TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
I got the TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router (without the USB port) specifically for my Xbox One S. I didn’t expect it to be this good!
My university uses an indirect wi-fi login system (we connect to the open university network, which brings up an internet page asking us to login with our university ID and password to authenticate — similar in system to most hotels and airports), which the Xbox can’t handle. So I decided to create a small internal network in my room that has its own SSID and password. I went with a mini router rather than just a range extender because this mini router has greater functionality for around the same price as most extenders.
Size: As you can see in my pictures, the length/width is a little more than that of two quarters side-by-side, and the thickness of 3/4ths a quarter. I was surprised by how small it was when I opened it.
Accessories: It comes with an ethernet cable, USB charger, wall adapter (though this is a bit clunky for modern standards), travel pouch, Wi-fi Info Card, and the standard instructions.
Setup: Quick and easy, though you’ll need to have a computer (I’m not sure if it works on a smartphone/tablet) to access the setup page. It took me about five minutes to set mine up in Access Point Mode. Basically, you plug in the router for your preferred mode as per the image/instructions. You then connect to your router from your computer using the password on the Wi-Fi Info Card and go to tplinkwifi(dot)net to do a quick setup. Here you can choose what mode you want to use the router in, change your SSID, password, etc. Then reboot to reconfigure the router.
Modes: There are five modes — two for travel and three for at home use. I went with the Access Point (AP) Mode for my uses, but I probably could have just gone ahead with the default Wireless Router mode. The ethernet port in my room was too far away from my Xbox to use Client mode. Regardless, it’s working great. I’ve attempted to give explanations for the different modes below, but I’m not particularly knowledgeable in this so please correct me if there are any inaccuracies.
1. Wireless Router (default): Basically, it turns a wired internet connection wireless.
2. Hotspot Router: I would best describe this as taking an open (and unsecured) wi-fi connection and making it password protected (personal hotspot). The router takes the unsecured wi-fi connection and creates a secured wi-fi/wired connection, and you can have one device connected directly to the router and have the rest of your devices using your protected wi-fi at the same time. Useful for connecting to the internet in public places like cafes. I believe it’s also great for hotel rooms where only one device can use the internet per room. Connect this and all your devices can use the internet.
3. Range Extender: Similar in nature to the Hotspot Router Mode — it goes wi-fi to wi-fi, except this mode uses your home’s network and maintains the same password as your home’s AP. It’s to extend your home’s wi-fi to reach any wi-fi dead spots in your house (like the attic or basement, or that weird corner of the room where you like to huddle and binge watch Netflix but just happens to be the same place where wi-fi connectivity is super sketch and the video never loads). You can use the router for both wired and wi-fi connections simultaneously.
4. Client: Sort of the opposite of the Wireless Router mode — this takes a wi-fi network and makes it wired so that devices that don’t have wi-fi capabilities can connect to the internet. It’s great for smart TVs, game consoles, printers.
5. Access Point: Same as the Wireless Router mode, takes a wired network and makes it wi-fi.
Speed: There wasn’t really any compromises made with the download speed. My university has incredibly fast wi-fi (though my dorm isn’t as fast as our libraries), so I’m glad that wasn’t sacrificed. The upload speeds weren’t as consistent, but still not bad. You can see the speed test results in my pictures.
Overall, I’m really liking this mini router. The size is perfect for travel (it’s smaller than my Macbook Pro’s MagSafe adapter…!), and the setup was straightforward. Definitely a recommended buy.Promised Review By sorari