Complete Guide to the Best Travel Routers to Buy in 2018

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The Best Travel Routers to buy in 2018 – Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Updated - August 2018

Are you looking to buy a new travel router in 2018? If the answer is yes you have come to the right place. At Top 10 Travel we have reviewed the best travel routers that you can buy online in 2018. 

If you are constantly on the move, then you need to bring along several connectivity devices. After all, you need to keep your hi-tech arsenal well equipped for all your needs on the go. This is where Travel Routers come into play. Not only will these routers make your life way easier. They also offer the efficiency you would ever yearn for, and could prove to be more than just the fun.

Our Current Favorite
Don’t have time to read our in-depth article?  We believe theRAVPower FileHub Plus Travel Router is the best overall Travel Router you can buy in 2018. Lots of features make it perfect for families or business travelers offering all the features you need.

Nothing quite beats the portability and convenience of travel routers. These sleek, yet robust gizmos pack in virtually everything you need. Thanks to their ideal size, you can tuck it away in your bag and hit the road, or toss it in your pocket. And you don’t have to worry about any it weighing you down. They are every bit as light as most other travel gadgets. But what makes them stand out is the performance they deliver. You can share 3G/4G internet connection between several devices, send and receive files, as you want.

Most importantly, that you don’t have to rely on cables makes travel routers a great deal while out there. As long as you have wireless internet connectivity, a wireless router will be the only other thing you need. But with so many such routers on the market selecting just the right one might prove to be a monumental challenge. Well, keep reading to find out the one for you, and virtually everything else that has to do with these devices. Here are the ten best travel routers for your next trip. We have the review for each of them to make your selection a breeze. And you get to learn more about what it takes to find the perfect one from all the travel routers out there as well.

 

RAVPower FileHub Plus Travel Router

On top of this ten best travel routers list is the RAVPower wireless router, and for good reasons. The SD card reader and a USB portable hard drive make the transfer of files a breeze. It also doubles as a power bank for your portable devices, thanks to the large 600mAh external battery pack. Combined with the USB port, these features make it an ideal tool for charging your devices on the go. Its media streaming function comes in handy too. Not forgetting, the sleek black color and blue LED light around its power button to give it a distinctively perfect design.

If you want a robust travel router with great looks, then this one is for you. On the flipside, this one does not include a hotspot. You might have quite a hard time viewing RAW formats using its app. If you are looking for a great Travel Router then the RAVPower FileHub Plus Travel is a good option.


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Linksys N750 Wi-Fi Dual-Band+ Router

This router stands out with its Smart Wi-Fi App that enables you to take charge of your network from virtually anywhere, but there’s more still. Its dual-band wireless design supports high bandwidth applications, so you can share files and stream videos with ease. You can also get the best of wireless data rates at up to 300 and 450Mbps. And you have two spatial streams to go by. With these, you can get up to 2.4GB and 5G band for maximum Wi-Fi throughput. A wireless-N technology proves crucial too. With the use of several radios, this tech delivers a powerful signal, stretching far out and keeping dead spots at minimum. You will also have up to four ports for Gigabit Ethernet for enhanced connectivity. Some users have reported that the internet speed is sometimes a little slow however we did not fin this in our testing. The Linksys N750 is a great dual band travel router and perfect for your next business trip or family vacation.


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This fantastic device also comes in as one of the top picks for on-the-go use. Its wide range of modes from Access, Point, Client as well as Bridge options is something to reckon with too. The size is also compact enough to fit right into your pocket for easy portability.

The high-quality wireless performance ensures it doesn’t fail to impress, thanks to the fast 300Mbps connection. Now you can stream videos and play online games. It’s also compatible with Chromecast (pick one up here), unlike most Travel Routers out there. So, you can count on it for a smoother experience with your browser.

You also have pre-encryption functions that you can turn to for safety. Not forgetting, it comes with a compact size that makes it ideal for portability. Again a few users have complained of the router dropping out its wi-fi connection. Overall the TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi Travel Router is an excellent option if you are looking for an affordable quality travel router.


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HooToo Wireless Travel Router

When it comes to packing in quite some power, the 10400mAh external battery in this router blows the competition away. This behemoth can help charge your iPhone up to 3 times. If you want a router that can double as a power bank, then this is it.

Apparently, this router is not your ordinary pocket-size device. But what it lacks in portability it compensates for by its sheer performance, especially when it comes to wireless connectivity.

You can also use it with several USB devices connected to its USB port, thanks to its all-new core technology. In essence, this titan is built for high performance. This router is a little bulkier that some of the other options and does not include a wireless hotspot. We love how powerful the external battery is in the HooToo Travel Router and it should be considered for you next wireless router.


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GL.iNET GL-AR750 AC Router

Here comes yet another exciting router for almost every traveler. With the 128MB RAM and MicroSD storage support, it stands out from other travel routers around. It also comes with a power adapter as well as the cables so you don’t have to spend more cash down the road for those.

And in connection, this device delivers where it counts. You get fast Wi-Fi at 300Mbps, or 2.4G and 433Mbps, or 5G. The 4G USB modem compatibility also makes it great for fast internet connections.

Most importantly, you can decide to install and use an external antenna, giving you better range without cutting back on the portability. Its compact design still makes it great for on-the-go use. Another outstanding thing is that it can adapt to cover a large area, giving you the advantage you need to use in different locations.

If you want to power it up, you can use several options. You may go for the USB option, or power it over its Ethernet (PoE) cable, but ensure never to use both at the same time. The single-core CPU can sometimes make the connection feel sluggish and users have reported some dropouts. We really like this GL.iNET GL-AR750 AC Router and would recommend it for your business trips.


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ZyXEL Wireless 3-in-1 Travel Router

When it comes to size, design, and functions, this router never disappoints. It impresses with the portability, but it also offers ideal flexibility thanks to its access point and client bridge modes. Only slightly larger than a credit card, you can slide it into your pocket and forget it is even in there. It’s among the smallest travel routers on the market.

The fast 150Mbps Wi-Fi connectivity speed also offers something every traveler who is short on time would wish for in terms of convenience. Its 4 LED lights on the front tell you almost all you would want to know about the status of your router, from the connection to the power. Some users have complained that it is a little fiddly getting the settings to work however we found it quite user friendly. The ZyXEL Wireless 3-in-1 Travel Router is a good choice to take with you while you travel.


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Linksys EA4500 App-Enabled Wireless-N Router

Not all travel routers out there feature an App-enabled tech. But this one takes matters to a completely new dimension. Then the Gigabit and its USB design further add to the already great performance when it comes to connectivity.

You will also have the Dual-band wireless aspect to thank it for. You can make the most out of the high bandwidth support that this feature offers to stream videos and share files at up to 450Mbps speed.

It also comes with a storage link for transforming your USB storage to a Network Storage Device (NAS). The Wireless-N tech hinges on several radios to deliver a robust signal that reaches far and fast. This also helps eliminate dead spots, giving you an all-around coverage. Although the software is quite pretty, it is not as user-friendly as it should and some users have complained of frequent freezing that requires a reboot.


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HooToo TripMate Wireless Router

When it comes to getting the best out of most travel routers, power is of the essence. With up to 6000mAh external battery, this one packs enough power to keep it going and double as a power bank.

It also comes with an AC charger so you don’t have to go down the road to get that one separately. Most interestingly, you can always plug in the router and use it right away. The charging pins are foldable too, giving you an easy time carrying it around.

Another upside is the Wi-Fi media sharing function. This offers an ideal option for your flash drive as well as the hard disk storage. Its dedicated mobile app is yet something worth a hard look. You can download on your Android or iOS device for easy control of the functionality of your router without having to use your laptop. This router is best for Windows as downloading and opening the driver onto an iMac may prove frustrating. It is also quite difficult for a user to work with. HooToo TripMate Wireless Router make a good range of travel routers and the tripmate is no exception.


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There are many large travel routers around, but this one brings together portability and performance to give you nothing short of the best. This router is definitely built for speed, reaching high data speeds of up to 3G/4G.

If you are using a LAN network, you can get up to 100Mbps data transfer which fast enough for almost any use. TP-Link has established a foothold on the market with its great quality build, and this one lives up to the hype. Thanks to the easy setup and its ease-of-use, you don’t have to be a pro to get the best out of it. Some users have reported issues with compatibility on some devices and also report that the 4G can drop connection. The TP-Link N1503G/4G portable Router would make a good option for a large family who require multiple devices and god internet speed.


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HooToo Wireless Travel Router

If you are looking for a solid option amidst thousands of travel routers, then this is hands down a great choice to consider. First up, the portability will blow you away, thanks to the super-small size, which is a great plus.

But this compact size doesn’t necessarily compromise the performance. When it comes to converting the wired network to wireless connectivity, this router packs quite a punch. You may also decide to use an existing Wi-Fi network to create a secure one for your needs.

The USB port also allows you to connect your router to USB devices. Its many other data transfer options ensure easy transfer of files even when you don’t have your computer handy. And all these come alongside password for security. One negative is that is doesn’t support USB hubs, making it hard to connect over one hard drive. Apart from that the HooToo Wireless Travel Router is a good travel router.

That concludes our list of travel router, selecting the right one from numerous travel routers shouldn’t be an intimidating feat anymore. Now it’s time to look into a few aspects that count. You will find these handy when picking the perfect choice form thousands of travel routers on the market.

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Travel Routers buying guide

When it comes to selecting the best travel router for your needs, you need to keep several things in mind. Here are a few things you need to understand before stepping up to the market and clicking the buy button.

What are Travel Routers?

A travel router is essentially a Wi-Fi router like any other in your home or office. The only noticeable difference is that travel routers feature the perfect design for use as you go. A compact size offer for easy portability, but don’t let the small size fool you. Travel routers are every bit as robust as their counterparts are.

The purpose of these routers is simplifying your connection and management of devices when using public Wi-Fi networks. This could be in an airport, hotel, or virtually anywhere. Most manufacturers who make routers usually offer some travel routers too for use while on the move.

Are these travel routers worth the expense?

Let’s face it, everyone dreads having to keep on adding their devices to every Wi-Fi network they come across. Well, this is where travel routers come in quite handy. All you have to do is connect your device to the router so that you can now connect the router to the available networks.

The other thing that makes travel routers the go-to option for many is the ability to hide all the devices connected to your network. This boils down to only your router being the one connected to the network. It can offer a considerable level of security since the other users down the hallway can’t see your devices or information.

What’s more, you might want to bypass any probable limits on the network dictating the number of devices you can connect. This way, only your router connects to the network and then down to your other devices. So, you can get an advantage of connecting more devices at once. These routers can also double as wireless extenders. Hence, they can help in getting rid of any dead spots on your Wi-Fi connection.

Most importantly, travel routers with an Ethernet port prove quite efficient for the job. With such a router, you can transform a wired connection into a wireless. And in case of a one with a USB port, then you can use it with a flash drive to get access to your media files. You can also make the most of these routers’ capability to create a shared network between devices.

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Best travel router brands around

You can always get travel routers from a wide range of options. But most of the renowned options include D-Link, TP-Link Nano, and Linksys among others. If you want a router that you can count on for years, then consider going for a company you can trust. Any of these can offer the quality worth every dime.

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What features to look for when buying travel routers

These routers come with a wide array of features. But you need to keep an eye on a few crucial aspects that could mean all the difference.

Wi-Fi standard and band
It’s always crucial to check the Wi-Fi standards of any router you are going for, and travel routers are no exception. Going for the latest and fastest standards could help you in the long haul. The older versions can face interferences and have less crucial modern security protocols. When it comes to the brand, a 5GHz option is something worth considering. This option features a smaller range than the 2.4GHz, but it’s hardly haunted by noise, hence giving you a robust, reliable signal.

Ports
This feature plays an inevitable role in almost all routers. Usually, travel routers and other options come with USB and Ethernet ports. Ethernet ports will enable you to transform a wired connection into a wireless option that you can use with several devices. The USB one offers different functions. You can use it for power; others help with charging other devices. And in other routers, you can use this port with a flash drive for file sharing. Only make sure you know what any port does to ensure the safety of your router.

Browsing speed and network coverage
The other thing you should keep an eye out for is just how fast the connection can be and how strong it is despite the service provider’s location. You will also need to make sure the network package that you go for caters to your internet needs. A strong signal is one of the most crucial considerations to look into here.

Power backup and compatibility
This aspect comes down to the battery. Most travel routers come with a battery backup that can offer for your power needs when out there. When it comes to compatibility, you need to keep in mind the type of devices you would want to use with your router. Some routers can also help as a power bank for your other devices; just ensure you go for what suits your needs best.

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What sized travel router size do I need?

When it comes to travel routers, size really matters. These routers are built for portability, so most of them generally feature compact sizes. Even in this category though, the sizes range considerably too. Some of them are just the right size to fit in your pocket without stuffing them in there.

But with the super-small size comes a compromise to several features that could be handy. Other routers can be large enough, with virtually all the features, but hard to carry around with ease. Whether you want to go for the behemoth options or that small gizmo, it’s all a matter of choice.

The choice here boils down to the use you have for your router. Your decision on the best router for you might also depend on whether you bring along a bag on the go, or you just need something that can fit in your hand.

The setup and use

The setup for travel routers doesn’t have to be a complicated undertaking. It’s usually all about several modes that can help in different situations. Usually, these modes vary in number or names depending on the router model. However, they usually boil down to the following;

  • Repeater mode – In this mode, the router can extend coverage of an existing wireless network, making it ideal for home use.
  • Router mode – Here, the router can connect to the network, and then you connect your devices to it so they can remain out of sight on the network.
  • Bridge mode – This means taking existing network connection and broadcasting it in a different name and password, which in turn splits the network into two.
  • AP mode – This mode involves creating a wireless access point using a non-wireless connection. The Ethernet cable comes in handy here, especially if you can only access a wired network connection.
  • Client mode – A mode offers the wireless capability to a device without wireless function with cable.
  • Access point mode – This mode you can be handy if your network doesn’t cooperate with the router or when you want to connect to a wider network.
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Final thoughts; is a travel router for you?

If you travel quite often and want to stay connected all the while, then a travel router is for you. The question here is more of what is the best pick for you from all the travel routers in town. And with the ones we have combined for you, finding a perfect option for your next getaway becomes a breeze. Decide according to your needs and budget, and make the most out of the performance. Just pick the right device, and connectivity for your devices becomes as easy as it gets.

Husband and Dad of 2 Richard is the founder of Top 10 Travel and loves everything travel related. Born in the UK and now living in Australia he has trekked Annapurna and parts of Western China and also spent time in Europe. As a family they have traveled to the USA several times, Canada, Europe and China. Next Stop is Iceland in September 2018.

2 Comments
  1. Nice list of routers Richard. Definitely good to know if we settle down anywhere for a long period of time sans router. Usually homeowners have ’em all set up for us.

  2. nobody likes sitting in a hotel room without internet. Or trying to find free wifi in a cafe. these are great options.

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