Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi System overview: Full Wi-Fi connectivity for simply $60?

MSRP $60.00

“In comparison with the competitors, it can save you 90% of the associated fee by sacrificing simply 30% of the velocity with Vilo.”

Execs

Inexpensive worth

Straightforward setup with intuitive app

Loads of Ethernet ports to get wired connection

Compact, engaging design that’s expandable

Cons

No Wi-Fi 6 help

Some velocity and connection points

No WPA3 help

Mesh routers are an awesome choice on your residence Wi-Fi wants, however the costs of those techniques usually make them inaccessible for a lot of households. Vilo is seeking to upend the house mesh Wi-Fi market with an reasonably priced system of its personal.

Priced at simply $20 for a single router or $60 for a three-pack that connects collectively to blanket as much as a four,500-square-foot residence, Vilo guarantees to attach as much as 120 units at a time at a fraction of the price of competing models.

It’s roughly one-fifth the price of the competing Linksys Velop Mesh Wi-Fi system, so clearly, Vilo needed to make some compromises. But it surely cuts corners in the best locations, balancing efficiency and options with its extraordinarily engaging worth.

Bounce to: Design | Specs and options | Setup | Efficiency | Our take

Design

Vilo’s mesh routers could be bought in a pack of 1 — splendid for smaller areas and places of work — or a bigger pack of three designed to blanket bigger houses. Every unit, referred to as a node, is equivalent and interchangeable, so it may be used as both a satellite tv for pc or the principle router instantly related to the modem.

The Vilo models seem way more premium than they’re, and nothing in regards to the Vilo’s construct high quality would betray it’s $20 worth. Actually, the minimalist square-shaped canister design — and the unit’s non-glossy white end — jogs my memory of Linksys’ extra premium Velop mesh system. The Velop retails for a whopping $229 to $300 for a three-pack by comparability.

Just like the Velop, the Vilo could be very light-weight and it’s compact design — 5.9 x 2.7 x 2.7 inches — is not any bigger than a tall can of iced tea. The easy design of this unit is made to mix in together with your furnishings and residential decor.

Not like conventional Wi-Fi routers, mesh techniques don’t include intimating, protruding antennas that resemble alien-like tentacles. The aim with these techniques is that the extra trendy design implies that you’ll need to place these models all through your dwelling house to ship higher Wi-Fi protection, relatively than cover the mesh system and obfuscate its sign behind furnishings and home equipment.

On the entrance of every Vilo, you’ll discover a recessed round button that can be utilized to rapidly disable community connectivity to that particular node. in addition to a community standing indicator LED mild. When the Vilo begins up, the LED is purple, however it’ll change to a stable blue if you’re related to the web and the system is prepared. A flashing blue mild reveals spotty Web protection, whereas amber reveals that the unit is able to be paired and setup.

When you’re delicate to mild or don’t need Vilo’s LED to disturb your property’s ambient lighting, it’s possible you’ll need to cowl the LED gap with some white tape for a cleaner aesthetic.

On the rear, every unit comes with three Ethernet ports to accommodate wired connections if wanted. Having Ethernet ports on satellite tv for pc models can turn out to be useful for avid gamers who may have a dependable connection and have their modem or principal mesh router in a unique room, or for connecting IoT units in distant corners of your property. The ports right here don’t ship the identical speeds which you could count on when plugging instantly into your modem, however may help in sustaining a extra secure connection for extra important functions.

Having the Ethernet ports on satellite tv for pc models is a welcome change from my older Amazon Eero system that lacked help for wired Ethernet connections on satellites. Basically, I take advantage of the Ethernet ports on my satellite tv for pc nodes for plugging in my gaming console, a house IoT hub that doesn’t include built-in Wi-Fi, and my desktop PC.

Specs and options

At simply $20 a unit, you gained’t discover help for the most recent Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E specs on the Vilo. Nonetheless, with dual-band 802.11ac on board, you’re getting the identical Wi-Fi 5 help that’s discovered on one thing just like the extra premium Linksys Velop AC2200 mesh system. Not like Vilo, Linksys does provide a extra premium model of its Velop system with Wi-Fi 6 help.

The principle distinction right here is that the $229 Velop encompasses a triband antenna for higher protection and reliability, whereas the cheaper Vilo resorts to a dual-band antenna. At its considerably cheaper price, you’ll nonetheless profit from MU-MIMO connections, beamforming, and band steering on the Vilo. Band steering could be configured by the Vilo Residing app, which is offered on each iOS and Android. The app’s dashboard offers you extra details about your mesh community, like your Wi-Fi sign energy, the firmware model that’s operating, and your alternative of encryption technique.

Organising your property Wi-Fi community would require you to make use of the app. Every Vilo unit comes with a QR code on the underside, and when you’re registered and logged into the app, it’ll immediate you to scan the QR code of the principle unit first — that is the one which’s plugged instantly into the router. When you purchase a multipack, subsequent satellites will robotically be detected after you plug them in. Whereas Vilo affords a three-pack configuration, you should buy extra nodes and pair them to your system if your property requires it. Like competing mesh techniques, the app offers you loads of management and details about your property community in a nonintimidating means.

One other profit with the app is that folks can management the community to schedule downtime the place particular person units are blocked off. If in case you have younger children, it’s an added layer to the digital well-being apps which might be constructed into many trendy telephones, and it might assist set up wholesome web habits.

You may also block particular web sites, create a visitor community for guests to make use of with a separate password, and remotely restart your mesh system if there are any glitches. And in the event you’re into information, you can even view a utilization report back to see how a lot information every gadget is utilizing. For visitor networks, Vilo lets you arrange non permanent ones with an expiration time or a everlasting one, providing you with a lot of flexibility to vary your password and settings to maintain issues safe.

Setup

I examined a three-pack of the Vilo system at my mother and father’ residence, which is bigger than my smaller condominium and a greater indicator of how the models carry out collectively as a mesh community. In my smaller house, a one-unit modem would have sufficed.

For the take a look at setting, I changed the prevailing Eero Professional 6 community at residence with the Vilo community. I positioned a unit within the upstairs bed room behind the home, one in the lounge downstairs within the entrance of the home, and one within the storage.

Due to the best way the house is laid out, the storage has all the time been a Wi-Fi lifeless zone, and previously, my mother and father would place repeaters or a mesh node within the storage so they might management their related storage door opener and Ring cameras. As a result of every unit must be plugged into energy, their placement have to be near an influence outlet.

Efficiency

Like a community of cellphone towers, the mesh system would decide which node supplies the perfect connection and change your gadget to the strongest node as you progress across the house. This all occurs seamlessly, and in idea, you must get the perfect Wi-Fi reception with out having to vary to a unique community each time you step into a unique protection zone.

To check the efficiency of the Vilo, I needed to see if there are velocity degradations and variations incoverage reliability as I moved across the house. I do know that my mother and father have 300 Mbps symmetrical speeds from their native web service supplier (ISP), and connecting my iPhone on to the ISP’s supplied router-modem combo gave me speeds in that vary.

The vary runs from the bottom velocity of 280Mbps to the best velocity of 325Mbps. Vilo’s unit helps a most of 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and as much as 500Mbps on the two.4GHz band.

Vilo sayst every unit has 4 inside antennas and might deal with a number of customers with MU-MIMO, making it dependable for numerous units related concurrently. Beamforming can also be used to assist route the indicators to the units from the nodes, and band steering robotically units every gadget to both the two.4GHz or 5GHz band.

You possibly can flip off band steering, if obligatory, in Vilo’s app for units that require a selected connection to a 2.4GHz band. I disabled band steering for the take a look at and as a substitute compelled Vilo to depend on the 5GHz band for our exams in order that the ISP speeds weren’t capped by the decrease band.

Working velocity exams all through numerous factors within the residence, I discovered that the Vilo community was on common 30% slower than the Eero Professional 6, averaging simply over 350Mbps throughout a number of areas in the home. Nonetheless, a three-unit pack of the Eero Professional 6 prices $599 for a three-pack.

This implies which you could save 90% of the associated fee by sacrificing simply 30% of the velocity, making the Vilo a severe winner for many common households.

Not all was dire, nevertheless. In the lounge related to the principle node — the unit that’s hooked up instantly into the modem — speeds averaged greater at round 400 Mbps. Transferring to the other finish of the home with simply the principle node operating, speeds hovered near 200 Mbps.

When a satellite tv for pc was utilized in the identical location in the home, speeds have been about 250 Mbps. Within the storage with its notorious Wi-Fi lifeless zone, speeds have been round 75 Mbps throughout my velocity take a look at — that’s 15% of the 500Mbps promised by my ISP.

In comparison with the Eero Professional 6 system, the drop-off in speeds wasn’t as drastic because the Vilo. In the lounge, the Eero Professional 6 carried out near 450 Mbps, so it’s marginally sooner than the Vilo on this setting. Nonetheless, off of the principle node, when shifting to the other finish of the home, speeds have been a lot sooner than the Vilo at 320Mbps on common. In that very same location with a satellite tv for pc unit, speeds have been greater than 100Mbps sooner on common at 370Mbps. And within the storage, the Eero nonetheless delivered near 150 Mbps on the devoted node for that house.

The largest gripe with the Vilo is that the handoff between totally different nodes doesn’t work in addition to on competing techniques. That may be a downside in the event you start your connection on one finish of the house on one node after which transfer to a different spot within the residence that ought to have been serviced by a unique node for optimum velocity and protection.

This doesn’t occur quite a bit, however I did discover it when shifting from the backyard — the place I had first rate Wi-Fi protection on my cellphone when related to the node from the upstairs bed room — to the entrance of home, which ought to have been serviced by the principle node in the lounge. After I had migrated, not solely did my Wi-Fi reception plummet — indicating I used to be related to a extra distant node — however due to weaker reception, my speeds additionally drastically dropped.

Whereas this isn’t a typical concern for many households — you actually are working in your laptop computer or pill in largely one spot — it is a matter in the event you’re FaceTiming or video calling with folks whereas strolling round the home.

Speeds are only one a part of the story in relation to Wi-Fi networks. In use, I discovered the Vilo system was very dependable basically. Within the month that I’ve used the Vilo community — each on the take a look at web site at my mother and father’ residence and my condominium — the community needed to be restarted twice.

The primary time was after a software program replace that brought on a glitch the place one of many satellites was not acknowledged, and the second occurred when units that have been related to Vilo’s community couldn’t get entry to the web.

Although this will appear irritating, the glitches can extra simply be missed at Vilo’s cheaper price level. In comparison with my older Wi-Fi 5 Eero system, the Amazon-branded community performs way more reliably in the present day, however when it first launched, I’d expertise the identical glitches twice or thrice a yr, and largely after software program updates.

Our take

When you don’t already personal a house mesh community, the Vilo system must be on the highest of the record. Whereas Vilo compromises on extra trendy options — the system lacks an choice for Wi-Fi 6 help and it comes with a dual-band, relatively than a triband antenna for much more sturdy protection — its reasonably priced $20 beginning worth for a single router unit or $60 for a three-pack makes Vilo an awesome worth for these seeking to change to a house Wi-Fi mesh system.

Are there any options?

A few of Vilo’s larger rivals embody Amazon’s Eero, Logitech’s Velop, and Google’s Nest Wi-Fi. And whereas Wi-Fi 6 is supported on a number of the costlier fashions, just like the Eero 6 or Velop AX4200 Wi-Fi 6 system, you’ll be paying a premium for this know-how. At current, Wi-Fi 6 hasn’t fairly taken off but, and even when your present smartphone or laptop computer helps it, most houses within the U.S. don’t have the broadband speeds to make the most of Wi-Fi 6.

In keeping with Ookla’s Speedtest.web, most houses within the nation common round 192Mbps for fastened broadband. Vilo’s Wi-Fi 5 community helps as much as 867Mbps, which ought to competently deal with most broadband plans with sub-gigabit speeds.

Along with mesh networks, Vilo additionally competes in opposition to conventional Wi-Fi routers, particularly after they’re coupled with vary extenders.

How lengthy will it final?

Vilo affords a restricted one-year guarantee to cowl any defects within the . And in contrast to smartphones, Wi-Fi models are sometimes stationary, so that they aren’t vulnerable to unintended injury. With a wise gadget like a mesh router, you additionally acquire years of help by software program updates that occur within the background, guaranteeing that your Vilo community lasts for years. Basically, the Vilo community ought to final you till you improve to residence broadband speeds which might be sooner than 1Gbps.

Do you have to purchase it?

Except you want Wi-Fi 6, in the event you don’t already personal a mesh Wi-Fi system, you must completely think about upgrading to the Vilo mesh. The unit boasts trendy beauty, though it does makes some compromises with speeds. However at $60 for a whole-home community, the velocity drop-offs don’t actually matter a lot for prudent customers, so long as the system works as marketed and you will get dependable reception in essentially the most distant corners of your property.

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