While attending the O'Reilly Security Conference in New York Dashboard, I had the opportunity to test out my latest purchase the HooToo Titan Travel Router. I first read about this router on Jeff Atwood's Blog post - Your Own Personal WiFi Router.
While Jeff's primary use of the router was to allow his children to stream media from the built in file sharing capability on the router, I wanted it for sharing a WiFi connection while I was staying at the NY Hilton.
At past conferences, I was always surprised that 1) Wifi was not free to hotel guests and 2) how bloody expensive WiFi is in US hotels. In Canada, WiFi is free in 90% of hotels. I've been forced in the past to pay for multiple connections for my phone, tablet and laptop.
In preparation for my stay in NYC, I decided it was time to test a travel router. When the router arrived, I updated the firmware, setup the SSID, password etc. This took me approximately 20 minutes and the router was ready to go.
Once I arrived in my hotel room, I was shocked to learn that conference attendees were given free WiFi. This did not stop me from using the HooToo anyway. :)
After turning on the HooToo, I connected to the router by visiting http://10.10.10.254. I selected the hotel WiFi from the list of available wireless networks and waited for the router to reboot.
After the reboot, I started Chrome on my laptop and was presented with the hotels "Login to WiFi Page". After I entered the password, I was online.
The router worked great. It ran on battery power for two days before it needed charging. The speed was great, the signal never went down.
The admin portal design is awful. It looks like something from the late 90s. But it does work. The other missing option is a VPN client. Doing anything over an open WiFi at a hotel/airport/coffee shop makes me queasy. Knowing how easy it is for someone to be listening to the traffic over an open WiFi connection, using a VPN just makes sense. I've seen some posts about installing OpenWRT on the HooToo. That might be my next weekend project.