Matt Langford

Internet When Traveling (Travel Router)

Though the methods and details of my travel have changed over the years, one thing has remained constant…I love to travel. Before kids, it involved a lot of flights and faraway destinations. At this stage of life, it includes a lot of driving and Airbnbs. But through it all, one thing is constant. You've got to have internet!

As somewhat of a security and privacy conscious person, I'm always hesitant to connect to hotel WiFi. That hesitancy increases tenfold when it comes to Airbnbs though. Who knows how these networks are setup!?

In researching ways to mitigate these risks, I came across the Gl.iNet GL-A1300 (Slate Plus). Despite the horrible name, it has a lot of promise. It can essentially take (layman's terms here) an existing WiFi network and turn it into a secure, personal network.

For example, it can take your Airbnb (or hotel or conference room or coffee shop) WiFi signal then broadcast another network name (SSID) for your devices to connect. There are lots of VPN, encryption, and ad blocking options too.

This helps with security, but it can also help in another big way. If you set it up to broadcast the same SSID as your home, all of your devices will connect to it automatically when the Slate Plus is turned on. So if you travel with your family like I do, you might have an assortment of devices (multiple iPhones, iPads, Nintendo Switch, MacBooks, etc). Instead of having to reconnect every single one of them, you just make sure the Slate Plus is connected and powered on…then the rest will connect to it seamlessly.

And it gets even better! If the public WiFi you're accessing uses a captive portal (one of those places where you have to click a check box and enter your name and room number or similar), you can do it once for the router and all the other devices can skip that step. This does take some configuring every time, but it's doable.

This is just scratching the surface of what it can do. A powerful accessory to carry when you travel!

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