Who knew you could get a complete Wi-Fi mesh network system for just $80 at Amazon?

·6 min read

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The Vilo mesh network system consists of these three nodes that you plug in around the house.
Normally a three-node mesh network system might cost you hundreds of dollars. This new one from Vilo is just $80. (Photo: Vilo)

How's the internet connectivity in your house? When you take your laptop into certain rooms, does online performance plummet? When you're watching Netflix or Hulu on TV, does video stutter or look grainy? Issues like these often result from poor Wi-Fi signal strength — kind of like when your phone is too far from a cell tower and gets only one or two bars.

Installing a mesh Wi-Fi network can help; it boosts signal strength beyond the immediate area around your router. However, these kits can be expensive, with prices ranging from $200 to as much as $700 for products from Asus, Eero, Google and Nest.

Good news: a relative newcomer to the mesh market has a kit that costs considerably less. Even better news: It works quite well. It's not the fastest or fanciest, but it's definitely the cheapest — and it might be just what you need to give your home Wi-Fi a shot in the arm.

It's the Vilo Mesh Wi-Fi System, and it's just $80 at Amazon. (Note that it often goes on sale for $70, something to consider if you're not in a hurry.)

(Pro tip: If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day Amazon Prime trial here.)

$80 at Amazon

I'm not going to dive too deep into the tech side of things, because I suspect most people don't care about "dual band," "Wi-Fi 6" and the like. You just want faster, more reliable Wi-Fi throughout the house, right? And simple setup and operation?

Done. The Vilo system is pretty much plug-and-play, relying entirely on a phone app that walks you through each step. Basically, you're going to connect one node to your modem, then plug in the other two elsewhere around your house. In a two-story, for example, you might put one upstairs and another in the basement.

My hands-on experience with Vilo actually comes from my nephew, who encountered major Wi-Fi dead zones in his new house. His verdict after two weeks with the mesh system: “Life-changing. Five stars. [The] dashboard is pretty cool. Setup was super-easy. It auto-restarts once a week at 4 a.m., which I thought was neat.” (Restarting a router periodically is a smart way to clear out the gunk, so to speak, and make sure it's operating optimally.)

Needless to say, your mileage may vary. There are lots of variables that can affect Wi-Fi strength in a home or apartment.

But if you want to see whether a mesh network can make a difference, $80 is a pretty palatable price to pay.

$80 at Amazon

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