Pro-Tip from a Photographer Who Travels
Instead of writing about something specifically photography related this time, I thought I would do a short write up on an inexpensive device I always have with me when traveling, for use in hotels. This little gadget is usually listed at $40 or under at the time of this posting, and can serve multiple purposes, especially for those of you traveling with families.
When you are traveling for a pageant, major cheer competition, or dance workshops and competitions there is bound to be some down time for either yourself or someone you are traveling with. A spouse or significant other, kids, or parents might be along to help out or lend support but often during rehearsals, classes, or other events that go along with these major trips they will find themselves with the desire to simply relax in your room.
TP-Link N300 TL-WR802N
At a size of just over two inches square and less than an inch thick, there is room for this little device in almost everyone’s bag along with tablets, chargers, laptop, and other small entertainment devices. What is it? The device is a wireless range extender, router, and access point. This will help out with multiple scenarios.
Scenario 1: In your hotel room you have a network cable which gives you access to the internet. You go into your room, connect your router to the ethernet cable in your room, connect the power plug, and connect to the router using an app on your phone. You log the ROUTER into the hotel’s internet connection, and from then on you have your own personal wireless network in your hotel room. What does that mean? That means you can bring an Amazon Fire Stick, Roku Stick, or Google Chromecast with you, plug it in to the back of your TV and put it online by connecting it to your room’s wireless network. That also means your tablets, phones, gaming systems, etc. all connect through your own network connection in the room so you can preset all of your devices at home with the password to that router. This means once you connect your router to your hotel internet, all of the devices will find it and connect automatically.
Scenario 2: In your hotel room there is no network cable, but you have the hotel’s wireless connection. If you have ever tried to use the hotel’s wireless in your room before, you know that the signal strength varies based on where your room is in the hotel. You may have a nice strong solid connection, or you may have almost no connection at all and you’re running very slowly. Well, your trusty little router also runs as a signal booster. So, you connect your devices to the router the same way as you did in scenario one, and you connect the little router to the wireless connection at the hotel. So, you get a strong signal for all of your devices and still get all of the other benefits above. Those with kids might really appreciate being able to have a ROKU or Amazon Fire Stick connected to the hotel TV so you can have all of your kids favorite shows available on the big screen just like you do at home. You could even go so far as to hook up a PlayStation or an Xbox if you really wanted to bring something like that along for the trip.
If you or someone you are with has even a little bit of technical proficiency, this little gem of a device is easy to get set up. There are several very good videos on YouTube which demonstrate how to set up the device. Try it out!