Xiaomi Mini: A surprisingly good and cheap WiFi router

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About a year ago I was in a tricky situation. I had just moved to a new flat that had a modern fiber-optic connection meaning that instead of connecting my router to a phone socket, there was an ethernet port on the wall. This meant, of course, that I had to go shopping for a new router after I was told by my internet provider that they don’t sell such routers, because “you can connect your computer to the ethernet port directly”…  🤦‍♂️ Like I would only have one device I wanted to connect to the internet. 🤣

Having had only bad experiences with my previous routers (D-Link, Telewell, ZyXEL, ZTE, Cisco… you name it, I’ve had it 😆), I didn’t want to put too much money on a router. Just a cheap one would do, I figured.🤔 The downside is, of course, that I live in Finland where the cheapest routers were 100€. No, no, no, not an option! I had to figure out something else. 🇫🇮

Xiaomi Mini to the rescue

I found Xiaomi Mini WIFI Router 11AC on Aliexpress for a decent price. It was exactly what I was looking for. A cheap router that does 5G WiFi… But it was Chinese… I took a leap of faith. And it was worth it! 🇨🇳

What impresses me in the Xiaomi router is that it has a nice mobile application and that its configuration page is super user friendly. It’s extremely easy to configure your router. Moreover, it has automatic updates, and oh boy, they have actually updated the router frequently. Usually, what you get with other manufacturers is that your router only receives an update once or twice and that’s it. And on top of that you have to go and flash it manually. Xiaomi is a nice exception to this. 👍🏻

It’s not just the usability that impresses me. Xiaomi ships with some advanced features such as VPN connectivity. You can either make all your traffic go through a VPN server or just the traffic going to selected websites. What a great way to get US Netflix to my TV. This might also be a useful feature for those who live in a country of a limited internet freedom. 🤔

You can even make a guest WiFi access point where other people can connect without jeopardising your own devices. The router has all the regular features to boot, such as Dynamic DNS, Firewall, QoS, sharing of a USB hard drive to the whole local network and so on. 😊

Conclusion

Overall, after one year of use, I have been more than happy with the router. It’s super economical and by far the most advanced router I have ever had. My first impression of Xiaomi has only been positive. If you are looking for a cheap router packed with nice features, this is definitely the one for you.

You can buy one from Aliexpress right now. Just don’t spend any more time in looking for a router. It won’t get any better than this. 😊

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