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As you’re preparing for a trip, you’ll probably wonder how you’ll get Wi-Fi when traveling. Be it travel for work, leisure, or a combination of the two, you’ll want to connect to the Internet at least once or twice.
We have a complete article on the different ways to get Internet for travel, although a portable Wi-Fi hotspot for travel is a common way to connect on international trips. The best Mi-Fi devices can connect multiple gadgets to a local Wi-Fi network, sometimes without a SIM card.
Not all of these devices offer the same coverage, so to help you decide which router works for you, I’m sharing the 8 best mobile hotspots for travel. I’ll also give you some tips on what factors to consider when buying portable Wi-Fi for travel so you know exactly what to look for.
|If all you need is internet on your cell phone, check our Holafly eSIM review instead.|
What is a Mi-Fi or portable Wi-Fi travel router?
Not to be confused with Wi-Fi, a Mi-Fi device is a mobile router that allows you to connect to a Wi-Fi network from your laptop, tablet, or phone. So, while Wi-Fi is the wireless connection, Mi-Fi is the router that accesses the Internet.
A portable Wi-Fi router for travel lets you connect to the Internet without having to rely on your mobile device’s data, so it’s convenient for frequent travelers or those going on an overseas trip.
Best portable Wi-Fi devices for travelers
To get the most reliable Wi-Fi when traveling, you need a Mi-Fi device or portable travel router that’s lightweight, has a good battery life and provides a stable connection. Some other factors to consider include whether you need a SIM card, as well as how many devices you can connect simultaneously.
There are lots of options out there at various price points, so to help you choose, here are the 8 best portable Wi-Fi devices for travel:
- Skyroam Solis Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot
- Huawei E5576-320 4G LTE
- NETGEAR Nighthawk M2 4G LTE MR2100
- GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE
- Keepgo Lifetime
- My Webspot
- Macaroon M1
- TP-LINK M7350
Keep reading to learn the benefits and disadvantages of each device, and your options for purchasing and renting Wi-Fi for travel.
1. Skyroam Solis Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot, the best Mi-Fi for travel (no SIM required)
First, this device is a compact, portable travel Wi-Fi hotspot that fits in the palm of your hand, so it’s perfect for on the go. Rather than requiring a local SIM card, it uses a virtual SIM to provide 4G LTE speeds in over 130 countries.
This portable Wi-Fi travel router lets you connect up to five devices at once. The battery lasts for about 16 hours on a full charge, and the device doubles as a power bank so you can charge your gadgets when you’re away from your accommodation.
Another thing to be mindful of is that you’ll have to purchase the portable Wi-Fi router for travel ($160) and get a Wi-Fi plan from Solis. The plans, which you can see here, range from a $9 day pass to a $99 monthly subscription, or you can pay-per-GB.
2. Huawei E5576-320 4G LTE, the best unlocked portable Wi-Fi hotspot
For those who don’t want to deal with unlocking their phones, this device is the best pocket Wi-Fi for travel. Carry it in your pocket or backpack and connect up to 16 gadgets to the local 4G Wi-Fi network. This device is ideal if you’re traveling with friends or family and need to use multiple laptops, tablets, and consoles at the same time.
The download speeds are quite impressive (up to 150 Mbps), but this device is only compatible with 4G networks in Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Middle East. For coverage in North and South America, check out the E5576-508 model here.
Since it’s unlocked, you can use it regardless of your network provider, and the Huawei mobile app is very user-friendly. It’s also quite affordable, at just $59. That said, a SIM card isn’t included, so you will need to get one at your destination, and the battery life is only about six hours.
3. NETGEAR nighthawk M2 4G LTE MR2100, another great portable Wi-Fi for travel
Another sturdy and user-friendly option is this device from NETGEAR. It’s one of the smallest and most powerful portable Wi-Fi routers for travel, yet still able to pick up 4G and 5G networks depending on the signal in your area. The downside is you’ll have to get a SIM card once you’re at your destination.
As long as you’re not traveling in the middle of nowhere, this mobile hotspot will do the trick. Set-up is easy, and the product has a useful touchscreen display to show you the Wi-Fi network and connection.
Overall, this portable Internet device for travel is convenient and reliable and even has a battery-saver mode to help your service last longer.
4. GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE, one of the best pocket Wi-Fi for travel
This device is another pocket Wi-Fi for travel abroad, and it works in over 140 countries. So, it’s a solid choice for those who are making multiple trips and need to connect several devices. Plus, you don’t need a SIM card, although you have the option to use one.
Set-up is simple with the GlocalMe app, and the router has a 5-inch touchscreen display for ease of use. You’ll have to pay $170 for the product, then choose an international or local data plan. Depending on your destination and trip dates, you may want to pay per day, per month, or per GB. Upon signing up, you’ll receive a complimentary 1GB of worldwide data and 8GB for the USA.
Moreover, you can connect up to ten gadgets to the local 4G LTE network and enjoy up to 12 hours of battery life. This product doubles as a power bank, so it’s a good value if you want portable Wi-Fi for traveling. A SIM card isn’t required, but you can insert a nano-SIM if you’d like.
5. Keepgo Lifetime, another popular portable travel Wi-Fi hotspot
Covering over 100 countries, this device is one of the best wireless hotspots for travel, especially for busy jet-setters. The pocket-sized router connects up to 15 devices simultaneously to the 3G or 4G LTE network at your destination.
For $99, you get the portable Wi-Fi hotspot for travel, 3GB of data, and a lifetime prepaid SIM card. Then, you choose from a variety of plans ranging from $22-$38 per GB, depending on how much data you want. You can select up to 10GB, and your purchased data doesn’t expire.
Not only is this router easy to transport, but it also has an attached micro-USB cable for quick recharging. The main disadvantage is that the device doesn’t tell you when you’re running low on data, which can be inconvenient. Even so, it’s one of the simplest ways to get Wi-Fi for traveling without unlocking your phone.
6. MY WEBSPOT, a reliable wireless hotspot for travel
Some Wi-Fi for travelers, like this one from My Webspot, allows you to rent the router and return it later. You can even get the device delivered to your hotel, so it’s a great solution for travelers who are already abroad.
My Webspot works in over 100 countries, with download speeds up to 100 Mbps. That’s not as fast as some other portable Wi-Fi travel routers, but still very good. When you’re choosing a data plan, there are single-trip and multi-trip options, as well as day passes. It costs about $12/day, and you get 24/7 customer support and 4G coverage.
This travelers Wi-Fi hotspot connects up to five devices at once, has an 8-hour battery life, and offers you the option to buy it or rent it, so it’s an overall great value.
7. Macaroon M1, one of the best pocket Wi-Fi for international travel
This device is another one of the best mobile Wi-Fi hotspots for international travel, and it also has the option to rent or buy. The Macaroon M1 connects up to ten devices to the fastest 4G LTE networks in over 200 countries. With download speeds up to 150 Mbps, it’s one of the best high-speed wireless hotspots for travel.
For $77, you get 5GB of U.S. data, but you must use it within 30 days of purchasing. You can buy data per day or GB, so it’s a pay-as-you-go deal that’s convenient for travelers who don’t know when they’ll return home. Along with free roaming, you’ll enjoy up to 12 hours of battery life and the router’s LCD display screen, which is small, but useful.
Moreover, the device is super lightweight and has a built-in charging cable, so you can refill the battery during your downtime. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best ways to get portable Wi-Fi for travel without using a SIM card, although you can use a nano-SIM if you’d like.
8. TP-LINK M7350, another Mi-Fi device for traveling internationally
Finally, this router offers portable Wi-Fi for travelers with download speeds up to 150 Mbps and 4G coverage around the world. Along with international high-speed coverage, you can use up to ten devices at once. This Mi-Fi device is easy to use and set up, and it has an LCD display screen so you can see your network connection and speed at any time.
On the one hand, this portable travel Wi-Fi hotspot is convenient, but it does require a SIM card, so it can be a hassle to find one at your destination. Moreover, the 8-hour battery life isn’t as good as other routers, which is a bummer since the price is a bit high ($161). Still, if you need a mobile hotspot for international travel, this one will provide excellent coverage, and you can connect it to a power supply to recharge it on the go.
How to choose a portable Wi-Fi device for travel
While there are different portable Internet devices for travel, they’re not all created equally. When searching for the best mobile hotspot for travel, consider where you’re going, how long you’ll be away, and what you need the Internet for. Some other things to take into account include:
- Battery life
- Built-in data vs. SIM card required
- Connectivity speeds
- Number of devices supported
- Pocket Wi-Fi rental vs. purchase
For those who are traveling for work, a portable travel Wi-Fi hotspot is the best solution to access the Internet 24/7. These Mi-Fi devices get the job done for checking email, using apps like FaceTime and WhatsApp, and doing remote work.
FAQs – Portable Wi-Fi for travel
Hopefully, this guide helped you learn more about the best Mi-Fi devices for your needs, but if you’re still unsure, check out these FAQs.
What is a portable travel Wi-Fi hotspot?
A portable Wi-Fi router for travel, also known as Mi-Fi, is a device that connects you to the Internet while you’re traveling or on the road.
Do you have to pay for portable Wi-Fi?
Yes, you have to pay for travelers Wi-Fi. Some travel routers require you to use a SIM card, which you’ll have to purchase separately, or the device will have built-in data, and you’ll have to pay for a data plan.
What things should I look for in a portable Wi-Fi device for travel?
When looking for portable Wi-Fi for travel, consider whether you want to purchase the device or rent it, if you want to use a local SIM card or not, and how many gadgets you want to connect to the router. You should also think about things like battery life, connectivity speed, reliability, and price.
Is portable Wi-Fi worth it for travelers?
A mobile Wi-Fi device for travel is a worthy investment if you’re a frequent traveler and need to use the Internet abroad on different devices, including a laptop.
Does portable travel Wi-Fi work anywhere?
The best mobile hotspots for travel will work anywhere that has a cell signal.
Do all Mi-Fi devices need SIM cards?
No, some travel Wi-Fi hotspots have built-in data that doesn’t require a SIM card. However, you will still need to purchase a data plan from the device manufacturer.
I hope you feel better prepared for your trip abroad and have found the best pocket Wi-Fi for international travel. If you have any questions about portable travel Wi-Fi hotspots, leave me a comment below. I’ll do my best to help you out!
Have a safe trip!
Hi – do the portable Wi-Fi devices that you pay for a plan (like Solis) pick up on any available local network or are they just partnered with particular networks in each country? In many places certain providers work better than in others – it would be an issue if only one local provider is used for internet service.
Good question! You should be able to connect to any available network.