What Is A Portable Router? [AN EASY EXPLANATION]

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Connecting your devices to an internet network is easy with a portable router, a small device that usually fits in the palm of your hand. They typically connect to the Internet via a SIM card, LAN (local area network), or public Wi-Fi.

With a portable router, you can access the Internet securely and privately from anywhere. For example, suppose you’re travelling in a remote area, and your smartphone signal is weak and patchy. In that case, you’ll generally find a portable router will be able to access a network signal.

It allows numerous devices, including phones, computers, tablets, and more, to share a single Internet connection. A travel router creates a hotspot based on using an available data source. Users can then connect their devices to this hotspot, allowing them to access the Internet.

Even if you leave the UK, to travel to the EU for instance, providing you have a SIM card valid for the country you’re in, you can use your router.

A portable router converts your 3G/4G and 5G (if the device is 5G enabled) connection into a private WiFi signal. The router requires no cables or software for you to use them. Simply switch it on and follow the instructions.

Other Names for a Portable Router

It can be confusing because portable routers are also known as mobile routers, mobile hotspots, MiFi and internet dongles (although these are not so common today). The router has superseded the dongle as a more practical device.

Portable Router Pros + Cons


  • Straightforward to use
  • Put in the SIM and switch on
  • Full internet access to your phone, tablet, laptop etc.
  • Small and lightweight
  • Perfect for travelling
  • Many public WiFi access points such as hotels, coffee shops, shopping malls, airports etc.
  • Most travel routers have WPA and WPA-2 (Wireless Protected Access) encryption for secure connections
  • Unlimited data SIMs are available
  • Various data contracts are available with the networks
  • Most portable routers are 5G enabled


  • Not everywhere supports 5G connections
  • The internet speed relies on the nearest network
  • Extra device to carry
  • It will not work if devices are too far apart

Is a Portable Router Worth It?

Suppose you frequently travel on your own or with family and take a lot of devices. In that case, it’s absolutely worth packing a travel router.

Travel routers are ideal for quickly connecting many devices to wireless networks. They’re great for hotel rooms with only wired internet access. You can also take memory sticks with your family’s favourite movies and stream them to your devices if you choose that specific type of router.

You can use your travel router at home as well. Setting a router up as a WiFi extender is pretty easy, and it will rid you of those dead spots in everybody’s home. You can even use the router to extend your WiFi coverage into your garden if you enjoy using WiFi outside. 

Undoubtedly travel routers are a valuable device to have with you. They save your phone’s data because you won’t need to use your smartphone as a hotspot. Having a dedicated SIM for a travel router means you can monitor your usage more carefully. The attractive unlimited data-only SIMs allow you to tailor the contract to suit your needs.

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