPower Filehub Travel Router AC750 is another multi-purpose router that’s also a power bank and enables wireless file sharing.
It comes with dual-band Wifi that works on both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ networks, You get 300Mbps Wi-Fi speed on 2.4GHz band and up to 433 Mbps on 5GHz. You can connect this wireless router directly to an ethernet cable or modem and to an existing Wifi network. Unfortunately, when connected to an existing Wifi network you’ll only get half of the speed compared to connecting directly.
Once connected, you’ll have your own secured private Wifi connection that supports up to 5 devices. You can then connect your hard drive and SD card to the router and begin file sharing across connected devices. You can also wirelessly transfer data from your mobile devices to the SD card or hard drive to save space or as a backup. The file transfers on the RAVPower Filehub are a bit slow though.
This wireless travel router is light, compact, and has a built-in battery for portability. It’ll take up hardly any space or weight in your luggage and can be used as a power bank too.
The setup is a little tricky but you’ll only have to do it once and the best thing is the router automatically updates the firmware so you get the fastest speeds without having to do a thing.
If you’re looking for a travel router that does the basics well and is super compact then the RAVPower Travel Router N300 might be the one you’ve been waiting for. This little guy weighs bare 1 oz and is just 2.20 x 2.01 x 0.71″, you could carry it around in your pocket and still forget it’s there.
You’ll be able to turn a hardline internet connection into a Wifi network, bridge onto existing Wifi, and boost an existing Wifi network range so you can work outside for example. You can also share and stream media files across all devices through a built-in DLNA server by plugging in a hard drive.
There are always some sacrifices when things are so small but in this case, they’re not so bad. There isn’t a built-in battery so you’ll have to connect a power source to the router in order to use it. This is via a mini USB port, so it can be direct from a socket or a power bank.
It also has just one USB port and one ethernet port and no SD card slots or extra’s.
Overall a great travel router that is super compact, light, and gives you all the things you really need. Plus it’s great value too.
The TP-Link N300 Wireless Travel Router is the simplest travel router in the review. Simply put, it is just a travel router and doesn’t have any extra’s like file-sharing or being able to be used as a power bank.
Removing the extra’s makes it light, portable, and capable of getting a speed of up to 300Mbps.
The band connection also provides lag-free streaming. The travel router can be connected to an ethernet cable to create a wireless network, to a modem as an AP, used as a repeater, a booster, and as a hotspot.
It’s also compatible with Chromecast or Amazon FireStick so you can watch all your favorite movies on the go too. Being so light, it doesn’t have an inbuilt battery and you’ll need to connect it to a power source through the micro USB port.
This means you can charge it from the wall, your lightweight laptop, or a power bank, giving you Wifi internet connection where ever you are.
The setup is incredibly easy and takes under a minute. Once set up it can be connected to by as many devices as you like but its performance does decrease noticeably with multiple devices.
Overall a simple, fast, portable, and easy to use rooter that also comes with 24/7 support and a 2-year warranty.
If you’re into Wifi then you’ll have heard of Netgear. They make some of the best routers on the market and have added a load of features to the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 travel router. It is the largest and most expensive router in the review but it does do everything.
The M1 will turn an ethernet connection, modem, wireless network, and your SIM card into a super-fast personal Wifi network anywhere in the world. This is the first router in the review that can create a Wifi internet connection from a 3G or 4G SIM Card.
This means that no matter where in the world you are, you can slot in a local SIM card have Wifi where ever you are. From the beach to the jungle, if there is a 3/4G network available, you’ll be online.
The speed this travel router can deliver is also impressive and it will compete with your home broadband. They have put a four-band Carrier Aggregation and LTE in this router which is what helps it get speeds of up to 1Gbps.
Built into this travel router is a battery that holds up to 20 devices for 24 hours before you need to charge it.
That’s some incredible battery life and it does make the M1 very portable. There is a handy LCD display that shows you the number of devices connected, connection strength, and keeps you up to date with how much data you’re using.
It’s not just a router, however, and it shouldn’t be at $690. It’s also a power bank, provides data sharing and media streaming. It’s also highly configurable to give you exactly the Wifi set up you want where ever you are in the world.
Overall it’s an amazing device, it just very expensive and a little bigger than most, but well worth it if it’s in your budget.
The GL.iNET GL-AR150 Mini Travel Router is a great choice for anyone who wants a router that’s super-portable, simple, and just a router.
This little guy weighs just over 1 oz and is compact enough to slip into your pocket or purse with ease. It can create a Wifi network from just about anything except a SIM card. You can connect it to a modem, ethernet cable, existing Wifi internet connection, or tether it to your phone or dongle via USB.
One of the best features of this travel router is its security. Traveling around the world means unsecured networks, but once you plug this baby in, you’re getting a Wifi network with a firewall, instantly.
It comes with Open VPN pre-installed and is compatible with over 20 providers, so where ever you connect, you’ll know you’re secure.
It comes without an internal battery but you can charge it from your laptop’s USB, power bank, or from a wall socket. It comes with 2 ethernet ports, 64MB of RAM, and 16MB of flash. You can also increase this via USB. It’s also Open Source and programmable so you can have full control over everything.
This is an awesome travel router and for just $27, you can’t go wrong.
The TP Link AC750 Wireless Travel Router gives you the highest speed for your money out of any of the routers in the review. It can give up to 733Mbps depending on the network and it does it for $40.
This TP-Link model is not only fast but it’s also very versatile in terms of Wifi connectivity. It does everything you’d expect like creating a secure Wifi network from a direct ethernet connection, Wifi connection, modem connection, and a WISP hotspot.
The special bit is that it also works as a range extender and you can connect a device to the router using a wired connection. So if your TV, for example, needs a hardline ethernet cable to connect to the internet, you can run one from the Ac750 directly to it.
As well as being great at Wifi, you can also use it as a power bank and for file sharing. It’s pretty light and compact too making it a great all-rounder. The only downside is that the port layouts are quite annoying and the instructions aren’t clear and could get frustrating.
Overall, this is a fast, versatile travel router from TP Link that’s not going to break the bank. Plus it comes with a 2-year warranty.
If you’re a technical wiz and looking for a travel router that’s versatile and offers you a lot of programmabilities, then the GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel AC Router is a great choice.
It will create a highly secure Wifi network from a modem, ethernet connection, wifi connection, dongle, and from your phone. It works over a dual-band and it’s pretty fast offering speeds up to 733Mbps.
It comes with 3 ethernet ports to give wired devices internet access. It has a USB slot to open up local fire sharing. There is also an SD card slot to provide you with built-in storage space.
It’s programmable and comes pre-installed with OpenVPN and WireGuard to act as a VPN client and server out of the box.
This means your connection will be very secure no matter where you are. It also arrives configured to use Cloudflare’s encrypted DNS servers for additional security. You will have to update it to the latest firmware when you get it though.
Overall a fast, secure, and technical, wireless travel router that’s got a lot of bang for its buck.
Here are some key factors to consider when buying a travel router.
When it comes to portability both the size and weight of a router are important considerations. You’ll want it to slip easily into your carry-on luggage and not take any valuable weight or space. All the routers in this review are light and portable but some are much lighter and compact than others.
Another thing to consider is your travel router power source. Some routers come without an inbuilt battery making them very light but they will need to be plugged in to use them.
This means having a power bank ready or plugging them into your laptop’s USB port. Wifi travel routers with an inbuilt battery will be easy to carry around but you’ll need to make sure to pack the right charging cables and plug for your trip.
Every router in the review will turn an ethernet, modem, or Wifi connection into your own Wifi connection but not all of them connect to a dongle, phone, or SIM card. There are a few in the review that do connect to all of these, like the ETGEAR Nighthawk M1 or the GL.iNET GL-AR150 Mini Travel Router, so if you’re wanting to use your phone or a Sim card to give you Wifi anywhere, be sure to pick s router that can do it.
In order to keep your connection secure, you want a router that offers WPA2 encryption or has a built-in VPN. All the routers in the review provide some security but if you want the maximum, go for one of the ones with a built-in VPN.
Faster routers usually mean spending a little more. Think about the speed and the range you’re likely to need on your travels. If you’re going to need to stream HD across 5 devices or have multiple conference calls across multiple devices, you’ll need a router with some solid bandwidth.
If it’s just for you to do some work on, watch a movie, and call home, then you’ll be fine with a lower speed.
Some of the routers in the review are plain routers while others are more multi-tools. Some can also be used as a power bank, for file sharing, can have in-built storage, and connect to media streaming. If you want these added benefits, be sure to choose one with them.
Here are our top choices from the review.
The lightest travel router of the bunch is the RAVPower Travel Router N300. This guy weighs barely 1 oz and is so compact it’ll fit in your pocket with ease. It does everything you could want a travel router to do and for just over $20 it’s a steal.
The best travel router is the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1. This is one of the fastest and best multi-use travel routers on the market. It can turn anything into a fast, secured Wifi network, even a SIM card. It’s also a power bank, data sharer, and media streamer. You can have up to 20 devices all working from the same router, sharing data, anywhere, even at the beach.
The best travel router on a budget is the GL.iNET GL-AR150 Mini Travel Router. This router is tiny, light, compact, and very secure. It can turn anything into a secured VPN, even your phone’s 4G signal and it’s just $27.