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axoid

Picked up portable router

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axoid

I'm going on a trip to Dallas and I picked up a little portable wireless router. Runs off a USB port. I'll let people know how it goes when I get back.

 

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ikon

Thanks Axoid. I may be in the market for one of these in the next year.

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pcdoc

Good luck and look forward to hearing about it.  I was toying with a mobile hot spot/hard drive for the car.

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jmwills

As long as the ISP isn't filtering packets, you should be okay.

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axoid

While I was planning on taking a vacation trip I decided to get a small nano router to provide a little extra security when connecting to hotel networks. I found that the local Micro Center had TP-LINK TL-WR702N wireless N nano routers priced under $25 and I picked one up. The thing is small, taking up about the same space as my car keys with the fob. I came with most everything that I needed: the router, USB power supply, micro-USB cable for power and a short Ethernet cable. What it didn't come with was english language instructions, there were instructions in a couple other languages, french and german I think, but no english even though everything else was in english. A english user's manual wasn't hard to find online, but some basic instruction should have been there.

 

The device has 5 different modes: Access Point (default when purchased), Router, Repeater/Range Extender, Bridge Mode and Client Mode (hooks to computer's wired network port and connects to a wireless network). I initially tried to configure the device from my Windows 8 tablet, but discovered that the device needed to be connected to a wired network to configure it. The tablet doesn't have a wired network port. So after I connected it to my home network I was able to configure the device to router mode from my desktop by using a browser. The biggest trick here is figuring out the IP address to connect to with the browser. This wasn't well documented in the manual. Once I saved the changes for router mode and restarted the device I could no longer configure the device from the wired network, which makes some sense in router mode, but I then needed to pull the tablet back out and connect to the router wirelessly to the make any further adjustments to the router. Again I needed to figure out the IP address to connect to because it was now different. I still needed to turn on the DNS service on the router because it didn't default to on. Restarted the device again and I needed to discover the IP address once more. The manual was ok at telling you how to configure the device once your connected to it with a browser, but getting to that point was a pain. Add to that the fact that I needed to go online to find any instructions at all was a major black mark for the device. I haven't tried any of the modes other than Router and Access Point.

 

Now how did the device work once I had it configured? I will have to say, very well. On my trip I stayed at three different hotels (all Marriott properties) and the router worked flawlessly. I configured the router to use the same SSID and password as our home network and all of our devices connected to it right away. I still needed to jump through the hotel's hoops once a day, but afterward we were able to get online with all of the phones and tablets without needing to do the hoops again for each.

 

I the end it did what I wanted, but it was a pain to get it setup and if your not tech savy I wouldn't recommend it. I've seen a very positive review for another nano router which cost 2-3 times the price of this one, so I can guess that configuration and documentation are the corners TP-Link cut to get this device so inexpensive. But it seams that these are the only corners that they cut.

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