Top critical review
OK travel router but slow Wifi Speeds, lower battery capacity than advertised & some security issues
24 April 2019
I bought this device primarily as a travel router to use for backing up photos and videos recorded from Digital Camera/GoPro and phones to a larger portable hard drive or SSD when I travel without a laptop. Secondly I would use it for media streaming from a HDD or SSD to a few devices.
I have owned a few other wireless media routers in the past, like the Verbatim mediashare wireless and a Panther Combo Wifi Card Reader with USB Hub. These also included built-in lithium batteries (3000mAh on the Verbatim, and 1000mAh on the Panther Combo) and could function without being plugged in to wall sockets.
The design of the Tripmate Titan is quite different to my other travel wifi media routers. Instead of being flat and rectangular like an external Hard Drive, this one is designed to stand up. It is bulkier than the others but overall is well built.
One button on the top turns it on and off, and a short press of the button turns on the battery level LED lights.
The Hootoo Tripmate Titan's battery capacity is larger than my previous devices at the advertised 10400mAh. However, from my testing, it seems that the battery's actual capacity is a little lower. Also charging from this device is relatively slow despite the 2.1A claim.
The battery life seems a little disappointing against my two year old 10000mAh and three year old 10400mAh powerbanks. The Hootoo Tripmate Titan as a powerbank did not recharge my devices as many times as my other 10000mAh powerbanks.
To test device charging from the Hootoo Tripmate Titan as a powerbank, I have left the unit turned off. With the unit turned off, plugging a USB device into the USB outport will start the unit automatically charging. This does not turn on the router function of the device.
I use a YZXstudio ZY1270 USB current meter to record the outputs.
From my testing I achieved between 0.77A to 1.02A charging a 5000mAh battery device - from about 10% to 100% took 5:45 hours (4546mAh transferred). As a point of reference, using the same microUSB cable with my other 10000mAh powerbanks I can charge the same device at between 1.3A to 1.7A.
I have run three cycles of discharge and recharge on the Hootoo Titan internal battery. In the last test, after transferring 4546mAh from a fully charged HooToo Titan to my 5000mAh device, the Hootoo Tripmate Titan showed 1 led light of charge left (less than 25% left).
Fully discharging the Hootoo Titan further showed a total of 6390mAh at 5V transferred from the Hootoo Tripmate Titan. I have repeated this discharge test a three times now and it averages an output of about 6300mAh at 5V (31.5Wh). For comparison, my other 10000mAh and 10400mAh powerbanks averaged outputs when new of about 7300mAh at 5V (36.5Wh).
WIRELESS SIGNAL STRENGTH & SPEEDS
Wifi Signal Strength
For signal strength I am using farproc's Wifi Analyzer for Android. Signal strength seems good. The furthest distance tested was approx 15m away, with two walls in between (separated by a room), the signal is about -72 to -75dBm, only a little worse than my home Dlink router in the same position.
To test the wireless speed, I use Zoltan Pallagi's Wifi Speed Test on Android. This tests the network connection speed (LAN only) between a PC and phone or two phones connected via the Hootoo Titan LAN. It does not test WAN internet speed. I only tested up/download of 50Mb, 200Mb and 500Mb file sizes. I ran the tests 5 times each and averaged the results.
With the router settings set to 802.11 b/g/n I managed to average Upload speeds of 25 Mbit/s and Download speeds of 24 Mbit/s.
The highest speed I achieved was 26.86Mbit/s. This is a bit disappointing. My older devices would achieve about 20 to 25Mbit/s speed.
When I set the Tripmate Titan to use 300Mbs (802.11n) wireless, the speeds did not improve significantly. I managed to get an upload speed of 26.60Mbit/s but I still averaged around 20Mbit/s with the lowest speed at 17Mbit/s.
Speed is disappointing considering my older wireless router USB combo devices from about 2014 had about the same file transfer speeds.
By comparison, my DLink home router in the same environment, at the same distance and using the same Wifi Speed Test and using the same devices shows 55-60Mbit/s on 2.4Ghz 802.11n and 95-108Mbit/s on 5Ghz.
I did not test Wifi sharing (using one incoming internet connection).
Next I tested SMB speeds. Plugging an External USB HDD to the Tripmate Titan, I did the same network speed tests. Disappointingly, there were some errors encountered during tests of copying captured footage (photos and videos) from a microSD card to a 2TB USB hard drive via a USB hub. I am not sure whether these errors encountered when transferring files were due to dropouts or wifi speed. If I selected multiple files (20-50 files), it would drop out sometime during the transfer and give an error. I have to copy files in smaller segments. I have to investigate this further.
Overall, the slow wifi speeds mean that file transfers will be slow. The speeds mean that I would have to backup files from a 64Gb SD card to the 2Tb USB HDD overnight.
Streaming videos from a USB flash drive or a hard drive works as long as it is not a large HQ file, and as long as only one device streams video. With more than one device streaming video from the same USB device, there is significant lag and stutter, making it unwatchable.
The easiest setup for me is to point my own browser to the router menu. In this case the URL is 10.10.10.254. Once there, set up the admin password and wifi password and settings and you are good to go. The browser app is a dated, but has all the settings required.
You can use an app as well to set it up, but I didn't.
My Tripmate Titan came installed with Firmware 2.000.082. This appears to be the latest firmware according to the Hootoo website. Updating the firmware requires a USB drive as there is no online firmware download/update function.
USB supports NTFS, FAT 16, FAT 32, Samba SMB service, and DLNA compatible media service. exFat devices are not supported. I set it up as an SMB server, and allow the LAN clients to access the files in the USB drives directly without having to use the HooToo browser interface.
I did not install the app on Android, as it required a number of permissions I was not comfortable with. The app also has not been updated since June 2017.
The Browser interface works fine, but file management can be annoying through the interface. I would recommend setting it up as an SMB server or Network share and use the file manager of your choice. For Apple devices I use Remote Files, and for Android, I use Total Commander.
Using a USB hub, it is possible to power an external hard drive and SD/MicroSD card readers at the same time. It works with larger eternal drives I have tested 2Tb WD and Seagate drives. NTFS, FAT 16, FAT 32 formats are supported, exFAT does not appear to be supported.
Note that if you plug in a USB external HDD without turning on the device, it will actually still send power to the drive and will run down the internal battery, even if it is not "turned on".
There are some security concerns with this device. Another Amazon reviewer has pointed them out here on Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3SA9CYXOFLKZV/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_viewpnt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00RVIGY1I#R3SA9CYXOFLKZV
Further if you googled "HooToo_Security_Advisory_FINAL_4.19.18" or "ioactive HooToo TripMate Routers are Cute But Insecure" you will see the issues mentioned in that review further detailed here.
To be fair, my older Verbatim mediashare wireless device also suffered from these vulnerabilities, including the exact SAME root password as the Hootoo Tripmate Titan.
I am using this device primarily in remote areas away from population to back up my photos and videos to HDD or SSD without a laptop, but it is good to know about these vulnerabilities.
- Build quality is good
- Built in battery is big (bigger than my previous devices), but seems to fall short of the quoted 10400mAh capacity
USB socket supports a USB hub which can handle multiple devices, however if using a larger capacity USB external HDD it is preferable to use a powered USB hub.
- Battery capacity falls short of the advertised 10400mAh
- Wifi Speeds & File transfer speeds are slow, even when selecting 801.2n (300Mbps) setting, and using devices that support 801.2n
- Streaming from high quality files or to multiple devices lags and stutters.
- There are security vulnerabilities in this device.