Portable Wireless (Wi-Fi) Routers for Frequent Travelers (3G Models Included)


TP-LINK Portable Battery Powered 3G/4G Wi-Fi Router – TL-MR3040

In this mobile world of ours, we might want to be connected everywhere we go, irrespective of what device we use to access the network. Imagine the following situation – You go to a hotel, and the hotel gives you only a wired Internet connection inside your room. How do you sit in the balcony and follow your social network updates? Also, if you have a Wi-Fi-only device like an Android tablet/iPad, how do you access the net, at all? Another situation: You are sitting in a park or garden (along with your friends) where there is no Internet. You want Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity there. What is the most inexpensive way of getting it?

There are portable Wireless (Wi-Fi) Routers in the market which enable you to create a Wi-Fi network, and connect to the net, practically from anywhere. For example, the TP-LINK TL-MR3040 is a battery-powered Wi-Fi router which you can just put into your pocket and the Wi-Fi network follows you, where ever you go! The best thing about this device is, it has an option to connect a 3G dongle (to be bought separately) and allows you to access Internet via 3G.

This model will provide Wi-Fi speeds of up to 150 Mbps and multiple users can connect to it, if they are a few feet away from each other. Even otherwise, this device has an Ethernet port which allows you to connect a wired broadband Internet connection. So, you can create a Wi-Fi hotspot, using this device.

Five hours of battery operation is advertised, but if you use 3G it will reduce. You can also power the device by connecting it to a USB port of your computer/laptop (instead of using the power-adapter). If you are using this wireless router along with a laptop, your Wi-Fi connection will not be terminated due to a power-cut!

There are two more interesting mobile Wi-Fi routers released by the same company – 1. TP-LINK 3G Mobile Wi-Fi M5350. Unlike the above-mentioned product, this one has a built-in modem and one can insert a 3G SIM directly into it, for Internet connectivity. This model also has a battery, and hence can create a Wi-Fi hotspot anywhere.

2. TP-LINK TL-MR3020 is similar to TL-MR3040, but doesn’t have a battery. It needs to be powered using a power adapter (mains) or by connecting it to a USB-port of PC/Laptop.

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However, if you want a simple, inexpensive, little portable/travel Wi-Fi router without a battery or 3G connectivity, you don’t have to look beyond the smallest Wi-Fi mobile router (according to the manufacturer),

TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router,Nano Size ,Router/AP/Client/Bridge/Repeater Modes ,150Mpbs, USB Powered

The TP-LINK TL-WR702N Nano Wi-Fi router (link given above) is an extremely small Wi-Fi router that fits into your pocket easily (for carrying around). It can be powered through the mains supply (using the provided power adapter) or it can be powered by connecting it to the USB-port of your computer/laptop.

The operation is simple: If you have a wired network somewhere *at a hotel, or boardroom for example* and you want to create a Wi-Fi hotspot there, just plug the wired network port into this Nano Wi-Fi router and power the router. That’s it, you/others can connect to the wired network using any wireless device you may have! Of course, it will ask for a password (for security reasons), before connecting.

You can also connect this Nano mobile wireless router to an ADSL/broadband modem and use it like a normal wireless router to share the Internet to multiple users over the wireless medium. This router supports speeds up to 150 Mbps (Wireless N), but the range is limited.

This Nano mobile wireless router has five modes of operation:

  • Connect it to a wired network to create a Wi-Fi network and connect wireless devices.
  • Connect it to a ADSL/Broadband modem to share Internet over Wi-Fi.
  • Use it to extend the Wi-Fi network by amplifying Wi-Fi signals from an existing wireless network/router (useful at places where wireless signal strength is very low).
  • Use it to create a new network (with a different SSID) for the guests, so that you can avoid giving them your password and restrict their network access.
  • Use it to convert a wired network device into a wireless network device (client mode), if you only have a WI-FI network at your place and the device only has a wired network port.

For the kind of price these tiny mobile routers are being sold, you might as well buy the Wi-Fi only tablet model, instead of the more expensive 3G models and buy this router/3G data-card (the one mentioned initially) along with it, share the Wi-Fi network with others, and still save a lot of money! Also, you can use these routers to connect to your own 3G network, instead of connecting with the expensive hotel Internet/Wi-Fi network. Just think about how else you can use these routers in your own environment. Mobility is not expensive, anymore!

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