Have router, will travel. Can you take your router with you on holidays?

Home Broadband

Have router, will travel. Can you take your router with you on holidays?

Taking your router on holidays with you theoretically may sound like a good idea. After all, it’s not doing anything while you’re away, and it’s plausible that you could be spending the holidays at a relative’s home or an Airbnb that maybe doesn’t have the super-sick internet set-up that you have at home.

Even if they have a half decent internet connection or router, with the extra people vying for Wi-Fi or the connection needing to span further throughout the house into those lesser-used spare rooms or outside by the pool, the router and connection may feel the strain of extra usage.  

So, since your router would just be sitting at home alone, with nothing to do, does it make sense to take it with you?

Can you take your router with you on holidays?

In short, it depends.

Basically, there are a lot of caveats involved.

Yes with an if

You can take your router away with you if:

  • The router isn’t your main router. That’s to say you’ve maybe set up a mesh network at home so you have multiple routers or if you have a Wi-Fi extender.
  • The router isn’t locked to your internet service provider. If you bought a router from Superloop when you signed up (or more recently in the Members Area) your router isn’t tied to a Superloop connection, so it can be used wherever, whenever. However some other ISPs will lock the routers they supply so it’s unusable outside of a connection with that provider.

If you have an eero 6+ mesh wifi router set up at home, taking your eero with you is actually pretty easy. Make sure you don’t take your main (gateway) router, but rather one of your “leaf nodes”. Before you head off, make sure you remove the eero from your network first. An eero can only belong to one network at a time so make sure you remove it from the network before you leave your place, and before you return home too. Here’s our guide to setting up an eero router.  

(Should you turn your router off before going on holidays?)

No matter what kind of router it is, if you do decide to take it away with you, you’ll need to reconfigure it to your network again when you get home. Should you need some help with this, here’s our guide to set-up and configure your modem/router.

No with a but

It would be a bad idea to take your router on holidays with you if:

  • You’re taking your one and only router. Uprooting your router and trying to connect it to someone else’s internet could cause issues with your router settings so you could have problems reconnecting when you return home. But, as noted above, you can take additional routers you have set up in your mesh network or your Wi-Fi extender.  
  • You’re going overseas. Routers aren’t universal so trying to connect your Australian router to a connection in a different country very likely won’t work at all. You can get a prepaid sim with global roaming service to connect to online in emergency.
  • You’re staying at a hotel. It’s unlikely you’ll have access to the hotel’s main Wi-Fi network or their routers for you to connect up to their network, so probably best to leave it at home.

If you can’t take your router with you, we’ve put together a few hacks for the best ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal. Check where the router at your destination is located and if you’re getting a weak connection, look for possible better alternatives that avoid obstacles and interference. Or maybe add a slick new Wi-Fi router to their Christmas stocking -- it’s not the sexiest of presents but it sure will make a difference!

Any other caveats?

If you’re flying somewhere domestically (because, again, taking your router on a fun overseas trip would be purely for the router to sightsee some new exotic locations and nothing else), make sure you pack it in your checked luggage. Routers aren’t allowed in your carry-on bags and if you try to sneak it past security, the best case scenario is that they’ll throw it away.

You might also want to check that the router at your destination will be compatible with yours. It’s possible that they may not work together, depending on the age and make/model of the other modem/router.

Lastly, if you’re staying at an Airbnb (or similar), you might want to ask beforehand about what their internet set-up is. You may not have access to their router or there may be other complications involved, so best to check in advance.

Is it a good idea though?

As noted above, it really depends on a lot of different factors for whether it’s actually a good idea to take your router away on holidays.

If you have a compact Wi-Fi router that you can easily throw in your bag, then there’s probably no harm in trying. It could save your Wi-Fi-loving life stuck at grandma’s with not much to do over the Christmas break. Just make sure you heed our warnings if you do decide to give it a try.