A $20 per node mesh system that’s easy to recommend — and to set up
Vilo Mesh WiFi
The era of routers adorned with ugly insect-like antennas may not be over, but you don’t have to plant a plastic WiFi cactus in the middle of your house to get a good signal. In fact, it’s better not to have it. Mesh systems are much better at wrapping your home in a warm WiFi blanket, but they are usually expensive. A “cheap” system could sell for $ 150. So imagine how great it was when Vilo announced the $ 20 Pernode mesh WiFi solution. And after more than 4 months of testing, I can only recommend it.
Design, Hardware, Delivery Range
Vilos Mesh-WLAN-System has no smart product name or design. This is a simple rectangular plastic prism with rounded edges, hidden vents and a logo on top. It doesn’t have the flashy “extreme” look that high-end routers targeting gamers can’t avoid, but it’s not as chic as Google’s winding Nest Wifi. Still, it needs to be in harmony with other hardware on the office, table, or shelf.
There are no annoying lights on the front, just a single status indicator and a “mesh” button (called it in the Vilo documentation) that you won’t touch unless you need to add a new network node. This status light is bright enough during the day and small enough not to distract at night. (If you’re working in the dark, there’s no annoying blue halo behind your computer.) The light flashes red if there’s a problem, and flashes blue if the wireless signal is connected to the primary node.
On the back of the is Ethernet and power, plus a reset button. There are two LAN ports and one “WAN / LAN” port for each node. You can also use the wireless backhaul by wiring the device through a LAN port or switching to a mesh network. The WAN port is used to connect to a modem, but it also acts as a LAN port for satellite nodes that do not require a connection to a modem. That is, you can have three Ethernet ports per satellite node and two Ethernet ports on the console. .. (All Vilo units are the same. The primary / main router is the router you originally set up or assigned this feature.) The bottom barrel connector provides power. Just plug in the barrel connector, wire your modem and you’re ready to go with a very simple and easy setup process. In an interview with the Setup and Software announcement, he emphasized that this is “the fastest setup process I have personally seen on a mesh system” and that it is true. It took very little time to get all three nodes up and running. And I didn’t have to do much.
Install and launch the Vilo app, register an account, tap + Add Vilo and follow the steps that are difficult to deviate by following the instructions. That is, you need to connect the primary node to the modem and connect to the Vilo_xxxx network. This will throw the node out as soon as it is powered on (the password is at the bottom of the router and you can scan the QR code on your iPhone). side). Specify a name and password for the network (connect below). If there is only one vilo, the basic setup process is complete.
If you have more than one from the same package, additional vilo will be set up automatically. This is very convenient. Literally, just plug them where you want. When in range, they will automatically connect to other units from the same package without your attention or effort. This is the easiest mesh WiFi setup process ever. If you later purchase additional nodes or choose individually packaged units, the process will be a bit more complicated because you will have to manually connect them to the setup, but basically other Same as mesh router. When I started checking the router, there were some notable issues. I couldn’t even use the SSID space for the network name, which was pretty ridiculous. WiFi calls didn’t work at all, and updates from pre-release firmware weren’t possible at all. Fortunately, the company has fixed all these issues. The Vilo app handles all of the configuration settings, firmware updates, parental controls, and device management, but it’s pretty easy.
You cannot perform moderately advanced operations such as configuring static/reserved DHCP on your network device. For example, some printers can have problems if they do not always get the same internal network IP. This means that it does not always work properly on the Vilo network. (Update: Vilo says it’s coming, but it’s not ready yet.) If you’re using static IP through your ISP, the Vilo setup process may not work, but later. You can switch to a static IP. As far as I know, I can’t manually assign network channels or channel widths, but 2.4-5GHz band steering is supported. Everything here revolves around simple and basic functionality. This means that no one who has changed the current router settings on the Advanced tab will be happy.