Why I Use a Portable Mobile Router for Both Travel and Home
Travel Routers Use Smart Phone Technology
Travel routers are small, portable routers which use the same technology as smartphones to connect to the internet. For many people, traveling for business or vacation is the only reason to use a portable router. There are other reasons, however. For me, it has become my router of choice.
Why I Started Using a Portable Mobile Sim Router
Like many other people, I have a laptop, a tablet, and a phone. Keeping them topped up with data generally meant three different accounts. If I was home, of course, I could just link to the router. When I was out on the road, it meant that I needed to ensure that my phone or tablet was always topped up.
If I took my laptop with me, it meant that wherever I used it, I either had a dongle (now replaced by portable routers) or the airport, coffee shop, or general area where I was needed to be online. Preferably, the area needed to provide free wifi.
Not only was this an expensive business in general, but there was never any guarantee that if I was on the road that the next stop was going to provide a free wifi facility, and, to boot, I would sometimes run out of data.
When I first saw a portable router on display at my local ISP, I was hooked. I bought one within weeks, and I’ve never looked back.
My bills have dropped, and I no longer have monthly contracts. In South Africa, I am on a month to month plan (which means I can cancel anytime with no further obligation), and I pay about $25 per month for 80 gigs. This is more than enough for me. Of course, I don’t watch movies or play games. The point is that I have no monthly commitment and I can up and go and I’m always online. Plus, it’s one gizmo for all my needs.
Until I arrived in South Africa, I was unaware that there was such a thing as a sim router. For the past four years, I have only used a sim router. This meant that once the router had a sim card, I could take the router with me wherever I relocated to, and there was no need to call the provider to reinstall. I simply packed it up, relocated, and plugged it in.
This was a great improvement on previous routers.
However, measuring five or six inches by three or four inches meant that it wasn’t exactly the most convenient item to carry about in a purse.
Portable Travel Routers
Essentially a portable router is simply a sim router that is small enough to hold in your hand. It fits in your pocket or your purse. It connects the same way a smart phone does. You can change the sim card if you are traveling in another country so that all you pay for is data. It’s always less expensive to buy data in the country you are traveling in.
Portable routers were originally marketed to business travelers, but it has since become a commodity for anyone who wants to save on the expense and inconvenience of having several different data accounts.
It’s also the ideal minimalist solution in that it uses less material to manufacture, takes the place of several accounts and uses less space. If you are only using voip on your smart phone, there is also no need to get a sim card for your phone.
While I do have a sim card in my phone, I don't have one in my tablet. So I can only use VOIP (Skype, Messenger, Whatsapp) to make calls on my tablet, but that's okay for me.
Why This Small Portable Router Works for Me.
I always carry my phone and my tablet with me. Less frequently, if I don’t feel like working at home, I take my laptop with me.
Instead of having three different accounts – for my phone, my tablet, and my laptop, I now only pay for data on my portable router. When I’m out and about, I slip my router into my purse or pocket and I’m online wherever I am.
I also no longer have to look for a specific coffee shop to ensure that they are online. I can work anywhere, and that is the convenience of a pocket router.
Speed and Bandwidth
These small routers are as fast as any phone. As per phones, you get 3G and 4G routers. I have a 4G LTE router and I have yet to be limited by any download speed. They are fast.
In addition, there is sufficient bandwidth for me to be able to have phone, tablet, and laptop all operating with no slow-down in speed. This is because most of these wifi routers are made so that more than one person can use them.
I particularly like the TP-Line portable router, but have used both TP-link and Huawei (pronounced waa-way). Both of them have served me well. The TP-link has greater bandwidth so that when friends and family came around, they could use it as well. The one I had boasted it could be used by up to eleven people. I’m not sure if that is true, because I’ve only had four people connect to it at any one time. There was no slow-down in speed.
You can definitely do everything that you do on a conventional router on this mobile, portable router.
I used this router for a while (before I lost it). I much prefer it to the one I currently have, but they both worked pretty well. I will never again use a large, geographically based router. A portable router gives me everything I want - and more.
Have you ever considered using a mobile portable router?
Old Style Routers Will Become Obsolete
I have no doubt that routers using conventional technology will become obsolete as mobile routers take their place. There is simply no reason to be tied down geographically to a router. After all, we are all moving around all the time, aren’t we? That said, the only downside I have found with portable routers is that they are easy to lose. It's best to get into the habit of carrying them in one place (a particular pocket or a particular place in your purse). That way, you'll notice immediately if you don't return it when you've taken it out for some reason. Generally, I just leave it in my purse these days.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Tessa Schlesinger