I mentioned a few posts ago that the X-Mini II is one of my favorite pieces of travel gear. Well, while the X-Mini may indeed be the most fun, I should probably supplement that statement by saying that my travel router is without a doubt the most functional.
As someone who depends on the Internet to work, having a connection wherever I go is absolutely essential. Yet what I’ve found is that while most lodgings do have a connection, they often lack a way to get it to you. Sometimes they’ll provide just one ancient computer for all of their guests to share, others they’ll have an encrypted network to which they’ve somehow forgotten the password. Time and time again it’s caused me grief – until I started carrying my own little WiFi router. Suddenly all my problems were solved; I just plug it in and am immediately ready to go. I’ve even stayed at guesthouses that let me tap into the front desk’s connection, and others where their own router failed and I saved the day for everyone else there.
Yet despite all the ways in which it’s helped keep me “on the grid,” my trusty little travel router has always lacked just one critical feature: the ability to act as a repeater and extend an existing distant network. That’s what I set out to find in Singapore’s Sim Lim Square, the top-priority item on my list for the entire trip. I’d made several rounds of the electronics megamall already, searching and jotting down notes – until a couple days ago when I happened upon the PERFECT solution.
The EdiMax BR-6258n.
This thing blew my mind. Less than a quarter the size of my previous router, it can natively run in Universal Repeater mode, is USB-powered, and even has a LAN port – critical if you want to jack into a connection where they don’t have a router of their own. I wouldn’t even have to hack it with DD-WRT; it’d work right out of the box, and all for less than $50USD.
My backpack just got a little bit lighter and a lot more functional. For the rest of my stay in Singapore I had WiFi in my bed on the 4th floor of the hostel – thanks to leaving this thing plugged in behind a locker on the 2nd. It did take me a little while to get it setup (the instructions are in horrible English), but once I did it quickly proved its worth as an absolute godsend.
Looks like I can scratch that one off my never-ending wishlist! 🙂