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Pros: All functions work great
- Media Server
- Battery charger
- Powered by 120-240
Works and looks great!
Cons: - bridge takes a little set up - a touch, all the rest are plug and play
Other Thoughts: I confess: I am a fan of HooToo and their TripMate products. What can I say: To know them is to love them!
Here I am in the midst of a 5 week excursion from our Oregon home to Freiburg Germany, this time ready to sing my praises of their elite, top-of-the-line product, the TripMate Elite.
Hirzberg Camping, the fine campground where my wife and I are currently ensconced, is a little peace of heaven close to town and perched on the edge of the wonderfully pristine Black Forest. I'm afraid the flat we've rented on the campground truly puts the lie to any claim I might assert to being an actual camper. After all, we have wired Internet, a TV and running water. Still, nature walks, hikes, bicycle rides and grilled delights aside, no trip is complete for me without access to our vast library of music and movies. Enter the Elite. Let me detail all of the wonderful things the Elite brings to the international, quasi-rustic travel table:
Power. It works with both 120 and 240 volt power sources. We just slipped a German adapter on the built in retractable plug, inserted it into a socket in our living room and Voila - the Elite is ready for action.
Instant Wireless Hotspot. We inserted the Ethernet cable emerging out of our living room wall into the Ethernet port on the Elite to transform our wired access, usable by one device in the living room, to wireless access throughout the flat.
Media Server. I connected an external USB powered hard drive chock full of music and movies to the Elite. Our music and movie libraries were instantly available to enjoy by up to 5 simultaneous users on a variety (PC, Mac, Android or iOS) of devices.
Battery-powered, Media to Go. When we go for long drives through the Black Forest, the battery powered Elite comes with. We stick a thumb drive stuffed with the cream of our music library into the Elite USB port, so that we can enjoy Deuter, Beethoven and the Beatles for hours. Note: regrettably this works as well with Rap and Heavy Metal. Just kidding!
Internet Bridge. When we travel into the Black Forest for an overnight stay at a favorite Chalet providing wireless, we use the Elite to strengthen the Wifi signal, enabling it to reach a bedroom that otherwise would be without.
Form factor. The Elite is both a functional powerhouse and a thing of beauty, a highly portable one at that. This slick, shiny little gem easily slides into shirt or pants pockets.
For added spice, and familiar notes on journeys to unfamiliar places, take the aptly named TripMate Elite along with you. You'll be glad you did.
Pros: Device of small size, weight, cost and foot-print delivers big performance as a router, bridge, Media and file server
Cons: When you pack it, pack to cushion a blow. Unlike the sturdy original TripMate, the Nano needs protecting
Other Thoughts: If you are like me, you think a vacation trip without high-speed WiFi can be downright painful.
Enter the aptly named HooToo Tripmate Nano. If Wifi in some form is available in your vacation abode, bringing a TripMate along can help you make the most of it.
TripMate Nano vs Original TripMate
This device may be tiny, but its performance is big. With four major capabilities, it is every bit the player as is its more beefy TripMate cousin:
- at a fraction of the cost ($19.99 vs $44.99)
- occupying significantly less space (36%) - 2.2 x 0.6 x 2" vs. 1.8 x 1.1 x 3.7"
- weighing substantially less (69%) - 3.5 ounces vs 5.1 ounces
Go with the original TripMate
If you need your TripMate to serve as an additional power source for IOS or Android devices - for example on a trans oceanic flight. In such a case, go with the original which I also can heartily recommend.
Go with Nano when . . .
- You need for TripMate to serve up Internet, Media or Files 24/7: keeping the original TripMate plugged in after fully charged can impact battery performance
- You need to create a wireless hotspot in a space offering wired Ethernet access only
- You have a USB hard drive or stick filled with media (movies, photos, music) you'd like to make available to your travel companions for streaming playback on demand
- You need to make files available for download to multiple travel companions or guests
- You want to extend the reach of an existing wireless network to a nook or corner of your abode to which it otherwise would not reach or would not reach well.
Ease of Use
The TripMate Nano documentation is not elaborate but it doesn't need to be: With three of its four major functions (wireless hot spot, media and file server) it works out of the box and without any configuration.
Using it in Bridge Mode does take a smidge of configuration, but nothing that can't be readily understood and undertaken by anyone who knows how to connect to a wireless hotspot.
Using TripMate as a Media Server and to download files
I've used these functions with Ipad devices and with laptop PCs. Just flip the mechanical switch to wired, plug in your USB hard drive or stick to the Nano and your golden. Plug and play, and away you go. It works out of the box and it works beautifully!
Creating a Wireless Hotspot where there is only Wired Connection
This function is also simple plug-and-play. Again, with mechanical switch in the 'wired' position, just run Ethernet from an available port on the router to your Nano and . . . Voila! There is now wireless for up to 8 simultaneous users.
Using TripMate Nano in Bridge Mode
With mechanical switch in 'wireless' position just log into the device, select an existing wireless connection, enters its password & click the Save button. Wait for the Nano to reboot. Done!
Simple, small and inexpensive though it may be, Nano still manages to pack a wallop.