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Review: 6 new travel routers that can deploy a secure Wi-Fi network almost anywhere

At a Glance

The Asus WL-330NUL is amazingly small, but that attribute doesn't make up for its flaws.

Price when rated: $47

Pros

  • Incredibly small
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Eval unit shipped with pre-defined password of "Test1234"
  • Poor range
  • Slow TCP throughput
Asus WL-330NUL travel router
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At a Glance

he D-Link DIR-510L is the most feature-laden travel router I’ve tested, but it'll cost you.

Price when rated: $100

Pros

  • Battery-power option
  • USB port supports storage or a 3G/4G/LTE modem

Cons

  • Slow TCP throughput at long range
  • Very expensive
D-Link DIR510L travel router
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At a Glance

The Netgear Trek is extremely versatile and it delivers great speed and range, but it operates only on the 2.4GHz frequency band.

Price when rated: $35 (street price)

Pros

  • High TCP throughput, especially at long range
  • Dual Ethernet ports
  • Can also operate as a Wi-Fi range extender bridge

Cons

  • Limited to 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n
  • No support for cellular USB modems
  • No DLNA media server
Netgear Trek travel router
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At a Glance

This mighty-mite would be even more powerful if it supported just a couple more features, but it’s a compelling value nonetheless.

Price when rated: $35 (street price)

Pros

  • Very compact form factor
  • Can operate on battery power
  • Supports cellular USB modems

Cons

  • Supports 3G modems
  • No support for sharing USB storage
  • Doesn’t support WPS, even in software
TP-Link TL-MR3040 travel router
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At a Glance

If you like fiddling with knobs (in software, that is), the TP-Link TL-WR710N gives you plenty to do. It has a solid feature set, but its performance lags the offerings from D-Link and Netgear. It's also very inexpensive.

Price when rated: $30

Pros

  • Versatile operational modes
  • Dual Ethernet ports
  • USB port for file sharing, media streaming, or device charging

Cons

  • Much slower than the D-Link DIR-510L and Netgear Trek
  • Doesn’t support cellular USB modems
  • No WPS button
TP-Link TL-WR710N travel router
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At a Glance

Exchangeable power tips make the TEW-714TRU is a good choice for world travelers, but its performance leaves something to be desired.

Price when rated: $40 (street price)

Pros

  • Multiple power tips for near-worldwide compatibility
  • Two USB ports: One for file sharing, a second for device charging

Cons

  • Slow TCP throughput
  • Doesn’t support cellular USB modems
Trendnet TEW-714tru travel router
 Compare

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We go up close with the new Apple Watch

Sep 9, 2014 4:14 PM

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