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Customer Review

on August 4, 2013
TripMate from HooToo is a portable WiFi router/bridge with its own power supply (rechargeable battery-powered). On several trips, I found it necessary to use a portable router to convert wired internet in a hotel room to WiFi for my Android phone. TripMate is particularly suitable for a hotel room in which the RJ45 cable is not long enough to connect your portable router to a nearby socket (or the socket has an incompatible foreign style). In some hotels, you have to request a RJ45 cable. With TripMate, you can bring a very short one with you to avoid the hassle. When you deplete the battery, you can use your Android charger because TripMate has micro USB power input. You can also charge it using your computer's USB port. The router has a RJ45 port labeled as WAN port. This connects to the hotel room wired internet service or your home's cable modem. (The RJ45 port apparently is not for LAN connection in the bridge mode for a PC that lack WiFi. Otherwise, it would be labeled as LAN or WAN/LAN.)
Setup is easy if you know how to set up a router. You power it on by pressing the power meter button for 3 seconds. Your computer or smartphone will detect TripMate's WiFi signal. Connect with default password 11111111. Launch your web browser to access web control interface using user name "admin" without a password. The control interface is straightforward. You can scan to find your WiFi home router and enter its password. You set up password to access TripMate. After TripMate reboots, it is ready for WiFi bridge service. You can also set it up as router in a hotel room with a wired connection as mentioned before. WiFi signal is very good. I placed TripMate next to my full-size home router (TP-Link TL-WR740N) and compared the signal strength at a distance that was one floor up and one room away. My notebook PC and Android found them to have comparable signal strength; both had a loss of one bar on the signal strength meter.
I can imagine a particularly advantageous home use which is in a very large backyard or on a farm. You want to bridge your home WiFi signal from your house to as far as you can. Without the need for a power socket, you can place the TripMate at an optimal location to maximize WiFi reach. You cannot do it with a router that needs a wall jack.
Once the WiFi is set up, you can plug in a USB thumb drive into TripMate. Now, the drive becomes a network attached drive. You can access the files on the drive. Cool! Now even your Android phone/tablet (with no port for the drive) can access files or upload files. HooToo's web site has Windows/iOS/Android client software to access the drive. You don't have to install the software. You can access the web control interface. Its explorer menu allows you access to the USB drive. With client software installed, you can have a network drive icon on your PC desktop for convenience though.
It is nice that TripMate comes with a power-level meter build in with 4 LED indicator lights. Pressing a button, you know how much power left. This does not come with economy power banks. I own a 2600 mAh power bank as backup. It is too weak to drive my 7" Playbook tablet. TripMate works fine because it is rated at 5200 mAh. TripMate is heavier though, because it has twice as much battery cells and built-in router components.
One drawback, the unit does not have default password and WiFi LAN IP for configuration on the router's casing. You need to bring the user guide or store a soft copy of the manual (downloadable from vendor's web site) on your Android or notebook in case you forget. I guess you can always call their tech support if you have their toll-free number handy.
Overall, I am pleased with this nicely-built multi-function unit.
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