The 3 Best Travel Wi-Fi HotSpots

Jet Setter's Lifeline

If you aren’t already working remotely, you will likely be soon, or perhaps you’re keen to and are currently scoping out the practicalities. Alternatively, if you’re simply a travel lover, you might be thinking how useful having a Wi-Fi hotspot with you on the go would be for all your adventures! The world is almost entirely connected no matter where you go, meaning there’s no excuse for going offline.

Portable Wi-Fi hotspots are a lifesaver, whether you’re in a popular destination away from home or somewhere completely off-grid. They can be used for a whole variety of things, not just scrolling Instragam and come in almost all shapes, sizes, requirements and price points. No matter what kind of coverage you need or where you’re going, there will certainly be a Wi-Fi hotspot that’s perfect for you.

What is a Travel Wi-Fi Hotspot?

A travel Wi-Fi hotspot, also known as a portable Wi-Fi hotspot, portable router or just portable Wi-Fi, works a lot like your Wi-Fi at home! Portable hotspots take the signal from your phone’s hotspot and then re-broadcast it as Wi-Fi to your other devices.

Your mobile phone has this function, too, but having a portable hotspot is often a stronger and better idea, as we’ll cover later in this blog. Whether working from a remote beach, checking emails at a retreat or answering a Zoom call while hiking in the mountains, travel Wi-Fi hotspots allow you to connect to the internet on your devices almost anywhere, as long as you have cell phone service.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Travel Wi-Fi Hotspot

There are endless advantages to having a pocket-sized internet router with you when you’re abroad! Although your phone has the same ability to hotspot, most cell phones are notorious for this feature, causing them to heat up and drain battery extremely fast, which is not what you want when you’re trying to work or if you need your phone in an emergency.

Portable hotspots are built to output a Wi-Fi signal to multiple devices for a good amount of time. They’re generally hardwearing and can support one or two devices or many, depending on your needs! Most portable Wi-Fi hotspots are as big as, or usually smaller than, your home router, so they can easily slip into your luggage or day bag to take with you anywhere without too much weight or millions of cables.

The downsides of Wi-Fi hotspots are few but important: portable hotspots are pretty useless without network connectivity. This means they won’t work unless your phone has a signal, so there may be some patchy areas where a hotspot won’t work for you. Otherwise, Wi-Fi hotspots can also be quite pricey, depending on the one you choose, the coverage you need and how many devices you plan to connect.

What Are the Best Travel Wi-Fi Hotspots?

There are dozens and dozens of travel Wi-Fi hotspots on the market, so it’s very hard to narrow down the best. But if you need a short list of excellent devices to choose from, these are top-rated.

GlocalMeG4 Pro 4G Hotspot

This mobile phone-shaped hotspot that fits in your pocket is one of the best out there for frequent travelers. It’s unlocked to any phone and can provide coverage in up to 144 countries!

Thanks to GlocalMe’s nifty technology, you can choose from various data packages in all of these locations, which are all pay-as-you-go and don’t require a contract. When you purchase, you’ll also get a gigabyte of international data to use, and as a bonus, this hotspot allows you to take out its SIM and replace it with a local SIM card in case you discover the signal just isn’t strong enough where you are.

Its battery life is an unrivaled 12 hours, and it can support up to 10 devices, enough for you, all your gadgets and a small team, too! The initial cost is great value for money, and the only con is that it doesn’t utilize 5G.

Alcatel LinkZone 4G

For budget-savvy travelers looking to stay connected, Alcatel’s hotspot is the device for you. Fitting easily into a pocket or bag, this compact Wi-Fi device stays charged for seven hours and can support a whopping 15 devices!

This one is tied to the U.S., so digital nomads within the U.S. or van-lifers will love it as it’s particularly well set up for using networks like T-Mobile and AT&T. It has fast download speeds of around 150mbps, which means you can use it for everything from a quick scroll on social media, a FaceTime call or streaming movies.

The best part of this device is the price; at less than $50, it’s one of the most affordable on the market, making it perfect for those buying their first hotspot or testing the waters. The small trade-off is its short battery life, but its other benefits more than make up for it.

Netgear Explore AC815S

For those who need a Wi-Fi hotspot for more remote trips where you might be hiking, camping or even river rafting, Netgear has you covered. Their hotspot is, without a doubt, the most hardy and durable money can buy, and it isn’t even particularly expensive. The device isn’t fully waterproof, so no swimming with it, but it is splash-proof, which is great if you’re in wet weather out in the wild. It’s also covered in a tough rubber shell, so it can take a few knocks or drops—although, avoid this where possible!

It makes it ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and van-lifers or those permanently on the road because its other winning features are the massive 22-hour battery life and the fact it can support up to 15 devices.

If you're traveling by vehicle, a car Wi-Fi hotspot can do just the trick!