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Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Mini 802.11ac Router Can Now Be Purchased for $45

September 3rd, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ever since TV boxes with 802.11ac capabilities have been listed, I’ve been looking at purchasing a router with the latest Wi-Fi standard since I would then be able to test 802.11n at 2.4 and 5 GHz, as well as 802.11ac. The vast range of prices got me confused at first, but an article on Connectedly helped me clear things out. One of the most important factor is the different classes of Wi-Fi routers as shown in the table below. The class nomeclature is based on the Wi-Fi standard (AC or N) with a number corresponding to the rounded sum of the maximum throughput at 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

Wi-Fi_Router_ClassesBased on this table, and my limited budget ($100), I decided to look for AC1200 or greater routers, and I found one for TP-LINK Archer C7 AC1750 router selling for $100 on Amazon. Awesome! So I went to look on local websites only to find out it sold for over $200 locally, and TP-Link Thailand confirmed that “of course!” prices were different in US and Thailand… But this morning, I discovered Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi mini router sold for $45 on DealExtreme, and that it was an AC1200 router, and it’s even cheaper than some AC750 routers, so let’s check it out.

Xiaomi_Mi_Wi-Fi_Mini_Router

Xiaomi Mi Wi-Fi Mini router specifications:

  • Wi-Fi SoC – Mediatek MT7620A @ 580MHz
  • System Memory – 128 MB DDR2
  • Storage – 16 MB SPI flash memory
  • Wi-Fi
    • Protocols – IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
    • Transmission Rate – 300Mbps max @ 2.4GHz, 867 Mbps max @ 5GHz
    • Wireless Security – WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK encryption
    • 2.4 GHz Channels: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 ,11, 12, 13;
    • 5 GHz Channels: 149, 153, 157, 161, 165;
    • 5 GHz DFS (dynamic frequancy selection) channels: 36, 40, 44, 48, 52, 56, 60, 64;
  • Ethernet – 2x LAN (Fast Ethernet), 1x WAN (Fast Ethernet)
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0 host port for external mass storage or 3GB dongle
  • Power – 5V?
  • Dimensions – 14.9 cm x 13.8 cm x 3 cm
  • Weight – 253 grams

Xiaomi_Mi_WiFi_mini_Ethernet_USBThe router is sold with a 100~240V power adapter, and a user’s manual in Chinese. The user interface will also be in Chinese, as well as the Android and iOS apps, which could be a problem. Having said that, Xiaomi mentions OpenWRT in their website, and some other devices based on MT7620 can run custom firmware, so there may be hope. But the biggest problem may be the 10/100M Ethernet ports used by the router, as they could possibly become the bottleneck while testing performance. So I’ll skip it for now myself. It’s also possible the price drops to around $35 as it’s sold for 129 CNY in China, or about $21. I could not find any decent reviews in English, but a review on Sina (in Chinese) appears to be more interesting, where they show a stronger signal than some other routers, but no actual throughput testing. You can find further details (in Chinese) on Xiaomi’s Mi Wi-Fi Mini page.

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  1. onebir
    September 3rd, 2014 at 16:31 | #1

    Looks like it’s 16MB SPI flash ;)

  2. September 3rd, 2014 at 16:33 | #2

    @onebir
    Yes, 16 GB would have been massive for a router… Thanks!

  3. pablomh
    September 3rd, 2014 at 18:07 | #3

    Hi,

    From the specs tab on the product site (http://www.mi.com/miwifimini#param )it seems that the Ethernet ports are gigabit-capable:

    2个10/100/1000M自适应LAN口(Auto MDI/MDIX)
    1个10/100/1000M自适应WAN口(Auto MDI/MDIX)

    Given that, I think that if OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato can be installed, it’d be an almost-perfect device :D

  4. pablomh
    September 3rd, 2014 at 18:08 | #4

    Disregards this last post, I was looking at the not-so-mini router :/

  5. Marius Cirsta
    September 3rd, 2014 at 18:55 | #5

    I’ve found TP-Link clones on Aliexpress for much less that the TP-Link prices. Not sure about the quality but the specs looked good and included Gigabit ethernet on 4 LAN ports.

  6. onebir
    September 3rd, 2014 at 19:09 | #6

    @cnxsoft
    Still, IIRC 16MB is plenty of space for openWRT; maybe this will get adopted by hackers like WR703N was if it drops a few $.

  7. raphael
    September 3rd, 2014 at 22:03 | #7

    The “distro” that both routers run, MiWiFi ROM, is based off OpenWRT. So if Mi plays nice by GPL rules, this could be a really cool device for hackers.

    The best bet is probably to wait a month and see if some Chinese sellers on AliExpress start selling it with “unskinned” OpenWRT firmware for export (that’s what I did with my current Chinese TP-Link router).

  8. September 4th, 2014 at 16:49 | #8
  9. adem
    September 28th, 2014 at 21:20 | #9
  10. adem
    September 28th, 2014 at 21:26 | #10

    @cnxsoft

    Products Status: Stock
    With Modem Function: No
    Brand Name: Tp-Link
    WAN Ports: 1
    Package: Yes
    Firewall: No
    Application: Soho
    Max. LAN Data Rate: 1000Mbs
    LAN Ports: 4
    Type: Wireless
    Function: QoS
    Standards And Protocols: Wi-Fi 802.11n
    Model Number: TL-WDR7500
    Original System Language: Chinese
    English Firmware: TTL Support
    Power Range: 100-240V
    Plug type: CN ONLY

    IT SAYS “Standards And Protocols: Wi-Fi 802.11n”

  11. September 28th, 2014 at 21:56 | #11

    @adem
    That’s a mistake in the description. It’s definitely 802.11ac. I could connect @ 433 Mbps, and it has been around long enough that it’s clear it supports 802.11ac.

  12. October 8th, 2014 at 15:00 | #12

    I recently bought Xiaomi mini router from Coolicool. It’s a really nice router, not a adsl router. I have made a very detailed review with photos and signal comparison in the Greek forum of miui -> https://xiaomi-miui.gr/community/index.php/Thread/6801-Xiaomi-Router-MINI-AC-Mi-Intelligent-Dual-band-2-4GHz-5GHz/
    Using Google chrome and translation, you can see what I have written

  1. September 28th, 2014 at 21:05 | #1
  2. October 8th, 2014 at 23:22 | #2