Vilo Network Router Overview: Dirt Cheap and Reliable

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Going into the weeds of their specifications by the minute, Vilo routers support IEEE 802.11a / b / g / n / ac. No support for the latest ax standard, also known as Wi-Fi 6. It’s not a big deal considering you need to upgrade all your devices to enable Wi-Fi 6, but it would be a nice addition to check out the future. Security-wise, it doesn’t use the latest WPA3 protocol, already WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2). Like Wi-Fi 6, WPA3 is still relatively new, so it’s no surprise. But passwords are harder to crack, and connections to devices without a screen are easier and more secure, so this is the upgrade you ideally want.

Each router has four internal antennas and supports multi-user, multiple inputs and multiple outputs (MU-MIMO), which allows it to better handle multiple devices that connect to the router at the same time. There is also air shaping to focus the wireless signal towards the devices.

The Vilo system has extensive control enabled by default, which means it selects the band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) that it thinks is appropriate for each device, but both appear as the same network name. This can create problems when setting up smart home devices. God Nanoleaf light panels, for example, connect only at 2.4 GHz, but you also need a phone that sets them to be connected to the same band. Fortunately, Vilo allows you to turn off range management so you can split ranges, which I temporarily did to set up a few devices before turning them back on.

Mileage will vary depending on the settings. The limit for me is the internet speed that enters my house, but the Vilo system works great at expanding the available bandwidth, and I haven’t had any random interruptions in three weeks of testing. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have a problem.

The Catch

The app is smooth, but can load slowly or update once you make changes. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to update with the current status. Even after you have successfully changed something, it may take some time for it to display properly.

During setup, to avoid reconnecting my multitude of smart home devices, I planned to give the Vilo system the same name and password as my previous Wi-Fi network. Sorry, he refused to accept the password and failed. The good news is that this turned out to be a bug that the company quickly corrected by updating the firmware.

There is also no way to force a connection to a specific router. This is usually not a problem, as the devices connect to the nearest option for the best possible speed, but my desktop computer continued to connect to the router further in the 2.4 GHz band, instead of the nearest one in the 5 GHz band, as I would expect. A firmware update has also improved this, although it still occasionally connects to a router upstairs.

Since the company is so new, it is normal to see several such turmoils, but it is nice to see Vilo active in a quick address. We hope this will continue throughout the life of the router.



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