Xiaomi's first router coming to India uses a phone app to take the hassle out of setting up
Bangalore, June 12 2017: Routers are devices most of us love to hate. You can't do without them -- with so many phones, a laptop and a PC in most homes, a WiFi router is a must have. But setting one up is often a hassle, what with selecting networks, entering MAC numbers, user names, passwords and the like.
For its router debut in India, Xiaomi, better known for its ZenFone handsets, has chosen the Mi 3C router, the first I have seen that works with an Android or iOS app to simplify the set up. This is great for us dummies-- and in addition to easing startup pains, it also has other uses: alerting us if new devices try to use the network; helping set up parental controls on some devices, optimising the wireless connection ....
Spec-wise, the 3C is one of the more powerful routers at this price band (Rs 1197): its four antennas ensure that the signal can penetrate most walls in one's home, without too much of a data speed drop. Internally it has 64 MP of RAM and 16 MB of Flash ROM for its processing, which coupled the quad antennas ensures a better than average signal strength.
In two respects, the Mi router belies expectations: It works in only one band: 2.4 GHz and not in the 5 GHz, which limits it somewhat in its ability to find the least crowded wireless route to your device. Secondly it covers WiFi bands 802.11 b,g and n but not "ac", which is currently the fastest. This is somewhat strange since 802.11ac has been around for 2-3 years and many of the wireless network adapters built into laptops are 'ac'-ready. If you are primarily using the router to access WiFi on smart phones, this may not matter too much.
At any rate, the reach of the 4-antenna router somewhat compensates for the lower theoretical speed of the WiFi. Not a bad compromise at the asking price. ANAND PARTHASARATHY