Saturday, January 2, 2016

Review: HooToo TripMate Nano "Travel Router"

Yet another nifty device I've had for some months, a HooToo TripMate Nano "travel router". The most common scenario for a travel router is being at a hotel or another location where the provided wired or wireless network isn't sufficient for multiple devices and/or there is an approval web page (called a "captive portal") to access the Internet. The easiest way to describe is that it connects to another wired or wireless network, and links in a wireless network of its own.

For instance, a Chromecast must be on the same network as the casting host, but is not able to navigate through a captive portal page. You also don't want to expose your devices to the wireless network of the hotel for security reasons. Certainly it is handy to have a travel router like this when it can be purchased for less than $20 USD.

Once powered up, you connect to the initial wireless network and configure it through a web interface. I have found that using a Chromebook abandons the wireless network when configuring the device, but once it is all set up there aren't any issues. An older Windows system worked best for the most trouble-free configuration time.

The TripMate Nano also provides a USB connection that can be used for a SATA hard drive dock or USB drive to serve files. There are settings for configuring it as a DLNA server (meaning media content on the drive can be streamed to devices on the wireless network). Powering the Nano is easy, since it is a micro USB connection that can be ran from a portable USB charger.

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