Travel Router for Newbies?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by mdtravel, May 4, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    I'm ashamed to ask this question...I feel like it is tech 101 and I consider myself beyond that level but...

    I have no earthly idea how to set up my wireless router in my hotel room. In fact, I may totally confused as to why people carry them around with them.

    I bought one hoping that it would allow me to get around the 1 or 3 device limit...though how I just don't know.

    I've googled and binged, and for the life of me I'm coming up with nothing.

    Does any kind soul have any resources to share or helpful hints to impart?
     
    MX likes this.
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    Perhaps it's herd mentality, or maybe a few of them really need them. Please please do not buy useless objects just to copy somebody else's behavior.

    As far as learning, there's nothing wrong with that. Wireless routers are intermediaries for connecting to the internet. They connect to the internet with a wire, then send out radio waves (WiFi) to enable other devices to use their internet connection. Since most hotels already offer WiFi, I'd assume that people might use portable routers in hotels to connect with a phone internet.
     
  3. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    With most wireless routers you really just plug the hotel's ethernet cable into the router, power up the router, and then connect your devices to the router's own wireless. Thus you are creating a wireless network when none exists or expanding the hotel's network to cover more devices. Now, that being said, I always do configure the routers because often they don't put out a password-protected/encrypted signal and I wouldn't use a non-protected router.

    How you do this depends on the router but typically you connect your wireless router to your computer with a cable, then use your web browser to connect to the router and configure it. It's really very simple once you get the hang of it. Which router do you have?

    These days many hotels don't offer a wired connection at all though, but I seek out those which do -- I think a wired connection is safer, faster and more reliable.
     
  4. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,965
    Likes Received:
    12,801
    Status Points:
    10,675
    Some properties have outsourced their IT needs and customer facilities to entities that restrict number of simultaneous connections one can have. Now a days, most of us travel with two or more devices that depend on an internet connection; whether using wifi, or cellular-to-wifi teathering.

    There are many ways to deal with it. Easiest but not cheap is to get an unlocked mifi device. I used both a Novatel as well as a Huawei, and then get a data-SIM in the country you are visiting.

    There are other ways of doing it, but those are not so easy to deal with.
     
  5. ffitalia

    ffitalia Silver Member

    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    228
    Status Points:
    375
    Configure a router to use the hotel cable network is not simple, and with many models it is impossible. In standard configuration the router redirects all "internal" (lan) traffic (cable or wifi) to phone/adsl port. The technical explanation is a little more complex :)..... Is much easier to use a wifi access point, products designed specifically for this purpose.
     
    IDGflygirl and anileze like this.
  6. konoyaro

    konoyaro Silver Member

    Messages:
    566
    Likes Received:
    1,241
    Status Points:
    845
    I've used a wireless router in Japan numerous times where the hotel provided free ethernet but charge for WiFi (Best Western Shinjuku) or where the "free" WiFi meant using the hotel provided wireless router required each device to be reregistered everyday (Hyatt Regency Tokyo). In this case, having a wireless router that is preconfigured can make life a lot easier.
     
    KrissyK90 and IDGflygirl like this.
  7. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    If you post the manufacture and model we might be able to find a tutorial to help you along.
     
    ffitalia likes this.
  8. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    Good point; my apologies. I have an Airport Express.
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  9. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    Based on this, I'm wondering if I even bother taking the thing. We're staying at the Le Meridien in London and the Westin in Paris. The Westin in Paris had wired internet the last time I was there.

    I'm really trying to get around the limitation on the number of devices. We're a two phone, three iPad family and it'd be nice to not have to manage that number or to at least be able to get three devices online. I've searched for how to cinfigure one of these, but haven't found anything that talks about doing it in a hotel room that has security wrapped around it...that's the part I'm afraid I won't be able to figure out.
     
  10. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    It's worth taking though it wouldn't be my first choice. Are you taking a laptop too or just the wireless devices? And what computer do you have available now? Mac or PC?

    Anyhow, you can configure it before you go and just plug it in when you get there. Let's find out more -- then you should be able to add a password in a few minutes and you'll be all set.
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  11. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
  12. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    It sounds like you perfectly understand the "why" - I carry one primarily to work around hotels' per-device internet charges or arbitrary limits on the number of devices.

    These devices work most easily when you connect the WAN side to a wired connection in the hotel room. The airport express has only a single ethernet jack, which avoids the confusion of which jack is which. There may be some devices which can route from wireless to wireless, but that's likely to be more complicated.

    Try setting it up first on a home network, both for practice and to minimize the work needed when you actually want to use. If you already have a home router, you can leave it in place and plug the airport express into one of its free (LAN-side) ethernet ports. Then set up the wireless network on the airport express by using Apple's AirPort Utility on your laptop: pick a network name (SSID) & set a WPA key. Have all of your devices connect to the new network rather than whatever they were using before. Once that's working, try it on the road: plug the airport into the hotel's wired network and have your laptops and other devices connect to your wireless SSID, not the hotel's. The first device will need to jump through the hotel's authentication/whatever hoops, but the other devices should then just work.

    You should probably carry a (short) ethernet cable with you: I've seen plenty of hotels that have working wired jacks in the room but don't equip them with cables.

    Lastly, for those who don't already have one, I recommend the Edimax BR-6258n or BR-6258nL. Both are smaller and lighter than the Apple Airport Express, and both can be configured through a web interface rather than requiring some special software.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    bigx0 and MX like this.
  13. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    The airport express does have 2 ethernet jacks, one for LAN and one for WAN.
    I love those -- using one right now. It's barely bigger than a matchbook (or a cigarette box if you count the cables, some of which you may not need), it's super light weight and much cheaper than the Airport Express. On the other hand if you're an all Mac person you may find the Airport Express to coordinate well with your Macs and it adds some features like easy music streaming. That said, I'm not a fan of Apple routers! (I'm not anti-Apple -- typing this on a Macbook actually.)
     
  14. willisjohnsoniii

    willisjohnsoniii New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status Points:
    10
    I use mine so I can use Chromecast. The Chromecast connects wirelessy, but doesn't have a keyboard. My computer and Chromecast have to be on the same wifi network. Most hotels have a spash screen that needs authentication (name, room #, etc. With the travel router and it's wifi, I can connect my Chromecast to the travel router and my lap top to the same travel router wirelessly. I connect the travel routher to ther ethernet cord. I bring my own (just in case). I use Hootoo tripmate
     
  15. willisjohnsoniii

    willisjohnsoniii New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status Points:
    10
    I use one because I want to use my Chromecast. Chromecast needs to be connected the same wifi network as my laptop, but doesn't have a keyboard to get past the splash screen authentication (name, room #, etc.). With the router I can connect Chromecast and my laptop wirelessly to the sam network.

    I can connect as many devices as I want. I still have to unlock the hotel wifi with my laptop, then switch over to the router. So I can stream movies to the tv from other accounts I already pay for.
     
  16. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    With most wireless routers, if you wire the router to the network and your laptop to the router and THEN turn on your laptop you can authenticate to the hotel network with your router in place and then there is no need to introduce the router later. If that makes any sense. Or maybe that's already what you are doing -- not sure -- in which case, feel free to ignore :)
     
  17. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    I bought a hootoo router (http://www.hootoo.com/hootoo-tripmate-ht-tm05-wireless-router.html) after reading a blog post about sharing a GoGo connection across multiple devices. Problem is, I cannot figure out how to share the connection. I'd like to use the router to use the same connection on my iPad and my iPhone. Again, embarrassed to say it, but I cannot figure it out for the life of me.

    Any help or a flat out "it can't be done" is appreciated.
     
  18. BuddyFunJet

    BuddyFunJet Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0
    Status Points:
    30
    I haven't tried with GoGo but have used a hootoo tm-02 to share a wireless connection on a cruise ship that limited accounts to one device. The trick was that the device that was used to login has to stay connected.

    My advice is to try sharing a wireless connection at home to get the bugs worked out before trying to share GoGo. When you try for GoGo, you will have to reconfig the hootoo to log in on the gogoinflight ssid rather than the one you tested with.

    I'm not sure if the TM05 can share wireless but the TM02 can
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,220
    Likes Received:
    61,766
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Or, you know, don't try to steal from gogo. :rolleyes:
     
  20. mdtravel

    mdtravel Silver Member

    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    420
    I think part of my problem is pure confusion. I can get the thing configured just fine at my office, but at my office we don't require a user name and password like gogo does. So I can get the prompt to login with a password at my office, but it doesn't need a user name like I need on the plane.
     

Share This Page