If you travel a lot — like me, it’s time to throw a travel WiFi router into your carry-on bag.
We all love travelling. But, a little bit of deep planing and some thought, we can head for the next level of adventure. In other words, by packing some essentials travel gadgets into your carry-on bag, you can make your trip more enjoyable, safer, and more comfortable. For example, a portable phone charger, Adapters, camera, and most importantly, any best WiFi portable travel router, or portable WiFi hotspot.
But, How will you choose the best portable Mini travel Wireless router for your needs?
Choosing the best router for travel is not that easy; we need to think of some factors — WiFi Standard, battery Power, network capabilities, portability, ports etc. —. However, it is quite similar to shopping for any WiFi router.
Let’s understand some benefits of having a travel router as most people don’t know about them.
There is no doubt that different WiFi travel routers offer different features, but the common thing about them is that they increase the range of your existing Internet networks. In other words, a travel router is primarily used to tackle a weak wireless signal.
Here are some of the main benefits of a travel router.
Range of your wireless networks:
By using any travel router, you’ll be able to extend the range of your existing wireless networks. For example, let’s say you’re in a hotel and having connectivity issues because of a weak signal. In that case, you can simply use any travel router and amply that weak signal.
Secure your wireless network:
The security of your network is one of the top benefits of a travel router. It creates a more secure, more reliable, and more stable wireless network at a public hotspot. Using a travel router, you can protect your devices from attacks such as DoS and port scans as it features a firewall.
As you know, we’re not limited to a single WiFi device. We connect multiple devices to a network. So, a travel router lets you connect multiple devices with a single login.
Most travel routers don’t support the WiFi bridge feature. So, supported ones can be used as a WiFi bridge as they include Ethernet ports for connecting Ethernet-enabled devices — TVs, gaming consoles, projectors, Blue-ray players, and many others — wirelessly to your existing WiFi network.
So without wasting any more time, let’s jump into the three best portable WiFi router for Travel in 2021:
- RAVPower FileHub AC750 – best for hotels
- GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit – A powerful dual-band travel AC Router
- Tp-Link AC750 – The affordable travel router
1. RAVPower FileHub AC750 – Best Overall
- Wireless ac750
- Dual-band (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
- Hard drive up to 3TB
- 12-18 MB/s transmission speed
- 3 Network modes
The RavPower AC750 is my first pick when travel routers are concerned. The portable mini router is backed by a 67000mAh battery and claims a dual-band (2.4GHz & 5GHz) functionality. On the 2.4GHz band, it delivers up to 300Mbps, while the 5GHz band it tops out 433Mbps. Moreover, it supports up to 5 smart devices, or simultaneous multi-device access, at once.
Pros & Cons:
- Wireless File access is possible through USB hard drives, SD cards, and other flash drives.
- It uses USB-C port for charging, not older micro USB B port.
- The capability of connecting up to five devices such as phone and laptop simultaneously.
- It is Samba 2.0 supported and compatible with Chromecast, Roku, and many DLNA devices.
- Three modes of operations: bridge, router, and AP.
I don’t like:
- On the 5GHz frequency band, it doesn’t support the bridge mode.
There is no doubt that RAVpower is not that popular brand in the networking industry. However, it’s been gaining popularity for the last couple of years. Therefore, In order to gain customer trust, they are offering warranties as much as they can. And, you would love to know that the AC750 provides a lifetime warranty.
2. GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext – Best Gigabit Travel Router
- Three Gigabit Ethernet Ports (1x WAN, 2LANs)
- 1x USB 2.0 port
- A dual-band foldable external antennas
- Three Customizable LEDs
- Ac750 WiFi standard
The GL.iNet Gl-AR750S-Ext is a dual-band ac WiFi-standard travel router offering a maximum combined speed of up to 750Mbps. On the 2.4GHz band, this travel router claims up to 300Mbps and 433Mbps on the 5GHz band. Moreover, it is equipped with 128MB of RAM and 128MB flash memory. It also allows you to add up to 128GB of microSD card in its TF card slot.
It includes a USB 2.0 port and three Gigabit Ethernet ports (2 LAN ports + 1 WAN port). On the backside, It also has a customizable mode switch, a reset button, and 4 GPIOs. On the side, you’ll see foldable dual-band external antennas. While on the top, it includes three customizable LEDs.
Moreover, it runs off USB port — it also runs off a portable battery. Therefore it is much easier to carry around, mainly overseas traveling purposes.
Pros & Cons:
What I like:
- It is open-source and programmable and supports OpenWrt.
- Simultaneous dual-band functionality.
- It is lightweight, compact, and suits well for frequent travelers.
- It provides a better range because of two foldable dual-band external antennas.
- Pre-installed VPN and client functions in OpenVPN and WireGuard with the support of 25+ commercial VPN providers.
I don’t like:
- It doesn’t have a built-in battery.
Compared to RAVPower, The GL.iNet is slightly better in terms of performance and features. However, you’ve to spend a bit more on the GL.iNet travel router. So keeping its high-performance in mind, this travel router is a perfect choice for those who travel frequently and use WiFi in public places a lot.
3. TP-Link AC750 (TL-WR902AC) – Best travel router for budget
- WiFi speed up to 750Mbps ( 433Mbps ~ 5GHz + 300Mbps ~ 2.4GHz)
- 802.11ac/n/g/b/a Wireless Standard
- 1x fast Ethernet LAN port
- 1x USB 2.0 Port
- Multi-mode with a 2-year warranty
The Tp-Link Ac750 (Tl-WR902AC) is a third travel router on my list claiming dual-band ‘ac’ WiFi standard with a maximum combined transfer rate of up to 750Mbps using both bands. This nano router can be used for various purposes in your home, such as range extender, access point, and client. Moreover, when you travel, you can use it as a router and hotspot. In total, this travel router gives you five different modes for your needs.
It is travel-sized and having a compact design. Therefore, it can be put into a pocket easily. Its multi-functional USB port lets you share files and media content. It also allows you to charge devices, such as tablets, smartphones, and many other gadgets that use USB as a power source. It provides a power supply of up to 5V/2A.
On the hardware side, this nano router offers excellent WiFi speeds on the 2.4GHz band and 5GHz band simultaneously. It has a single WAN port, 1 USB 2.0 port, and a USB power adapter.
Pros & Cons:
- It is conveniently portable, compact, and lightweight to take anywhere you want.
- A 2-year warranty with 24/7 technical support.
- Excellent Wireless Speed with a transfer rate of up to 750Mbps.
- It includes a multi-functional USB port allowing you to share files and charging.
- It offers Five modes to use: range extender, client mode, access point, router mode, and hotspot mode.
I don’t like:
- It gets a bit warm.
Even though the TP-Link AC750 is the cheapest portable travel router on the list, it offers multi-purpose features and multi-functional ports. For example, its USB port, which can be used for sharing files and charging. I consider this travel router an ideal option for students, travelers, and on-the-go living life.
Related: Best budget-friendly/cheap routers
The Ultimate Buying Guide Of Travel Routers For 2021
Before you make any decision while shopping for a travel router, make sure you bear some buying factors in mind.
Just like any other typical WiFi router, you should check for the WiFi standard of a travel router as well. In 2021 you should go for the latest WiFi standard called 802.11ac, or at least 802.11n standard. Don’t go for any slower one, just avoid the older WiFi standards, such as 802.11g, 802.11b, and 802.11a.
It’s always a good idea to have a travel router that runs off battery power, rather than external power sources. Or, at least go for one that can use a USB port as a power source so that you can use your laptop or power bank for that.
You should check whether your router includes Ethernet and USB ports. An Ethernet port on a travel router is very important as it turns a wired connection into wireless, which you need in order to connect multiple devices.
On the other hand, A USB port is also important. However, your router may use this port for power. If not, it can be used to insert flash drives, portable hard drivers, and other storage devices.
A travel route is considered the best because of its portability. However, portability meaning may vary from person to person. For example, if your router is portable, you’ll be able to carry it from one place to another and quickly put it into your pocket.
So when it comes to portability, you should consider the size and weight of the router. Also, check whether it runs on battery power and comes with a built-in battery.
You might have noticed that all the three best portable mini travel WiFi routers on my list deliver a combined WiFi speed of up to 750Mbps. I consider it the least speed for a travel router. Furthermore, there should be an ability to create a private VPN and sharing files across the network via USB port.
FAQ: Let’s learn something new about portable travel wireless routers through the FAQs.
1. What is a travel WiFi router?
A travel router is similar to a WiFi router but more compact and portable. As a portable router, you can carry it everywhere, whether it is a hotel, airport, or any other place in the world.
Moreover, it is designed to manage and connect devices on public WiFi networks. Most modern travel routers can be used in three modes: a router mode, bridge mode, and AP mode. For example, our first pick – RAVPOWER FileHub AC750.
2. What are the multiple usage modes of a travel router?
A travel router may have several usage modes, including AP mode, router mode, client mode, repeater mode, and bridge mode. These five are the most common ones.
3. Do I need a travel router?
Believe it or not, but travel routers are one of the top essential gadgets you can carry while traveling. You can use a travel router in many ways, such as client mode, extender mode, bridge mode, and of course, router mode.
4. What are the limitations of a travel router?
Of course, there are some limitations to a travel router. For example, you need an existing Internet connection so that you can use your travel router with it as it can’t be used as a mobile hotspot. Being portable and compact, travel routers are not as powerful as typical routers. Therefore, you should buy a travel router that can fit your needs.
Conclusion: Which will be the best portable Mini travel WiFi router for you in 2021?
The first travel router is RAVpower FileHUb AC750. It is a perfect choice for those looking for excellent features and network accessibility. It is in the first position because of its portability and power independence.
The second travel router is GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext. It is expensive but powerful and offers twice the features comparatively. It has open-source architecture and an easy network interface.
Finally, I have the cheapest portable travel router on my list – Tp-Link TL-WR902AC. Comparatively, it doesn’t include extra features and a built-in battery. Instead, it uses a power cord. Therefore, it will be perfect for students and average users.