Portable travel routers were introduced a few years ago and have quickly become very popular.
They can do many things depending on the scenario, from sharing files to sharing an internet connection.
For example, a travel router with built-in storage can stream movies or music to multiple devices in a vehicle while moving.
Managing wireless signals for many devices while on-the-go is also a feature most mobile routers have.
Types of WiFi Travel Hotspot Routers and Features
- 4G LTE cell network routers
- 2.4GHz / 5GHz internal WiFi routers
- Manage multiple WiFi connections for multiple users
- A central hub for media such as movies and TV shows
- Add a WiFi Hotspot over a cell network
There are many types of travel routers some with more features than others.
Small portable units can give a central location to hold music, videos or other media to share with multiple devices while traveling.
Many of these units have no internet connection so all media will need to be copied before travailing.
This is a good idea since the cell network coverage can be limited at times depending on the location.
There is also routers that can connect to a cell network giving internet access while traveling.
Having access to the internet is ideal and does work well but often a combination of the two is best.
There are many to choose from with some of our favorite picks below.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best Mobile Travel Router with WiFi Hotspot
- NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router
- KuWFi 300Mbps 3G 4G LTE WiFi Wireless Router
- TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano (TL-WR902AC)
- RAVPower FileHub Wireless Travel Router AC750
- HooToo Wireless Travel Router
- TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
- GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel AC Router
NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot 4G LTE Router MR1100-100NAS – Up to 1Gbps Speed | Connect Up to 20 Devices | Create WLAN Anywhere | Unlocked to Use Any Sim Card-Contact Your Carrier for Data Plan
The Netgear Nighthawk M1 is a mobile travel router with a lot of nice features.
This makes it ideal in many scenarios from traveling, to a location without internet but a good cell signal.
The unit works with AT&T and T-Mobile which needs a data plan and sim card purchased separately from one of the carriers.
While It can share data for local devices without a cell data plan there are units that cost less for only sharing local data.
KuWFi 300Mbps 3G 4G LTE Car WiFi Wireless Router Extender Strong Signal Car WiFi Routers with USB Port SIM Card Slot with External Antennas for USA/Canada/Mexico SIM Card
KuWFi makes several travel routers that can connect to the internet through cell networks.
They work by using a SIM card from a cell carrier and transmitting data wirelessly.
The KuWFi WE826-EC25-AF is one such 4G router unit that works with T-Mobile wireless network.
The setup is basically the same as setting up a mobile phone which is to buy a data plan from T-Mobile and insert the SIM card.
A nice thing about T-Mobile is they currently have Binge-On plan which allows for unlimited streaming from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Sling, ESPN and much more.
The plan has a basic 3GB of data for other websites but is currently data free to stream from many top video sites.
This gives unlimited video streaming in a car while traveling as well as basic internet.
Of course, be sure to check any cell plan before buying since things can change.
There are many other 4G routers that can be used for an internet connection using other cell networks.
TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router – WiFi Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, Mobile in Pocket(TL-WR902AC)
The TP-Link Nano is a small router that can be set up in a variety of scenarios with many different modes.
For example, music or videos can be copied to a flash drive and shared to multiple persons each choosing which file to play.
This makes it easy for anyone in a vehicle to play their own content on their devices.
Of course, the content will need to be on a flash drive to stream to users.
RAVPower FileHub, Travel Router AC750, Wireless SD Card Reader, Connect Portable SSD Hard Drive to iPhone iPad Tablet Smart Phone Laptop for Photo Backup, Data Transfer, Portable NAS, 6700mAh Battery
The RAVPower FileHub AC750 is a nice unit with a lot of nice features.
It is a dual band unit and works in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies.
Most other units are single band 2.4GHz units.
It also has many wireless modes including Router, Bridge, and AP.
Files can be quickly be transferred to and from a laptop or smartphone with up-to 5 devices able to connect.
HooToo Wireless Travel Router, FileHub, 10400mAh External Battery, USB Port, High Performance Travel Charger – TripMate Titan 300Mbps (Not a Hotspot)
HooToo makes several nice travel routers that are very popular.
HoToo travel routers can also broadcast a WiFi signal once plugged into an Ethernet cable, or be used in router mode and bridge mode.
With the many nice features, HooToo offers there is no doubt many who can benefit from their low-cost units.
TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router – WiFi Bridge/Range Extender/Access Point/Client Modes, Mobile in Pocket(TL-WR802N)
TP-LINK also makes travel routers with the TL-WR802N being one of them.
The TL-WR810N is built mainly to connect to WiFi signals.
It has many modes it can operate in depending on the situation.
For example, pictures can be shared or movies and music streamed from the device while moving in a car.
It is a good unit setup to manage WiFi connections including WiFi Bridge, Range Extender, Access Point, and Client Modes,
GL.iNet GL-AR750S-Ext Gigabit Travel AC Router (Slate), 300Mbps(2.4G)+433Mbps(5G) Wi-Fi, 128MB RAM, MicroSD Support, OpenWrt/LEDE pre-Installed, Cloudflare DNS, Power Adapter and Cables Included
This small unit is from GL.iNET and is built to manage many different WiFi scenarios while travailing.
For example, one feature is to use a single hotel/motel internet connection and allow many devices to share it at the same time.
It can also be a WiFi bridge, extender, access point, hotspot, or basically any WiFi configuration you can think of.
There is no built-in storage but does have USB and SD-Card slot to add storage if needed.
A very nice feature is the built-in OpenVPN Client which is compatible with most VPN providers.
This means it can quickly be setup as a VPN router any device can connect to for all the security and privacy a VPN gives.
Best WiFi Travel Routers Comparison Table
|Name||Wireless Band||Internet Hotspot||Local Hotspot||USB Slot for Data Sharing|
|NETGEAR Nighthawk M1||Cell Network 4G LTE||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|KuWFi 4G LTE Router||Cell Network 4G LTE||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|TP-Link AC750 (TL-WR902AC)||2.4GHz and 5GHz||No||Yes||Yes|
|RAVPower FileHub AC750||2.4GHz and 5GHz||No||Yes||Yes|
|HooToo TripMate Titan||2.4GHz||No||Yes||Yes|
|TP-Link Portable Nano||2.4GHz||No||Yes||No|
|GL.iNET Mini Travel Router||2.4GHz||No||Yes||Yes|
There is many good small portable routers that can make life easier while traveling.
Picking a good travel router, like any device, comes down to what is the best fit for you.
If your main goal is to stream videos to the kids while traveling getting a unit with built in storage and expandable external storage is a good idea.
If you want to manage your WiFi signals a unit with more wireless features the better.
There are also units that can connect to a cell network and have devices on the internet.
How easy the device is to setup and use should also be taken into consideration.