Xiaomi WiFi Router 4 Review

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The Xiaomi WiFi Router 4 is the latest router model in the product range. Apart from the Mi WiFi Router Pro and Pro HD, the 2018 Router 4 is placed between Router 3 and 3G in terms of the hardware. Xiaomi says goodbye to the USB port and introduces the Mi-Net, a smart interface for connecting all in-house smart home products. What remains, of course, is the strong reception with “Wall Penetration Mode” on request. Furthermore, the design was slightly adapted and the price of 30$ remains incomparably affordable. We tested the Xiaomi WiFi Router 4 extensively and also had a close look at the Mi Net.

Xiaomi Router 4 1

Overview: Xiaomi Router

The Mi Router 4 ranks between routers 3 and 3G in the table.

Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 3C Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 3 Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 4 Xiaomi Mi WiFi Router 3G
Processor MT7628N MT7620A MT7621A MT7621A
Memory (ROM/RAM) 16/64MB 128/128MB 128/128MB 128/256MB
highest WiFi protocol N (300Mbps) AC (867Mbps) AC (867Mbps) AC (867Mbps)
Frequency band 2.4-GHz band 2.4-GHz band and 5-GHz band 2.4-GHz band and 5-GHz band 2.4-GHz band and 5-GHz band
Software -English or Chinese

-App always in  English

-English or Chinese

-App always in English

-Chinese only

-App always in English

-Mi Net

-Chinese only

-App always in English

LAN-port 2 x 10/100M LAN

1 x 10/100M WAN

2 x 10/100M LAN

1 x 10/100M WAN

2 x 10/100/1000M LAN

1 x 10/100/1000M WAN

2 x 10/100/1000M LAN

1 x 10/100/1000M WAN

USB-port no USB 1 x USB 2.0 1 x USB 3.0

Design and build quality

In terms of outward appearance, not much has changed between the third and fourth generation of Xiaomi routers, but at least something has changed. The design is still restrained and compact. With its white housing measuring 200 × 135 × 179 mm, the router can be discreetly placed on any small chest of drawers or windowsill. To achieve the strong transmission and reception line, there are 4 antennas with a length of 16.5 cm. The most striking innovation compared to its predecessor is the mechanical Mi-Net button with the manufacturer’s logo in the middle. On the rear there are 2 Gigabit LAN ports and a WAN port. For all who are now confused by the term “WAN”: The WAN port looks exactly like a LAN port, but it is blue on the Mi Router. Technically, this port can be used in the same way as the other LAN ports, but it can also be used to connect multiple LAN networks. Normally, you will use this port to connect your Xiaomi router to your ISP’s modem. Furthermore, there is a power connection on the rear. The power plug available in the scope of delivery has a Chinese connection and is therefore supplemented by an adapter in the scope of delivery. For safety reasons, the power plug should be replaced by a native EU plug (12V/1A 5.5mm outer diameter). In the future, an international version of the router will be released, which comes also with an EU plug.

Xiaomi Router 4 5Xiaomi Router 4 4 Xiaomi Router 4 7 Xiaomi Router 4 6

Set up & App

The Xiaomi Mi Router 4 is still a Wifi router and not a modem. There is no router with modem by Xiaomi! This means that it is not able to connect to the Internet via your cable or telephone connection. Instead, the Xiaomi router is connected to the modem via WiFi or WAN. After this connection is established, the router only needs to be configured, which usually takes only a few minutes. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Connect the Xiaomi router to your PC or mobile phone via LAN or WiFi and enter the address http://192.168.31.1 in your browser. Since the interface of the Mi Router 4 is only available in Chinese, you should use the translation function of the Google Chrome Browser (click right-> translate to English). Of course, this only works if you already have an Internet connection, i.e. if you have connected the router to the modem and laptop via LAN.
  2. The simpler way is to download the Mi-WiFi app on any smartphone. It is completely in English so that the translation function is not required. The app automatically detects the router and guides you through the setup process:

Xiaomi Mi WIFI Router einrichten 9 Xiaomi Mi WIFI Router einrichten 1 Xiaomi Mi WIFI Router einrichten 2 Xiaomi Mi WIFI Router einrichten 3 Xiaomi Mi WIFI Router einrichten 4 Xiaomi Mi WIFI Router einrichten 5

The setup is very simple, because apart from the WiFi name and password you don’t have to change any settings. In order to connect you can either use an existing WiFi network (e.g. that of your modem) and amplify its signal or connect the router to the modem via WAN and set up an independent WiFi network. There are also numerous functions to discover in the app. For example, you can configure a firewall or VPN at router level, set the usable speed for individual devices or set up a WiFi for guests.

Xiaomi router App 6 Xiaomi router App 5 Xiaomi router App 8 Xiaomi router App 4

Mi-Net function

Xiaomi router App 3The Mi Net function is actually the only novelty compared to the Mi Router 3G. This feature is suitable for real Xiaomi fans who often buy new devices from the manufacturer or have set up a smart-home. If you have already dealt with the Xiaomi ecosystem, you already know the Mi Home App. Here you can search for and add new devices. Although this process is not particularly complicated, it can take some time with a large number of Xiaomi devices. This is now to be simplified by the new Mi-Net function. By pressing the button on the router, the device automatically scans the Xiaomi devices in the vicinity. If a device is not yet connected to a Mi account, it appears in the app via pop-up and can be added with one click. In our test, the Mi Net function already works without problems. For smart-home fans, however, it should be noted that the Mi Net function only finds products that do not need to be linked via the Xiaomi Gateway.

Transmission speed

Since the Mi Router 4 does not have a USB 3.0 port, it is not possible to use the router as internal data storage. Of course, a network hard disk can still be connected via the LAN port. As far as downloading and uploading over the Internet is concerned, the Mi Router 4 can fully utilize my 120 Mbit line via the LAN connection. The download reaches 120Mbit and the upload 7Mbit. If you have a correspondingly fast Internet line, you should also be able to use the entire bandwidth thanks to the 1000M LAN. If you have connected your device via WiFi, you will receive a maximum of 867 Mbit/s download with a normal terminal device with .ac standard. Support for the new MIMO technology, which combines multiple streams simultaneously to achieve even greater speed, is still only available on the Xiaomi Router Pro HD. Normal users, however, will not consider it a restriction, since .ac-WiFi already offers more than sufficient speed. Both 2.4GHz and 5GHz can be used in parallel for wireless connection.

Xiaomi Mi Router 4 Signal StrenghtAs far as the range of the Xiaomi routers is concerned, the values of the Mi Router 4 largely correspond to those of the third generation. The WiFi reception is strong enough at every corner in my 95m² apartment. 3 rooms away from the router, the data throughput is still stable at 35Mbit and even 12 meters away from my apartment door the smartphone still receives good 16 Mbit.

 

Conclusion and alternative

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Jonas Andre:

The Mi Router 4 also scores in our test report with the usual advantages of the Xiaomi routers: fast transfer rates, a phenomenal WiFi range and a clear app with many functions. Compared to what you can expect from other routers in this price range, the Mi Router 4 is clearly superior. However, the fourth generation is facing tough in-house competition: the Xiaomi Router 3G offers the same connectivity standards, but has a USB 3.0 port for external data mediums and a larger RAM. In addition, the 3G router costs about the same as the new Mi Router 4, making it the better choice for most users. If you try to plead for the Mi Router 4, the following user profile results, for which the Mi Router 4 would be the better choice: You are hardcore Xiaomi fan boys and girls and your house is full of gadgets of the Chinese manufacturer, besides you have no interest to connect an external data medium to your router – in this quite rare case the Mi Router 4 is the better choice due to the new Mi-Net technology. In all other cases, the Xiaomi Router 3G is preferable.

Price comparison

Only 40 USD*
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43 USD*
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45 USD*
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*Prices include shipping and toll. Intermediate changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs possible. Prices last updated on 21.01.2019

 
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