Review: Tripmate Portable Router, NAS, and Power Bank
When practical, combining certain portable products into one compact unit just makes sense. For instance, instead of carrying a separate portable battery and router, the HooToo TripMate Titan (HT-TM05) combines those functions into a single unit, while also functioning as a Network-attached storage (NAS) server. It’s really an impressive feature-set, especially for a device that measures just 3.74 inches (95 mm) high and 1.73 inches (44 mm) long, and weighs a little over half a pound (about 9.3 ounces).
The Tripmate Titan has a 10400mAh power bank, which is good for not only running the device itself for potentially tens of hours, but can also charge demanding USB-powered devices like large smartphones and tablets multiple times through its 5V/2.1A USB port. As for charging this battery in the Tripmate Titan, the device has a standard micro-USB port (5V/1.6A), so, if the included cable isn’t handy, it should be no issue grabbing one that is.
As for the router functionality, there’s a lot to it. In Access Point (AP) mode, you can plug a standard network cable into the RJ45 ethernet port and then provide wireless access (802.11b/g/n, 2.4GHz) for any combination of five wi-fi-enabled devices. This is great for hotel rooms where only a single network cable is provided. Of course, there’s also Bridge mode for similar situations where you want to share the connection and only a limited number of devices (usually one or two per room using our hotel example) are allowed onto a protected wi-fi network. Finally, in Router mode, you can connect the Tripmate Titan to a cable or DSL modem and use it like a regular wireless router.
NAS functionality lets you hook up one USB flash or hard drive (FAT 16/32 and NTFS, 4TB maximum) directly to the device, or, as many as four if you use a separate USB hub. Up to five devices can then simultaneously access any connected USB storage device, making media sharing and streaming a breeze. In fact, if a hub is used, you can also transfer files between any of the attached drives with the same HooToo TripMate Plus Windows, Macintosh, iOS, or Android app you use for setup (all found on the Website, where you can also easily update the firmware and get an extended manual).
In addition to streaming media from connected USB storage, the Tripmate Titan allows devices like the Chromecast, Roku, or other DLNA-enabled devices to work on the most authentication-heavy networks (again, like those found in hotels), so your options on-the-go are extensive.
On the top of the device is a power button, where a short press of one second activates the battery LED indicators and a long press of three seconds activates the Internet/LAN, four LEDs, and a Wi-Fi LED. For the four LEDS, one LED indicates 0 – 25% of the battery is left, two LEDs indicate 26 – 50%, three LEDs indicate 51 – 75%, and all four LEDs indicate 76 – 100%. For the Wi-Fi LED, flashing blue indicates the system is loading, solid blue indicates system loaded, flashing green indicates connecting to the Internet, and solid green indicates Internet connected. Pressing the reset button next to the LAN port for 10 seconds resets the Tripmate Titan.
As you can see, it’s a high function, highly portable device. The build quality, warranty, and support are also excellent. My only criticism is that I’m not a fan of the rubber flaps that cover the ports on the upper part of the unit since they don’t always stay in place easily. That’s admittedly a minor criticism, however, and one not related to how well the device itself works.
As a special offer for Armchair Arcade readers, here’s a discount code for $10 off the TripMate on Amazon, good from September 14 – 28, 2015: OIWWJQU6. That brings your cost down to a low $49.99. September 14 – 28 is also when HooToo’s #IntotheWired contest runs, which is also worth checking out and can be found at: http://www.hootoo.com/intothewired.html.