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How to Get Wi-Fi for Cars

Having car Wi-Fi keeps you connected, safer in times of emergencies, and entertained on long drives, road trips, or when you’re buzzing about town. Car manufacturers like Chevrolet and Tesla have been adding built-in hotspots to some of their models, but you don’t need a brand new car to get Wi-Fi on the road.

So, how do you get that sweet car Wi-Fi? We’ll explain some affordable and effective options. Read on for details on mobile hotspots, in-car hotspots, public Wi-Fi, travel routers, and more.

Use your phone’s mobile Wi-Fi hotspot

Before you invest in new gadgetry or the latest Tesla model, you might try simply switching on your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot. Most smartphones nowadays come with built-in hotspots that allow for tethering to other devices.

You’ll need the phone, of course, and you’ll also have to be signed onto a phone plan that allows for hotspots and tethering. After that, all you have to do is simply switch on the hotspot and sign into it with other devices—it’s by far the cheapest way to get Wi-Fi in your car (or anywhere else away from home). Just keep an eye on your data usage.

In this guide:

Read our guide on cell phone hotspots for more details on pricing and setup.

Use a public Wi-Fi hotspot (coffee shop, library parking lot, etc.)

Another, even more affordable way to get Wi-Fi in the car is to pull up to the nearest McDonald’s, Starbucks, coffee shop, or public library and connect your device on its public Wi-Fi network. Many businesses offer Wi-Fi for free and sometimes the signal is strong enough that it will allow you access from the parking lot or street.

Public libraries also usually have free Wi-Fi, and some library branches extend their Wi-Fi service to the parking lot so people can access it after business hours.

Of course, this means you and your passengers will have to make a pit stop to get Wi-Fi while on a drive—but you won’t need to get out of the car or buy anything

Use a mobile hotspot device

If you need a reliable Wi-Fi connection regularly on the go, it may be worth investing in a mobile hotspot like a Verizon Jetpack MiFi or NETGEAR AirCard. You can find recommendations for some sweet hotspots in our mobile hotspot guide.

Mobile hotspots work similarly to your phone’s Wi-Fi hotspot, but they are dedicated devices for internet usage, providing a Wi-Fi signal through 4G LTE networks. They work with any mobile device, including laptops, phones, and cameras. They offer equal if not better speeds than your phone, options for more data, and most of them can connect more devices than you would be able to with a phone.

Alcatel’s Link Zone 4G LTE plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter socket through a USB, letting it stay charged at all times. Sprint Drive, which plugs into your car’s OBD-II port, includes features for virtual vehicle maintenance and roadside assistance in addition to a hotspot that connects a maximum of eight devices and the option for a monthly unlimited data plan.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for a monthly plan with a cell carrier in order to use the hotspot—it usually costs somewhere between 20 to 90 for 2–10 GB of data per month. (You can also add a hotspot onto your unlimited phone plan.)

Data as of 06/16/2020. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

You’ll want to take a look at the size of the cell network and Wi-Fi capabilities of your hotspot plan. If you’re planning to use the hotspot for a big road trip, you still may end up experiencing dead zones in remote areas where no cell service is available.

Use a travel router

A travel router isn’t quite as convenient as a mobile hotspot. It’s not something you can use to access Wi-Fi in a car—you need an Ethernet connection to make it work, and those connections aren’t always readily available.

But a travel router is more affordable than a mobile hotspot, and it comes in handy when you’re making occasional pit stops to use the internet. For example, you can use it while spending the night at a hotel. By plugging directly into the Ethernet port of a hotel’s router or gateway, you can bypass password and payment requirements and build your own network to connect a multitude of devices.

It works kind of like the old hacker practice of wardriving, but for regular folks and without any actual hacking involved!

Here are our four favorite travel routers: Price (as of 6/15/20 10:49 MST). Product and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. utilizes paid Amazon links.

Travel routers also work as portable chargers for mobile devices, range extenders to boost a weak Wi-Fi signal, and Cloud-sharing hubs for external hard drives and memory cards. They’re a handy travel tool all around.

Buy a new car

Wi-Fi probably isn’t the number-one reason to justify investing in a new set of wheels. But if you are shopping around for the combustible conveyance of your dreams, go ahead and check to see if the model you’re looking at has a built-in hotspot. It’s quickly becoming a standard feature in many new vehicles.

Related resources

Best Verizon hotspot Ellipsis® Jetpack® MHS900L Supported with widest coverage area Lightweight and portable Expensive.

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Auto Wi-Fi router

Buckle up and stream your “Happy Tunes” playlist while running errands, entertain your kids with cartoons and games, connect to today’s staff meeting. Check if your car qualifies for a free trial.

For business solutions, please visit In-Car Wi-Fi for Business.

Elig. vehicle wireless service req’d. Coverage service not avail. everywhere. Restr’s apply. See plan details. See offer details

Connect multiple devices

Each of your passengers can stream, browse, share, and email from their favorite device. Because the signal works both in and out of your car, you can stay connected while stretching your legs. Now even pitstops won’t slow you down.

ATT covers more roads than any other carrier

Explore the open road and ATT will be there to keep you connected. Our 4G LTE and 5G networks keep your car connected across the most US Interstates, US highways, State Highways, and other main roads. Based on nationwide GWS drive test data. GWS conducts paid drive tests for ATT and uses the data in its analysis

Driven to entertain

Be the envy of the carpool. Enjoy a rotating selection of hit shows and movies from Cartoon Network, CNN, TruTV, Max Originals, and more with the Warner Bros. Discovery RIDE™ app—free with an ATT unlimited In-car Wi-Fi data plan.

After 22GB, ATT may temporarily slow data speeds if the network is busy.

Best Travel Routers for Internet while Traveling 2023

These days most travelers want to be able to get online regularly while traveling to check email, get directions, check hotel and restaurant reviews, upload photos, update social media, and stay in touch with those back home. Travel routers can help with this. It is definitely easier to stay connected as wireless Internet is now widely available in most parts of the world but there are still a number of situations when it can be tricky (or expensive) to connect. As travel bloggers who regularly have to manage our business on the go, it is often really important for us to be able to get online on a regular basis while traveling and it can be very frustrating when we are in a hotel with weak Wi-Fi, we are being restricted from using multiple devices on one Internet connection, or we would like more security when using an unsecured public hotspot. A travel router is a compact little device which solves these common Internet issues and offers a number of features to the on-the-go traveler who wants to stay connected. In this post we’re going to go through some of the best travel router options available on the market today based on real-world testing and personal experiences, so you can pick the right option for you.

Basic Information on what a Travel Router Does

If you are new to travel routers, also known as portable Wi-Fi routers, this section will help you understand what they do and whether they might be a good fit for your travels or not. We understand that a lot of the terminology can be somewhat opaque, so Laurence has put his years of experience as a software engineer to use to help explain everything you need to know.

What is a Travel Router?

A travel router is a wireless range extender designed for people who are on the go and need to connect to the Internet when they are away from home. It also performs the functions of a wireless access point. Just like you would use a home Wi-Fi router to connect your devices to the Internet at home, you may also want to consider having a portable router to use when traveling.

What does a Travel Router do?

  • A travel router can extend the range of wireless networks, meaning you can connect to a network somewhere that you might not have been able to connect to with your device because the signal is too weak. The powerful antenna of a travel router can pick up this weak signal and amplify it so your devices can connect to it.
  • The travel router also creates a secure wireless network at a public hotspot to better protect your devices. Often when traveling the networks we connect to are unsecured and unencrypted, which means anyone could in theory grab hold of passwords or other data that we send to and from the internet. Travel routers feature a firewall which protects your personal devices from known DoS attacks and port scans from the Internet, giving you a more secure internet connection. However, it is still not recommended that you share sensitive information over a public connection.
  • A travel router allows you to connect multiple devices to a network, even with a single login. The travel router is seen by networks as a single device, so if you are only given one login, you can still use multiple devices. You just login once from the travel router via a web browser (or in some cases a provided smartphone app), and then all your devices can be connected to the network created by the travel router.
  • Some travel routers can also be used as a Wi-Fi bridge. These have Ethernet ports so you can connect Ethernet-enabled devices wirelessly to an existing Wi-Fi network. These can include Internet-ready TVs, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles.
  • Other features of travel routers may include the ability to connect to a wired network and turn that into a wireless network, to provide USB charging power to devices such as phones. to work without power, and even to act as an SD Card reader or media hub.
  • Some travel routers (including one on our list) can also act as mobile hotspots, but this is not common. See our guide to mobile hotspots for more options in this area.

How much do travel routers cost?

Travel routers range in price from about 20 to 130, although more expensive models with more features are available. We’d recommend that most people look at ones in the 30 to 70 range, as these will work for most users.

If you have a small budget, you can get a decent travel router for around 30. See our recommended travel router list later in the article; they are listed in order by retail price. But beware of ones that are really cheap as they may not work well as advertised.

If you need a travel router that also acts as a mobile hotspot or has other specialized features, then you will pay extra. Some of these can be upwards of 200.

The Best Travel Routers 2023

There are a number of travel routers on the market today, which range in price and features. All the below models would make for a good choice, and the model you choose will depend on your budget and required features.

We currently use a GL.iNet GL-MT1300 which replaces our previous and now discontinued Netgear Trek N300 (PR2000).

We also use the Netgear Nighthawk M1 on some trips when we need access to the Internet as this functions primarily as a mobile hotspot, but it can also be used as a travel router.

Below are our current favorite recommendations:

GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango) Mini Travel Router

This is the first of a few GL.iNet routers that we recommend in this post. We like them for a number of reasons. First, they’re based on the OpenWRT software, which is a Linux based operating system that receives regular updates. GL.iNet keep on top of regular firmware updates, so the routers stay secure and get new features. This is unfortunately not as common as you might think, but it is super important to keep your devices safe.

As an example, the GL.iNet routers we list have all been upgraded to include support for WPA3, the latest wireless security standard. Regular updates and support for new features is definitely a benefit when it comes to a travel router, and means it will likely be more future proof.

Whilst this may all sound quite technical, the good news is that you don’t need to really worry about it if you’re not an advanced user. The devices have a simple interface and are easy to setup, and upgrades are just a single click option. If you want to dive into more advanced options you can, but the device works great out of the box, with setup via a simple web interface.

All the GL.iNet routers in our list also all support VPN credentials (see why you need a VPN for travel here). This means that if you have a VPN account for more secure browsing like NordVPN, all your devices will connect through that when using this device.

The MT300N-V2 model, also known as Mango, is one of the more entry level options in terms of price and features, but if you’re looking for a small device that will do pretty much everything you are likely to need from a travel router, it’s a great option.

You get 300Mbps 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi support, WPA2 and WPA3 support, and two 100 Mbps Ethernet ports for sharing a wired network. It’s also very privacy-focused. As well as the aforementioned VPN support, it also comes with built-in support for Cloudflare’s DNS over TLS. This basically means your internet connection is going to be pretty secure and hard for anyone to snoop on.

Another great feature is that if you have a smartphone with tethering support, or a 3G/4G data dongle, you can plug this smartphone into the USB 2 port on this router, and share the phone’s data over the router’s Wi-Fi network.

The device is powered by USB, so any USB power source can power it, including a power bank or smartphone charger.

The reviews are positive and it’s available at a great price for a travel router that supports 300Mbps and only weighs 1.41oz. It is not as fully featured as some of the other options, in particular it only operates on the 2.4GHz Band and the ethernet ports are 100Mbit rather than gigabit. However for most users this likely won’t make a significant difference.

If you are after a lightweight great value travel router with VPN support, this is a solid option.

TP-Link TL-WR902AC Router

The TP-Link TL-WR902AC wireless travel router is another small, value option that is worth considering.

This weighs just 2oz, is powered by USB and supports the 802.11ac standard, which offers speeds up to 433Mbps. We’re not sure this speed will make much difference in the real world, as you’re always limited by the speed of the network you connect to, it is good to have.

It also has a USB port that you can connect a USB drive to for file sharing, or to charge a smartphone or other USB powered device. There’s also a 100Mbps ethernet port. It doesn’t have a built-in battery, so it does need to be powered from either a USB battery pack or a wall adaptor.

This is definitely an option if you’re looking for a small travel router at a good price, but be aware the software is not updated as regularly as the GL-iNet and it doesn’t have as many features such as VPN support.

RAVPower Filehub AC 750

If you’re after a travel router with a few more features and great functionality, then the RAVPower Filehub AC750 is a good choice. It may also allow you to replace some of the other devices you typically travel with to pack less.

As well as offering a fast 433Mbps network with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks, this device features a 6700mah battery so it works without needing power, and can also be used to charge your devices.

It also features an SD Card reader and a USB port, so you can transfer files from memory cards to your hard drives or computer. It also has DLNA compatible media serving capabilities, although it is missing built in VPN support.

The latter means you can plug in a hard drive or memory card with your movies on, and stream them directly to your TV, laptop, or mobile phone. There’s a lot of functionality for the price and it weighs under 7 ounces!

Price: Check the latest price here on the company’s website here. Also available on Amazon as the NewQ Filehub 750.

GL.iNet GL-AR750S (Slate) Travel Router

The GL.iNet AR750, also known as Slate, is a more advanced version of the GL.iNet MT300 listed earlier. It’s a bit more expensive, but you do get a few more features.

First, it supports both 300Mbps on the 2.4Ghz Band as well as 433Mbps on the 5Ghz Band. So you get the option of faster connectivity across the local network with the addition of the 5Ghz Band.

It also comes with a card slot for storage, a USB 2 port, media server capabilities, and three gigabit ethernet ports. There are also a couple of antennas which mean improved wireless coverage.

Basically, this has all the features you could want in a travel router, on top of VPN support, regular updates, WPA2/3 capability and regular updates. It is marginally bigger than the AR300, but it’s still only 3oz, so still very portable.

If you are looking for a fully featured and portable travel router that gets regular updates, this is an excellent choice.

GL.iNet GL-MT1300 (Beryl) Travel Router

The travel router we currently use is the GL-MT1300 from GL.iNet, which is also known as Beryl. This supports 400Mbps on the 2.4Ghz channel, and up to 867Mbps on the 5Ghz channel. It also supports up to 40 devices simultaneously, thanks to a relatively fast processor and lots of RAM.

Like the other GL.iNet routers it also gets regular updates and includes support for features like IPv6 and WPA3, as well as lots of other advanced features that make this perfect for both travel and at home use.

Now, to be honest, most Wi-Fi networks you connect to aren’t going to offer internet speeds which this router can take advantage of. However, if you happen to connect to one that is that fast, this device will let you take full advantage of it! It also means when you’re not travelling you can use it at home as a fast network option to extend an existing network.

You also get three gigabit ethernet ports, a faster USB 3.0 port with media server capabilities, a micro SD slot for storage, and a USB-C port for power. As with the other GL.iNet devices in this list, If you have a smartphone that supports tethering, you can plug it into the USB port and share your smartphone data as well. Or, if you have a USB 3G/4G modem, you can plug that into the USB slot and share that data.

It also has support for a wide range of VPN services as well as support for IPv6, making this one of the most future proof travel routers we’re aware of on the market. It weighs 6.5oz, so it’s not the smallest option, but it’s still very compact and offers a lot of functionality for the price.

GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX)

Launched in December 2022, this travel router takes the speed crown from our previous fastest travel router, the GL.iNet AXT1800 (Slate), and as the name suggests, is an upgrade over the 1300 Beryl model.

If you want one of the fastest and most future proof travel routers on the market, this is the model to go for. It’s one of the few travel routers we know of currently that supports the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, with speeds of up to 574Mbps on the 2.4GHz channel and a blazing fast 2402Mbps on the 5Ghz channel.

It also has an incredibly fast dual-core CPU and double the RAM of the previous Beryl model, meaning it can support up to 70 connected devices simultaneously.

You also get a USB 3 port for tethering support and 2 LAN ports. One of those LAN ports offers gigabit speeds whilst the other is 2.5 gigabits, which is about as fast as you can get, and ideal if you also want to use this at home with a fibre connection.

It otherwise has the same features as the other GL.iNet products, so you get regular updates and support for VPN connectivity if you have a VPN account. If you do have a VPN, this router offers WireGuard speeds of up to 300Mbps, which is incredibly fast compared to other travel routers on the market.

To be honest, this router is probably a bit much for most general travel needs. However, If you have a lot of devices to connect, or just want the fastest option with all the features, and support for USB 3, this is the one to go for. At 7oz, it’s not the lightest option out there but you do get incredible performance.

Netgear Nighthawk M1

If you are looking for a product that is both a mobile hotspot and a travel router, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 (MR1100) is an option to consider. This is for people who know they are going to be traveling in places without Internet access.

As well as offering travel router capabilities like extending an ethernet or wireless network, this device also lets you put a 4G LTE SIM card into it, and use it as a mobile hotspot when you are away from wireless or ethernet.

It has a 5040mAH built in battery which you can use to charge your phone, media streaming support, can connect up to 20 devices, and supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac wireless networks.

Note that this can work on multiple bands around the world, but it doesn’t support all bands around the world. Check to make sure it will work where you need it to work before purchasing. The device should come unlocked and be able to work with any compatible SIM card.

This is definitely a more premium product, but may be a good option for more frequent travelers, those who work remotely, and those who need to get online in more remote locations like RVs or rural settings. For more convenient travel, there are cases you can purchase for it to keep the router and cords, such as this one.

If you are looking for an even faster mobile hotspot that also doubles as a travel router, then you might consider the newer versions which support 5G, including the Netgear Nighthawk M5 (MR5200) and the Nighthawk M6 (MR6150 MR6500).

These offer 5G compatibility, a touchscreen interface, and can support up to 32 devices. They are significantly more expensive than the M1, but worth considering if you have a larger budget and want a more future-proof router that supports 5G. The M6 series additionally supports Wi-Fi 6.

Note that there is also a M2 version of the router available in certain markets like the United Kingdom and Europe. This one also offers more features like a touchscreen interface but it doesn’t include 5G support.

Price: Check latest price here

You can see and compare most of the travel routers above in one place on Amazon here.

What We Like about Travel Routers

Our primary use for our travel router has been to extend existing Wi-Fi connections. We have often encountered the situation when we are happy to learn that a wireless Internet connection exists in a hotel, bus, cafe, or airport but are then disappointed that the connection is too weak to connect to or is very slow.

Our travel router can then be pulled out to help strengthen the signal so that we can get online using our phone, tablet, and/or laptops. Although not always possible, it is also great in those situations where you can extend a Wi-Fi range from a hotel lobby to your room or from an indoor space to a patio.

The device also partially helps with the security issue of using public Wi-Fi hotspots by providing a firewall and some protection from common Internet threats; however, you should still be cautious about providing sensitive personal information over a public connection.

Travel Routers are also great in other traveling situations beyond just extending an existing wireless connection. There are situations where you might only be given a password to connect one device at a time on a wireless network or may have to pay for additional devices. Obviously, since we are traveling as a couple with two cell phones, two laptops, and two Wi-Fi enabled cameras between us, one Internet connection is not enough and we hate to pay for Internet!

So by whipping out this device, it will allow you to connect multiple devices to a wireless network using a single login. You just login once from the travel router via a web browser or the provided smartphone app, and then all your devices can be connected to the travel routers network, where they should all work simultaneously.

Also, if you are in a hotel or other location that only offers wired Internet access in your room, you can plug the Ethernet cable into the travel router and create a wireless connection that can be used for all of your Wi-Fi-enabled devices.

Interestingly we have ended up using our travel router as much, if not more, at our apartment verses while traveling. When we lived in California, we had a good wireless Internet connection in our apartment but it became weaker when trying to use a laptop or phone outside on the deck.

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We’ve set up the travel router to extend the range of our home wireless network to be able to blog more efficiently on the deck which was one of my favorite spots to blog. We have also used the USB ports on our router to charge cell phones and other devices and to plug in our USB hard drive for use as a network attached storage device to be shared on our home network.

We also like that most of these travel routers are powered through a micro-USB port, so you can actually power them from a laptop or USB power bank if you don’t have easy access to a power point.

Limitations of Travel Routers

Travel routers are not a mobile hotspot, so they cannot create an Internet connection if one does not already exist. So if you are wanting to actually use the Internet in place where there is no or very poor Internet, you’ll probably want to consider something like a mobile hotspot rather than a router or range extender product.

The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is a combo router and mobile hotspot, and so this could be an option as well if you need a hotspot.

For those wondering how to get online or how to find an Internet connection while traveling, see our travel guide to getting online when traveling. It also covers things like mobile hotspots, SIM cards, international data plans, VPNs, etc.

Sometimes despite the power of a travel router’s antenna, the signal will still be too weak to connect. In a few situations we have spent too much time trying to get a connection to work when the signal is simply just too weak. Some routers can also take a few minutes to connect to a network which can leave you wondering if it is just taking awhile or if it isn’t working.

Be sure to check before you buy to make sure the travel router is compatible with your devices! This should not be an issue for most newer devices but some may not work as well with older devices or those using older operating systems.

Do you Need a Travel Router?

Overall, we have found travel routers to be a benefit to our travels. They are generally easy to use once configured, and are compact and easy to travel with.

Given that many hotels only allow you to join a network using one device at a time (or charge extra for multiple devices), having a travel router makes it possible for us to use all our Wi-Fi enabled devices at once without extra fees.

We currently use ours both at home to extend the range of our own home Internet and while traveling to extend wireless Internet connections, to login multiple devices using one password, and to add a little security while using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

If you are planning to use public Wi-Fi a lot while traveling, we recommend making sure you get a travel router that is compatible with a VPN service. You can see our guide to VPNs for travel if you are looking for tips on choosing a VPN provider.

What issues do you have related to using the Internet while traveling? Have you used or would you consider using a travel router? As always, we’d love to hear any advice, tips, or questions you may have!

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There are 212 Комментарии и мнения владельцев on this post

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Thanks for the great article. My issue is with Wi-Fi that requires payment after entering password. Also each device requires payment. On a cell phone, after logging in, it pops up a window (browser?) where you enter the credit card info. Do any of these travel routers have that capability, to enter payment information? Reading the user manuals it appears the answer is no. In your travels maybe you have encountered this issue.

Hi Bob, It’s our pleasure, and we will do our best to try to help you. So the window that pops up to take payment is called a captive portal, and it’s the same thing you often encounter even with free Wi-Fi where it might ask you to enter your name or e-mail address to access the internet. All the travel routers on our list support this, so you can log in and pay if necessary for internet access. A window will pop up on the first device you connect with where you can pay. A pop-up blocker or ad blocker might stop it from happening but in our experience a browser window normally just appears to log in with. Let us know if you have any more questions! Best Laurence Jessica

Just want to say thanks for the sharing informative article, very helpful in choosing the best travel router for our next trip!

Hi Luke, You’re very welcome and glad to hear you found the best travel router for your upcoming travels! And thanks for taking the time to comment. Best, Jessica

This blog post on the best travel routers for the internet while traveling in 2023 is a lifesaver! Staying connected on the go is crucial, and these router recommendations are just what I needed. Thank you for the helpful insights!

Hi there, So glad you found our travel router review helpful. Just let us know if you have any questions! Best, Jessica

Thanks for the great article. I’ve used a travel router for years and found them super helpful, especially in situations where I want to use a portable Chromecast, but the hotel Wi-Fi security settings won’t it allow to connect directly to the hotel Wi-Fi. I am now using a laptop that needs a high wattage charger (ideally 65 watts) and would love to finde a travel router with that kind of charging capability, but I can’t seem to find the technical stats on most of them. Any thoughts?

Hi Arnold, Glad to hear you have found a travel router useful on your travels. So it sounds like you are looking for a travel router that doubles up as a powerbank that you can use to charge your laptop? Unfortunately, we aren’t aware of any travel routers on the market which offer that level of output, most travel routers which have the facility to charge devices have fairly small batteries and don’t offer high wattage outputs. The ones that offer the ability to charge a device, are more designed to top up a smartphone rather than to power a laptop. So if you want a portable device to help charge your laptop on the go, I would look at powerbanks like this one that are speciically designed to charge laptops. Hope that helps! Jessica

Hi Arnold, You’re very welcome. Yes, unfortunately I don’t think there is a device that would be able to do both those things well. Feel free to come back and let us know what travel router and charging device you decide to use on your next trip as it may be helpul to furture readers wanting to do the same thing. Best, Jessica

Thanks for this great article! I have just discovered travel routers and am intrigued as to whether this would be something that would work for my family. I would like to know if any of these would work on a cruise ship? We have to pay for each device, or log off and login on them which is such a pain. Cruise ships are huge so will it work when you are far away from your room, and if so, which one would you recommend? Thank you for any help!

Hi Sherry, Our pleasure! So to the first part of your question, yes, this should work to allow you to use multiple devices with a single login. The travel router will appear as one device to the cruise ship network, and then you would be able to connect your devices to the travel router’s network without needing to keep logging in and out. For the second part of the question, travel routers have a variable range but it won’t cover a whole cruise ship unfortunately. It would work in your room and then nearby, but all the walls etc would reduce the range. So it wouldn’t cover the whole ship sadly. But any of the travel routers on the list work in a very similar way in terms of login and would cover your room. Hope this helps! Laurence

This article from Independent Travel Cats’ blog is a comparison and review of the top portable Wi-Fi routers for travellers. This post does a good job of researching and comparing the features, benefits, and cons of each router. Personal anecdotes and experiences from the bloggers’ travels are also included in the article. In sum, if you are a frequent traveller in need of a dependable and transportable router, you will find this article to be a gold mine of information.

Hi QBM, Thanks so much for the very kind summary and recommendation of our travel router review article!! If you have any questions about portable routers, feel free to ask! Best, Jessica

I appreciate what you did with this blog post, especially the way you keep it updated. It is the best online resource for people looking for information on travel routers, thanks!

Hi Daniel, Thanks for the kind words and glad you found our travel routers review article useful! If you have any questions about choosing the best travel router for you, just let us know. Happy to try to help! Best, Jessica

This i8s so incredibly useful – thank you! Can you help me sort out which might be the best option for me? I mainly work in South Africa, which means we have long spells without power, so anything that runs on battery would be nice to have. I’m in a rural area, so even while working from home I often have trouble getting a Wi-Fi signal, especially in bad weather. I need the signal to be strong enough for Zoom meetings, etc – and often it’s not. I also need a portable option for when I travel, but I don’t know if I need something to boost a signal or to hotspot – can you help me with this? All internet here is Wi-Fi – I have a home plug-in router with a SIM card in it, and a small portable router as well, but they don’t always do the job!

Hi Karen, It’s our pleasure. So it sounds like you need a mobile hotspot rather than a travel router. A travel router can only extend an existing Wi-Fi signal. A mobile hotspot works over cellular networks (like a mobile phone). However this can be affected by bad weather, so would basically be the same situation as you are in as your plug-in router likely works the same way. The only difference is that a mobile hotspot has a built-in battery. So in bad weather situations, there may not be anything more you can do as strong weather can affect the overall signal which could affect the signal for any kind of devices using Wi-Fi or mobile signals. But you might try a hotspot to see if that helps as it works with a different type of signal (cellular signal versus Wi-Fi). Best, Jessica

Is there a travel router best suited for offline multiplayer gaming? My wife and I often wind up in areas with no internet. A normal home router constantly nags us with the “you aren’t connected” screen. We know! That’s why we’re playing Minecraft!

Hi Monte, Happy to try to help. So I am guessing the home routers you are referring to are ones that are not your own but ones you stay in while traveling? So none of the travel router models we recommend are specifically designed for offline gaming. However, we think any of the Gl.iNet routers on the list would work in this scenario, allowing you to create a local Wi-Fi network that your devices can connect to without needing to connect to another Wi-Fi network. However, we have not tried this specific scenario so it is hard to say if one or another router on this list would be better suited to the task. But the more advanced ones offer more features and more future proofing. Another option to try might be to see if one of your computers (or smartphones if playing on them) allows you to set up a Wi-Fi hotspot. Some Windows 10 and Windows 11 laptops for example have the option to allow you to set up a local Wi-Fi network, which you could then connect your other device too. This may be another possible solutation you could check out. Anyway, hope that helps and we’d love to know what solution you come up with that solves your issue as it may be useful to future readers. Best, Jessica

Hi, Thank you for this amazing article. I travel quite a lot and work at the same time and I would need something that I can use to boost the available public Wi-Fi (like in hotels or coffee shops). Which one would you recommend in this case? Thank you in advance, Virag

Hi Virag, Glad you found our travel routers guide useful. So any of the routers listed in our guide would work for that purpose but the GL.iNet routers with the antennas, such as the Slate, Beryl, or the Slate AX models, would have the best performance. We personally use the Beryl model. So I’d recommend any of those three models or a similar travel router to those. I believe Amazon has been offering discounts on most of the routers for the past week so I would definitely compare as you can sometimes get one of the newer models for a good price when they are running discounts. Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have further questions. Best, Jessica

Thank you for sharing the list. I really needed one. I have dead Wi-Fi zones with which the travel routers could help.

Hi Steve, It’s our pleasure, glad you found our list useful. So whilst a travel router can work to resolve dead zones, you might prefer to purchase a Wi-Fi extender instead, especially if you plan to use this at home. They tend to be a little bit cheaper because they don’t need as much functionality. Another option to solve dead zones would be to upgrade to a mesh Wi-Fi network – see our guide to the best home Wi-Fi routers for ideas in that area. The mesh system can help make it so that the Wi-Fi is able to extend throughout your home. Hope that helps and just let us know if you have any questions! Best, Jessica

I purchased two of these items ( #1 and #3) but since I am not tech savvy at all, they were impossible to use. I tried reading and rereading the instructions. I tried the company websites. I tried many YouTube videos. I sat between Carls Jr and Walmart, who both have free Wi-Fi. I was able to scan each one with a success response. BUT NO Wi-Fi. This sucks. When someone in an actual store can hook me up and show me how to use it, and provide an actual phone number I can call when I am on the road (which I always am), then I’ll buy one. But reading reviews and going to amazon, and returning said items to amazon, is not my cup of tea.

Hi AJ, Sorry to hear that you are having issues with using your travel router while traveling. So most travel routers require a little bit of setup. Have you tried using them inside where you know the Wi-Fi was a good strength and working properly? If you were sitting outside the stores, the public signal might not have been strong enough for instance to really work. If you have already gotten the manufacturer’s instructions (GL.iNet has some really detailed ones online you can get), you can also try contacting their customer support. If you want in-person support, you could also try going to a local tech store near you (or a chain like Best Buy) that sells travel routers and might be able to troubleshoot with you and help you. Hope you are able to get it to work! Best, Jessica

For travelers who need access to the internet while traveling, this device sounds very useful. In our everyday life we cannot think of going a day without internet. Thanks for sharing for your valueable information.

Hi David, Yes, travel routers can be very useful for those who need to be connected while traveling. If you have any questions about travel routers, just ask! Best, Jessica

I’m having trouble backup my extender settings, it takes saying that backup is done but can’t find the file.

Hi Chris, Many travel routers do allow you to back up their settings, and save the settings to a file. But you will want to check the manual for your specific travel router model to see if it has that functionality and how to do that. When you backup something as you did, it should give you the option to choose the file location when you do so. So if you check your browser downloads folder it should be there where you set it to save. Or check your manual for the default location. Hope that helps, Jessica

Hello. Thanks for all the great info. I have been researching travel router setup, but am not sure if it’s possible to do what I’m attempting. I hope you can help me out. I have an “older” Asus Dual-Band router that was replaced when we upgraded our home to Eero Mesh router. What I’d like to do is set up the old Asus router with the same SSID password as my current home router (the Eero), so that I can take the Asus on family vacations, connect it to the hotel/condo/house/etc. Wi-Fi, and then all of our devices will automatically connect to it (since they have the same SSID/pswd already saved from our Eero router), without having to sign in all of our devices to the hotel/condo/house/etc. Wi-Fi. I’ve found some articles that explain how to set up 2 routers with the same SSID pswd, but they all require connecting the router to a laptop for the initial setup/configuration. So, the real question/problem is: I don’t want to take my laptop on vacation, just to connect my old Asus router to the vacation home’s Wi-Fi. So, is it possible to set up my old Asus router at home, and then plug it directly into the vacation hotel/condo/home router via ethernet cable, or will I need to bring my laptop to open a web browser and complete the setup?

Hi Jason, It’s hard to really give specifics without knowing the type of router and equipment. But if the main step that is required is to connect to the Asus router via a web browser over the Wi-Fi connection, then you shouldn’t need a laptop specifically to do that as you can just use the web browser on your smartphone to achieve the same thing. So that part of it should work. I would definitely test this setup at home first to see if you can extend your existing network with your old Asus router to see if it works as you intend. If you can’t get it to work at home, I would not recommend taking it on vacation. If you can’t get it to work, I would just recommend getting a new travel router that will do what you need it to do for your trip. Best, Laurence

Hi David, So glad you found our articles helpful. If you have any questions about travel routers, just ask! Best, Jessica

Thanks for the review. I’ll definitely look into it. It really is frustrating if the signal is slow I’ll be willing to carry extra weight if it would boost connection.

Hi David, Yes, a travel router may definitely be able to help with that. It does require packing something extra but travel routers are designed for travel and many of the models are pretty small and lightweight these days so won’t add a lot of extra weight! But I would recommend keeping the dimensions and weights of each model in mind when choosing the best travel router for you. Best, Jessica

Thank you for such a thorough and informative writeup! I also read your Best Mobile Hotpots review and was inspired to purchase the Nighthawk M1100, especially considering it’s added ability to be a travel router and boost a current Wi-Fi signal. Will be travelling to Europe and staying at many AirBnb’s. Just in case any of them have a weak Wi-Fi signal, I’ll be prepared! Now that I have the device, I can’t seem to find instructions on how to use it as a travel router specifically. I’ve searched everywhere online, and there seems to be different wording out there “turn the m1100 into a modem, use it with a modem, etc. Saw one video on how to use the nighthawk with another router (boosting that router’s signal), but it requires connecting an ethernet cable from the router to the Nighthawk. Is that the process of using it as a travel router? Ideally, I’d like to be able to avoid using the ethernet cable, especially if on a public network (i.e. train) that I need to connect to but is weak. Or staying somwhere that I don’t have access to the broadcasting router. Any specific instructions on using the Nighthawk M1100 as a travel router without using an ethernet cable? Thanks in advance.

Hi Ryan, So yes, the Nighthawk M1100 is mainly used as a mobile hotspot, but it can also be used as a travel router. So it is definitely possible to set up the MR1100 as a travel router to share a Wi-Fi network, but the manual is not super helpful. We remember this ourselves when we set it up. The section you are looking for calls it called Wi-Fi data offloading. If you load the MR1100 manual on this page ( – you are looking for the instructions on page 30, titled “offload your mobile internet connection”. There are sections here on setting this up for either Wi-Fi offloading or ethernet offloading. You are looking for the instructions on Wi-Fi offloading. Hope that helps, but just let us know if you have any further questions. We have used both the Nighthawk M1 and M2 and have set them up to work as a travel router ourselves so happy to help! Best, Jessica

Amazing. Would have never found that out on my own. Thank you! Will let you know how it goes. My wife and I are being “digital nomads” for the first time having worked remote in the States for the past 20 years. Will be travelling to Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany, UK, and Ireland over the course of 5 1/2 months. Leaving next week and super excited!

Hi Ryan, Glad that helped and you should be able to test it out before you leave. Having the ability to use it both as both a travel router and a mobile hotspot (when you don’t have Wi-Fi) is nice for a long trip like that. Enjoy your time working as digital nomads in Europe! Best, Jessica

Hi, we’re staying at a place that requires us to re-log in every 24 hours. Are there travel routers that will automatically take care of that for you?

Hi Paul, So we aren’t aware of any travel routers that would be able to automatically do this out of the box. With a travel router there is the advantage that you only have to do this once, rather than once for each device you connect to the travel router. So you should be able to just do the necessary daily login once and then all the devices connected to your router should not have to do the log-in. Depending on how technically minded you are, it is worth pointing out that the GL.iNet routers are based on the OpenWRT software, which allows technically-savvy users to install extra packages if they want and run custom code. However, this is beyond the scope of most users (and not necessary or recommended in most cases). However, if that does describe you though, then that’s an option as you may be able to write code (or find code written by someone else) that would be able to do the auto log-in each day. Best, Jessica

Hi “A travel router allows you to connect multiple devices to a network, even with a single login. The travel router is seen by networks as a single device, so if you are only given one login, you can still use multiple devices. You just login once from the travel router via a web browser (or in some cases a provided smartphone app), and then all your devices can be connected to the network created by the travel router.”. That’s exactly what I need. Connecting to a Wi-Fi and giving the signal to other devices. But sorry, which if the mentioned models can do this? Thank you for your help

Hi Pasu, All of the travel routers we mention in our article can do this as this is one of the main features of most travel routers. The one we are personally currently using is the GL.iNet Beryl model above, but as noted, any of the above models can do this. For instance, we often use it with the Wi-Fi in a hotel to connect all our devices at once without having to log in each one. It can also help get around device limits imposed by some hotels as you just need to connect the travel router. Travel routers can also make your connection more private and secure, and you can also use most of them in conjunction with most VPNs. Hope that helps and just let us know if you have any further questions. Best, Jessica

Thanks for this article, but it wasn’t clear to me if any of these support what I want to do: I want to be able to connect a baby monitor to a hotel network (for instance, so a babysitter can keep an eye on the kids from a living room), but my baby cams don’t support connections to captive networks. I’ve gathered that this is where the travel router comes in, allowing me to create my own network after connecting to the hotel’s Wi-Fi. What I am hoping to find though, is a travel router that does NOT require an Ethernet connection to make that initial connection to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, as not all hotel rooms come with Ethernet ports. It looks like the HooToo TM-02 does this, but I also note that that model is getting a bit long in the tooth at this point. Do any of your recommendations support what I am trying to do? Thanks!

Hi David, So none of the travel routers on our list require an ethernet connection to make the first connection, they all work over Wi-Fi (although some can work via ethernet as some have ethernet ports as we note). The way it works is that you turn on the travel router and connect your phone or laptop to the travel router’s Wi-Fi network. Then you use a web browser to configure the travel router to connect to the hotel Wi-Fi network, and if necessary login through the captive portal. In our experience, the GL.iNet products are the currently the more reliable and most regularly updated options. So those would be our top recommendations, but any of these should work. But newer models are more future proof. Just a note that setting up cameras or using surveillance devices in hotel rooms is illegal in many countries if any person filmed is unaware of their presence (so if the babysitter or other hotel staff were filmed without their knowledge). So just something to be aware of. Hope that helps! Jessica

Hello, I’m currently at a campground with about 4mbps Wi-Fi. I need 200 mbps to do my job and i need help finding the right option. I need something that works with any internet provider and will give me a minimum of 200mbps. Can you help?

Hi Shannon, So 200 mbps is very very high and you are unlikely to get that unless you are able to access a 5G mobile network AND a very good cellular signal. The average download speed for 4G is 8-10 mbps. Do you possibly mean 20 mbps that you need for work? A travel router can help increase a connection but it is not going to make it much faster in most cases. The connection speed at the campsite may be 4mbps at its max and if so, there is nothing you can do to increase that. Especially not 5X or 50X! If the campsite does have a very fast connection but you are too far from the signal then a travel router can help, but it will likely not make a very big difference, it will generally just make the connection more reliable and secure. But if you travel a lot for work then a travel router like the Beryl one we list above is probably one you would want to have. But you still need to be in places that have a decent connection. So your best option would be to look into mobile hotspots. These connect over a mobile network and can give you either 4G or 5G speeds depending on the type, and you would need a SIM card to go in them as they are similar to phones in that regard. Of course, you still would need a good cellular network reception for them to work. You can see our guide to mobile hotspots here. So the best advice is to make sure to do some research before you head to a new place to see what its Wi-Fi connection speed and mobile signal is so that you can see if it a place that you would be able to work from or not. If so, then if you have a travel router and/or mobile hotspot, it should help you work remotely when needed. Looking to the future, a better option might be something like the Starlink satellite internet which can provide fast internet via low orbit satellites anywhere in the world. Best, Laurence

Hello! To follow up on this reply (and I am not a techie ) I was planning on working from France through a hotel’s Wi-Fi but maybe I should use my cellphone, which is verizon 4G LTE and can be a hotspot? In general, are cellular networks faster than a hotel Wi-Fi? I guess it depend on their carrier? Also, do you recommend a VPN whichever way we access the internet – via cellphone hotspot or hotel Wi-Fi?

Hi Sage, So the answer as to whether the hotel Wi-Fi is faster than your cellphone 4G is a difficult one to answer. Wi-Fi is definitely capable of being faster than 4G, but this depends on a number of factors, including the speed of the internet connection the hotel has, how far from the router your device is, and how many other people are using it. 4G also has similar issues, depending on factors like how far away the nearest mast is, if your room is near to a window (walls can weaken a signal), and so on. In most cases, I’d say that hotel Wi-Fi is likely to be faster, but this is definitely not always going to be the case. In general, in your situation, I’d probably say to go with the less expensive option. This is likely to be to get a travel router and use the hotel Wi-Fi (the travel router can then be used on future trips as well). But it depends on the cost of your international data plan. If you decide to get a travel router (and use hotel Wi-Fi), just be sure to read the instructions and test it out locally before your trip so you know how to set it up and use it before you get to France. Any of the routers we list should work for your situation, our favorites are the ones by GL.iNet. When it comes to a VPN, VPNs can definitely provide more protection. However, if you are going to use a travel router or cellphone hotspot to connect, it is probably not necessary. Cellphone hotspots or a travel router are going to be more secure because it’s just you connecting to your connection, and mobile networks are a lot harder to hack. The security concerns over public Wi-Fi networks are not as great as they used to be now that the majority of the web has moved to https. That means the data that is sent from your device to the web and back again is encrypted end to end, so it’s a lot harder for people to snoop on it. In the old days of unencrypted websites and public hotspots, it was fairly easy for someone to hack into someone’s connection, but this is much harder today, especially if you stick to secured websites. There are still advantages to using a VPN though. Obviously, there is the additional peace of mind, but also some websites block users from specific countries and some countries may block access to certain websites. So a VPN can usually get around that for travelers who need to access websites from their home country. One of the advantages to surfing the web with a VPN in France we’ve found is that it keeps all the websites from constantly redirecting you to the French versions. Note that some jobs require employees doing remote work to use a VPN or only sign into accounts using some sort of secure connection. This is especially the case if you deal with client data or other sensitive information. So be sure to check your job’s remote work policy regarding security. We have a post that reviews VPNs for travel here, if you decide you want to use a VPN. Hope that helps, and feel free to follow-up if you have further questions. Wishing you a great trip to France. Best, Jessica

I’ve had a HooToo HT-TM05 for about 5 years, and was initially very happy with it. Increasingly, though, I’m encountering web logins on hotel Wi-Fi–a situation that I’ve not been able to handle with the HooToo. I’m aware that some travel routers can be configured with the web login credentials so that they’re able to establish the Wi-Fi connection, but it’s not clear from your review which of your recommended devices can do that. Could you clarify that, please. Also, if you know of some way to get the HooToo to handle this situation, I’d be glad to hear it.

Hi Will, Sorry you are having issues with your travel router. Hotel log-ins can be tricky. So the HooToo HT-TM05 should be able to handle the situation you describe (and HooToo noted this in their old FAQ section), as that’s a common scenario for using a travel router. You would normally connect to the Hootoo network with your smartphone or laptop, login to the Hootoo and select the hotel network, and then open up a new browser page from your phone or laptop and try to use the web. This should launch the hotel login page. Sometimes though this might not work, and it’s possibly because the Hootoo is an older device as that model is now several years old. There are various reasons that it could fail, including a custom DNS setup on your device, use of a VPN, or trying to navigate to some https pages. It’s hard to troubleshoot without seeing the error message you are getting. How far into the process are you getting? Are you getting any error messages? If this occurs in more than one hotel, and you can’t get it working, I’d recommend contacting HooToo for support. They list the following info on their website: Tel: 1-888-456-8468 (Monday-Friday: 9:00 – 17:00 PST) and email It looks like the company has not updated information on HooToo HT-TMO5 for a couple of years now and it may be that the company is no longer supporting the device. We also just saw that it has been removed from Amazon. If nothing is working, it is probably that you just need to upgrade the device. I’d recommend upgrading to one of the newer GL.inet, TP-Link, or Netgear travel router models. We’ve used both the GL.inet Beryl and Netgear M1 in hotels recently without incident. Hope that helps and just let us know if you have any further questions! Best, Laurence

Thanks Pipps for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad our travel router guide was helpful and just let us know if you have any questions! Best, Jessica Laurence

Hi, Thank you for this wealth of information, greatly appreciate it. I am not tech savvy whatsoever and was hoping you had some information to share. My employer requires an ethernet connection from a modem/router to the company laptop. We are unable to directly connect to Wi-Fi. As of today, is there a recommended travel router that I can connect via ethernet cable? I apologize if youve answered this already and I missed it.

Hi Nikki, No problem, and happy to try to help! All the GL inet travel routers we recommend come with at least two ethernet ports. For instance, the Slate router has three Ethernet ports and a lot of other features. So you can connect to the router via an ethernet cable, and then configure the router to connect to either a Wi-Fi network, or to another network with the other ethernet port on the router. This is fairly plug and play so shouldn’t be too tricky, and the instructions that come with the devices are quite easy to follow as well. You may also want to talk to your company’s IT department as well about the issue since it sounds like they require a certain level of security to be in place for use. If you, for instance, need to use a VPN to connect to your work data, the Slate router is compatible with over 30 VPNs but may not be compatible with all VPNs. Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have any other questions! Best, Jessica

thanks for the awesome article I am looking for a mobile hotspot and a travel router, I need it very much. I found your article. Very beautiful and will come in handy for me.

Hi Jack, Glad it was helpful and hope you found a travel router that works for you. If you are looking for a device that can be both a travel router or wireless hotspot, then the Netgear Nighthawk router is probably your best bet. If you are looking for two separate devices, then you can also check out this article about choosing a mobile hotspot. But do let us know if you have any questions about travel routers or mobile hotspots. Best, Jessica

Hello. Thank you for this great article. I’m looking for a travel router, just with the intention of better capturing public networks. Which of these routers do you think provides a better increase in signal strength on public wireless networks? Thanks.

Hi Joao, So we’d recommend either the Gl.iNet AR750S ( or the GL.iNet MT1300 would be our suggestions. These both have little external aerials which mean they are able to get improved range compared to other options in the round up. Hope that helps, Jessica

Hi Jessica, Thank you for the reply. Do you think the gain in signal strength is worth it for the price difference for the GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 for example? Thanks.

Hi Joao, The more powerful travel routers should be able to provide a stronger signal, but I think you would also be paying more for extra features (not just signal strength specs) as well on the more expensive routers. Whether it would improve the signal strength over some of the lower priced GL.iNet routers is probably going to depend on the particular situation and place in which you use it. You might consider buying the lower priced and test it out to see if it works as you need it to. If not, you could return it and purchase the more expensive router with the better signal strength. For more technical questions about signal strength and the differences between models, you might want to reach out to the GL.iNet customer service and let them know how you specifically plan to use it and they can probably give you a more technical answer since we have not tested the two routers at the same time. Hope that helps! Jessica

Great information here on travel routers. Which of the Glinet routers would you recommend for a first time user? Interested in using it for working on laptop at coffee shops and for travel (domestic and international). Not super tech savvy so something that is pretty easy to use and will last.

Hi Alice, Thanks very much! I appreciate we go into a bit of detail with the GL.iNet routers and their advanced features, but the good news is that you don’t need to be technical to use them, they work well out of the box with a simple web interface to set them up. Any of the ones listed should actually meet your needs. So the MT300N-v2 (Mango) is a good option if size and budget are the key constraints. It is small, lightweight, and the least expensive. Its small size and weight make it perfect for travel. For a more future-proof solution, then the two higher-priced GL.iNet models (Slate and Beryl) offer a faster Wi-Fi network with support for the 5Ghz Band, which tends to be less congested and therefore faster in public situations. The Beryl model (which we have), is the most powerful with the fastest processor inside, but it’s honestly not going to make a huge difference between that and the AR750 (Slate) unless you have a need for the USB 3 port or want to connect to very fast networks (which most public Wi-Fi networks in our experience are not!). Hope that helps, and let us know if you have any further questions! Best, Jessica

Hello, First off, I say thank you for this information. I will say that I used to use the Netgear Trek N300 before I left it in a hotel (doh). So when I saw that you used to use it as well and saw the information on Juplink EC3-750, I was sold. I haven’t been able to connect to hotels with it since most hotels have a login screen. I can’t seem to get the setup right on the Juplink to actually be able to pull up the screen to login. How do you set yours up to use in hotels so I can get my setup right. Thank you in advance.

Hi Jason, Yes, the Netgear Treks were great and I wish they would have continued to make and update those. The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is good, but expensive if you are not using it for a mobile hotspot as well as a router. So the interface for the Juplink can be a bit confusing as it has the different modes and functions. You should be able to get it set up as follows. First, put the router in repeater mode, then plug it in (if you’ve set it up previously, hold down the reset button on the side for five seconds to start over). Once the router is on, you should be able to connect your device to the Juplink Wi-Fi network, which doesn’t have a password. You will then be able to login to the router via the url, the default username and password is admin for both. From the admin page, press the “repeater wizard” option. This should bring up a list of all the Wi-Fi hotspots, and you would choose the hotel network option. Here you can also specify the network name, this will be your network name. If there is a security password on the network, the network you create will start off with the same password. The router will restart, and when it comes back it should present you with the new wireless network to connect to. If you connect to this and then try to use the internet, you should be presented with the network login screen. For added security, I’d recommend changing the password of the created network to a password of your own choosing. You can do this by going to, logging in again with the username and password, and then going to the Wi-Fi settings. Here you can change the name and password on the Wi-Fi settings. Hopefully that will work for you, but if not feel free to let us know! Best, Laurence

Hi Jason, I am sorry to hear that isn’t working. I would reach out to Juplink’s customer service to see if they can help as that is the process that we have followed in the past. If you can’t get it to work after reaching out to Juplink, I’d recommend returning it for one of the recommended GL.iNet or TP-Link travel routers. We have found that GL.inet keeps their software the most updated in recent years so can be the best for the kind of issues you are having. Let us know what happens as it may be that it doesn’t work well (or is difficult to configure) at certain hotels and we will consider removing it from our list if that is the case. Best, Jessica

Hi Jason, We have done more testing with our Juplink and we were able to replicate the issue you are having with a network sign-in page. So for now, we are removing this router from our list and have reached out to Juplink’s customer service to see if Juplink has a solution to fix this issue. It is still working fine as an extender/router but it seems to have issues with log-in screens. Laurence is not sure if this is a hardware or software issue. In the meantime, we would recommend returning the Juplink and getting a GL.iNET travel router or similar – we have not had the log-in page issues with the GL.iNet router (we have the Beryl one specifically) and are showing it able to load log-in pages when the Juplink one cannot when using them both at the same time. Sorry for the inconvenience as we have had the Juplink for over a year but our travels have been pretty limited due to Covid so we were not able to test it as much as we normally would and it worked fine in our initial uses. Best, Jessica

Hello, Great, informative article! And it’s awesome that you guys are still making responses after two years. I’m looking for a travel router that can help me for my remote contact center work. I’m interested in traveling to national parks or otherwise and am looking for routers to secure a good connection on the days I have to work. I know hotels and whatnot near parks can still be somewhat slow, and this is also for general travel. What would you recommend?

Hi Tiara! Yes, we aim to try to reply to all Комментарии и мнения владельцев and email questions related to travel and photography – and have been trying to do so for 10 years now So a travel router can certainly help improve a connection by making it more consistent and secure. However, it can’t turn a really slow connection into a fast one. Any of the travel routers on this list can help with extending Wi-Fi, making your connection more secure, and allowing you to use it with more devices more easily. So it just depends on if there are any features you’d need (e.g., Ethernet ports) and buying one that works with faster speeds will make it more future-proof. However, the reality is that in and around many national parks and state parks, the Wi-Fi speed is not great. This is especially the case in the Western and rural parts of the USA. Now if you have a poor Wi-Fi connection but good mobile phone signal strength, then a mobile hotspot will work. This will do the same things as the travel router but it will also help you extend the mobile signal to connect your other devices (e.g., laptop, tablet, etc.) that you need to use. So you might check out the Netgear Nighthawk M1 device we recommend above in the article which can act as both a travel router and a mobile hotspot – we have this one and have used it on places like boats and rural areas where we have phone signal but there was no Wi-Fi access. For those who work in remote areas with both poor Wi-Fi access and poor mobile phone signals, they often need to rely on satellite access but these devices are not currently travel-friendly or budget-friendly. A mobile hotspot can only help where there is some mobile signal. So I would investigate the places you are thinking of spending time and need a faster connection and see what the Wi-Fi access and mobile signals (for your specific carrier) are in those areas. That can help you assess what type of device might be best for you and also if you should plan to work in certain places or just visit them when you don’t need to work. Hope that helps, and let us know if you have any further questions! Jessica

We are looking for a travel router that we can plug into a strong antenna that we wired outside our boat. Our paid for Wi-Fi is pretty far away, but the antenna works great to connect; however only on one device (our laptop) if the antenna is plugged into it. Do you know of any travel routers that have the ability to connect an external antenna to pick up the Wi-Fi signal? Thank you for any information you can give us. Patti

Hi Patti, The Netgear M1 / M2 can support an external antenna but it’s only for improving a 4G LTE signal rather than a Wi-Fi signal. So I don’t think that would work for you given your situation. There are some travel routers that support external antennas. Some versions of the GL.iNET GL-AR300M, for example, have an external antenna which you can connect your own antenna to them. But you would want to check if it is the same connector type as your existing antenna so that they are compatible. But a travel router may not be the best fit for you, given your situation, so you may want to ask a networking/router specialist at a Best Buy or similar to ask about options that would work with your boat Wi-Fi signal/external antenna situation. An access point, standard router, or bridge may be a better option. Hope that helps! Jessica

Very practical and interesting topic. I am currently looking at a mobile router, Ryoko. Would hope to hear from anyone who has been using it. Thanks. YL

Hello YL, This more of a hotspot than an actual travel router which is what my post is about. The is a 4g router and requires a SIM card to use. I have not heard of or used the Muama-Ryoko mobile routers before. They only have a 3.1/5.0 rating on TrustPilot and a lot of mixed and bad recent customer reviews. So I would really read the reviews there before making a decision. If you are just looking for a travel router (not a mobile hotspot), I would consider one of the other ones we list above as they are actual travel routers. If you need something that also functions as a mobile hotspot, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 functions as a router and extender but you can also add a SIM card and use it as a mobile hotspot as well. Hope that helps! Jessica

It’s very difficult to find genuine reviews. Apart from Trust Pilot, the rest of the review websites on Google are extremely suspicious. They all 100% recommend and offer a link direct to Muama-Ryoko. The company seems to have a complete stranglehold on any info. I would avoid.

Hi! I am not the most tech savvy person but I am looking for a way to use Chromecast in hotels when I travel overseas. The Wi-Fi is usually horrible in these hotels so I’m not sure that Chromecast would work without some help. Can you recommend something easy to use that could help in this situation? Also, do I need a SIM card or anything for these mobile routers or am I thinking of a hotspot? Thanks so much!

Hi Melissa, A travel router could definitely help in this situation, and it would also make setting it up each time easier. As you know the Chromecast needs a Wi-Fi network to connect to, and if you use a travel router then you can setup the Chromecast to connect to the Wi-Fi network that the travel router creates. This means you won’t need to reconfigure the Chromecast every time. In addition, the travel router should be able to deal with spotty hotel Wi-Fi more reliably than the Chromecast. Being stuck behind the TV means it will get worse reception in general, whereas you can place the travel router in a better location. You don’t need a SIM card for these travel routers as they just extend an existing network – you are indeed thinking of a mobile hotspot. That is also an option, but for streaming it would work out quite expensive as streaming uses a lot of data. So a travel router that improves the Wi-Fi reception is your best option. Any of the options we list should work well for your purposes. Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have further questions. Best, Laurence

The problem with chromecast on hotel Wi-Fi is the login access page since it doesn’t have a built in browser without a travel router logging in requires spoofing the mac address of a different device to match the mac address of the chromecast.

You’re very welcome Pondorosa – if you have any further questions about travel routers just let us know!! Best, Jessica

Hi Thomas, You’re very welcome, and thanks for taking the time to share your views on travel routers with us! Best, Jessica

Wow! This was exactly the article I needed. Thank you. I’m trying to convince my employer to let me take my remote, on-line job on the permanent road (RV). Their concern is that I occasionally need to take credit card information for orders. I also do video calls with customers, so speed is important. I go through a VPN at home with a wired, ethernet connection. I could easily create a mobile hotspot where needed with my phone, so is the GL-iNetGL-AR750S all I really need? Or is it necessary to go up to the NetGear Nighthawk?

Hi Julie, Glad you found our article on travel routers helpful. So if you are confident of phone reception, usually you would set up the VPN connection on your phone and then set it up as a mobile hotspot. The only reason you’d need a travel router in this case is to extend the range of the Wi-Fi network that your phone creates. So a regular travel router (like the GL.iNet one) is probably good to have for this purpose and it can also provide extra strength and extra security when you do use public Wi-Fi networks. Since you need VPN, that is probably a good one for you. Something like the NetGear Nighthawk (which is a router mobile hotspot) is only necessary if you’re going to be connecting multiple devices at higher speeds than your phone can handle since you already are able to create a mobile hotspot with VPN on your phone. So you can test that out in advance to see if you would need a mobile hotspot or not, or if your phone connection is enough. However, my main concern would be around cell reception, which will obviously depend on where you plan to be traveling. Remote and rural parts of the USA might not always have great cell reception and if you are an avid RV traveler, you’ll know there are some big dead zones for networks here and there. The only solution to this is to investigate satellite options – for example the Starlink system is coming online in the USA at the moment, which offers fast speeds at a reasonable price (compared the other offerings at least!). So it may take your subscribing to something like this to convince your boss if they are worried about you always being able to be online, or making sure you only travel to places with good phone signals. A mobile hotspot won’t work in places where there is no signal of some kind. Anyway, hope that helps and just let us know if you have further questions! Best, Jessica

Hi Jessica, your article was great. It was very helpful and much needed information. Your article was clear, consistent, and well-researched. Thanks.

Hi Matt, Glad you found it helpful. We have tried to keep it updated over the years as technology and manufacturers have changed for travel routers! Just let us know if you have any questions. Best, Jessica

I’m at a hotel and would like a secure connection the room does not have a ethernet port, I connect to the internet on a log in screen and most of the times the screen doesn’t come up and connects itself. I have theTP-LINK TL-WR902AC AC750 Wi-Fi TRAVEL ROUTER set at hotspot mode and plugged to my laptop. The power and wireless lights are lit, but the internet light blinks, the hardware is version 3. I have tried the range extender mode and could connect to internet at all. Is there something I’m not doing in the router setup page. I have not had any answers yet with the tplink support staff. This is a really good site. Thanks

Hi Dwayne, Sorry to hear you are having issues logging into your router at the hotel. So could you clarify, you are in a hotel and you are connecting to the TP-Link Wi-Fi network, but the internet is not working? Normally what should happen is the first time you want to connect to a new network you have to visit, login with the username and password (the default is admin for both), and then follow the quick setup instructions which will allow you to choose a network. Then, if you try to browser to another website, the hotel login page (if there is one) should come up. The router should be in hotspot mode as you say, but it doesn’t need to be plugged into your laptop. Normally the internet light only blinks in access point or router mode so you might want to check the mode switch is in “share hotspot” mode. Let us know if you were able to get it fixed or if not, happy to try to help further. But hopefully you got through to the Tp-Link staff as well. Best, Jessica

Hello Jessica, I got connected to internet with my router on saturday, I just kept playing around with the tplink setup page and got it work. I am also using the hotspot shield free vpn, I did a speed test my upload and download mbps is under 1 at 0.56mbps. and sometimes the download gets to 1.07 Is there something I can do to get the speed faster? Thanks

Hi Dwayne, Glad you got connected. So if the Internet speed is just slow where you are, there is nothing really you can do to make it faster, unfortunately. But the travel router should not slow it down. Travel routers can help strengthen a signal but they don’t really affect speed. However, VPNs can slow down speeds (particularly free services) so you might want to test the speed without the VPN to see if that is the case. If you do find it is the VPN, you might want to consider trying a different VPN or connecting without it. You can see our list of the recommended VPNs for travelers. If you find that the Wi-Fi speed where you are is just too slow to perform what you need, then your only other real choice might be to consider a mobile hotspot as these create an Internet connection. However, these are more expensive and rely on a mobile network, so best to see if you can get things to work with the travel router if you can since there is an existing connection where you are. Hope that helps! Jessica

I had a Netgear travel router but it recently broke and need a new one to connect to the internet when away. This is a great resource on travel routers, I appreciate!

Hi Evan, Great to hear you found our travel router review article helpful. We’ve had good experience with Netgear devices, it is too bad they never made an update to the Netgear Trek, but there are several good options out there by TP-Link, GL.iNet, and RavPower. Just let us know if you have any questions. Best, Jessica

Great info about the internet during travelling and using travel routers. Is there other things I should do to keep info and passwords secure while travelling and avoid hacking attacks? Thanks.

Hi Tim, Yes, there are lots of other things you can do to further protect your data:.Make sure all your devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) are secure and protected with passwords and identify verification.Make sure your operating systems on your devices are updated with most recent updates and patches – you should also have firewall/virus protection.Use a VPN when traveling. For more info you can see our guide to choosing a VPN. You’ll want to make sure your travel router is compatible with a VPN.Avoid accessing sensitive accounts or data while on public Wi-Fi – you should try to access important accounts (e.g., banking) as little as possible when traveling to avoid identify theft and people getting your password detailsMake sure you have backup copies of important data and info stored at home before your trip.Never give out your account passwords to anyone while traveling.Avoid providing any information on unsecured websites.Be cautious about downloading files, especially if you are not absolutely sure of their source Hope that helps, and do let us know if you have any questions about choosing a travel router! Best, Jessica

I have Linksys WTR54GS Wireless-G Travel Router. This comes with a built-in access point and an Ethernet port used to connect to a wired network or to other computers. For a secured connection, this device has an encryption capability. This has its own power supply and an antenna. Included in the package is a case for easy safekeeping.

Hi Sam, Thanks for sharing which travel router you use and glad that one has worked well for you. That is an older model which is why its not included on our list as it doesn’t support the latest Wi-Fi standards, but should still work for most people! Best, Jessica

I have a tp-link nano travel router today. But the problem with it is that it does not play well with the captive portal system that hotels use. Every time I try to set up the router in a new hotel it takes multiple efforts to get the travel router to recognize the hotels wireless network. And then even after it does, it quite often will not show me the captive portal login page. It is very frustrating. What is your experience with these travel routers you recommend and their ability to play well with hotels captive portal?

Hi Jeff, Usually when we have this problem the issue is because the Wi-Fi network signal is so weak that even the travel router struggles to connect. However, normally we don’t have any problems with the captive portal – the routers are designed to be able to handle them, and should pass it through to your device so you can login. When you say it won’t show you the captive portal screen, do you mean after you have connected your travel router to the network, and connected your device to the travel router, that it’s just not loading the screen? Does it load anything at all? If you are consistently having these problems, you might want to reach out to TP-Link for support as it’s possible the router has a fault, or it might need a firmware update. Hope that helps! Laurence

”When you say it won’t show you the captive portal screen, do you mean after you have connected your travel router to the network, and connected your device to the travel router, that it’s just not loading the screen?” Correct. Most times (not always) the captive portal screen will never display. I repeat the setup process over and over to have the router scan for the hotel’s Wi-Fi signal and about half the time after several tries the captive portal login screen might appear. ”Does it load anything at all?” When it doesn’t show a screen, usually what happens is a message pops up stating something like “The network you are using may require you to visit it’s login page.” And that’s it. No login page appears. I am done with this travel router. I’m tossing it. But I don’t want to purchase a different travel router only to have this same problem persist.

Hi Jeff, It sounds like you know what you are doing and have tried a lot of things. Although it can take a little time to get to the captive login screen, you should be able to get there if the signal is strong enough and it is set up, so it is likely a hardware or firmware issue, so our only recommendation would be to ask TP-LInk about the issue and see if they have specific guidance on your model. We have not encountered this issue with the routers we have used. Best, Laurence

I absolutely HATE my TP-Link nano. Thank goodness it was cheap. It’s going straight to the trash. After two years of problems, I give up.

I am using a travel router from one of the top-notch brands but its speed is far below the committed numbers. Which other routers do you suggest which can deliver at par speeds that we get at our homes/ offices? Thanks in advance.

Hi James, So we usually find when we travel that the speed of the internet is often slower than at work or home (depending on your home connection speed). When I talk about the speed of the internet, I mean the connection speed that the hotel or guesthouse network offers. If there connection is slow, then the travel router won’t be able to improve upon that. Most travel routers offer speeds in the region of 300Mbps, which is more than fast enough for streaming even very high definition content, and faster than most networks. So I think that no travel router will really improve that speed so any of them will pretty much give you the same speed. The only option would be to invest in a mobile hotspot, which bypasses the Wi-Fi entirely and connects over a 4G network which could deliver faster speeds. If these are available in the country you are traveling in, they can be faster than Wi-Fi in some cases. If you decide you’d prefer a mobile hotspot, you can read about them more in this article and it includes some of our suggestions if you decide you want to rent or buy a hotspot. Hope that helps, Jessica

My entire career has been designing digital networks all over the world, so I think I can help explain why what you’re asking for is currently impossible. First, don’t confuse network “speed” with network bandwidth. Public Wi-Fi utilizes Broadband technology, which can be best visualized by comparing it to a regular pipe. No available technology can increase the size of a pipe in order to increase the rate of flow. Rather, a bigger pipe must be installed! Likewise, no current technology can take a Public Wi-Fi with a bandwidth (pipe) of 150mpbs and increase the bandwidth to 300mbps. What the best Travel Routers do is boost and extend a weak network signal into a much stronger network signal, which in turn decreases network latency, which improves the overall quality AND quantity of the flow of digital information to your laptop or tablet.

Everyone should choose a strong router at an affordable price especially while traveling. Many on this list of routers that will be a great choice. I use a TP-link router that is quite good while traveling.

Hi Steve, Yes, the TP-Link ones are a great choice and well-priced. They also seem to keep updating the technology in them every couple of years which is good! Best, Jessica

This was a great informative post about usig the internet during travelling and using travel routers. If you want to use the internet while travelling then you must buy a wireless mobile router because its signal range are large with the secure password nd also send a message to the user if someone try to hack a password, otherwise you feel trouble during travelling! I use them mostly because of the added security as I don’t feel safe using the internet in public places for private things and banking while traveling without having extra security. Thanks.

Hi O.G., Yes, travel routers are probably primarily used to increase signal strength, but yes, the extra level of security is definitely an additional featured added by travel routers. They can help make public Wi-Fi networks a bit more secure. Glad our article was helpful to you! Jessica

Thanks for bringing our eye on this great device as we all know many hotels out their provides free internet service but the speed is ridiculously slow, show it could be of great use ( but the pricing can be a little lower in my opinion)

Hi Brad, Yes, a travel router can definitely help if you have a slow (or unsecured) connection at a hotel. If you are looking for the most budget-friendly option, the RAVPower Filehub Tripmate Nano is one to take a look at. Best, Jessica

Routers are great, as you can connect to the internet whenever you want. I mostly use it while I’m out on the beach, to listen to music or to watch some cool videos. But I’m still concerned about the safety and certain restrictions in certain countries, so I also use Nord VPN, so that my holiday would as comfortable as it can be. So, your own router and NordVPN are my best travel buds!

Hi Kimi, Yes, a VPN can be great, especially if you are traveling in lots of places with unsecure Internet (although a travel router can help secure your connection) and countries with lots of online restrictions. A VPN doesn’t work so great with some travel routers, but it sounds like you have found a good system for you! Best, Jessica

thanks @travelcats for the article. However, I am still a bit on the fence with these devices because I don’t find many hotels that use the Ethernet cable anymore in each room, so if I want to set up my own “room network”, I would need a device that acts as a Hotspot and the models mentioned in the article are Not that. Is this correct? If so, can you recommend some or have you already covered that subject in another article that you can post a link to? Thank you!

Hi Sam, Yes, so travel router devices can either extend an ethernet network into a Wi-Fi network, or extend a weak Wi-Fi signal into something your devices can connect to. Of course this only works if there is a Wi-Fi connection to extend. If you want to connect when there is no Wi-Fi connection, you would need a mobile hotspot, you can see some options here. Or you can get a device like this Netgear Nighthawk device that can function as both a travel router and mobile hotspot. For more about mobile hotspots and getting online when traveling, this article may be useful: Hope that helps, and let us know if you have further questions! Best, Jessica

Can any of these routers act as a wireless Ethernet bridge? I want to connect net gear router to our resort Wi-Fi and was wondering if a travel router would be reasonably priced way to do that

Hi Bob, That is a good question. Some of these routers may be able to do that but that is not really what they were designed to do. I would check the specs of the devices and contact the specific manufacturer of the one(s) you are interested in and ask them specifically if they can do this and how you would do this. If not, I would look for a device designed more to do this, I am sure Netgear could recommend one. Best, Jessica

It sounds like you can use either an app or a browser on a laptop to configure the Trek in case it needs a password to connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, am I understanding that correctly? Because if that is the case, then 35 for a way to boost the Wi-Fi signal is a bargain. So many hotels advertise free Wi-Fi but deliver very slow connections

Hi Tex, Yes, that is correct, you can usually use them to get around hotel minimum device issues as well as to boost exisiting Wi-Fi signals. They also add a bit more security. Netgear is not making the Trek any longer so they are hard to find, but you might be able to find one on Amazon or ebay or secondhand. But other routers work in a similar way and they pretty much all do the same thing so you can also check out the other devices. Best, Jessica

Ravpower Filehub Plus slow down internet speed more than 50% makes it unusable in most case. Although the device’s small size and has it’s own battery is a huge plus. I bought one, really like it, but I return the product due to the internet performance disappointment.

Hi Jimmy, Yes there are pros and cons to all of the travel routers. Sorry to hear the Ravpower Filehub Plus was not a good fit for you, but there are several other options out there that you can try. Best, Jessica

Alright so this list needs updated badly. No Wi-Fi AC options = bad. Which there are enough of to warrant an update.

Hi Adam, Thanks for your input! We do keep this list as up to date as we can, and there are not that many travel routers on the market that support this speed. Some of our recommendations support the 300Mbps speed, and AC is only 433Mps, so the difference is not that great. In addition, in our experience most networks when we travel don’t offer speeds anywhere near close to maxing out even a 150mbps travel router. So there are very few places where you would encounter public Wi-Fi AC at this time, therefore, there is not much of a compelling reason for most people to need this feature. However, we’ll certainly review the post and update this list to ensure the best options are still represented. Best, Laurence

I found a list of some more routers suitable for a VPN setup, have you had any experience with setting it up? I’m subscribed to this VPN but I’m a little uneasy about the technical part of configuring a router.

Hi Beri, Yes, as you know, not all routers will work with a VPN. But if you have a travel router that does, you will just need to follow the directions of that router to use it. It should work the same as without a VPN unless otherwise indicated. Best, Jessica

Is it possible to use such Wireless Travel Router with a Wi-Fi with voucher code (entry in web browser)?

Hi Tobias, Yes, it is. Once you have connected the travel router to the network, you should be able to access the voucher page from your device as you normally would. Best, Laurence

Could you advise how these travel routers deal with the invariable web page sign in that most Hotels require you to fill in before allowing you on their Wi-Fi network?

Hello John, Hi, All the routers we recommend support the sign-in page that some networks require – they usually just forward it to the device you first access the network from. So say you are using a smartphone, you first connect the travel router to the hotel network using the configuration tool on your smartphone, and then when you try to access the internet, you will be redirected to the web page to sign in. The advantage of using a travel router is that you should only need to sign in once, then any other devices you connect to your travel router will not need to sign in again. It also carries the advantage that if the hotel restricts access to one device, you can circumvent that as the hotel sees the router as the one device, and you can connect as many of your devices to the router as it supports. Hope that helps! Jessica Laurence

I have purchased TP-Link Nano and configured to hotel Wi-Fi. Unfortunately, it is not opening up the sign in page automatically. Hence I am not able to use the internet for my devices. What could be the possible reason?

Hi Stanley, This can happen sometimes if your device is configured in a certain way, for example if you have a VPN running. If you connect the same device to the hotel Wi-Fi directly (without the router), does the login page come up? Do you have another device you can try? If so, I’d logout and disconnect and try a different device. The TP-Link definitely does support this when you connect a device to it, but specific configurations can cause issues with your client devices. It’s hard to troubleshoot though as there are different possible causes. Laurence

Thanks for writing a great article about travel routers! I wish more routers/extenders would include software to function in this way. Question: I have a particular use-case and I was wondering if any router that you’ve come across has the necessary functionality. Do any of these or any 100 devices save the credentials of the wireless networks that you have to before and auto connect when they are available? My wife and I travel to the same places often for work. We used the Airport Express for this for a while but we’re looking for a new solution and Apple has sadly dropped the product(one of the best Smart routers out there for a long time). Also when the local Wi-Fi is slow we use the hotspots on our iPhones/iPad. We even have different mobile providers for different areas so one of us always has signal. If we always had a common Wi-Fi for all our devices that used the best signal or just auto-joined the hotspot when it was turned on we would be ecstatic!

Hi Mark, Thanks very much! So in our experience the travel routers we have used for this purpose (originally the Netgear Trek, although this is sadly no longer on sale) did remember the networks it had previously connected to, and would automatically reconnect to these. So we would think this would be standard for most of these. However we aren’t 100% sure as we mostly use the Trek still – the best thing might be to either contact the manufacturer of the one that sounds the best. Or just try the router that has the features you need, and then see if it works. If not, you should be able to return it for a refund. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help. If you find out more about this in researching these routers, please let us know and we can add that to our article. Best, Jessica Laurence

Hi Alan, glad you enjoyed the post. Just let us know if you have any questions about travel routers. Best, Jessica

Since there is no “like” button, I just wanted to quickly leave a comment to say thank you for writing this article because it was extremely helpful to a computer layman like myself. I greatly appreciate it

Hi Emani, Glad you found our article helpful, and just let us know if you have any questions about travel routers or what they do. Best, Jessica

Hello I have a quick question I’m just looking for something I can get for my teenaged girls to watch Netflix and play games while on the road we do a lot of traveling and they want to watch movies and play games on there tablet and laptops do u know which router fits my family best thanks for this article by the way

Hi Jacqueline, So the main question would be whether or not you need internet access while out and about, or just looking to extend coverage and use multiple devices at hotels etc. A travel router like these in this post can only extend an existing wireless network, so won’t help if you are in a car for example that does not have Wi-Fi access. If the device is primarily for use in hotels or near existing wireless networks, then any of the devices on this list would be a good fit. I’d recommend looking at the TPlink N300 or the GL iNet AR300. If you are also looking for Wi-Fi, then in that sort of situation you would want a wireless hotspot type device like the TEP wireless or Glocalme hotspot. You can read more about Internet access solutions while traveling in this article. Alternatively, if you are traveling domestically, your phone may also allow you to create a wireless hotspot and share the connection with the other devices around you. The only thing about these options is that it will depend on your daughters usage – streaming movies for example uses quite a lot of data, and most wireless hotspot services tend to restrict speeds after around 1GB of data, which is less than your average film. Hope that helps, but do let us know if you have further questions! Laurence

I just returned my new TP-Link N300 Nano after a couple of very frustrating days trying to connect it to my iPhone 6. Their helpdesk agent was friendly but couldn’t find a solution. I found a resolution in their community forum and flashed new firmware onto the device to solve the issue. Sadly, the router would lock up after a few minutes of use. I let it hang twice before declaring it useless and boxed it back up to send to Amazon. It’s such a shame because it probably could be a good router. But who can afford to be upgrading software while on the road

Hi Todd, Thanks for taking the time to comment. Sorry to hear that this did not work out well for you, although glad you had good customer service experience. I hope you are able to find something that works for you. Best, Jessica

Thanks for a great article. I wish I could find a device that does everything the RAVPower FileHub does, along with VPN. I need a router that does wired, wireless bridge, USB port for external HDD, Video streaming, and hopefully VPN. Any suggestions?

Hi Chris – that would be a great device indeed! We’ve taken a look around though, and we can’t find one that does everything you need – either they have VPN and don’t have file sharing, or vice versa. The best solution we can offer is something like the RAVPower FileHub, with setting up a VPN on your laptop or mobile phone. We know this is an extra step for each device, but right now we don’t know of a product that has all 5 of those features. Hopefully one will be available soon! Best, Jessica

My company has production plants all over the world. As such, there has been and will continue to be the opportunity for me to spend extended time abroad. This past year alone, I spent four weeks in Italy which is the reason I’m now searching for some sort of Wi-Fi booster. The hotels in Italy had Wi-Fi that would operate a laptop, iPhone, et cetera, but the signal was not strong/reliable enough to use my Chromecast. This meant I spent a lot of evenings looking at my iPhone 7 to watch Netflix. Not optimal! What I need to know is will a product like this allow me to stream Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, whatever, to my Chromecast in such an instance? There is a very good chance that I might be spending weeks-on-end abroad again very soon. I would like to be able to address this issue before I leave. Any thoughts on this? Thanks so much!

Hi Chris, So this is not a question we can 100% answer. A travel router can boost signal and provide more secure Internet browsing, but it depends ultimately on the speed of the hotel’s connection. First, the Internet speed in general in the location you are visiting will need to be fast enough to support streaming. It sounds like this has generally been the case in hotels you’ve stayed in, as you were able to stream to your iPhone. In that case, if your iPhone is able to stream across the Wi-Fi, then a travel router should strengthen the signal sufficiently for the Chromecast to also work. However, we can’t guarantee it will work in every instance, so this might not be a guaranteed fix. If you are able to download any films or TV shows we’d recommend doing this. I know Netflix lets you download some shows to supported devices. You might then be able to stream these more easily. Alternatively, with something like the RAVPower router we mention, that acts as a streaming hub that your Chromecast should be able to stream from, if you have a hard drive or memory card with some shows on. We think a travel router should help, but we can’t guarantee it in every situation! Best, Laurence

Thanks for sharing this is such a very nice post and review of available travel routers. thanks for spending time on it. i found it very useful.

Hi Sajjad, You are very welcome and just let us know if you have any questions as you check out the different travel routers. Best, Jessica

Thanks, glad you found it helpful! Just let us know if you have any questions about choosing a travel router. Best, Jessica

This is a very good article and comparison of different travel routers, as so far I’ve read several articles. Thank you!

Hi Gary, Thanks for taking the time to comment and glad to hear you found our travel route article helpful. Do let us know if you have any questions. Best, Jessica

This was a great informative post you have shared on this page about the internet during travelling and using travel routers. If you want to use the internet while travelling then you must buy a wireless mobile router because its signal range are large with the secure password nd also send a message to the user if someone try to hack a password, otherwise you feel trouble during travelling! Thanks.

Hi Shah, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and hope you choose the best travel router for you. Wireless routers can definitely help you get online while traveling and also help keep you more secure when away from home! Best, Jessica

Many wireless routers available in the market which is helpful during the travel like np15 and so many. We always want a good speed router during our travels, regarding best router I found this post really helpful.

Hi Bella, Glad you found this helpful in choosing a travel router and wishing you the best on your future travels! Best, Jessica

Netgear Trek is a small router for those travel a lot or whose work is to travel. This device is easy to handle and it does not need a lot of space. I really like it!

Hi Sam, Yes, we like the Netgear Trek as well and it is a great size for travel. It is just a shame that Netgear stopped making them now. I am hoping that will come out with an updated or new travel router product that is similar to that one. Best, Jessica

TP-Link Nano travel routers N150 and N300 are so aesthetically pleasing. I have N150 and don’t have anything bad to say about it, except the price could be lower. Btw, I use Nordvpn with it, and I’d say it’s a perfect match.

Hi Pamela, Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your experience with the N150 travel router. Glad that you have had a good experience with it. We recommend NordVPN as well for those that need a VPN service. Best, Jessica

Hi. I’m looking into purchasing the TP-Link N300 Nano Travel Router to use at a lakeside resort. The lodge at the resort has free Wi-Fi but the nearby cottages do not. They last time we were there, we were able to pick up in our cottage a weak signal from the lodge. Would the TP-Link N300 Nano server to strengthen that signal. We use Mac laptops, if that matters. Obviously, we don’t know much about travel routers. Any information you can provide will be very helpful. THANKS!

Hi Jean, Yes, that is the sort of situation that the router is designed for and it should strengthen your signal and make it stronger than what it would be with only your laptops. It may not be a “strong” connection, but it should certainly be stronger. As long as you have relatively recent model laptop (last several years) most routers will work fine with most modern laptops, tablets, and phones. Wishing you a wonderful vacation at the lake! Best, Jessica

What a helpful technical post on travel routers! I think Wireless Router is the best one to achieve uninterrupted Wi-Fi while blogging. I had some issues with my router which I was unable to fix on my own. Then, I got Netgear Support which was truly helpful in fixing all my router issues.

Hi Stive, So glad you found our travel routers post helpful. And yes, if you need help with a Netgear product, Netgear Support is a great place to get help with your travel router! Best, Jessica

It’s nice to have Wi-Fi while traveling and I appreciate the design and functional features of the device. The Netgear Trek’s initial function, increasing the range of existing wireless networks, sounds great.

Hi Christina, Yes, we still take the Netgear Trek travel router with us on most of our travels as it often comes in handy when we need to connect while on the road. Just let us know if you have any specific questions about the device that are not answered in the review. Best, Jessica

It’s nice that the included antenna can amplify the weak signal. Many people would find this product useful.

Thanks for the response. I”m back at home now but will try this at the next hotel. Great review. If this pans out, this truly is something that has been needed for quite a while and it will become my “go-to” solution when traveling. Harry

Hi Harry, We find that sometimes it does take a bit of patience and fiddling but we have been successful in using it as we described. Best of luck and please let us know how it works on your next trip! Best, Jessica Laurence

I was led to understand the netgear N300 would allow you to use the hotel “captive portal” Wi-Fi with multiple devices. It doesn’t look like that is the case as your commenter above states. I see no option in the netgear page for this to happen. It requires you to put in an ssid for the hotel network and a password. The problem is, with “captive portal” pages, there is no “password”. They ask for your room number and you to accept the user agreement. What is needed is to be able to sign in to the netgear n300 and then open a browser and try to get on the internet and then the hotel page pops up and you enter your room number and any other required info and you are on the web. I don’t see that capability in the netgear N300 Also, I think you may need the ability to “clone” the mac address of your laptop so your mac address isn’t always telling the hotel that you are probably using a “router” type device to get around their “one or two device” rules. If the mac address says “I’m a netgear router”, it would be easy for the hotel to not allow such mac addresses.

Hi Harry, In our experience the N300 router has allowed us to do this. You can enter the hotel SSID without a password, and then the router will forward your browser to the hotel page to log in, after which point you can browse with multiple devices. We’ve definitely used it in this situation and not had any problems at several hotels. For the MAC address spoofing, we’ve never encountered a hotel set up intelligent enough to do this, and we suspect we never will – the effort to do so isn’t really worth the rewards we suspect. Hope this helps, and I would message or call Netgear Support if you are having further difficulties. Best, Jessica

NetGear has been horrible in trying to answer my question. I was told that I can connect in places like Starbucks that require me to click on ACCEPT their terms or a location like a hotel that might require me to enter other information on a log in screen. I have not been able to make that happen. I select the network (such as Starbucks) and the system spins for a couple minutes and then says it can’t connect. It doesn’t take me to the needed screen to accept terms. Is the function I want available and, if so, how is it supposed to work.

Hi John-Paul, I am sorry to hear you have not had a great response to your question from Netgear. Um, have you gotten the Netgear to first work at your home? We were normally able to connect in public places, and have used it in hotels and coffee shops. It should first connect to the Netgear and then you should be able to then sign into the store or public screen Wi-Fi. Are you able to sign into the public Wi-Fi screen once you turn of the Netgear Trek? ~ Jessica

No trouble logging on to NetGear at home and retransmitting my home network. I was at a hospital with a public network. I was able to log on to their network (after accepting their terms on a pop up page) on both my computer and my iPhone. However, when I selected the hospital network in the NetGear menu it tried to connect a couple of times but said they could not connect. It never gave me the sign on screen from the hospital. So. The normal process should be 1) Connect my laptop to the NetGear network created by my device. 2) Go through the netgear menu and select the desired network from the available list. 3) Hit the Go/Enter/Next button (don’t remember which it’s called) 4) Any signon screen from the network should automatically come up?? It’s step 4 that isn’t happening

Hi John-Paul, Yes, it sounds like you are doing it correctly. I don’t know what may be happening – it could be something to do with the hospital network in combo with the Netgear. But if you have had this problem at other places, it is probably the Netgear. Have you had it working in any public places you have tried? If contacting Netgear support isn’t working the best, you might try contacting them via social media such as sending them a Tweet (@Netgear) and feel free to tag me on it (@TravelCatsBlog) and I can monitor to make sure you get a reply. Sorry I can’t be more helpful but I hope Netgear can help you out. Best, Jessica

Good news. I finally got it to work. I’m very happy as now that we are retired this is going to be extremely useful in all the timeshares we stay in.

I use it to bring Wi-Fi to my laptop in various parts of the house from my desk, where it sits cabled to a broadband modem that itself is cabled to the internet. The big problem is that very often it shows up as not connected to the internet, although I can usually get it to function OK after turning various bits of kit off and then on again. Has anyone else had this hassle?

Hi Mary, We have generally not used the device on a daily basis, but we have had issues where it disconnects itself and we have to reconnect the connection to get it rebooted. Another issues may be that since you may be in areas of the desk where there is a weak connection, it may be losing the Wi-Fi signal at times. I am not sure if there is anything you can do other than what you are doing. Anyone else have advice? ~ Jessica

I am also using NETGEAR TREK since December 14. It helps me to connect multiple devices and let me do my work on the fourth flour. Its an excellent device!

We have begun to use a DropCam camera (now a Nest product) as in some hotels we have had some items taken from our room (not Marriott). But, I found the DropCam would not connect directly to the Marriott provided Wi-Fi in our room. I tried to use our iPad as a hotspot, but the connection was not reliable. I ended up investing in a Netgear Trek N300 Wi-Fi router and was able to log that unit onto the Marriott Wi-Fi with no problems, then connect our devices to the N300. Perfect…

Hi Gil, Sorry to hear about the taken items, but I am glad that you have found the Netgear Wi-Fi router helpful during your travels! We are actually using it right now in Rome!! ~Jessica

I’ve had spotty results with the Netgear Trek. The Internet connection is flaky and it resets itself a few times each day, even when it seems to pick up a strong signal from a hotel or RV park. Did you run into that problem, too?

Hi Tom, We have not experienced the flakiness so much but we have had it reset when we have it on for a long time, but not quite that often. Maybe contact Netgear and see if they have any tips? ~Jessica

Great review! I, too, am in the market for a travel router. Thus, I have a question: Can this be powered via a USB-powered port on my laptop or by A/C only?

auto, wi-fi, router

Hi Todd, thanks! Yes, you can power this via a plugged in USB cable or via the AC cord. If you use the Netgear Trek, please feel free to share your experience!

Interesting. I’ve thought of maybe getting one of these for my own home! There are corners that just have such weak connections. It does seem a bit bulky though to be carrying it when traveling. How heavy is it?

Hi Adelina, yes we use it both at home to extend our Wi-Fi to our patio and also sometimes while traveling. Here are the size and weight specs from the Netgear website: Dimensions: 3.39 in x 3.31 in x 1.30 in (86.5 mm x 86.2 mm x 32 mm) Net Weight: 0.355 lb (161 g). So it is fairly compact and not that heavy but if you are like me, every little bit can matter when trying to squeeze more things into one’s luggage so we generally just travel with it when we know we’ll be experiencing bad Wi-Fi. Hope that helps and feel free to ask more questions if you are deciding to buy.

Thanks for the review. I’ll definitely look into it. It really is frustrating if the signal is slow I’ll be willing to carry extra weight if it would boost connection.

Gone are the days of combing an area for a dodgy internet cafe in order to e-mail friends and family about travels. Now you can use gadgets like this and blog away… Big innovations in just even a decade!

My greatest frustration when traveling is places that advertise Wi-Fi when it’s too slow or unreliable to be usable – I’m fine when they just don’t have it, but I hate spending so much time trying to make it work. I think I could use one of these.

Hi Jess, yes I agree. Better to not advertise Internet than to have Internet that is impossible to use:) This can help when there are weak signals.

I love the idea of SECURE access to public hotspots when travelling. My only concern is it’s size. It seems so big!

Yes, it is also a pro and con when adding something extra to one’s luggage. Here are the size and weight specs from the Netgear website: Dimensions: 3.39 in x 3.31 in x 1.30 in (86.5 mm x 86.2 mm x 32 mm) Net Weight: 0.355 lb (161 g).

That’s very cool – I haven’t used this but it’s good to know it’s a reliable product. My mobile phone is a hotspot so if anything, we can connect multiple devices to it as well. It’s REALLY handy to have that functionality because it also doesn’t require any extra gear, just my phone. Have a great one Jessica!Iva

That sounds great and I wish I could use my cell phone as a hotspot, but it is quite expensive. Mobile hotspots are definitely very cool. The great thing about the Trek is that it is a very low cost option (35 one time cost) for locations that have Wi-Fi (or Ethernet) and you’d just like to make a stronger, safer, and more reliable connection.

Looks like an excellent device, I’ll be glad to look into it. The only downside is that you still need to carry a router from what I understand, which is an extra weight in the luggage…

Hi Anda, yes the Netgear Trek is a very neat device. It is pretty compact, but you do need to have the device with you to connect and increase the Wi-Fi range so it is going to take up some precious luggage space unfortunately.

hi i was very interested in your take on this product. However I use an Android tab when i travel and there was no mention made of that possibility in the specs. I research further and found that is does work with Android and iOS operating systems too. I am seriously looking at purchase. Thanks for bringing this device to our attention!

Hi Suzan, Yes, for some reason Netgear does not list it under the written system requirements, but the Netgear Trek works well with our Android phones and devices. Let us know if you have any other questions! ~ Jessica

It sounds like you can use either an app or a browser on a laptop to configure the Trek in case it needs a password to connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, am I understanding that correctly? Because if that is the case, then 35 for a way to boost the Wi-Fi signal is a bargain. So many hotels advertise free Wi-Fi but deliver very slow connections. Thanks for a great review!

Yes, that is correct. Similar to going to a coffee shop, it will bring up the Netgear page and you will choose the network you want and then connect to it as needed (if there is a password or something to click). Yes, we think the 35 is a very good value which is why Laurence bought his own so we now own two of the devices:)

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Welcome! We’re Laurence and Jessica Norah, a travel blogging couple sharing our adventures from all over the world. We hope you’ll stick around for our travel advice, tips, and stories. Find out more about us here.

How to install Wi-Fi in car

Modern cars are not just mediums of commuting from point A to point B. Instead, modern cars are increasingly becoming connected devices, with their greater reliance on software, connected features technology etc. While AUX, USB and other connectivity features have already walked a long way, the new age of in-car connectivity is witnessing the use of in-car Wi-Fi.

While several high-end luxury cars come equipped with in-cabin Wi-Fi systems, the majority of the cars don’t get them as standard features. However, a customer can opt for a third-party device in ensuring a seamless Wi-Fi connection inside the cabin of a vehicle.

There are multiple ways to ensure in-car Wi-Fi. The easiest way to get Wi-Fi inside the car is using the smartphone as an ad-hoc wireless hotspot. Also, installing a dedicated mobile hotspot or OBD-II device can create a Wi-Fi system inside the cabin of a car. Many consumers opt for adding a permanent wireless modem and router to install a Wi-Fi system inside the cabin of a vehicle. While this is the most reliable way to add an in-car Wi-Fi, it is also the most expensive option.

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Here are the three different types of methods to install an in-car Wi-Fi.

Using mobile hotspot

One of the easiest methods to get in-car Wi-Fi is using a mobile hotspot. This just needs a smartphone with a cellular data connection. It can be used in two different types of devices. dongles and smartphones. Both the devices use a SIM card with an active cellular data connection. Using a dongle or the smartphone hotspot to get Wi-Fi inside the car is just like using the devices in our homes to get Wi-Fi connectivity. However, a shortfall of this system is if the dongle or smartphone is removed from the cabin of the car, the Wi-Fi gets inaccessible for the users.

Using OBD-II device

OBD-II devices are less portable than using a mobile hotspot but offer wider functionality and better reliability. These devices can be plugged into the vehicle’s OB-II port, which is the same connector through which computer diagnostics are performed. These devices create a local Wi-Fi network and provide cellular data access to various mobile devices inside the car cabin. The benefits of these devices are that they provide real-time vehicle location data, historic location data of the vehicle, and diagnostic information through a smartphone app.

Wireless modem and router in car

Using a wireless modem and router inside the cabin of a car is the most reliable method to get Wi-Fi. However, it is the most expensive one as well. Automotive wireless routers are more expensive than portable dongles and MiFi devices, and they require some technical installation. However, the Wi-Fi network provided by these devices is of supreme quality and most stable as well.