The best travel Wi-Fi routers will give you an easy and effective way to connect your devices to the internet. They also provide your devices, like your computer and smartphone, a more secure and stable connection to public networks. With a travel wireless router, your devices and information are much less likely to get hacked.
As an avid traveler that brings several tech devices on my trips, I love traveling with my portable Wi-Fi device because it allows me to connect to the internet much faster. It also allows me to stay better connected to friends and family when I’m on the road, no matter where I am.
No matter where you go in the world, there is public Wi-Fi almost everywhere. You can quickly connect your mini Wi-Fi router to one of these public networks. Then, all of your devices will automatically connect to the travel router. You never have to worry about missing an important video call or text message again when traveling.
Some links in this article may be affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra, and I appreciate your support!
Best Travel Wi-Fi Routers – QUICK LOOK
- Best Travel Wi-Fi Router: NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router
- Best Portable Router: TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
- Top VPN Router: GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 Mini VPN Travel Router
- Best Router for Device Backup: NewQ FileHub AC750 Wireless Travel Router
- Fastest Router: GL.iNet GL-MT1300 (Beryl) VPN Secure Travel Gigabit Wireless Router
- Best Budget Router: TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
- Best For Photos: Ravpower FileHub AC750 Wireless Travel Router
- Top Router For International Travel: TRENDnet 4-Port Broadband Router
- Best For Programming: GL.iNet GL-E750 (MUDI) 4G LTE OpenWrt VPN Router
- Best For Storage: GL.iNet GL-AR300M16-EXT Mini Travel Router
The Top Travel Wi-Fi Routers
Here are the top travel routers and their noteworthy features that make them perfect for using while on the go. If you’re not very tech-savvy—no worries. You’ll find a section down below explaining some of the tech terms so you can better understand them. Or, keep it easy and take a look at the headings to see which may be the best choice for you.
Best Overall Travel Wi-Fi Router
The NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot is considered one of the top pocket routers for many reasons.
- Connects up to 20 devices at once
- It can also act as a mobile 4G LTE hotspot
- 24 hours of battery life per charge
- LCD screen to monitor signal and data usage
This is the best router for people who use several devices and want to connect to Wi-Fi 24/7. You can also buy data through NetGear and use this as a mobile hotspot when no public networks are available.
It’s built for heavy internet usage. It can also download large files and software, so it’s a great option if you plan to use your router for photo or video editing.
The only big drawback is the price. If you’re on a tight budget or just looking for a router to use with one or two devices, you can definitely go with a cheaper alternative.
Best Portable Router
If you’re looking for a router that takes up the least amount of space, the TP-Link AC750 Nano router is the perfect option. This is a pocket Wi-Fi router that you can literally put in your jeans or jacket pocket.
- Fast and reliable
- Speeds up to 733 Mbps
- Lightweight and portable
- Supports dual bands
This is perfect if you’re looking for a tiny router to use on the weekend away or an overnight trip. It has a micro USB port, so you can also plug it directly into your laptop for charging.
Although it’s budget-friendly, it’s not the most durable. It’s probably not the best choice if you plan to travel internationally.
Best VPN Router
While travel Wi-Fi routers do add some security, most are not VPN capable. If you want to use a VPN to make your information more secure, the GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 Mini VPN Travel Router might be a solid addition to your travel backpack.
- Comes with OpenWrt firmware preinstalled
- Supports a long list of VPN service providers
- Fast and reliable internet speed
- Lightweight and small
The OpenWrt firmware that comes with the router offers almost 30 different VPN options from different providers to choose from. The firmware is pre-installed, making it easy and quick to set up. The router also has a micro USB port.
The only drawback to this travel wireless router is that it has to be charged using a wall outlet. You’ll have to make sure it’s fully charged before leaving home or find a place to charge it.
Best Router For Device Backup
If you are searching for a portable wi-fi device that can easily back up your photos and files, the NewQ Filehub AC750 Travel Router is one of the only routers with a FileHub function. You can connect a USB or external hard drive and wirelessly transfer files.
- Small and portable
- Can transfer files without a file reading app
- Can be used as a wireless SD card reader
- Up to 1300Mbps internet speeds
- Supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Traveling with this wi-fi router is super easy because you can transfer files to it before leaving home and then have access to them while traveling. This way you don’t need to travel with all your external hard drives.
Best Wi-Fi Router for Speed
This is another option by GL.iNet and it’s built for maximum speed. The GL.iNet GL-MT1300 is dual-band with 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz.
- Supports 400Mbps on 2.4Ghz
- Supports 867Mbps on 5.0Ghz
- Can support up to 40 devices at the same time
- 3 ethernet ports
- VPN services for privacy
If you need a router to support devices for the family or a group of travelers, this is a great option. The speeds are still quick and efficient even with the maximum number of devices connected. VPN service options and firmware are available to install if you are interested in securing your network.
Best Inexpensive Router
If you’re looking for a durable router on a budget, try the TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router. Despite the low price, it still has all the features you need, and it’s extremely durable.
- Supports up to 300Mbps on 2.4Ghz
- Compatible with Chromecast
- Supports AP and Repeater modes
- Micro USB port and USB port
With the low price point, it does come with one annoying feature. It will have to be charged with a wall outlet anytime you need external power. Despite this, it still offers Wi-Fi for travelers for a low price.
Best Wi-Fi Router for Photographers
If you travel as a photographer for work or just love to take pictures while on vacation, the RavPower FileHub portable Wi-Fi device is a great option.
- Transfer files with SD card or SSD/HDD, and your device
- Supports up to 300 Mbps on 2.4Ghz
- Supports 433 Mbps on 5Ghz
- Data transfer speed of 12-18 Mb/s
- Easily share photo and video files
- Automatic backup options for photo files
The fast data transfer and SD card slots are a quick way to get your photos uploaded onto all of your devices. And the automatic backup settings can keep you from losing your memories.
Best Wi-Fi Router for International Travel
The TRENDnet 4 Port Broadband Router is a great option if you’re regularly traveling overseas. It’s a small WIFI router and lightweight. The advanced firewall and remote management make sure your data is secure wherever you are.
- 0.25 pounds
- Protects your computer from hackers
- Ability to share your internet connection
- Universal Plug and Play
You can share the internet connection with up to a dozen users. The Universal Plug and Play can recognize all your devices with this same software to make streaming and gaming easier.
Best Wi-Fi Router For Programming
Some travel routers allow you to customize and program them to make them better meet your needs. The GL.iNet GL-E750 allows you to easily switch between servers, VPNs, and networks.
- Choose and switch between 30 VPNs
- Use the included Tor service for added encryption and security
- Choose your DNS server to prevent hacking
- Works for 8 hours between charges
- Can also be used with mobile network
This travel router is also compact and durable, so you can easily carry it in your pocket or small backpack. If you might be in spots without Wi-fi networks, you can buy data from your phone company and use this router as a hotspot.
Best Wi-Fi Router For Storage
If you’re looking for a portable wi-fi router for travel that offers large storage for your work or photos, the GL.iNet GL-AR300M16 EXT Router will have everything you need.
- 128MB RAM
- 16 MB NOR Flash
- Dual Ethernet ports
- VPN pre-installed
- Only 0.9 pounds
The only drawback is that there’s only one USB port, which can be inconvenient depending on how many devices you use and if you plan to use flash drives for any reason. It also has VPN capabilities from over 30 providers.
What Is A Travel Wi-Fi Router And Why Do You Need One?
A travel Wi-Fi router works the same way your router at home works. It’s just smaller and easier to throw into your suitcase or backpack. It makes connecting your devices to Wi-Fi much easier and quicker.
You will still need an internet source, such as airport or hotel Wi-Fi. The main benefit is that you only have to connect your router to the public Wi-Fi. Your devices like your phone and computer will remember your travel router. They will automatically connect to it whenever you have a Wi-Fi connection.
You might need a travel router if you use several different devices that all require an internet connection when traveling. It also makes your internet connection more secure and private when using public Wi-Fi.
Brief Non-Techies’ Terminology Guide
If you are confused by any of the terms or specs listed above, check out this list of terms!
A router that can also be a mobile hotspot means you can use it with mobile data. You will have to purchase data from your phone company. Certain routers work with certain phone companies, so make sure to buy one that works with your current plan.
A speed of 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps is considered average. For fast and reliable internet, you want a speed that is closer to 100 Mbps. For several users or streaming videos, get a router with a speed greater than 100 Mbps. Some routers can be closer to 500 Mbps or even 1000 Mbps, but this is usually overkill for most people unless you have several users all playing online games and streaming videos at the same time.
A virtual private network (VPN) takes public networks and turns them into a private connection for your devices. This gives you anonymity when using the internet. It will also help protect your personal data, such as when you log into your bank account from a public network.
Wi-Fi routers will either be single-band 2.4 GHz or dual-band with 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. Dual-band routers usually perform better and are easier to set up. Single-band routers will give you a weaker signal and more frequent internet interruptions. A dual-band router also allows you to switch between the two bands depending on your needs.
Some Wi-Fi routers will have an ethernet port, which means you can plug the router directly into your computer. You can also plug the ethernet port into the public router directly if it’s in your hotel room. USB ports can also be used to plug in your phone, tablets, or flash drives. A micro USB port can also be used to plug in certain devices where you use a micro cable.
5 Benefits Of Using A Travel Wi-Fi Router
- Easier access to the internet. A router gives you faster and easier access to Wi-Fi in public spots that numerous people are using at the same time.
- Quickly connect all your devices. You only have to connect the router to new networks. All of your devices will automatically connect to your travel router.
- Added security. Since only your router is connected, all of your other devices won’t be seen as connected to the public Wi-Fi. This helps to secure your privacy and personal information.
- Unlimited number of devices. Some public networks put a limit on how many devices can be connected at one time. Your travel router helps you bypass this rule by only connecting one device as opposed to 3 or 4.
- Turn a wired connection into wireless. Some routers have an ethernet port that can connect to hotel Wi-Fi or other places that use an ethernet cable. Then, you can use it as a wireless connection for all your other devices.
4 Things To Look For In A Good Travel Wi-Fi Router
- Number of ports
The best travel routers will have an ethernet port and several USB ports. This way, you can turn wired connections into wireless ones. You can use the USB ports to charge devices or share media content on flash drives.
- Usage modes
There are many different usage modes on travel routers. Not all modes are necessary. It really depends on how you are using the router.
- Router mode: This is the basic model that makes the router function. It will allow the router to connect to the Wi-Fi.
- Repeater mode: This mode works the same as a Wi-Fi extender. It will extend the network you are connecting to cover any low coverage spots.
- AP mode: This mode allows the router to be used with a wired connection. This might be necessary if you end up in a place without wireless networks.
- Bridge mode: This takes the public network and splits it into a different name with a separate password. This ensures people can’t connect to your router unless you give them permission.
- Wi-Fi band
Most routers are either 5Ghz or 2.4Ghz. 5Ghz is considered more reliable because the signals are usually stronger. 2.4Ghz has larger ranges, though.
- Battery life
Some routers run on their own battery, and some have to be plugged into an outlet. Battery-powered ones might be easier to use, so you don’t have to find an outlet whenever you want to use them.
Make sure your router can be charged with a USB port so you can use your laptop or another device to give the router some power.
Should I Get a Travel Router?
If you frequently travel with several tech devices, looking into a wireless travel router is a smart decision. They’re great to use on the go, especially in hotels, airports, and coffee shops. They give you a quick and easy way to connect all your devices to the same network.
Most portable Wi-Fi routers come with the same basic features. Some might have higher connection speeds, more USB ports, or the ability to stream through the router. If you are a heavy data user or want to stream shows, you need the quickest connection available. If you just want a basic, durable router, you can go with one of the more inexpensive options.
Looking for a great travel laptop? Here are some top picks.
Have you bought a travel router recently and love it? Comment below your favorite router and all the places you’ve used it!
You Might Also Like
- 7 Best Laptops for Travelers Under $1500 (2022 Buyer’s Guide)
- Top Tools and Tips for Remotely Working from Home or Anywhere
- 15 of the Best Apps for Travel During a Trip
Like it? Pin it!