When away from home or office a laptop outfitted with a wireless network card can connect through a growing number of wireless “hot spots” offering free Internet access. This article notes that these spots – hotels, airports, libraries and coffee shops – are not ubiquitous and suggests that many business users will benefit from carrying one of the new portable wireless routers. These specialized routers [sometimes called “travel routers”] are about the size of a deck of cards and come with internal antennae.

They don’t have the range of the larger routers of office or home office networks but work very well for PCs used in hotel rooms or other small rooms. The author notes that although a good number of hotels offer wireless access in guest rooms, a majority of them offer it only in their lobbies. Even if guest rooms don’t have wireless Internet access, most have high-speed Internet access. Travel router users merely plug into a box on the desk in their room to create an instant wireless hot spot. Users can then lounge with their laptops on their bed or out on a balcony.

This article reviews three travel routers. The setup and configuration of each is discussed, as are their features, relative performance and prices. Website addresses where readers can find more information are also given.

Source: Brett Burney, The Cleveland Plain Dealer; Aug 29, 2005

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