Xiaomi is entering the Mesh Wi-Fi kit market with the Mesh System AX3000, which promises excellent performance at an unbeatable price. Can you compete with the best models on the market? We review his promises.
the kit Xiaomi AX3000 Mesh System it is positioned as an alternative to Wi-Fi 6 kits from Netgear, TP-Link or Asus. We take advantage here of a set made up of two identical boxes capable of transmitting a Wi-Fi network reaching a cumulative speed of 3 Gb/s.
If the promise is quite classic, it is particularly its price positioning that makes Xiaomi’s kit interesting. Indeed, the Chinese giant charges only 80 euros for the box and the duo is priced at around 150 euros. A price almost twice lower than its direct competitors.
This test was carried out with a product provided by the brand.
Design and ergonomics
The two boxes that make up this kit are therefore perfectly identical. They come in the form of rectangular boxes dotted with several grooves that give them a rather modern look. Unlike its competitor, Xiaomi’s boxes seemed particularly light to us.
With all objectivity, the Mesh System AX3000 cabinets seem less well built than its competitors with a very plastic and almost toy aspect. More fun, our boxes are not completely flat at their base, which makes them wobble despite the presence of non-slip pads.
The devices benefit from a design nonetheless assumed with a connector that finds its place on one of the edges of the cube. This choice, although aesthetic, nevertheless has the consequence of more or less unnecessarily increasing the size of the boxes once connected. However, nothing prohibitive since remain generally compact.
The connection is logically made up of a power port which here is accompanied by 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. So there is no USB port, but there is also a pairing button and finally a reset button which will require a pin. At the front, a discreet status LED takes place at the bottom of the rim. This, as is often the case, will allow you to see at a glance the status of the case.
Xiaomi goes against its competitors here by offering boxes with a more assertive and modern design. The quality of construction and the finishes, however, are below the models that have already passed through our hands.
Like all devices of the brand, the Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000 Kit it is configured using the Xiaomi Home application. Obviously this is available on Android and iOS. The device is detected immediately, but we encountered some issues with the initial setup on both Android and iOS.
In the end, we had to go through the kit’s web interface in order to configure it. Nothing prohibitive since the operations are just as simple and this finally makes it possible to configure the Wi-Fi kit without the need for the Xiaomi application since all settings are also available via the web interface.
With few exceptions, the functionalities offered by the application and the web interface are similar. First of all, we take advantage of a dashboard that shows the status of the boxes, the network, the configuration and allows quick access to the various configurations of the kit.
The configuration of the Wi-Fi network is very complete obviously with the security parameters as well as the possibility of choosing the bands used. Note that the kit is capable of analyzing the surrounding networks to choose the least congested bands to optimize its performance.
Like most of its competitors, the Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000 Kit is technically capable of replacing the operator box and offers several advanced settings that go in this direction. It is also possible to change the mode of operation of the router/access point, in case the routing functions do not interest us.
Capable of operating like a real router, the Mesh System AX3000 kit also offers some essential features for this use, such as a DHCP server and port forwarding with DMZ. The boxes are also UPnP compatible and can therefore easily replace your box for all common uses.
To go further, the brand also allows the use of several dynamic DNS services that will facilitate self-hosting. It is also possible connect to one or more VPNs and dynamically choose which device will use which VPN. Quite a welcome feature and intuitive operation.
Xiaomi’s solution, on the other hand, shows its limits in the security part that is much more limited than solutions built into Netgear or TP-Link products to recite no one but them. Here we can only decide to completely block the traffic of this or that device and it is not possible to define periods of activity that could be useful for a possible parental control. Pity.
In the end, we end up here with devices that are simple to use, but nevertheless offer quite comprehensive functionalities. Logically, we do not achieve the benefits of competing products, but this is not really Xiaomi’s goal, especially at this price.
The Xiaomi Mesh System AX3000 Kit is capable of offering a cumulative throughput of approximately 3 Gb/s combining the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks. Obviously, we remind you that these values are theoretical and cannot be obtained in practice, especially on a single device.
For our performance tests, we used an Asus Zenbook OLED laptop here, which of course supports Wi-Fi 6. As always, the tests were done using a single box, and we also ran speed tests with an iPad Pro, which is limited to WiFi 5.
In optimal conditions, Xiaomi’s AX300 kit impresses as it almost saturates the gigabit link through which the data passes to the server. Speeds hold up very well when we walk away and change rooms with just over 700 Mb/s stable.
However, things go wrong outside. Due to the load-bearing walls of the building, the waves have difficulty passing through. Here the speed drops below 100 Mb/s with even a few dropouts to be deplored. The antennas used by Xiaomi can show their limit compared to those of the competing kits that manage to maintain more correct speeds in this situation.
The tests carried out in optimal conditions with our iPad (in Wi-Fi 5 therefore) are also very correct with a very stable speed of around 600 Mb/s. Here we find fairly consistent values and in phase with the other Wi-Fi 6 kits tested on our columns.
The addition of the second box to the mesh network logically affects the performance of the solution, which is “only” dual band. Therefore, part of the bandwidth will be used for the connection between the two boxes. As followed, It should be remembered that the main objective of mesh network operation is to improve coverage more than performance.
Unlike an RBK352 or a Deco X90, we won’t be so adamant about the uselessness of a second box for a 50m2 house as performance plummets in tough conditions. However, keep in mind that Xiaomi’s solution is easily half the cost of its competitors.
Price and availability
The box alone is charged 80 euros. If you want a kit made up of two devices, it will cost you 150 euros.