8 Best Mini Travel Routers | April 2017

If you're going away and want to ensure you always have access to the Internet on your mobile devices, check our selection of mini travel routers. They come in highly portable packages and can provide a secure wireless connection, a hard-wired access point, or extend an existing network while you're on the go. Skip to the best mini travel router on Amazon.
8 Best Mini Travel Routers | April 2017
Overall Rank: 5
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 8
Best Inexpensive
★★★
8
The slender ZyXEL MWR102 can broadcast a signal from a wired connection via its ethernet input, be used as a hard-wired access point, or function as a client bridge. It's designed to work with the latest devices and be backwards compatible with older ones as well.
  • bult-in firewall features
  • hard to use with captive portals
  • included instructions are very poor
Brand ZyXEL
Model MWR102
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
6
The TrendNet TEW-817DTR does one thing well, which is broadcasting a wireless network from an existing ethernet connection. It's simple to set up and promises speeds of up to 300 megabits per second, good enough for most web browsing needs.
  • plugs directly into a wall
  • includes global outlet adapters
  • a bit difficult to configure
Brand TrendNet TEW-817DTR
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
The bright yellow GLI GL-MT300N is a compact way to convert a wired connection into a wireless one, and it can also be used to create secure networks from unprotected public ones for added digital safety. It's compatible with VPNs for additional security and anonymity.
  • weighs less than 2 ounces
  • dual ethernet ports
  • settings changes may cause shutdowns
Brand GLI GL-MT300N
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.9 / 5.0
3
The HooToo TripMate Elite allows you to instantly convert a wired network to a wireless one via its ethernet port. It's great for hotels that have yet to enter the 21st century, and also works to extend or bridge existing Wi-Fi signals.
  • doubles as a mobile power pack
  • dual usb charging ports
  • some units die after a few months
Brand HooToo
Model HT-TM05
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
The Flavell 300Mbps can be used to extend existing Wi-Fi networks or create one all its own via its dual bottom ethernet ports. Its small size makes it a great choice for discrete use at home or for taking with you anywhere.
  • plugs directly into an ac outlet
  • two adjustable antennas
  • illustrated step by step usage guide
Brand Flavell 300Mbps
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
1
The multifunctional RavPower FileHub Plus is an ideal digital travel companion. It has built-in SD card and USB readers, and works as an external battery pack that can juice up small devices. Its ethernet port can convert a wired connection to a wireless one.
  • boosts and extends wireless signals
  • great for streaming media
  • battery and wi-fi led indicators
Brand RAVPower
Model WD03
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Why Use A Mini Travel Router?

A mini travel router is a WiFi router that fits in your pocket and can be taken anywhere. It is most commonly used in hotel rooms that require use of an Ethernet connection or only allow one device on WiFi at a time without charging extra fees. The mini travel router expands the existing single connection into a wireless hot spot for multiple devices. This means that you can use your laptop, tablet, and smartphone on the same connection without incurring extra costs.

It is also convenient because it will save you time and effort in connecting to an existing WiFi connection. If you have already set up your router at home and connected it to your devices as a saved connection, then you will simply need to plug it in at your hotel or other destination allowing your devices to automatically connect.

It is important to ensure that you password protect your connection so that no one else nearby can access it and slow down your speeds with extra devices, or worse, access your saved content.

The mini travel router will help you to share important files and complete work quickly. This is especially helpful if you take frequent business trips and need continuous access to the Internet across multiple devices. Your travel router is likely to operate on higher data speeds than the average hotel WiFi or Ethernet connection.

You will want to ensure that the Internet connection is locked to your travel router rather than your laptop. Ensure that you plug the router in first before setting up Internet.

What Do I Need To Know Before I Buy?

Mini travel routers are great for connecting multiple devices and when traveling in a group. Most of them are the size of a credit card or a deck of cards so you can fit them in your pocket and take them wherever you need to go.

Believe it or not, these handy little devices often come equipped with multiple features that you might not have initially considered. Depending on your budget, think about the features that might be useful.

Check to see if your wireless router is locked or unlocked. Locked means that it is only usable through a specific service provider. If it is extremely cheap, it is likely that you are going to be trapped with a service provider and be subject to expensive data plans. You will not be permitted to use the router with other service providers. If you value flexibility, it is best to go with an unlocked device so you can switch between service providers.

Depending on your intended usage, you will need to determine how many devices your mini travel router can support at one time. If you plan to travel with several people or have multiple devices you need to connect at one time, high connectivity capabilities are important.

What Internet Service Provider do you think you will be using the majority of the time? You will want to ensure that the mini travel router you choose is compatible with that specific provider. It will also need to be compatible with your USB data card or SIM card. You are also going to want a travel router that supports your 3G/4G data card.

No one wants to deal with a slow Internet connection, so check your wireless router for the wireless standards: B, G, and N. “N” is the most advanced and supports the fastest speeds. It will support transfer speeds of up to 300Mb and is faster at home and away than “G” or “B.”

Your mini travel router can also double as a portable charger and provide endless charging and WiFi capabilities on the go. It might even come complete with its own downloadable mobile app for Android users.

Finally, check for USB ports. These ports are great for sharing files with other computers connected to the WiFi router.

A Brief History Of The Mini Travel Router

There are several men credited with the invention of WiFi and the Wireless router. Each one of them contributed something that was crucial to the creation of the final product, although it seems that no single person is solely responsible.

Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, one an engineer and both computer scientists, invented Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol which are both essential to communication across the Internet.

Vic Hayes was an engineer that some dubbed “The Father of WiFi” because he played a large role in establishing the 802.11 standard that forged the path for modern WiFi technology.

In the 1990s, five computer specialists worked for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia. These men, by the names of Dr. Terry Percival, Mr. Graham Daniels, Mr. Diet Ostry, Mr. John Deane, and Dr. John O’Sullivan, created a computer chip designed to improve WiFi signal quality. This technology is still used in wireless routers today.

No matter what device you use or where you log on from, you are using technology that would not be possible without each one of these men. They worked together to create technology that beams anything you could possibly need directly into your home or office.

This technology has made mini travel routers possible and increased convenience for many conducting personal and business affairs worldwide. This technology has enabled people to work from anywhere without the need to punch a clock in the office, and new technological pioneers continue to advance and improve on it today.



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Last updated on April 23 2017 by Ezra Glenn

Ezra is a writer, photographer, creative producer, designer, and record label-operator from New York City. He's traveled around the world and ended up back where he started, though he's constantly threatening to leave again.