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Vilo disrupts router market with a $20-per-node mesh network

Vilo may not be a well-known title in dwelling networking, however at $20 per node, its new Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi System is the lowest-priced package we’ve ever seen.

Is there a catch? A small one: Vilo’s dual-band (2.4- and 5GHz) system is predicated on older Wi-Fi 5 (aka 802.11ac) know-how that first got here to market in 2013, and never the newer (and far quicker) Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6e. Both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6e are primarily based on 802.11ax know-how, however the latter delivers much more bandwidth by tapping extra radio spectrum within the less-congested 6GHz vary.

Vilo is betting that as an alternative of investing some huge cash in state-of-the-art {hardware} at a premium price, lots of people will accept one thing that’s loads higher than what they’ve for lots much less money: $20 ($27.98 with transport) for a router rated to cowl 1,500 sq. ft, and $20 ($27.98 with transport) for every extra node that can add one other 1,500 sq. ft. You also can purchase a Vilo three-pack rated to blanket a 4,500-square-foot dwelling with Wi-Fi protection for simply $69.98 (transport included).

The small, white (2.7 x 2.7 x 5.9 inch) nodes are designed to be innocuous, however every one is outfitted with three gigabit ethernet ports ought to you’ve got the wired infrastructure in your partitions to benefit from it. nonetheless. The system helps beamforming, band steering, and MU-MIMO (multi-user, a number of enter/a number of output) to assist a number of purchasers concurrently (Vilo says every node can assist as much as 65 units).

You’ll nonetheless want a broadband gateway or modem to hook up with your ISP’s service, and whichever Vilo node you plug into that machine will change into your community’s router. You’ll use the Vilo app (which requires Android 8 or iOS 9.0 or larger) to configure and management your mesh community, together with establishing a visitor community and enabling parental controls, options which can be included at no extra price.

Vilo says its mesh community will ship theoretical most bandwidth of 300Mbps on its 2.4GHz community and 867Mbps on its 5GHz community. That’s definitely quick sufficient for streaming video and shuttling recordsdata backwards and forwards, though there’s no devoted information backhaul channel as some extra superior routers—even older 802.11ac fashions—assist.

That’s a positive comparability in opposition to competing units reminiscent of Eero, whose Prime Day sale for a three-node system was $181—greater than double the worth of the Vilo. Orbi’s personal tri-band mesh Wi-Fi system three-pack prices $291 (that third band is devoted to information backhaul). The Eero three-pack normally costs $279 at Amazon, so saving nearer to $200 is one thing to think about. Sure, each competing mesh options provide way more bandwidth than Vilo—however Vilo’s is betting that for the cash, its promised off-the-hook price-to-performance ratio will win you over.

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