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Half Pints

Wireless routers have the size advantage.

Entrepreneurs who find themselves working out of hotel rooms know how vital internet access is on the road. Broadband Ethernet connections can be found in hotels across the country. A travel hardware accessory can turn one of those connections into a wireless network for multiple users. It can also free you to work from a more comfortable spot in the room. Wireless travel routers are now widely available from manufacturers like D-Link, Netgear, SMC and 3Com.

A wireless travel router will cost you less than $100. Its main advantage over a full-size router is indeed its size. The 3Com Office Connect Wireless 54Mbps 11g Travel Router has a slightly lower price than the Netgear WGR101, but the two are close in size, weighing just a few ounces. The slim D-Link DWL-G730A is a third option. They all come with 802.11g, and all three can be used as access points or as routers. Several types of encryption are supported, and the SSID broadcast can be disabled for even greater security.

The SMC SMCWTK-G Wireless Traveler's Kit doesn't have the routing capabilities of the D-Link, Netgear and 3Com models, but it does offer bridging modes. Whether sharing connections in a hotel or a conference room, these gadgets are portable, handy and affordable for on-the-go entrepreneurs.

This story appears in the January 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »