To help you find the best travel routers, we spent several hours analyzing the top models available on the market today, based on customer reviews, top features, and value. We recommend purchasing a travel router that is compact enough to fit on your person or in carry-on luggage while still offering enough power to provide a strong internet connection for all of your wireless devices. We also recommend purchasing a travel router that is easy to set up on the go, without extensive setup processes.

With all of these features and recommendations in mind, we chose the TP-Link TL-WR802N as the best travel router. Keep reading to learn more about this powerful device and the other best routers for travel we included in this buying guide.

Top 10 Best Travel Routers

 #1  TP-Link N300 TL-WR802N Travel Router

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: Ultra-lightweight, fast, and easy to use, this travel router easily earns our top pick spot. It also features five different wireless modes for greater usage flexibility in a variety of different scenarios.

Pros
  • Router, AP, client, repeater, WISP modes
  • Easy setup process
  • Weighs just 7.2 ounces
Cons
  • Lower performance with multiple devices
  • Doesn’t include a USB port

The TP-Link TL-WR802N travel router takes the top pick spot for a wide variety of reasons, but the first and foremost reason is that it packs a powerful punch in such a compact size. Measuring in at just 2.2 x 2.2 x 0.7 inches, this travel is compact and extra portable. It also weighs just 7.2 ounces, making it one of the lightest options available on the market today. With this kind of portability, the TL-WR802N is perfect for use on the go. It’s also really easy to set up and get running, which is even better for travelers.

When it comes to performance, you can expect the TP-Link travel router to give you upwards of 300 Mbps, when available from the modem to which you’re connected. It also has great range, although you likely won’t need it in a hotel room or airport where you’ll always be close to the router. We were really impressed by the TP-Link’s five different wireless modes, which include Client, Router, Bridge, Repeater, and Access Point functionalities. This gives you more flexibility in the way you use the router while traveling. Keep in mind that this travel router is only a single band option with just a 2.4GHz channel. You might also be interested in the best tablets for travel to complete your digital nomad setup.

 #2  GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Travel Router

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you are looking for a travel router that you can configure from top to bottle, then look no further than this handy device. With OpenWRT software pre-installed out of the box, this router allows you to customize nearly any setting for your on-the-go internet connection and provides reliable internet across both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

Pros
  • Dual-band functionality
  • Comes pre-installed with OpenWRT
  • Weighs just 7.2 ounces
Cons
  • Non-removable antennas
  • Setup can be a little complicated

The GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext is a unique travel router in the sense that it provides dual-band functionality for a more comprehensive solution for connecting to multiple devices and allows you to greatly customize network settings. You’ll get both a 2.4GHz band and a 5GHz band with either 300 Mbps or 433 Mbps of speed, respectively. The router’s two adjustable antennas also produce a good amount of range and signal strength so you can always stay connected. Unfortunately, the antennas are not removable, although they do fold down for portability.

On top of performance, this GL.iNet travel router provides extensive customizability via the device’s pre-installed OpenWRT software. This is open-source software that gives you greater control over router configuration. It can get a little complicated to get up and running, especially if you’ve never used it before, but the options are well worth the learning curve. The GL-AR750S-Ext is also designed really well, with both a MicroSD card slot and three Ethernet ports for even more connectivity options while you’re on the go. The travel router even includes a USB port for more storage options and playback options. It’s a great option if you’re looking for the best openWRT router for travel.

 #3  TP-Link AC750 TL-WR902AC Travel Router

Award: BEST LONG DISTANCE

WHY WE LIKE IT: This travel router produces a strong signal and high bandwidth speeds at a much longer range than other similar portable routers. It’s also incredibly easy to use and features a few different modes for different use cases.

Pros
  • User-friendly, durable design
  • Multiple modes for different scenarios
  • Speeds upwards of 433 Mbps
Cons
  • Not battery powered
  • Only one Ethernet port

The TP-Link TL-WR902AC travel router is compact and extra-portable with its 2.64 x 2.91 x 0.87-inch size, making it perfect to store in your travel luggage or even directly on your person while on the road. Plus, it only weighs eight ounces, so you won’t even notice while you’re out and about. We were also impressed by the durability of the TP-Link travel router. It doesn’t have any moving parts like antennas that can be damaged during transit, but it still produces excellent signal strength at long ranges. In fact, you’ll be able to stay connected to this wireless router from up to 100 feet away without experiencing loss in quality.

You’ll also get dual-band functionality with the TP-Link TL-WR902AC Wi-Fi router, which gives you an added level of flexibility in how many devices you can simultaneously connect and how to prioritize more important devices on the faster 5GHz band. The travel router also includes five different wireless modes like range extender, secure wireless access point, and connect wired devices directly to an internet connection. We were also pleased with the overall speeds that the TL-WR902AC router can provide. On the 2.4GHz band, you can get up to 300 Mbps, while on the 5GHz band, you can get up to 433 Mbps of internet speeds, as long as the source provides similar speed ratings. It’s definitely the best wifi router for long range on this list.

 #4  GL.iNet GL-AR150 Travel Router

Award: BEST CUSTOMIZATION

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you like to customize your network settings for a more fine-tuned and secure connection, then you can’t go wrong with this travel router, which provides extensive VPN capabilities, pre-installed OpenWRT software, and different modes of use. It’s also easy to use and extra portable with its removable antenna.

Pros
  • Simple, streamlined installation process
  • Antenna is removable
  • Extensive VPN options
Cons
  • Only features 2.4GHz band
  • Ethernet ports are just 100 Mbps

The GL.iNet AR150 is one of the most capable and affordable travel routers available on today’s market. On top of that, it’s also one of the most configurable options you can buy today. For starters, the mini router comes pre-installed with OpenWRT software, so you can start customizing every aspect of your wireless connection from the get-go. This GL.iNet travel router is also incredibly user-friendly when it comes to installation and overall daily use. It’s essentially a plug-and-play router for quicker internet access while you’re on the road.

When it comes to performance, the GL.iNet AR150 wireless router offers a robust feature set. While it may not be the fastest travel router available, it still gives you more than enough speed at up to 150 Mbps of bandwidth, when available. It is just a single-band router with a 2.4GHz, but you’ll also get tons of VPN options for added security, which is a huge plus. You’ll also get a USB port and two Ethernet ports for greater connectivity options. This travel router with VPN is perfect for security-conscious travelers. For more network security options, check out our best VPN buying guide.

 #5  GL.iNet Mudi GL-E750 Travel Router

Award: BEST MOBILE HOTSPOT

WHY WE LIKE IT: This handy travel router acts as a mobile hotspot to give you an internet connection wherever you get cell service through your provider. It’s also user-friendly with OpenWRT software and extra-secure with support for TOR and VPN services.

Pros
  • Support for mobile tethering
  • Support for TOR and VPN
  • Long-lasting battery
Cons
  • Larger than other routers
  • Heavier than other routers

The GL.iNet Mudi GL-E750 is one of the most mobile travel routers your money can buy today. It doesn’t require a hardwired connection to provide a wireless signal for your other devices. Instead, you can insert a SIM card and receive a 4G LTE signal that you can then broadcast to other portable devices. This makes it perfect for travelers who need connection no matter where they are. Fortunately, you’ll also get dual-band functionality here, with both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

This OpenWRT travel router is also built extremely well. Yes, it’s a little heavier and bulkier than other options on the market, but that’s because it packs a powerful 7,000 mAh battery and handy display so you can check on the status of your network. The battery will last you a long time, as well, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice. Like other GL.iNet products, you’ll get an extra-secure and user-friendly experience with the Mudi, too. With support for TOR network routing and VPN functionality, you can protect all of your more sensitive data with ease. Additionally, you may want to invest in the best travel backpacks for added digital security and impressive storage options.

 #6  GL.iNet GL-AR300M Travel Router

Award: BEST FOR TETHERING

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re on the road with just your cell phone as a source for the internet, then this travel router is the best option for you. It can connect directly to your phone and emit that cellular network out to your other devices with fast speeds and added VPN security.

Pros
  • Compatible with external antennas
  • Up to 300 Mbps speeds
  • 128MB of internal storage
Cons
  • Installation can be a little complicated
  • Only single-band functionality

The GL.iNet GL-AR300M is a powerful little wireless router for traveling that gives you a more flexible approach to internet connectivity. While it can always connect directly to a modem or other central internet source, it performs better when tethered to your mobile phone. This is incredibly helpful when you are traveling in your car and don’t have access to a stationary internet source. It also features two Ethernet ports and a USB port for extended connection capabilities.

The GL-AR300M is a simple single-band router with just a 2.4GHz channel to which you connect, but it offers upwards of 300 Mbps of speed, which is impressive. This way, you’ll always be getting the quickest speeds from your phone’s LTE or 5G network. We were also impressed that this GL.iNet router provided advanced functionality like VPN options and OpenWRT software for extensive customizability. It’s also designed well, and while it doesn’t come with external antennas, the router can be installed with them for greater range and signal strength. You might also want to purchase the best travel adapter to ensure you can use your tech no matter which country you’re in.

 #7  Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 Travel Router

Award: BEST FOR ENTERTAINMENT

WHY WE LIKE IT: With blazing-fast speeds, a long-lasting battery, and a user-friendly interface, this travel router is perfect for anyone who likes to stream movies or play games during their trips. It can also handle connections from up to 20 devices simultaneously so the entire family can get it on the fun.

Pros
  • Blazing fast wireless speeds
  • Long-lasting battery
  • User-friendly settings and interface
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a touchscreen
  • Heavier than other options

The Netgear Nighthawk MR1100 is both a travel wireless router and a mobile hotspot that you can use with your cell phone’s internet connection. With this dual functionality, you’ll get a ton of flexibility out of this handy device, especially when traveling with your family or coworkers. It can provide speeds up to 1Gbps, depending on the source from which the internet is coming. This makes the MR1100 perfect for on-the-go entertainment like streaming movies or even playing video games online. You’ll also get solid performance for up to 20 connected devices, which is an excellent addition.

This Nighthawk router doesn’t need to be connected to an external power source. Instead, it comes with a 5040 mAH battery, which gives you all-day power so you don’t have to worry about your internet going out in the middle of an important presentation, movie, or other projects. The device is also incredibly easy to use. It features a bright, colorful LCD display so you can always tell what’s going on with your network. You can access network settings via the Nighthawk smartphone app, which is a handy tool that makes things incredibly user-friendly. It’s the best router for streaming on our list.

 #8  HooToo TripMate Titan Travel Router

Award: BEST FOR FILE STORAGE

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need a reliable network storage device for backing up photos or sharing files, then you can’t go wrong with this travel wireless router. It can also provide a Wi-Fi network for up to five devices simultaneously and features a 10,400 mAh battery for all-day use.

Pros
  • Sturdy, durable design
  • 10,400 mAh battery
  • Support for up to five devices
Cons
  • Clunky user interface
  • Long charge time

The HooToo TripMate Titan travel router is one of the more unique offerings we researched and reviewed in this buying guide. While its core functionality remains that of a travel router that you can use to broadcast the internet from hotel or airport networks, it performs best as a portable network storage device. It features a variety of different ports that allow you to connect USB drives, external hard drives, and more for a handy portable backup system. This is perfect for travelers who want to easily store photos or work documents without worry.

The HooToo is also designed extremely well. It features a catchy design aesthetic with a rubberized grip around its square body that makes it easy to hold. You’ll also get rubberized flaps that cover the ports to keep them free of dust and other debris. More importantly, the Titan travel router gives you a whopping 10,400 mAh battery. This way, you’ll get the longest battery life possible out of your travel router, which is a nice plus to have when traveling. For more storage options, check out our best external hard drives buying guide.

 #9  TRENDnet TEW-714TRU Travel Router

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on the flashiest travel router available, then this option is a good choice for you. It’s incredibly versatile with interchangeable plug adapters, multiple wireless modes, and overall reliable signal strength.

Pros
  • Interchangeable plug adapters
  • Three different wireless modes
  • Device charging capabilities
Cons
  • Only 150 Mbps of speed
  • Disappointing range

The TRENDnet TEW-714TRU travel router isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing option around, but it gets the job done well. Its design is also incredibly functional. The router plugs directly into the wall and even includes interchangeable power adapters so you can use it internationally, which is a huge plus. On top of all that, the design is durable while remaining portable, so it can easily be stored in your carry-on luggage.

The TRENDnet’s affordability really comes into play when you start looking at performance. You’ll only get a single band to which you can connect your mobile devices, and you’ll get maximum speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Fortunately, this is typically more than you’ll ever need while traveling, so we didn’t knock too many points off here. We were really impressed by the TRENDnet’s ability to charge your devices at the same time as providing a wireless network. And you’ll also get three different wireless modes, including a WISP mode, for even more connectivity and reliability in different scenarios.

 #10  Vonets VAR11N-300 Travel Router

Award: BEST PLUG AND PLAY

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you’re looking to get connected immediately or need to enable non-wireless devices to receive internet signal, then this is the best travel router for you. All you need to do is plug this router in and you’re good to go, making it simple and streamlined for most users.

Pros
  • Extra-compact form factor
  • 300 Mbps of speed
  • Durable cables included
Cons
  • Doesn’t include a power adapter

The Vonets VAR11N-300 travel router is one of the more unique options in our buying guide, simply because it doesn’t look like the other options. It features two large cables that are not removable, which connect to a modem and power source (unfortunately the power adapter isn’t included) in order to provide Wi-Fi for your devices. The connected cables can get in the way at times, but they’re surprisingly durable for such an affordable product.

The VAR11N-300 can enable non-wireless devices to receive a wireless signal, which is helpful for network printers or older gaming consoles. However, it of course can still operate as a travel router, producing upwards of 300 Mbps of bandwidth. We were also impressed by the Vonets router’s ultra-compact size. This device can easily fit into your pocket with room to spare, making it perfect for minimalist travelers. You might also like the best tabs for reading buying guide for minimalist tablet options.

How We Decided

When it came to identifying and ranking the best travel router, we focused our efforts on three main areas: performance, portability, and travel router security. To start, we measured each travel router based on its overall performance. This part of our research involved awarding points based on the max speed each router was capable of producing, as well as measuring range and signal strength. The best devices provided a good combination of all of these aspects, and we awarded bonus points for routers that could perform well enough for more intense activities like streaming or online gaming.

Next, we looked at portability. We preferred routers that were small enough to carry around on your person or in a carry-on bag. However, we also considered physical connectivity during this evaluation. While we preferred smaller routers, we ranked options higher if they were able to provide physical connection ports for things like Ethernet cables and USB cables. As a part of this portability research, we also scored routers based on their overall durability and design quality. The best options provided a good mix of portability and durability for the ultimate travel device experience.

Finally, we looked at overall security and ease of use for each of the wireless travel routers we researched. We ranked routers higher if they included built-in security features like firewalls or VPN functionality. We also awarded extra points if the router allowed you to adjust security settings on the fly. Travel routers that were easy to use and set up also ranked higher in our buying guide.

Best Travel Routers Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Performance
    Like your standard wireless router, performance should be one of your first considerations when purchasing a new travel router. Unfortunately, you probably aren’t going to be getting the same bandwidth or speeds from hotel or airport internet connections as you would from your home network, so you’ll definitely want your travel router to give you as much speed as possible. You’ll also want a strong signal strength so you can ensure you have a reliable connection while traveling.
  2. Portability
    As with any other device used specifically for travel, the best travel routers should be portable enough to carry on your person or in carry-on luggage. Purchase a portable wireless router that fits your specific traveling needs in this regard. You may also want to consider purchasing a travel router that runs on battery power instead of needing a wall outlet. This only serves to increase overall portability and is incredibly convenient for the most seasoned travelers.
  3. Security
    While most hotels and airports do what they can to secure their internet connections, there’s no guarantee that your data won’t get stolen while you’re connected to their networks. This is why it’s so important to purchase a travel router that offers built-in security functionality. What you need depends mostly on what kind of internet activity you’re planning on doing while on the road. For example, if you’re doing work, you’ll definitely want a more secure option so you can keep confidential information secure from outside eyes.
  4. Mobile Tethering
    If you don’t have a wired internet connection available, you may want to consider purchasing a travel router that can tether directly to your smartphone and use its LTE or 5G internet signal instead. Typically, this involves plugging your phone directly into the router via a USB cable to produce a signal that can be wirelessly broadcast to your other mobile devices.

Travel Routers FAQs

Are travel routers worth it?

Travel routers are definitely worth it if you’re constantly on the road, whether it be traveling for business or for pleasure. They provide you with an easy, accessible way to safely access the internet in hotels, at the airport, or in unfamiliar office settings.

What is the best travel Wi-Fi?

The best travel Wi-Fi combines three key features for a comprehensive traveling solution: performance, portability, and security. Your travel Wi-Fi should give you enough performance to do your work on the road, but it should also be secure enough for safe use and small enough to pack in your bags.

Are travel routers secure?

For the most part, travel routers are secure enough for the average consumer’s needs. However, if you need something more secure for business or personal use, then look for a router that offers VPN functionality or additional security features like integrated firewall settings and malware protection.

How does a travel router work?

A travel router works much like a standard home wireless router in the fact that it creates a wireless internal signal by connecting directly to an internet source. However, when you’re traveling, it can get annoying constantly trying to connect to different hotel internet signals. A travel router simplifies this process by providing the same SSID and password for your devices to automatically connect, regardless of where the internet is coming from.

Ryan Hansen

When he’s not exploring everything Oregon has to offer with his family, Ryan Hansen is probably writing. He loves writing about anything he can get his hands on, and is always anxious for the next adventure.

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