It’s not the first travel router to hit the market (see our Zyxel Zywall review), but it could be the first to properly live up to the claim to be a “network in your pocket”.

The Clue is in the name – the Wireless-G travel Router. It’s got the usual Ethernet ports (one for a PC and another for connecting to a broadband modem), but finally a vendor has realised that trailing cables is not a civilised way to live while away from base and has included WiFi as well. Nothing fancy here, just 802.11b/g with something called “Speedbooster” which is claimed to improve performance by up to 35 percent.

Securitywise, the front of the unit has a button which, when pressed, can automatically set up WPA encryption as long as other device supports the same technology. Most don’t, but this is not too bad an outcome and means only a trip to the security tab to choose which version of WPA/WPA2 to enable.

One thing to watch out for here is that the wireless connectivity is either properly secured or, better still, is turned off if the Ethernet port is being used in preference to wireless on a regular basis.

If you have the inclination to take this sort of device on the road with a laptop, then why bother with wires anyway? Much easier to just turn on the laptop and router and create an instant connection from a spot not dictated by how long your Ethernet cable happens to be from the hotel socket.

Somehow, Linksys has built the power supply unit into the body of the device, which is already pocketable, so there is no need to carry around any extra cables other than the short power lead. Cleverer still, the Ethernet port means that the device could easily be used at home too, once it has been plugged into a standalone ADSL-to-Ethernet modem.

The built-in firewall frees up the admin department from having to load and manage a software firewall (Windows firewall aside, that is) on the PC itself. It’s hard to say that a hardware SPI firewall is necessarily better – firewalls aren’t infallible – but it might be simpler. Overall, the security features are identical to those found on other Linksys router/firewall boxes.

We liked this product, mainly because it’s convenient (the PSU is integrated) and because it offers an easy way to carry around a basic wireless network. Everything else is much as you’d expect it to be. We’ve heard of this sort of product causing the odd glitch with some VPNs so check your is compatible first.

OUR VERDICT

There are several travel routers on the market - make sure your one has WiFi.