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.
Based 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 specifications:
- Wi-Fi SoC – Mediatek MT7620A @ 580MHz
- System Memory – 128 MB DDR2
- Storage – 16 MB SPI flash memory
- 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
The 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.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
Looks like it’s 16MB SPI flash 😉
Yes, 16 GB would have been massive for a router… Thanks!
From the specs tab on the product site (http://www.mi.com/miwifimini#param )it seems that the Ethernet ports are gigabit-capable:
Given that, I think that if OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Tomato can be installed, it’d be an almost-perfect device 😀
Disregards this last post, I was looking at the not-so-mini router :/
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.
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (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 $.
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).
Thanks. I did not think about Aliexpress. I’ve just bought that one: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/TP-LINK-AC1750-Wireless-Dual-Band-Gigabit-WiFi-Router-Six-Antenna-Dual-USB-DDP-Lsea-Center/735862363.html
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft)
Products Status: Stock
With Modem Function: No
Brand Name: Tp-Link
WAN Ports: 1
Max. LAN Data Rate: 1000Mbs
LAN Ports: 4
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”
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.
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
sir, iam from india, i purchased xiaomi mi mini router from online ,i cant configure it pls help
About $35 on GearBest – http://www.gearbest.com/networking-communication/pp_148364.html
Banggood has it for $33.99 -> http://www.banggood.com/Xiaomi-Router-Mini-AC-Intelligent-Wifi-Dual-Band-Max-1167Mbps-White-p-964846.html
“OpenWrt installation process is tricky but possible. It requires registering to Xiaomi’s web site to install the development firmware provided by the vendor that enables root SSH access to the device. See below for details.”
Hi, I just bought the Xiaomi Mini and installed OpenWRT on it. It took me a while to figure out, how to get SSH access. The trick is to downgrade the firmware first, then the mini_ssh.bin will flash. I used 0.6.40 from here http://www.miui.com/thread-1776173-1-1.html
btw. the router is great, only I’m not so happy with OpenWRT. I hope DD-WRT support is coming soon.
Does anybody know how far is the coverage of it for indoor usage (comparing to other wireless routers)? Can it reach 23 ft?
I am unable to use this router as a repeater/extender at 5Ghz. Despite of it’s marketed dual channel capabilities, this router can only repeat/extend signals at 2.4Ghz. Please assist if anyone knows whether this is possible. Thanks!
The repeated signal range (3 out of 4 signal strength) for me is approximately 15ft through 2 walls.
Hi cnx –
can you confirm what the required DC voltage & amperage is on the miwifi? Or the output on the AC adapter? I was wondering if it runs off 5V DC, or needs 9V/12V?
Just bought mine at Zorook, tested it a bit, its fast powerful and customizable and cheap of course, only con is a chinese language by default, but on the zorook website you can find an article on translated setup manual
Miwifi required 12VDC power adapter to work..
It work good enough but until now, i dont see any official update that builtin english languange. Official Firmware updated monthly.
The only way is using chrome browser to translate web page xiaomi router.
Does it support the ADSL too? If they do, many people opt for it. Since BSNL india has a huge audience for it.
It is a router, not a modem.
So yes, it can run with ADSL, VDSL, FIBER, CABLE etc.