The major appeal of WiFi is, of course, the wireless part. But considering the fact that WiFi has been around since the turn of the millennium, there are still some major problems that persist with WiFi. For one, even strong connections suffer from dead zones. And despite being “wireless,” you’re still basically tethered to a specific location in a way that you aren’t with mobile data.
Plus, using the same WiFi network as a large group of strangers presents its own security risks. That means you can be stuck using your lightning-fast laptop on unreliable public networks or have to keep your lightweight laptop at home. If that’s the case, it might be worth investing in a mobile hotspot.
Travel routers allow you to create your own mobile hotspot wherever you go. That allows you to connect to the internet while traveling so you can get work done (or just watch old Key & Peele clips, no judgment). Some options create a truly wireless 4G network, and others work by converting a tethered connection to a wireless one. In an increasingly connected world, it’s not worth it to settle for bad WiFi. These are some of the best mobile hotspots available right now.
1. Huawei 4G LTE Mobile WiFi Hotspot
This 4G LTE mobile hotspot from Huawei runs off battery power, so you can use it without having to plug it into your device. It also has a convenient LCD display screen with information about signal strength, battery, and other important information.
Pros: Works as 4G mobile hotspot or as a WiFi bridge. Compact design with a useful display screen.
Cons: Battery life is a little short.
2. RAVPower FileHub, Travel Router
This compact option from RavPower serves multiple functions, making it a good option for traveling. It has SD and USB ports for data transfer, and it can also be used to convert a wired network into a wireless one. That way, you can connect multiple WiFi devices through the travel router.
Pros: Includes SD and USB ports for data transfer, in addition to serving as a travel router.
Cons: Must be plugged into an ethernet port to provide WiFi.
3. TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
You might not have heard the name, but TP-Link is the top provider of consumer Wi-Fi devices. This travel router from the brand is a highly compact and measures only 2.2-inches by 2.2-inches, making it perfect for travel. It’s powered by micro-USB, and it supplies 300Mbps WiFi speed on a 2.4GHz band.
Pros: Very portable and compact option that’s ideal for travel. Works with Chromecast.
Cons: Not the fastest speeds. SSID and password information is printed on an easy-to-lose business card, and it’s imperative to hold on to that card.