PROS Very affordable. Easy to install and manage. Basic parental controls.
CONS Uses older technology. Lacks malware protection and QoS settings. Middling throughput performance. No USB ports.
BOTTOM LINE The Vilo Mesh certainly isn’t the fastest system out there, but it’s easy to install and brings Wi-Fi to every corner of your home for significantly less money than any other three-piece mesh network.
Not everyone can afford the latest Wi-Fi mesh technology, but not everyone needs it. If fast throughput performance is vital, you can expect to pay around a few hundred dollars for a system such as the Asus ZenWiFi AC CT8 ($329.99). But if you’re looking to upgrade to a whole-home mesh network but have limited funds, consider the Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi System. Priced at just under $60, the Vilo is easily the most affordable dual-band 802.11ac mesh system we’ve tested. Granted, it doesn’t use Wi-Fi 6 technology, and it doesn’t deliver stellar throughput performance, but it gets the job done, as long as you aren’t planning to stream lots of high-res video or download large blocks of data.
1,500 SQUARE FEET OF COVERAGE FOR $19.99
The Vilo Mesh comes with three identical nodes that provide coverage for homes of up to 4,500 square feet. If you don’t require that much coverage, a single node that covers up to 1,500 square feet can be had for just $19.99. Each node has a matte-white finish, measures 5.9 by 2.7 by 2.7 inches (HWD), and is equipped with three gigabit LAN ports and four internal antennas. (You won’t find any multi-gig ports or USB ports on this system.) There’s a mesh button on the front of each node used for pairing, as well as a tiny LED that’s solid blue when the node is connected to the internet and solid red when starting up; it flashes blue when internet connectivity is intermittent, flashes amber during the pairing process, and turns solid amber when the node is ready to be configured.
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