A year at home has made many of realize just how essential good WiFi is for work, entertainment and more. It also made many of us realize just how bad our signal really is.
Follow Rich DeMuro on Instagram for more tech news, tips and tricks.
Now, a $60 mesh WiFi system from startup Vilo promises a strong, consistent signal in every room of your home. It sounds too good to be true because similar systems can cost up to 10 times as much.
Does it deliver? Yes. Read on to learn more.
For starters, let me explain what a mesh WiFi system is. It’s basically a WiFi system that uses multiple antennas you place around your home to get the same signal everywhere. You’ve probably heard me recommend brands including Eero, Google WiFi and Netgear Orbi. These systems can cost you $150 or more.
Vilo is a startup based in Seattle that’s now making a much more affordable system with many of the same features for just $60 – and yes, that gets you an entire 3 pack system.
“We realize there is a market demand for affordable, fast, and reliable WiFi systems,” said Jessie Zhou, one of the founders of Vilo.
Setup is the simplest I’ve ever seen with these systems. You just use the app to configure the first access point, then just plug in the other two access points in different places around your home.
The devices recognize each other and band together to create one strong WiFi signal across your entire home.
“We hope to bring this technology to the masses, to the everyday person who shouldn’t feel that they are intimidated by setting up a mesh router system at home,” said Zhou via our Skype interview.
I had the Vilo system set up in my home alongside my Eero Pro system for a few weeks to test it out. When it comes to speed and coverage, I was super impressed with the Vilo, especially when you consider the price, which is 10x LESS than I paid for my Eero Pro system.
Yes, the Eero Pro was somewhat faster especially in the furthest corners of my home, but not 10x the money faster.
The Vilo system is super simple to set up and use and includes nearly all of the big features you need including hardwired ethernet ports on the back, something many of the other mesh networking systems have ditched.
The app even gives you basic parental controls like the ability to turn off the internet at a certain time or block entire websites. I just wish it would let me set a daily time limit for sites, like YouTube.
Vilo says the price is so low because they don’t advertise and they don’t sell through retail stores. The only two places you can get the system is on Amazon and through their own website. Keep in mind you will have to pay about $10 for shipping.
A $60 3-pack covers up to a 4500 square foot home and lets you connect up to 125 devices. I asked Vilo about privacy and they said it’s very important to them.
“We know nothing about your search history, browsing history, whatsoever,” concluded Zhou.
Bottom line: even though we’ve made it through the worst of the whole working and schooling from home, we can always use better WiFi. If you’re still using the box that your internet service provider places under your TV to serve up your WiFi signal, I’d recommend taking a look at upgrading to a Vilo system at this price.