Xiaomi is gradually stepping outside the smartphone arena and launching its ecosystem products in India. After air purifiers, the company has launched a smart Wi-Fi router. Amid a plethora of routers available in the market, the Xiaomi Mi Router 3C stands out as an affordable smart router with app controls. Here is a detailed review.
DESIGN: The most striking aspect of the 3C is its simplistic design. The router, in white, has a straight-line design with four antennas at the back. Unlike traditional routers, this one is sleek and does not have any hardware button. A blue light gets illuminated once connected. The box contains a router, power cable and a manual. You will have to buy (or search for a spare) a LAN cable to connect the 3C to the modem to create the wireless network.
COMPATIBILITY: Xiaomi claims that the Mi Router 3C works with both ADSL and fibre optical networks. We tested it with Airtel broadband by connecting it to an existing modem (with wireless). Although I could have configured it by visiting 192.168.1.1, I preferred configuring it using the Mi Wi-Fi app, which is available for both iOS and Android. Xiaomi claims that the router can work with the Mi Home app as well. It offers a good range, and connectivity at dead spots, too. One can connect up to 64 devices including 20 main devices and IOT gadgets.
SET-UP: Setting up this router is child's play. It fetches configuration details from the modem, eliminating the need to configure settings manually. After connecting the router with the modem using the LAN cable, I logged into the Mi Wi-Fi app using my Xiaomi account on the iOS app. Once the app prompted me to connect to the Mi Wi-Fi network, I was good to go.
MI WI-FI APP: This smart app offers full control of the router including the ability to change the admin log-in password and the Wi-Fi password or scheduling a reboot. It shows a list of devices that are latched on to the network along with their current connectivity status (connected or offline). Tapping on the device shows more information, giving admin the control to deny internet access permission, receive notification when the device connects on the network, and more. I was able to create a guest network, and assign data limit for those I did not wish to share my Wi-Fi password with.
Other additional features include software update and firewall. The Wi-Fi boost option checks the Wi-Fi quality, signal strength, bandwidth allocation and network speed. If the status is poor, the app suggests optimisation.
I was even able to view connected devices and control the router from afar, even when not connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Admins can even assign speed allocation for gaming, video and more. While these features are not new, the presentation and ease-of-use are refreshing.