Life on the road has its downfalls — but zero access to the internet doesn’t have to be one of them. Travel routers have been around for a bit now to help people all over the globe access the internet for work and play in places they otherwise wouldn’t be able to.
Accessing the internet in a hotel, Airbnb or even a Starbucks can be a bit of a mess. WiFi speed will often slow down due to so many users being on the same router, which means for those trying to get work done in a timely manner, it can become kind of a struggle. Travel routers are perfect for the on-the-road type of person who finds themselves constantly traveling from place to place for work, or, more recently, the kind of person living in a renovated sprinter van, school bus or SUV. This might sound weird to some of you, but van life is growing tremendously in popularity due to remote work becoming easier and easier for most millennials and older Gen-Zers.
So, if you find yourself constantly in a situation where you desperately need WiFi to get some work done away from the place you call home, you’re going to need a travel router.
What is a Travel Router?
A travel router is a router like the one you have set up at home. Instead of it being a stationary entity you never touch until it stops working for whatever reason, travel routers are smaller, portable routers meant to go with you on trips. They simplify the process of connecting devices to public networks in hotels, airports, Airbnbs and more. Some can even be considered the best routers for gaming and streaming movies.
How Do Travel Routers Work?
Travel routers work by plugging into the wall at a hotel, airport, coffee shop or wherever else you might be working. You will need access to a place with internet access already, so sadly you can’t technically use this on the road — it’s more of a portable stationary option. So, it’s not always like your average hot spot (but occasionally can be), it’s more like your best WiFi router.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Travel Router?
By using a travel router, you won’t have to spend copious amounts of time trying to connect to the internet every time you need it. After the very first time you connect, all of your devices previously connected will recognize the router and automatically connect no matter where you connect the travel router to. Travel routers are also less spotty than public WiFi, and, it’s entirely private to you. Travel routers are much faster than the guest WiFi floating around wherever you may be and are tiny enough to pack in most small bags.
If you’re constantly on the road or find yourself in hotel rooms and airports more regularly than the average person, check out the best travel routers below and make your life a little bit easier.
1. TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
The TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router is one of the highest-rated travel routers on Amazon. It has a travel-sized design that’s small enough to throw in your carry-on or under-seat bag, making it incredibly convenient to those constantly on the road. WiFi is consistently fast and powerful enough to allow users to watch crystal clear HD content on all of their devices. It also can allow you to connect to outdoor WISP Access Points in public areas to work as a hotspot when you might need it most.
2. GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2 Wireless Mini Portable Travel Router
This tiny travel router is so tiny that it can fit in your back pocket without a problem. It has super-high security protocols to ensure your information is safe no matter where you’re at, offering an extra layer of protection wherever you have the ability to connect. As you’d imagine, it’s great for giving users a stronger, more reliable internet service in a wireless setting in both hotels and airports. Additionally, users will be able to connect to existing wireless networks without a cord, such as WiFi services in cafes. Hotspot usage is also available, too.
3. NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router
Safely, swiftly and easily connect up to 20 devices in total with the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router and have each and every one of them work like magic. This travel router brings public WiFi into a private setting for everyone you’re on the road with. It connects with every mobile carrier securely providing fast internet for phones, laptops and tablets. It has a long battery life so you can use it on the road without even plugging it in, too.
4. TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
TP-Link has a couple of travel routers to be reckoned with, hence why this is the second time we’re throwing one in here for you to check out. This travel router is perfect for slipping in your pocket and bringing with you wherever and creating a secure WiFi hotspot in a matter of seconds. You’ll get lag-free HD video streaming each and every time the same way you would on a secure network at home. It has advanced security and industry-leading support with a two-year warranty.
5. GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel AC VPN Router
With the GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext (Slate) Gigabit Travel AC VPN Router, you’ll get OpenVPN and WireGuard pre-installed for maximum security. If those two aren’t your style, this travel router is also compatible with more than thirty other VPN providers. It’s compact and lightweight, making it perfect for frequent travelers. By using this travel router, you will also have the ability to connect to multiple workplaces without a problem, whether they’re at your work-from-home desk or at your office computer. It’s great for the kind of person who is extra reliant on security.