In a perfect e-connected world, global WiFi would assure that our laptop companion was never tethered to an internet cable, its ethernet port an outdated relic. Alas, WiFi may not fly in remote locales, and can be fickle in even high-tech meccas. Bless the hotels that equip our rooms with ethernet ports linked to good, old-fashioned modems (cellphone and tablet trekkers need not apply).

Am I greedy to also want a really long, tangle-free ethernet cable that can take my laptop and me onto the balcony, and, in beachfront lodgings, maybe even out onto some sand? The folks at Extngo have made my wish their command with their amazingly compact retractable 15-meter ethernet cable. Out from a bright orange housing just 5.5 inches in diameter and 3 inches thick unreels 50 feet of flat shielded 1 Gbps data speed Cat. 6 ethernet network cable with a male-to-female RJ45 connector ready to cruise into a port.

An ethernet port set belly-button-like at the center of the durable plastic surface connects the system to your computer's ethernet port with an included 3-foot retractable patch cable. To retract the 50-foot big guy, grab the sturdy plastic handle at the top of the housing, and reel in smoothly with the easy-grip rotating knob — just like a fishing pole. Add another 50-foot Extngo (or perhaps the green 30-foot-long model) and you can daisy-chain the two together for up to 100 freeing feet of ethernet cable.

There's nothing else like this on the market. The closest competitor uses a housing more than twice the Extngo's size and is almost 10 times the price.

Extngo 50-foot retractable ethernet cable in orange is $47.99; green 30-foot retractable ethernet cable, $37.99; 3-foot retractable patch cable included with each; at amazon.com.