The best small Wi-Fi router can do everything a larger device can do, but without taking up so much space. Whether it's just because you don't like big devices, or you're someone who travels a lot, the best small Wi-Fi router can completely change how you access the internet.
While a lot of people will just lean towards using the data on their phones when on the go, it can be expensive to do that all the time. It's a good idea to grab your own device to not only save money, but also get the same kind of performance as the best Wi-Fi routers.
We've gone ahead and found the best small Wi-Fi routers out there and then factored in things like price, reviews, and features to whittle them down into one easy-to-manage list to pick from if you're in the market for a small bit of kit.
With all of that out of the way, let's get stuck into our list of the best small Wi-Fi routers.
Best compact Wi-Fi routers
- Linksys Hydra Pro 6 AX5400
- TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750
- TP-Link TL-WR841N
- GL.iNet GL-AR750 (Creta)
- NETGEAR Nighthawk M1
1. Linksys Hydra Pro 6 AX5400
Best small Wi-Fi router
Antenna: 2 (adjustable)
Ports: 4 x Gigabit LAN, 1 x Gigabit WAN, 1 x USB 3.0
If you're ready to invest in a premium device compatible with Wi-Fi 6, then the Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is well worth checking out. It provides a reliable and rapid connection, even when multiple devices are connected to it simultaneously.
This is mostly down to Wi-Fi 6, which helps the router deliver speeds of up to 5,4Gbps. It's even capable of 4K UHD streaming or playing video games online with excellent ping.
With the mobile app, set-up is a breeze. You can easily manage your network, set parental controls, and give your guests access from your smartphone. Additionally, you can use the app to prioritise your devices and allocate them better and faster connections where appropriate.
It's also worth mentioning you get a good number of ports for its size, including four Gigabit LAN and a USB 3.0 port if needed. All in all, this router is definitely up there as one of the best small devices on the market. It may be a little pricey, but could be worth the investment if you're frequently away from home.
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2. TP-Link TL-WR902AC AC750
Best travel router
Antenna: 2 (fixed)
Ports: 1 x 10/100 Mbps WAN/LAN Port, 1 x USB 2.0
This miniature Wi-Fi router is incredibly compact and can easily be stored in your pocket when on the road. Despite its diminutive size, it still offers an impressive level of performance.
TP-Link TL-WR902AC is dual-band, meaning it works with both 2,4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. It’s not a rare feature among modern routers, but this one is relatively inexpensive by comparison. The icing on the cake is that it can be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot or a range extender. You can even wire up a device using its ethernet port if you needed.
In terms of its usage, we'd say it's good for anyone travelling who wants to have their own personal Wi-Fi. Considering its price as well, you won't be carrying around something worth hundreds or thousands of dollars either.
You may struggle to connect multiple devices and maintain a fast connection. However, as far as small, personal routers go, this TP-Link device is definitely worth checking out.
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3. TP-Link TL-WR841N
Best budget small Wi-Fi router
Antenna: 2 (fixed)
Ports: 1 x 10/100 Mbps WAN, 4 x 10/100 Mbps LAN,
The TP-Link TL-WR841N looks to be a great option for those running a small business and in need of a stable Wi-Fi connection. Its inexpensive price and small size make it ideal for those working in a compact workspace.
Its biggest upside is its price, however, that's not all it has to offer. It can deliver speeds of up to 300Mbps which, considering how much you can buy it for, really does make it excellent value for money.
Moreover, it features WPA2 encryption, which you can control with the help of the WPS button. Two antennae improve the stability of your wireless connection, plus the router’s setup instructions look straightforward to follow.
You can even use bandwidth controls to assign preferred devices more bandwidth when they need it most. With this alongside the aforementioned features, we'd say this inexpensive TP-Link device is a great budget router to consider.
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4. GL.iNet GL-AR750 (Creta)
Best mid-range small Wi-Fi router
Ports: 1 x WAN, 2 x LAN, 3 x LEDs,1 x USB 2.0, 1 x Micro USB Power Input, 1 x MicroSD card slot
The GL-AR750, also known as the Creta, is a great value router with a mid-range price tag. Not only is it secure and reliable, but it also upholds the GL.iNet trend of providing strong, stable connections. If you're looking for an inexpensive yet effective router, this is a great option to consider.
It features additional LAN Ethernet Ports as well, which are always helpful even if you don’t plan to use them. You also get a USB 2.0 port and even a MicroSD card slot for storage, media sharing, and backing up your data.
Security-wise, it is compatible with OpenVPN, which allows users to protect their information when using public networks. On the design front, its ports are located on the rear side, meaning you don't have to plug in cables from different sides when setting it up, thus helping you keep on top of your cable management.
With its dual-band connection supporting up to 733Mbps as well, this is a pretty formidable travel router for its price. So, make sure you check it out before you next head away.
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5. NETGEAR Nighthawk M1
Best small Wi-Fi router for advanced users
Ports: 1 x Gigabit LAN/WAN, 1 x USB-C, 1 x USB-A
If you're looking for a dependable and high-speed connection, the NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 looks to be an ideal solution. This router is suitable for both home and travel use, making it an excellent all-around choice as far as small routers go.
It's particularly great for families or large groups of colleagues as it comes with many great features, such as a mobile hotspot mode and 4G LTE hotspot capability. This means that no matter where you are, you will always be able to access the router's Wi-Fi network. What's more, it can handle up to 20+ devices without compromising on its stable Wi-Fi connection.
It's also equipped with a USB port that can be used for streaming or sharing, and features a large battery that allows it to stay active for extended periods of time. Additionally, the device is equipped with a screen that displays various data metrics, allowing you to track its status and performance on the go.
It will set you back more than our previous entries, but it is a very well-rounded and advanced bit of kit for the price. So, we'd recommend considering it if you're after a fast and reliable connection from a compact device.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Are you still unsure if you should buy any of the routers we mentioned in this article? Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that you may have...
Should you buy a small Wi-Fi router if you already have a router in your home?
When it comes to purchasing a Wi-Fi router for your home, a fast and reliable one is essential. Generally, larger routers offer better performance than smaller ones, much like the difference between a smartphone and a PC. However, if portability is a priority, a smaller router might be the better option.
If you are looking for a router that can be taken on trips, but you already have a larger one at home, then it may be worth considering one of the more compact models discussed in this article.
If you already possess a home router, purchasing an additional one may appear to be a wasteful and unneeded expense. However, losing your router is always a possibility, leaving you without a Wi-Fi connection. Having two separate devices, one for travel and one for home use, will ensure that you won't go Wi-Fi-less if you lose one.
Should you use a small Wi-Fi router staying in a hotel?
Public Wi-Fi networks can be unreliable due to a large number of concurrent users. If the hotel has a low-end router, this can be an issue for those attempting to access the network. To avoid such problems, it is recommended to bring your own router if possible.
Your data is also at a higher risk as public Wi-Fi is often not as secure as it is in your home. Therefore, owning a small router with great security settings can help keep your data safe. Speaking of which...
Are small Wi-Fi routers safe – Can someone view your internet activity?
Your security is based on the way you use your router. Most modern routers use WPA2 encryption, and small routers are not an exception. Such encryption is standard, but it doesn't mean that you are completely safe.
If you use a hotel's network, then the hotel or the public provider will be able to see the websites you open and the services you use. But they won’t be able to see what exactly you’re doing if the website or service is encrypted.
That's why using your own router is often the safest option, which is why small devices such as those featured in our list can make for a great investment.