What is a travel router? Is it important to have one?

Nowadays, internet connection is one of the constant things a person wants or needs on a daily basis. You need it to do your work, check the news, communicate with your loved ones and friends, and do a lot more. But if you are always on the go, it becomes challenging to have a good connection without having to deal with excessive data costs.

Here comes the importance of a travel router. If you are always on the go and have an active “online life”, then you might really need to invest in one. Sure, you may spend a considerable amount of money at first, but you can definitely save in the long run.

The Basics of a Travel Router: What is a travel router?

Now, let us discuss some basic facts about a router. Do you really need to purchase one?

What is a travel router?

Basically, it is just like the internet box you have in your household. But instead of being attached to a phone cable, it comes with a SIM card that you may use anywhere if your device is unlocked. Getting unlocked enables you to avail the lowest rates, for you can use a local SIM or a worldwide data SIM.

Apparently, a travel router allows you to set up a private connection anywhere on a number of devices simultaneously.

Where are travel routers best used?

Obviously, these devices are designed to be used when you are out – whether you are in the car, field, hotel, etc. It is always best to choose a travel router with a high number of connections, so you can share it with your family and friends.

What should you look for when purchasing a travel router?

There are numerous factors that you need to consider when purchasing a travel router. First is the size. While travel routers are small, there are some that are a little larger. The choice is yours.

You should also check your potential item for various features like compatibility, speed, locked or unlocked, and more.

Lastly, you should opt for one that has the most reasonable price. It is not defined by being cheap or expensive; it just needs to be able to give you your money’s worth.

Are travel routers reliable?

Just like any item on the market, travel routers come in different capacities. But take note that you will be able to have internet access as long as there is network coverage in your area. Should you educate yourself about the different brands of travel routers and their features, you will definitely be able to get a good buy.

Benefits of Using a Travel Router

Are you hesitant to buy one? Take a look at its benefits that might convince you to purchase a travel router.

A travel router offers wireless access to the Internet anywhere at any time

A portable router provides Internet access and connection wherever you are – at home, office, field, or remote area. This device allows you coverage of your work setting. Hence, you can share any event to your family and friends at the time it is happening.

It offers increased security

Public Wi-Fi access points are not secured. Since it is conveniently accessible to everyone, your privacy is at risk.  Hackers can steal your personal information. A portable router has WPA (Wireless Protected Access) and WPA-2 encryption. Just activate the firewall and with your password, you can control who has access to your account.

It comes in a compact size

This device fits in your pocket, making it ideal for travelers.  Being battery operated, you can carry it anywhere or wherever your business takes you – to hotels, conferences, or even out of town conventions.

It is multifunctional

A portable router has various modes. If there is only one available Ethernet connection, you can place the device in access point mode and share internet access. Putting it in a router mode allows you to share internet access with other mobile professionals. When you place the device in a wireless client mode, you can access an existing wireless connection without downloading any software or installing hardware.

Some portable routers have USB connection

This feature lets you share files with other users.  It also allows you to connect if there’s no wall outlet available.

Some portable routers come with an inbuilt powerful battery

With this feature, you can have continuous power supply without charging. It also allows you to charge your smartphone.


Is it important to buy a travel router? Yes, especially if you are the type of person who is always on the go. These days, most people use the internet wherever they are. For this, it is indeed wise to have a reliable device apart from smartphones which can cause you to spend a lot on data charges.

Take note, however, that you should properly think of the lifestyle you have before purchasing one. Not all portable routers are made equal; therefore, it is best to educate yourself first about the features that suit your needs.

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. My husband and I are currently traveling in Europe. We have been here for the last year and depending on where we stay the internet can be an issue (Italy was the worst). I honestly did not know that such a thing existed until I read your post. What a great option for digital nomads. Do you have a recommendation for a compact and powerful one that would work in Europe and is somewhat reasonably priced? Thanks!

    1. I know right? As I am looking to become a digital nomand too a mobile router is an absolute must for me. What would suit your needs best all depends on what exactly you need. For me the 2 basic requirements are being able to use a SIM card for internet and to be able to use cabled internet for my wireless devices. As such my personal favorite is the Huawei E5770s-320

  2. I enjoyed learning about this travel router, this is the first I have ever heard of this type of route and it does amaze me the benefits it provides.

    It is incredible the accomplishments in today’s products, would you have to order this product online from the manufacturer or is this in most stores now?

    1. It is indeed incredible. What amazes me most is that they are also so tiny! All these routers are available online (see some of my reviews on this site). Also some stores locally may have them as well.
      I have found, though, that in my area the choices are very limited, a opposed to online.

  3. Very informative article. I am glad I came across it. I travel a lot. 3-5 times per month to be exact. Being connected is very important for my work and sometimes I am in places where Wifi is either unavailable or too expensive. Is there a specific brand you can recommend?

    1. Thanks for your comment, Joey. I don’t have a specific brand that I recommend. I do however have a very clear personal favorite, because it ticks all my boxes. (one of which is, it looks nice) It’s the Huawei, you might like it too.

  4. Hi Linda

    I totally agree that we are so connected all the time these days, it hard to not have internet when travelling.

    With a travel router does it work across borders? That is what I find hardest when travelling, many hotels do now offer free wifi but on occasion they do not.

    Would a travel router be the answer in these situations?

    1. Absolutely! Some hotels offer WiFi but only in common areas, which annoys the heck out of me. So a router would be great to amplify the existing WiFi but also if you put in a data card, you can get internet whereever.

      You can buy a data card in your destination country or you can get a data card from World SIM, so it works across borders too.

  5. I was looking for a website like yours for a very long time! Great article, clear and to the point. I and my husband are planning to go on a big trip, but we are both active Internet users, so I’m considering buying a travel router. And they don’t even seem to be overly expensive. But how does it work with data? Is it the same provider that my home internet?

    1. Hi Soby,

      It works on different levels, a MiFi router can amplify weak WiFi signals or you can use a data SIM. If you want to use it when you are out and about you can get a data SIM from your current provider. 

      If you are traveling abroad though, you will need to get a local data SIM card or an internation data card, like World SIMs cards.

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