Best travel routers 2024 – our top picks for travelling
If you’re on the hunt for the best travel routers, we’ve got you covered right here.
Travel routers are devices that are designed to provide you with WiFi while you’re on your travels, allowing you to work remotely. Some travel routers come with a SIM card slot, so they can receive a mobile signal and serve the same purpose as some of the best mobile hotspots.
At the moment, there are a limited number of travel routers available, so you won’t be able to find a lot of options featuring Wi-Fi 6, which is the latest Wi-Fi technology. The routers you’ll mostly come across will either have Wi-Fi 5 or something lower. On top of that, some routers will only offer support for 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, while others will be dual-band with support for 5GHz.
Most smartphones nowadays provide us with hot-spotting options, so you may be wondering if investing in a travel router is even worth the money. We’d say for those of you looking to preserve phone battery, gain higher WiFi speeds, and connect multiple devices at once, travel routers might be a better option.
As selecting the right router is tricky, we did the homework and selected a few options that we think are the best travel routers currently available in the market. So, without any further ado, let’s dive in.
Products at a Glance
How we picked
When selecting the best travel routers, we paid close attention to portability, battery life, and how many devices can be connected to the mobile hotspots at one time. We made sure to select only the ones that offer the most value for money. Our team is also constantly exploring the market for new travel routers, so check back here soon for an updated list.
Best travel routers 2024 – our top picks for travelling
- WiFi 6
- 120 simultaneous connections
- Little expensive compared to other travel routers
The GL iNet Slate AX (GL_AXT1800) is one of the best travel routers, as it is one of the few in the market that offer Wi-Fi 6. Equipped with a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, as well as all the latest compatible WiFi 6 technologies, the GL iNet Slate tops our list of the best travel routers currently on the market. With MUMIMO, OFDMA, and BSS color, the GL iNet Slate can also connect up to 120 devices simultaneously, which makes it on par with some of the best routers for multiple devices.
Regarding its physical features, the GL iNet Slate is a very sturdy build and comes with great connectivity options. With retractable antennas, the GL iNet Slate is incredibly space-efficient, without sacrificing WiFi range. Furthermore, its compact size ensures it can be easily transported without taking up too much valuable travel space. The GL iNet Slate comes with a USB-C power supply, 3-gigabit internet ports, and a USB 3.0 port designed for file sharing and media backup.
- Budget friendly
- Pocket sized
- No 5GHz frequency band
If you’re on the hunt for the best cheap travel router, we’d recommend the GL.iNET GL-MT300N-V2 mini travel router. This router is also called Mango, which you can already tell from its color. Even though it falls in the budget category, it still does the job well, which is why we think it deserves to be one of the best budget routers.
When it comes to speed, you get up to 300Mbps of bandwidth on the 2.4GHz channel. Unfortunately, this one does not come with a 5GHz frequency band. However, for a better range, it is better to go with a 2.4GHz router. On top of that, the router offers support for both WPA2 and WPA3 for battery security and can easily be powered using your laptop’s USB port or a smartphone charger.
The best thing about the Mango travel router is its size, which measures 2.3 x 2.3 x 1 inches. It also weighs only 1.38 ounces, which makes it highly portable. It also comes with ethernet ports for wired devices, and you can plug in your smartphone in the USB 2 port and share your mobile’s internet via the router.
- Comes with a SIM card slot
- Supports both supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 networks
- Can connect to up to 20 devices at the same time
While most travel routers rely on an external Wi-Fi connection, some come with a SIM card slot, so you can use your router as a mobile hotspot if there are no wireless or wired connections nearby. For this, we recommend the Netgear Nighthawk M1, which we think is the best travel router with a SIM card slot.
Unlike our budget option, this one supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi 5 networks, so it offers a great range paired with fast speed. The router is also pretty easy to set up. All you have to do is remove the rear cover, insert the SIM card into the slot, and you’re good to go. The best part about it is that it can connect with up to 20 devices at the same time. On top of that, it comes with a USB port, so you can share data with connected devices on the go.
Overall, the Netgear Nighthawk M1 is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a router that can support a SIM card. It measures 4.15 x 4.15 x 0.8 inches in size and weighs only 8.5 ounces, so it’s portable. Overall, we think it deserves to be one of the best Netgear routers.
- SD Card slot
- Filehub function for smooth data transfer
- Can only accommodate up to 5 devices
If you’re looking for something that is not only portable but durable as well, you’d want to get the NewQ Filehub AC750. This travel router is packed with some pretty great features, and you can rely on it to help you stay connected to the internet without any interruptions during your travels.
The NewQ Filehub AC750 is equipped with dual-band functionality, meaning it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi. This can prove to be extremely useful while traveling, as you may encounter various Wi-Fi networks that offer different frequency band configurations. On top of that, the router supports a speed of up to 1300 Mbps. As far as the size and weight is concerned, it measures 5.04 x 3.31 x 2.01 inches and weighs around 18.72 ounces.
The NewQ AC750 also comes with the Filehub function, thanks to which you can connect any external storage device to it and wirelessly access and transfer data to that device. It also comes with an SD card slot in case you want to use an SD card as a wireless storage device. The router also serves as a power bank, as you can use it to charge your phone. Overall, we think the NewQ Filehub AC750 is the best-rugged travel router.
How to pick the best travel router
It can be tricky to choose the best travel router, as you don’t want to end up with one that sends out poor signals. Here are a few things to consider before making a final decision.
As you’re looking for something that can be taken everywhere easily, you’d want to get a travel router that isn’t bulky and doesn’t take much space. These days, you can find pocket-sized routers that are designed to offer maximum portability.
Make sure you get a travel router that can connect to multiple devices at the same time without compromising on the internet speed. Some routers can connect with up to 120 devices at the same time. However, you’ll be fine with one that can connect with at least 10 devices simultaneously, but this will depend on your needs.
You need to look for routers that offer the best speed. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of the Wi-Fi network protocol, but you won’t find many travel routers with it. Most of the routers you come across will have Wi-Fi 5 or something lower. While they won’t be as fast as Wi-Fi 6, you’ll still get great speeds.
A good travel router should be compatible with portable chargers or your laptop’s USB port. Some routers come with a built-in battery, while others will need you to keep them plugged in all the time. So, make sure to check the power requirements of the router before purchasing it.
Are travel routers better than phone hotspots?
Yes, travel router hotspots typically have better antennas, and can therefore gather better signals. The above-listed devices can also handle more devices being connected to them than an average phone hotspot.
Do travel routers use SIM cards?
Some travel routers can operate as mobile hotspots too, and use SIM cards to receive a mobile signal.
We think that the GL iNet Slate AX (GL_AXT1800) is an incredibly impressive travel router. With WiFi 6 and great connectivity options, this travel router tops our selection of the best travel routers. On top of that, the router can connect with up to 120 devices at the same time and is pretty portable, thanks to its small size.