Tech

Vilo Mesh Router Review: Dirt Cheap is Reliable

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Entering the grassroots of their specifications for a minute, Vilo routers support IEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac. There is no support for the latter ax standard, also known Wi-Fi 6. It’s not a big deal considering you need to upgrade all of your devices to enable Wi-Fi 6, but it would have been a nice addition for future testing. Of course, don’t use the latter WPA3 protocol, but WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) instead. Like Wi-Fi 6, WPA3 is still relatively new, so it’s not surprising. But it makes passwords harder to crack and connections to devices without screens easier and more secure, so it’s an upgrade you ideally want.

Each router has four internal antennas and supports multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO), which allows it to better manage multiple devices connected simultaneously to the router. There is also a transformation to focus the wireless signal towards the devices.

The Vilo system has an on-band address by default, which means it chooses the band (2.4 GHz or 5GHz) that it thinks is appropriate for each device, but both appear as the same network name. This can create problems when creating smart home devices. U mo Nanoleaf light panels, for example, connected only at 2.4 GHz but also need the phone that puts them in place to be connected to the same band. Luckily, Vilo allows you to change the bandwidth, so you can split the bands, which I did temporarily to install a few devices before turning them on again.

Your mileage will vary depending on your configuration. The limitation for me is the speed of the internet coming into my house, but the Vilo system does a pretty good job of spreading available bandwidth, and I didn’t have any random disconnections in three weeks of testing. That’s not to say I didn’t have any problems.

The Catch

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The app is slow, but may be slow to load or update after making changes. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to update with the current state. Even after successfully changing something, it may take some time to present it correctly.

During installation, to avoid reconnecting my smart home devices, I planned to give the Vilo system the same name and password as my previous Wi-Fi network. Unfortunately, he refused to accept the password and it did not work. The good news is that it revealed a bug that the company fixed quickly via a firmware update.

There is no way to force a connection to a specific router. This isn’t usually a problem, as the devices connect to the nearest option for the best possible speed, but my desktop PC continued to connect to a router farther on the 2.4-GHz band instead of the nearest one. on the 5-GHz band as I would have expected. A firmware update has also improved this, although it is also occasionally connected to the above router.

Since society is so new, it’s normal to see a few squeaks like that, but it’s nice to see Vilo active to address it quickly. Hopefully, that counts for the entire shelf life of the router.


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