Best Travel Routers for Secure Wi-Fi on the Go
Investing in some added security is highly advisable in the modern era of technologically assisted crimes. So whether you grab some quick sleep and a shower at an affordable hostel or plan on spending your dream vacation at a five-star hotel, take extra precautions when using the internet as you travel. One of the best ways to increase your security and even provide a superior option than would otherwise be available is by purchasing a travel router.
Enjoy Security and Safety by Bringing Wi-Fi with You on Your Journeys
Whatever your reasons for traveling to a particular destination, it is crucial not to let your cybersecurity concerns fall by the wayside. You could place yourself at unnecessary risk if you use a publicly available Wi-Fi network or even a wired ethernet connection. Given the generally lax security measures implemented on Wi-Fi hotspots where anyone can gain access, they represent frequent hunting grounds for cybercriminals of all kinds. Enter critical personal data like your credit card or banking information over an unsecured network, and you will essentially play the identity theft version of Russian Roulette every time you do so.
These devices save you from relying on poorly secured Wi-Fi networks or physically connecting your devices to the internet, which can come with unique risks. Travel routers also perform several valuable functions on top of their intended purpose, including extending the range of your secure Wi-Fi network and as a Wi-Fi hotspot for other devices to connect. If you want a reliable means of staying in touch with colleagues across the globe or providing your family and loved ones with some peace of mind while you journey, a travel router is an excellent means of doing so.
Consider Both Physical and Technical Specs Before Buying a Travel Router
Before considering any other aspect of your ideal travel router, the most crucial thing to determine is the device’s power-up options. For example, any U.S. citizen who wants to take a trip to the U.K. will have to either purchase a unit that can run on at least 230V or a separate power adapter to prevent a secure travel router rated for 120V from becoming fried. Another equally important consideration is the availability and reliability of the power grid in a given location. Having the option to plug devices directly into standard outlets is incredibly convenient, but for some more remote destinations, purchasing a travel router powered via batteries or USB may be the only reliable option for staying connected.
When it comes to traveling significant distances, several factors need to be considered, including the size and weight of any travel router. Depending on how far from civilization you end up traveling, having a unit that is easy to carry about your person and will not run the risk of you having to worry about excess baggage can be crucial. If you plan on traveling large distances by foot, bicycle, or hiking, having an overly heavy piece of technology will become a detriment sooner rather than later.
Aside from a travel router’s weight and size, it is equally important to consider purchasing a device that goes above and beyond what a standard travel router can accommodate. Depending on your budget and technical requirements, several travel routers offer advanced features, including secure file transfers between USB devices using TITAN security software. Other useful features include built-in HDDs (hard disc drives) and USB card readers, creating an automatic connection to a VPN (a virtual private network) upon startup, the option to employ open-source operating systems, and even allowing power users to upgrade the travel router themselves.
GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango) Mini Travel Router
If you are in the market for secure routers that lend themselves to traveling and still provide a respectable amount of technology, then the GL.iNET Mini Travel Router, better known as the Mango, will fit the bill. In addition to weighing in at a mere 1.41 ounces and supporting internet speeds of up to 300Mbps, this device also includes a pair of 100Mbps ethernet ports, offers both WPA2 and WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) certification programs, and comes with support for DNS over TLS (Domain Name Services over Transport Layer Security) services from Cloudflare. However, you should note that this travel router only offers a single 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi band, so those looking for more robust wireless capabilities should look elsewhere.
TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR902AC)
An affordable 5Ghz dual-band travel router from TP-Link, the Nano Travel Router includes a single USB 2.0 port for connecting removable devices and a mini-USB port for charging or connecting the router to a PC or outlet. The Nano Travel Router offers users access to 24/7 technical support services and a two-year warranty. You can use the router to create a private Wi-Fi network, serve as a bridge to connect wireless networks to wired technology, or as a good Wi-Fi range extender if needed. This device does not include an internal battery, so if you plan on traveling in remote areas, you will need a USB battery pack to use it successfully. You may also want to consider buying a new set of connecting cables for this travel router, as the provided set may be too short for your needs.
Travel routers not only let you feel more secure when you travel, but they also help to give your loved ones some invaluable peace of mind. Make sure that a given travel router’s physical and technical specifications meet your needs before finalizing your purchase.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.