a woman is working at home using a travel router

Simple Beginners Guide to a Travel Router

Believe it or not, travel routers are a necessity for any travel in this day and age. We are all connected to our devices. You leave the house, and your phone is in your hand. If you are going away for the weekend, there is a high likelihood that you will still pack your laptop and camera. 

Traveling can include a rucksack of gadgets for all different purposes. You pack your Kindle to read on the sunbed, your laptop to watch movies, or catch up on emails. Unfortunately, all of these devices need a Wi-Fi connection.

Connecting all your devices to your hotel Wi-Fi can be difficult and not always possible. Most importantly, it’s a safety hazard for your personal information. Public Wi-Fi provides endless opportunities for viruses and malware, network snooping, and session hijacking. Before you know it, someone has cleared balances off your bank and investment accounts and accessed private and sensitive documents. 

Could a travel router resolve this issue? Let’s find out. 

 

What Is a Travel Router?

A travel router is a small, portable version of the Wifi, just like the one you have at home. It enables you to extend the connection range from a wireless network, say, an airport or hotel Wi-Fi. This can allow you to connect to the internet in areas that would otherwise have a weak connection.

 

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Why Should You Have a Travel Router?

There are many benefits of traveling with a router. The main advantage is extending the connectivity range of wireless networks around you. Because you can extend the network range, you can connect multiple devices on the go.

Second, it creates a secure connection, allowing you to browse from a public network with an extra layer of security. Keep in mind that most public Wi-Fi connections are unencrypted and unsecured. This creates a lot of opportunities for hackers to steal your information. That said, you should still abstain from sending private documents and data when using public Wi-Fi connections. 

Most travel routers have Ethernet ports. These are great, as you can connect the router to a wired internet connection, turning it into a wireless connection. You can then use on multiple devices such as phones, laptops, Kindles, and more.

In addition, some travel routers have a mAh power supply and USB ports. This, plus a long-running battery, allows you to use the router to charge your devices, like your mobile, when on the road. Others will also have extra features, like file-sharing capabilities. 

 

Downsides of Travel Routers

Travel routers are not perfect, and there are some things to consider. For starters, travel routers don’t work unless connected to a power source and an external Wi-Fi. Before considering a travel router, you should ensure you are traveling somewhere with power and Wi-Fi. However, some travel routers allow you to input a SIM card to enable mobile data connection.

The biggest drawback of travel routers, though, is that they do not provide any protection for the data you share on a public connection. Ensure you are careful when connected to public Wi-Fi.

 

Travel Router Alternatives 

Traveling abroad is incredible for experiencing new cultures. You can also enjoy nature, new cities, towns, and countryside, and meet new people. But since you likely need an internet connection to stay in touch with loved ones and the world, you can consider other alternatives. 

The most common alternatives to consider include local SIM cards or Wi-Fi dongles. These are the best options if you are not guaranteed a public Wi-Fi connection. Or if you are working or plan on sharing sensitive data via the internet while traveling. 

 

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young man looking for wifi while his friends are sitting outside a camping van

 

Things To Consider

Wifi Standard

You should purchase a travel router with a fast and reliable standard. Older routers will be unreliable and a lot slower, which can be very irritating when traveling.

Choose a 5 GHz band, which is stronger and more reliable than others.

 

Battery

It is possible to buy a travel router that can run off a charged battery. If you want your travel router to be completely portable, ensure the battery is powerful and can run for a long duration. 

Ensure the router has a USB charging port, which is the most accessible power source. You do not want to be traveling with one charger for each device!

 

Ports

Ethernet ports are great, as they can turn a wired connection into a wireless connection for multiple devices. USB ports can be used for numerous things, including charging devices. 

You can also connect a flash drive to share its media or insert a 4G dongle to use your data plan on more devices other than your mobile.

 

Conclusion 

Do you need a travel router? Yes, we highly recommend getting a travel router for your travel excursions. A travel router might be handy to keep your devices connected to the internet using public Wi-Fi.

However, If you travel in remote areas abroad, consider other options, such as a local sim with lots of data. Another alternative is an external portable dongle, which you can top up with data in foreign countries.

Everyone has different travel needs. Therefore, there is no right or wrong answer. Ensure you have considered all the options and choose one that suits your needs. 

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