In our reviews we often mention how important it is for your router/access point (AP) to be as good as it gets in order to be able to stream high bit-rate video files wirelessly.
This time we have a relevant product for presentation, the new Xiaomi HD Wireless Router (1TB edition). It is Xiaomi’s high end proposal to the specific segment of the market. It features a full list of routing capabilities, high speed MU-MIMO Dual Band Wi-Fi 2600Mbps (800+1733), Gigabit ports and an integrated 1TB HDD for NAS usage. Can’t recall a similar product from another manufacturer to be honest but that puts an extra burden to Xiaomi since the HD Router will have to show good performance in all aforementioned areas. Let’s see below how it actually performs in real life.
Packaging – Specifications
Xiaomi HD Wireless Router arrived in a black glossy box with premium looks. Since apparently there is no International/Global version available, all the specs are in Chinese language.
Inside we will find the router itself, the US power adapter and a quick guide in… Chinese!
No RJ45 cables or anything else was included.
The router has very capable hardware inside. A Qualcomm IPQ8064 SoC (dual core) clocked at 1.4 MHz is handling all the tasks accompanied by 512MB of DDR3 RAM.
Connectivity is solid with 4x Gigabit RJ45 ports (one of them is the WAN port) and one USB3.0 port. All of them are located at the back with the reset and power on buttons.
Wireless capabilities are very solid with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac protocols and speeds up to 800Mbps over 2.4GHz connections and up to 1,733Mbps over 5GHz (dual band) ones. The summary of both leads to the advertised AC2600 speeds (all companies to the same).
There are two HD models from Xiaomi based on the internal HDD. We tested the 1TB version and there is also a much more expensive 8TB one that does not seems to be sold outside China. No information can be found on the internal HDD other than it is 3.5″ and equipped with 64mb cache. It is not accessible either.
Xiaomi also advertises the ease of use of its brand new router since it can be easily operated from the related Android / IOS application from your smartphone or tablet.
Xiaomi’s HD wireless Router has a build quality second to none as far as routers and NAS enclosures are concerned. Although bulky (probably has to do with the housing of the internal HDD), the painted black aluminum chassis and the finishing is just amazing and can only be described as premium.
All the connections are located at the back, and the sides have air grilles for better heat dissipation. Due to the existence of the 3.5″ internal HDD, there is a low speed silent fan as well.
The 4 (!!!) antennas are folded but are permanently mounted at the back of the router and are not detachable. This is perhaps the only complain (minor) we have regarding the build quality/design.
At the bottom you will find 4 rubber pads (anti-skid) for better placement.
The design and construction appears to be unibody-like and there is no option to have access and replace the internal hard drive.
User interface – Testing
Our worst fears were brought to life once we powered on the router and tried to enter the basic menus from the web browser. We were treated with a Chinese only language user interface. The most obvious workaround was Google Chrome’s webpage translate that did a nice job covering all the basics. Once you enter the main menu, you will soon understand that there is no option for English language (at least we did not find one). Once you reach to this point, you will continue either with Chrome’s translation, or you will use Xiaomi’s Android or IOS application for your smartphone or tablet (after you sign up to Xiaomi’s service). Fortunately the application is translated to English (although you will find some non-translated words here and there).
The application named MiWiFi is user friendly just like Xiaomi promises. No option/setting appears to be missing. Regarding routing capabilities nothing appears to be missing (QOS, monitoring, block listing, notifications, internet access, port forwarding, SMB settings, parental control etc.). The same apply to Wi-Fi settings (Wi-Fi timer, WEP/WPA/WPA2-PSK security settings, channel selection, passwords, access point mode etc.). The option for USB3.0 USB drive mounting and the internal 1TB HDD also bring some NAS settings like “share router” , “photo backup”, “manage downloads” and storage that allow a wide range of functions, from simple file copying, to photo backup and even torrent downloading.
More hardcore network settings (usually found in professional level routers/NAS enclosures and DD-WRT firmware are missing but a casual user will find everything needed to what Xiaomi has to offer.
Tested for about a week as my basic router, the performance was both excellent and stable. Although my home/office network environment is a little bit more than the so called average (4 computers, one server, 4 network media players, 3 gaming consoles, an A/V receiver and a network printer), there was not a single time were the Xiaomi router hanged or caused any type of network problems.
I also wanted to test the Wi-Fi speed so I set it up to access point mode. Compared to the existing Netgear EX7000 (AC1900, 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz one) it showed the same excellent dual band range, and actually bested it (a little) in Draft N range. Quite impressive results considering that the EX7000 is a top class performer.
Wireless speeds were amazing as well, with ~1300Mbps transfer speeds achieved in real life (dual band mode). I actually had no available network equipment to max the Draft N speeds of the Xiaomi but my Thinkpad’s 600Mbps Draft N protocol was maxed out during file transfer. Of course maximum speeds were achieved when close to the Router/AP without walls or any other objects interfering. Via dual band protocol, streaming of full BLU-RAY backups / Remuxes was an easy task (even when the media player was in another room with a wall in between), and that is not the usual case when it comes to wireless access points and routers.
The MIMO function is also supported so that you can have a great coverage if you place the Xiaomi router somewhere close to the middle of your house/space.
USB3.0 and internal hard drive speeds had an average of 30Mb/sec which is an acceptable performance, although not among the great ones.
The Gigabit LAN ports were maxed out as expected in file transfer scenarios, no bottlenecks were evident.
Xiaomi HD wireless Router is a unique product. By purchasing it you have an all in one product (router, powerful AC2600 access point, Gigabit switch, 1TB NAS) that will cover all major and everyday tasks with extremely high performance, especially in Wireless and routing functions. USB3.0 and internal drive options make up for a complete all in one solution with acceptable performance that just is not up to par with dedicated NAS solutions from companies like Synology and QNAP. This of course has its benefits since the Xiaomi Wireless HD Router (1TB) costs way less than a dedicated purchase of the aforementioned parts. It costs less than $200 and can be considered as a real bargain for the ones in need of all its features.
Overall, the Xiaomi HD wireless Router 1TB is an amazing product with the only real downside being the lack of English language inside the web interface menu.
If you don’t care about the internal 1TB HDD, Xiaomi releases the same model without it. It is named as Xiaomi Mi R3P 2600Mbps Wireless Router Pro and it costs 50% less than the model we reviewed. Also a great bargain since for ~$100 you will be getting a router , a gigabit switch (USB3.0 is still there) and the same Wi-Fi performance.
We would like to thank www.gearbest.com for sending the product in exchange for an unbiased presentation.
If this review helped you towards making your decision, we would appreciate if you made your order through the previous affiliate link(s). This way we will be able to review more products in the future.