12 Best Portable Wi Fi Routers for Traveling in 2022

12 Best Portable Wi-Fi Routers for Traveling in 2022

It’s almost time to begin the holiday travels to visit family and friends, near and far. Even though internet service is more available than ever, some spots are still almost off the grid. You need a portable Wi-Fi router for your travels.

We present the best portable Wi-Fi routers for traveling to keep you connected through the holidays and 2022.

Why Would I Want a Portable Wi-Fi Router?

There are many reasons you’d want to set up a mobile hotspot with your own portable Wi-Fi router.

  • Security: Sometimes connecting to public Wi-Fi access points feels a little sketchy. Having your own mobile hotspot puts you on your Wi-Fi network, which will always be more secure. Several travel Wi-Fi routers also come with built-in VPN and firewall support.
  • Savings: If you’ve got a Wi-Fi router capable of using cellular data, all the devices you have only need to have Wi-Fi capability to connect to that mobile hotspot. You don’t need to buy tablets with SIM cards and put them on any data plan. You could also give older smartphones to the kids to use in the car instead of buying them cellular plans. Plus, if the kids have older devices and something happens to them, it’s not as big a blow to the wallet.
  • Speed: Ever been in a hotel, connected to their Wi-Fi network, and wondered if you just connected to 1990’s dial-up internet? That’s not a problem with your own portable Wi-Fi router. Also, if your portable Wi-Fi router is 5G compatible, you can connect your 4G LTE or older device and take advantage of 5G speeds.

1. Best High End Mobile Wi-Fi RouterNetgear Nighthawk M5

Price: $699

Cell Network: 5G

Wi-Fi: Wi-Fi Version 6

At around $700, the Netgear Nighthawk M5 mobile Wi-Fi unit should be able to do almost everything. And it does. If you’re a heavy traveler or use this as your primary Internet connection at home, it may be worth it. Note that it works best on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks in the US. The battery is easily removed, so consider getting a spare to keep charged for quick swaps. If you don’t have 5G cell service in your area, consider the Netgear M1 for 4G service.

12 Best Portable Wi Fi Routers for Traveling in 2022
  • VPN, DMZ, and password support
  • Connect up to 32 devices
  • Up to 13-hour battery life
  • Ethernet and USB C connectors
  • Onboard touch-screen controls also tracks data usage
  • 2 x TS-9 external antenna connectors to extend the range
  • 1 Gbps Ethernet port
  • Web and app-based management
  • SMS Messaging capable

2. Runner Up High End Mobile Wi-Fi RouterNetGear Nighthawk M1 

Price: $400

Cell Network: 4G

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n Dual Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Yes, another NetGear Nighthawk. You’ve probably guessed that this is the NetGear Wi-Fi router that came before the M5. Yet, it’s still sought after. It’s also the ideal mobile Wi-Fi router if you only have access to 4G cell service. 

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  • VPN, DMZ, and password support
  • Connect up to 20 devices
  • Up to 11-hour battery life
  • Ethernet and USB C connectors
  • Onboard touch-screen controls also tracks data usage
  • Offload to regular Wi-Fi or Ethernet if available to reduce cellular data consumption
  • Web and app-based management
  • Share data from an external hard drive
  • JumpBoost to charge phones

3. Best Affordable Wi-Fi Mobile HotspotNetGear 4G AC797

Price: $219

Cell Network: 4G

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/c Dual Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

NetGear is popular for a reason. If the higher priced NetGear devices are just out of reach, this is the mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for you. With many of the features available on the Nighthawks, you’ll get your money’s worth. Although its peak download speed is 400 Mbs, it’s enough for most people. 

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  • Guest Wi-Fi sign in with timer
  • Up to 11-hour battery life
  • Max speed 400 Mbps
  • Color display shows network and battery info, plus more
  • Connect up to 32 devices
  • Manage with the NetGear mobile app

Price: $120

Cell Network: 4G

Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz

12 Best Portable Wi Fi Routers for Traveling in 2022
  • Small, weighing 4.4 oz and about the size of 8 credit cards stacked together
  • Up to 13-hour battery life
  • Max speed 150 Mbps
  • USB Type-C port
  • Connect up to 10 devices
  • Manage and buy data packages with the GlocalMe app

Price: $60

Cell Network: 4G

Wi-Fi: 802.11b, 2.4 GHz

If you need a mobile hotspot that’s lightweight, inexpensive, and versatile in several countries, the Alcatel Linkzone MW41NF might be for you. This mobile hotspot device does require a SIM card, so it won’t work on CDMA services like Sprint, Virgin, or Verizon. Alcatel also warns about leaving it charging for more than 10 hours, leading to overheating.

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  • Small, weighing 10 oz and about the thickness of a cell phone
  • Up to 7-hour battery life, 300 hours on standby
  • Data speed up to 150 Mbps download
  • Micro USB 2.0 slot
  • Micros SD slot supporting up to 32GB
  • WPS button for easy mobile Wi-Fi connection
  • Connect up to 15 devices
  • Managed by app
  • Basic LED display

Price: $99

Cell Network: 4G

Wi-Fi: 802.11 n/bg, 2.4 GHz

If you need greater Wi-Fi range and have somewhere to plug it in, the Yeacomm P21-2 may be for you. It’s affordable, yet it’s larger than the other mobile Wi-Fi routers listed. The Ethernet and phone ports are ideal for the cottage or remote offices. Yes, you can plug in landline phones and make voice calls over cellular.

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  • Two external antennas for a greater range
  • 4 Ethernet ports
  • 2 RJ-11 phone ports to connect landline phones
  • Data speed up to 150 Mbps download
  • Built-in VPN client
  • Connect up to 32 devices
  • Managed by app
  • Requires external power

Price: $90

Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

The GL.iNet Beryl may be the cutest portable Wi-Fi router, but it’s also a beast when it comes to setting up a solid mobile internet connection. This mobile access point is small enough to fit in a pocket yet built with security and versatility at its core. The Beryl can be used as a Wi-Fi router, repeater, or tether to your phone through its USB 3.0 port.

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Price: $70

Wi-Fi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual Band 2.4GHz and 5GHz

Slightly less cute and powerful, the GL.iNet Slate gives you most of the security features of the Beryl, support for sharing data from MicroSD cards, and respectable 433 Mbps Wi-Fi speeds. It can also be used as a range extender. Think of it as Beryl’s younger sibling that happens to be the same size.

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Price: $35

Wi-Fi: ‎802.11a/b/g/n 2.4GHz

What’s with travel routers being cute? The TP-Link N300 is likely the most popular travel Wi-Fi router. The price, features, and 2-year warranty with unlimited technical support make it hard to beat, even if it was twice the price. Plus, it’s small enough to fit in a pocket, so it can travel in your laptop bag. Because it can be used as a repeater, access point (AP), or a mobile hotspot, you can use it even when you’re not traveling. Check out the Nano Router emulator page to see how it’s managed.

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  • Router, repeater, access point, and mobile hotspot modes
  • Can be powered with an adapter, smartphone charger, or laptop USB port
  • 1 x 10/100 Mbps WAN/LAN port
  • 300 Mbps wireless speed
  • Built-in firewall and access control
  • Built-in parental controls
  • Managed by app or web interface
  • Guest network capable

10. Runner Up Affordable Travel Wi-Fi RouterMikroTik – hAP Mini

Price: $22

Wi-Fi: ‎802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz

MikroTik’s hAP mini is roughly 4 inches in height and length and under 2 inches in width. That’s small, considering it also has three ethernet ports. It uses the MikroTik RouterOS that’s configured to run out of the box, or you can access its web-based configuration page to make it do what you want. If anything, the depth of configuration possible may be too much. Of course, there’s an app as well.

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  • Minimum 5 years of free updates
  • Bridging and routing capability
  • 3 x 10/100 Mbps WAN/LAN port
  • Extensive control over configuration
  • Managed by app or web interface
  • Supports VPN and other security standards
  • Managed by app or web interface
  • Guest network capable

Price: $22

Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz

Another entry from GL.iNet, the microrouter-N300 must be the smallest Wi-Fi router available. With such a small size comes fewer features and range. However, this wireless router is still very capable and energy efficient.

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  • Tiny at 2in x 2in x 0.72in and just over an ounce
  • Uses OpenWRT firmware, making it highly configurable
  • Router, repeater, and access point modes
  • Connect up to 32 devices
  • 1 x 10/100 Mbps WAN/LAN port
  • Can be powered with an adapter, smartphone charger, or laptop USB port

12. Runner Up Budget Travel Wi-Fi RouterKasda KW55293

Price: $16

Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz

It’s lower priced and has more ethernet ports than the GL.iNet microuter-N300, so why isn’t the Kasda the best in this class? It’s about the size of 6 microuter-N300s.  But at that price, it’s just too good to pass up.

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  • Wireless speed up to 300Mbps
  • 4 LAN and 1 WAN Ethernet ports
  • WPS for one-button connection of devices
  • VPN pass-through
  • MAC Filtering
  • Web-based configuration
  • LED status indicators
  • Supports Telnet connections

Happy Trails and Safe Travels

One of our featured portable Wi-Fi routers is going to keep you connected while connecting with family and friends for the holidays. You may even want to give them as gifts. Could there be a better, affordable tech stocking stuffer?

This article was originally posted on online-tech-tips.com. Read here

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