Are Travel Routers Good? [Pros + Cons]

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If you’re about to go on holiday and the whole family will be on the trip, then how to get internet access might be top of your list of things to arrange. 

In today’s world, we all have several devices that we cannot do without, smartphones, tablets, laptops, Kindle for mums and dads, you name them, and we carry them. In addition, when the entire family is settling down to an evening on their devices, you will need a robust and high-speed network to serve everyone’s needs.

Even if your holiday accommodation is a quality hotel, setting up the internet and relying on the hotel’s WiFi service can be problematic and even ruin your holiday.

With all the kit and devices you are travelling with, adding one more won’t make much difference and could save your holiday. I’m talking about a travel router. You might think I’m exaggerating; however, not being able to access the internet properly is the bain of many holidays.

What is a Travel Router?

Connecting your devices to a network is easy with a travel Wi-Fi router. Wireless, travel routers typically connect to the Internet via a plug to an electricity socket, similar to your router at home. 

However, they are more travel-friendly due to their smaller size and less weight.

The travel router’s purpose is to connect and manage devices on public Wi-Fi networks as simply as possible.

They can also be compact. Travel routers vary in size depending on the type you choose.

With a travel WiFi router, you can connect to the Internet privately and securely. You can connect multiple devices to the Internet simultaneously. Some travel routers also work with batteries so that you won’t require an external power source. 

In addition,  some router models will also accommodate a SIM card slot. These travel routers create a hotspot with data from an external source. Once connected, devices and users will be able to connect to the Internet via this hotspot.

Where Can You Use a Travel Router?

You can use a travel router at any location that has network coverage. Travel routers make connecting and managing devices on public Wi-Fi networks, such as those found in hotels, airports, coffee shops etc., simpler. If you doubt there will be a power source, you will need a travel router with a built-in battery.

If your travel router does use a SIM card, you only need to make sure you have a working SIM card for the area you want to access the internet. 

eSIM capability is expanding; EE, O2, Virgin Media, and Vodaphone currently provide eSIM services. The latest smartphones have a reprogrammable chip rather than a regular SIM card. If you’re travelling, an eSIM makes it simple to switch providers automatically, without the need for several physical SIM cards. Presently the downside is the limited networks offering the service, and you can’t purchase eSIM on a pay as you go basis.

Travel Router Pros + Cons

Prevents adding devices to new networks you want to use.Most require an external power supply.
Hides your devices from the network.Most require a WiFi source (some models can use SIM cards).
Bypasses any restrictions on device numbers.Travel routers are not secure for shared data over public WiFi.
Change wired connections into wireless connections for devices.
Some travel routers have USB ports.
Portable routers operate as wireless extenders.

Travel Router Advantages

  • Travel routers make connecting several devices to hotels or other travel sites easy. When you connect your travel router to WiFi, your devices instantly connect to the travel router’s WiFi signal. Never again connect each gadget separately. Even if the hotel has a login or a site asking for further information, you only need to enter it once for the router.
  • Captive gateways requesting you to log in or enter more details have sprung up at hotels, airports, and other travel locations. For example, few hotels enable you to use their WiFi without agreeing to terms and conditions, submitting a room number, or other requirements, such as email addresses.
  • A captive portal prevents you from connecting more than one device to the internet. A travel router gives the ability for several devices to connect. 
  • Travel routers can make public WiFi, where anyone may connect, and semi-private WiFi, like hotels, more secure.
  • Only a few portable routers improve connection reliability, but I’m sure it’s invaluable if yours offers that solution. In truth, terrible WiFi when travelling is generally due to the condition and subscription of the WiFi at your hotel. However, it doesn’t mean you’re entirely powerless because your travel router can identify the best connections in the area.
  • A travel router can also help you prioritise your needs, for example, that could involve anything from watching a movie,  Zooming a conference or just checking emails. 

Travel Router Disadvantages

Travel routers don’t have many drawbacks, but you should consider a few things:

  • Because many travel routers require an external power supply, you can only use them in specific locations.
  • Connecting to the Internet will require most models to use an existing WiFi connection. However, with some, you can use a SIM.
  • While travel routers offer good security, they are not 100% secure if you share data over a public network.

Are Travel Routers Good?

Hotel and campsite WiFi or any local WiFi you happen to find on your travels can be insecure, difficult to connect to, and painstakingly slow, especially if you are travelling to remote destinations. So taking a travel router with you is the ideal solution. There are many more advantages than disadvantages with travel routers.

Is a Travel Router Worth It?

Travel routers are excellent if you want to keep in touch when you’re on holiday or you have several devices between family members. In those circumstances, it’s impossible not to need a WiFi connection.

Today’s smartphones are excellent for creating hotspots to keep one person connected on the road. Still, spotty WiFi can be a problem, and it’s inconvenient for every family member to set up individual hotspots. With a travel router, you connect to the internet one time, and then every device connects to the travel router, which is more convenient.

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