Tag Archives: Wi-Fi

The 5 Best VPN-Ready Travel Routers

Fast and reliable internet is a must for travelers. It’s needed for tasks such as booking hotel rooms, flights, and tours. And it just makes life better when you need directions or restaurant reviews. Plus, most like to stay in contact with loved ones back home.

Wi-Fi hotspots are everywhere today, from hotels to airports to cozy cafes. It’s wonderfully convenient but it also tends to give travelers a false sense of security. Public Wi-Fi can be slow, spotty, and lacking in security.

That’s where portable Wi-Fi hotspots come in. Rather than dealing with Wi-Fi frustrations travelers can now grab the bull by the horns.

A travel router is a compact device that can easily be packed in a suitcase. And depending on its features it solves common Wi-Fi issues people encounter on a trip.

Travel routers have three main uses:

  • Extend the range of an existing Wi-Fi network
  • Create a new Wi-Fi hotspot by connecting to a mobile network
  • Make a gateway for multiple devices to connect to a network when fewer connections are permitted

Extend the Range of an Existing Wi-Fi Network

Distance from a router is one of the most important factors determining the speed and reliability of an internet connection. Thus, when staying at a hotel it’s luck of the draw. You could find yourself very close or very far away from its Wi-Fi hotspot.

Travel routers that are range extenders amplify the signal of the main router. It can buy you a couple of bars of signal strength on all your devices.

Create a New Wi-Fi Hotspot

Not all public hotspots are secure. In fact, if the network connection isn’t encrypted it can expose you to threats such as theft of private data. Although it’s tempting to tap on a social media app and post the photos you just took at the beach it isn’t always worth the risk.

Creating a hotspot with a travel router gives you a secure access point to connect your devices to. It also grants you full control of your own network rather than dealing with the weaknesses of public Wi-Fi.

Make a Gateway for Multiple Devices to Connect to a Network

It’s common for hotels to limit the number of devices that can connect to their Wi-Fi with one access code.

For the gadget-obsessed or people that need to get things done, it’s worth the effort to consolidate all devices into one connection to the network. By connecting devices to a travel router rather than directly, you can essentially use as many devices as you want.

How to Use a VPN with a Travel Router

There are two big players in travel routers: GL.iNet and TP-Link. Both are easy to use with a VPN. You’ll want to make sure your travel router and VPN service both support the same VPN protocols.

To get the details on VPN services, see LetMeBy’s guide to the top 3 VPNs here.

GL.iNet Routers

GL.iNet’s product line supports VPN services that are compatible with OpenVPN and Wireguard out of the box. OpenVPN and Wireguard are VPN protocols used by VPN service providers. The admin panel included with GL.iNet routers allows you to connect to a VPN efficiently.

TP-Link Routers

Although TP-Link doesn’t emphasize it on its product pages there are robust VPN configuration options under the hood of its routers. TP-Link travel routers support OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP/IPSec protocols. TP-Link doesn’t require that you download VPN software as you can enter the login details provided by your VPN service provider directly in the router admin panel.

The Best Travel Routers

Most travel routers are super compact, inexpensive, and offer a lot of features to boot. All the routers listed below allow you to either create a new access point or extend the range of an existing Wi-Fi network.

If you want the fastest speeds available, that’s when the prices move up. High-end offerings from GL.iNet such as the GL-MT3000 feature both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity.

TP-Link AC750 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR902AC) [Amazon]

If you want the best value this is the one. And it’s probably the top pick for most people. The TP-Link AC750 is significantly faster than many entry-level models out there yet only a bit higher in price.

It has a data transfer rate of 750 Mb per second as its name implies. That might not be quite as fast as you’re used to at home or at the office but for such a small router it’s well above average.

GL.iNet GL-MT3000 (Beryl AX) Pocket-Sized Wi-Fi 6 Wireless Travel Gigabit Router [Amazon]

If you want the fastest connection possible, you’ll want to look at this model from GL.iNet first. It’s the only travel router in this roundup that uses the 802.11ax standard. By connecting to its 5GHz band it can reach speeds of a theoretical maximum of 2402 Mb per second.

The only downside is it’s a good bump up in price from your typical travel router.

GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango) Portable Mini Travel Wireless Pocket VPN Router [Amazon]

Those who love tropical locations may want to order the mango. All jokes aside this model from GL.iNet has antennas inside the unit rather than outside. That can be an advantage because that’s two fewer things to break or get detached and lost. Thus, this is sort of the sport edition of GL.iNet’s travel router lineup.

Its data transfer speed is 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) which is standard for its price point.

TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router (TL-WR802N) [Amazon]

This option won’t wow you in terms of speed or features. Its modest price and the fact it’s made by a reputable company are two of its biggest draws.

TP-Link isn’t just a big name in travel routers. It’s a big name in routers period. It shows when it comes to their software which is clean and easy to set up. The N300 uses advanced encryption so it provides an inexpensive way to create a secure network.

GL.iNet GL-AR300M16-Ext Portable Mini Travel Wireless Pocket Router [Amazon]

Want an extremely compact unit with antennas? This puppy has detachable antennas which makes it easy to pack yet effective at transmitting Wi-Fi signals.

Its CPU runs at 650 MHz which is a touch faster than the comparable GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango). Also, it has EAP support while other models in this range don’t. EAP is an authentication framework, and it’s a nice security feature to have. Its data transfer speed is 300 Mbps (2.4 GHz) as you’d expect for such a small, lightweight unit.


Travel routers have become a must for digital nomads, business people, and filmmakers, just to name a few.

The last thing you want when you need to get things done is a spotty Wi-Fi connection. You may not always need it but packing a travel router gives you insurance so that you can find solutions to internet issues as they arise.

You Should Use a VPN for Travel and Here’s Why

Everyone is tech-obsessed these days and it’s no different when we travel.

For many, a smartphone is the only device they need for their vacation. Business travelers and tech enthusiasts also opt to bring their laptop, tablet, or smart speaker. And while these devices open up amazing possibilities, there are also risks to be aware of.

While most think of precautions such as travel insurance, and putting their cash and valuables in a safe place. All too often they don’t think about how to protect themselves from cybercrime.

Public Wi-Fi: Convenient but Risky

You may have noticed hotels have Wi-Fi with lax security measures put in place. The hotel staff often use a simple Wi-Fi password and give it to all their guests. In other cases, the Wi-Fi is completely open, requiring only a room number, code, or click-through to go online. Either way, the Wi-Fi at hotels isn’t safe for anything beyond casually browsing the web. It’s particularly unsafe if you plan on entering your private data.

And that’s just one example. Free Wi-Fi is available everywhere from cafes to museums and airports. It’s convenient but any Wi-Fi offered to the public has risks associated with it.

You may be wondering why public Wi-Fi isn’t safe. The reason is anyone who is connected to the same network as you can potentially access your unencrypted data. Thus, your usernames, passwords, credit card numbers, browser cookies, and other data can be gathered by malicious individuals with the tech know-how needed to do so.

Making Wi-Fi Safe While Traveling

One solution to the pitfalls associated with public Wi-Fi is to avoid doing tasks that involve sharing your private data online. The problem with this approach is it’s easy to forget about security concerns when you need to get something done. Additionally, you could be targeted in a way you could never anticipate.

For most travelers, the most practical and effective way to protect your data is to use a VPN.

A VPN is an encrypted tunnel for your data that’s placed between your device and the internet. Essentially it turns any unsecured internet connection into a secure one.

About VPNs and Why They’re Used

VPN is short for virtual private network. Although VPNs were originally intended for business applications, it quickly become a technology all internet users can benefit from. After all, individuals have many of the same needs as businesses.

People use VPNs for two main reasons: to protect their online privacy and to enhance their security.

Starting with privacy, people are more concerned than ever about data that’s shared with third parties when they browse the web and use apps. Tech giants like Facebook and Apple have found ways to grant their users better privacy than ever, but one still needs to trust that they’re living up to their credo. Generally, people are slow to place their trust in most corporations today.

VPNs give users the true online anonymity they’ve always craved. It allows them to change their IP address (which is one of the most common ways to identify an internet user and their location). Thus, if they’re tracked with a VPN enabled their activity won’t be associated with their physical location.

The other reason VPNs are so popular is its ability to make the internet secure so that private data can’t be stolen by malicious individuals.

Smartphones are a primary internet device for literally billions of people worldwide. Today you’ll find Wi-Fi access in virtually any public place where people gather. The catch is that public Wi-Fi is less safe than hopping on the internet at home or work.

VPNs use state-of-the-art encryption so your data can’t be accessed or stolen by third parties.

Choosing the Best VPN for Travel

The first point to consider is if the VPN service you’re considering is well-supported in the countries on your bucket list. For example, some VPN services work reliably in China while others can potentially be blocked.

Check which protocols the service provides its users with. OpenVPN is often considered the best all-around protocol and people have reported it’s been working well in China in recent months. Having the ability to switch to different protocols is also useful to international travelers. If a protocol doesn’t work you can test the others, and in many cases at least one will do the job.

LetMeBy has tested many of the popular VPNs out there today. These are the most-recommended services for general travel:

If you’re traveling to China, you’ll also want to add VyprVPN to the list.

The company has been good about working around roadblocks in China. And they’ve been quick to adapt and offer solutions even though it can be challenging to use a VPN there.

How to Use a VPN

VPNs were once reserved for techies and business users. Now it’s easy to connect to a VPN with your phone, tablet, or laptop.

The first step is to download the app from your VPN provider.

This saves you the trouble of configuring individual apps such as your web browser to connect to the VPN. Additionally, it makes it straightforward to change settings such as selecting a new IP address associated with a different country than you’re presently in.

Next, launch the app. The login screen will appear. Enter your username or email and password provided by your VPN provider and you’re in. Yes, connecting is that easy.


Mobile data can be expensive when traveling abroad and since people are so used to accessing their devices frequently, Wi-Fi is a must. Public Wi-Fi gives travelers free access to the internet whether they’re in Honolulu, Rome, or Hong Kong.

The cost associated with using public Wi-Fi isn’t measured in dollars. Public networks are conveniences with a low level of security. Thus, it’s crucial to be mindful of the risks and take precautions.

Using a VPN while traveling not only protects your private data. It also gives you peace of mind. And with so many things on your mind while making the most of your time off, that’s a much-needed gift.