Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) – great performer at unbelievable price tag | IT Gadgets Review

Introduced earlier this year (2015), the new Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) is part of the family of home networking solutions aiming to make connectivity in homes simple and intelligent. Wifi extenders are not new in the networking industry, so what’s so special with this kit?

Xiaomi Wifi Extender - Main Image

Within one simple zipped packaging, it posed off simply as any other wifi adaptor which you can find in the market. The overall size is comparable to a regular highlighter pen.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - packaging (front)

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - packaging (back)

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - device actual size

The USB connector is exposed when the bottom retaining cap is removed. One plus point is the 180 degrees rotating axis at the connector area. This allow one to adjust the orientation of the antenna to fit the surrounding spatial arrangement and also to adjust the transmission coverage.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - dongle uncapped

Getting the kit setup is also pretty straightforward. The only pre-requisite is to install the universal Mi Home application (available in both iOS and Android play store). The kit is ready for setup with a blinking orange light when it is first connected to a power source. If you already have a Xiaomi router, the installation is even more straightforward by plugging into any available USB outlet on the Xiaomi router.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - dongle pairing starts

Step 1: Using the Mi Home application, the new kit will be automatically detected. Choose the detected kit to initiate the setup.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - setup - add dongle

Step 2: Choose the existing home wifi network for the new kit to extend. Do take note that the wifi extender only works for 2.4ghz Wifi connection.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - setup - connect existing wifi

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - setup - dongle update firmware

Step 3: Once the connection is established, the new kit will be reflected under the list of devices managed with Mi Home application. It is important to set the extended wifi network to adopt the same wifi name as the original source network name.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - setup - dongle setup completed

Once the wifi extension is established, there should be a clear blue indicator on the kit.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - setup - dongle connection on

A quick analysis on the wifi strength (with & without the kit) does show significant improvement. At a distance of 100 meters across 2 rooms, the wifi signal improved by ~30%.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - connection strength - before

Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) - connection strength - after

In summary, for this Xiaomi Wifi Extender kit to be offered at RMB 39 (S$9), it is definitely a steal for the promised performance and simplicity in the setup. A equivalent wifi extender kit out in the market can easily cost at S$30 or more.

PROS:

a. Great value for money
b. Simple to setup
c. Highly portable (if needed to transport around the house)
d. No extra power source needed, just using a regular USB power adaptor
e. Works with & without Xiaomi router.

CONS:

a. Setup requires Mi Home application
b. Kit maybe too long if there is operating space constrains

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  47 comments for “Xiaomi Wifi Extender (小米WiFi放大器) – great performer at unbelievable price tag | IT Gadgets Review

  1. Thomas-Charles
    February 4, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Thank you for the review I just bought the Mi rooter along with the extender and i own a mi phone, beside the fact that some stuff is not translated, Mi does amazing products at amazing price. I was able to use the rooter as a relay and to also set up the extender but i’m facing aproblem.
    Lets say my main rooter is called “ABC” I changed the SSID of the mi rooter functioning as a relay to match “ABC” but the extender is named “ABC_plus” I need to remove that “_plus” so that it acts like only one network in my house. The way it now is, I have to manually connect the the extender when I need it.
    Its hard for me to use the mi home app as I dont speak chinese so I used the rooter configuration page (wich got transleted since i acessed it on my computer) and the mi wifi app.
    Hope you can help fix this.

    • February 4, 2016 at 4:19 pm

      Unfortunately you will need to use their Xiaomi home app to configure to a common SSID for your extender.

      • Po
        February 18, 2016 at 9:34 pm

        Hi, do u know how to go about configuring it? I have the same issue

        • February 20, 2016 at 11:17 am

          under the Wifi extender app, there is an option to ‘Adopt the same SSID as router’

    • Gonjo
      April 4, 2016 at 2:17 am

      Hi, MI home app is available on google apps. Download the latest mihome and have it updated or it will give you issues trying to login to the xiaomi servers.

      The Xiaomi WIFI Extender will only work in a non Xiaomi router – say example Fritzbox 7390 which is the router that I am using – if you change your router security settings to WPA2 only. Using something else and the mi wifi extender will not work.

      The latest mi home app will install a plugin after connecting successfully the extender to your router. The plugin is in Chinese but fiddling with it you can just add the signal of the extender to that of the router. That is, instead of adding #RouterName_plus to the network, your router signal will just be stronger without the need to reconnect your devices to the *_plus wifi.

      But I prefer using the extender as a second wifi connection point *_plus as after measurement this is the way of getting the best range for this wonderful xiaomi device. wifi Measurements (average values) in the same spot inside the room using FRITZ!App WLAN: connected to the router -65dBm, 65 Mbit/s; after connecting to mi extender *_plus wifi -41dBm, 72Mbit/s.

  2. Abdullah K
    February 13, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    Hello i don’t understand is this product only usable with xiaomi router and xiaomi powerstrip?
    Can i use it with a samsung wall charger and usb multiple hub?

    • February 13, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Yes, you can. But you need to setup using the Xiaomi app. Using the router merely simplify the setup.

      • Abdullah K
        February 15, 2016 at 10:56 pm

        Thank you and i want to ask one more question:) After the wifi setup with mi home app can other users connect wifi without mi home app?

  3. jay
    March 6, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Why my signal is full using the mi extender but still very slow in opening the page…youtube cannot open also?

    • March 6, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      A lot of factors could result in it. Could be the wifi connection between the adaptor and your router. Try position it closer for broadcast.

    • poz
      September 25, 2016 at 4:41 am

      Same problem with me, it seems when connected to mi wifi repeater ur wifi logo show full reception but actual factor the speed is not at all good.
      Try using a speed test apps u will know this device is not really a repeater after all.

  4. Richard
    March 17, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Why do i always have problem with this xiaomi repeater? The Mihome aPP doesn’t find anything.

  5. Cho
    March 17, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Hi, can you please share how to hide the _plus ssid? Thank you!

    • March 17, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Once you have connected the adaptor to the main router wifi, there is an option in the Mirouter app to set the adaptor SSID to follow router SSID.

  6. Aston
    March 21, 2016 at 5:23 pm

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for such an interesting review! May I know if the Mi Home app is the 1 available on the Google Play or do I have go somewhere to download the APK? Thank you !

    • March 22, 2016 at 8:20 am

      Yes, it can be found in Google Play Store. Alternatively you can download the Mi Market store app from Mi directly. Can google for the official link.

  7. ZEN
    March 29, 2016 at 10:14 am

    While installing I am only getting amber blinking light.

    – I am unable to download MI home application using my mobile phone.
    – is there a installation guide if I am not using xiao mi devices?
    `

    • March 30, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      You can only configure the adaptor using Mi Router app / Mi Home App. After first time config, you can connect using other non Xiaomi phones since it will act just like another normal wireless hotspot

  8. budi_s
    April 2, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I have some problem while i’m connect mi extender to wifi router, i can connect with router but after all device pairing and waiting connection to micloud my repeater led indicator showing a blinking orange then back blue again and the process connection timeout

  9. James
    April 6, 2016 at 9:12 am

    Must I always on the phone(which initially used to paired the extender and router)? Or just plug into my laptop usb port with router on, and can auto detect?
    Thanks

    • April 6, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Just to be accurate – the Xiaomi adaptor is not a USB wireless adaptor for laptop but is a wireless hotspot coverage extender for any wifi enabled devices to connect to.

      • James
        April 7, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        so must I on the phone always?

        • April 7, 2016 at 7:06 pm

          The Xiaomi adaptor connects to your router to extend the wifi signal.

          Phone is used to config the adaptor.

          Not sure if you get the correct picture.

          • Nami
            April 17, 2016 at 8:43 pm

            Curious, if the extender is turned off, does it need to be reconfigured again using MI Home app?

          • April 17, 2016 at 10:02 pm

            Do not need. The settings are saved.

  10. Ari
    April 20, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    My mi home app detect mi extender at first use, but after that mi home app doesnt detect my mi extender? I use latest mi home app. Can you help me?

  11. adrian
    June 14, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    It says only works on 2.4ghz but I’m using the 5ghz so I will need to connect back to 2.4? Will that slow me down since from 5 to 2.4? Is like wider the range but slower the speed? Please help.

    • June 14, 2016 at 9:42 pm

      Yes, it is to extend the 2.4ghz band. The different band is to separate the device connections, so that you won’t congest the band with many connect devices in the same band.

  12. Sephix Sephizzy
    June 19, 2016 at 12:51 am

    I have just purchased a Xiaomi WIFI booster and trying to activate it. I have created a MI account as required but unable to sign in.

  13. Wang C
    September 21, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    Hello,

    How many wifi repeaters can you put with 1 xiaomi router. I have 2 repeaters, but only 1 is connected to the router, the other is connect to the repeater.

    Thanks!

    • September 21, 2016 at 10:02 pm

      Theoretically you should be able to connect more than 1 if you link correctly. The repeater will choose the one with higher signal to connect to if you are using the same SSID for all.

  14. aim
    September 27, 2016 at 12:35 am

    problem with setting the extender

    • Pep
      October 27, 2016 at 8:33 am

      Same here. Set up always stop at 44℅ and it’s telling me connection was interrupted. It was positioned next to the router and I tried using different networks, all of which are wpa2. I think it doesn’t work with all routers

  15. Ak
    October 21, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Does it work only with android abd not iphone?

    Yellow light keeps blinking even after initial setup.. ( not turned to blue) have tried resetting extender .

    Anything else to try?

    • October 22, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Sounds like it(Mi extender) has issue connecting to the main router.

      The Mi Home app can work in both iOS & Android phones.

  16. mw
    November 9, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    What a piece of junk.
    Hassles over hassles, like creating an MI account just to configure this thing.
    The app refuses to log into the MI server (despite correct credentials). Different versions of the app behave differently, there are even several Android apps called “MIHome”, what a mess!
    Then the app does not find the extender, pure trial and error, despite sitting next to the it.
    Then the app counts repeatedly from 28% to 44% and simply refuses to establish the connection (probably a WLAN WPAx issue, or simply incompatibility with ALL of my routers).

    For a good reason these extender sticks are sold for $5 these days – useless and horribly designed.

    • November 9, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      It’s unfortunate you have such unpleasant experiences. It’s good to feedback to Xiaomi directly so that they can be address promptly.

  17. mw
    November 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    On a different site I just published my final review, after I figured out what is wrong with the design of this thing, especially the app MiHome.
    For fairness I am publishing this review here as well. Also as an info for others who struggle with the very odd installation procedure and the dependencies of this WiFi extender.

    —————————–

    Rather mixed feelings about this odd WiFi extender:
    – it can only be managed through a special App (running on phones, not Windows)
    – the app requires an account with MI, otherwise it won’t see the extender
    – the needed app MiHome exists multiple times at Google Play, different vendors and products!
    – even after creating an account the app would not let me log in; ‘failed to connect to MI..’, repeatedly
    – after installing a newer revision of the app it would join the MI network, would see my extender, but could not establish a network connection to my home network. Always the same pattern: ‘just a sec..”, running from 27% to 44% and reporting connection failure, repeatedly, the LED kept blinking, the ‘blue light’ never appeared.
    – the same error occured with two different routers (Speedlink, FRITZ!box), regardless of security settings used (WPA+WP2, WPA, WPA2, WEP, totally open)
    – Interestingly the same error would occur with the correct or any incorrect network passwords used, so the password was never really ‘used’ by the app during the connection process!
    – the SAME app MiHome WILL run on a cheap Android TV box and DOES connect to a router from there, so the issue is with the app and Android device it is installed on. Also this WiFi extender operates apparently ONLY if using WPA2 exclusively (what a weird expectation by the manufacturer!).
    – Summary: only specific Android devices and a unique software plus a unique MI account from Xiaomi will allow to configure this WiFi extender and only if using WPA2 security. Any other method will utterly fail.

    Once it is tuned to the home network its signal strength is astonishingly high, as is the bandwidth it can operate at.
    It will keep the settings once powered down and up again; it re-connects within 10sec or so, that’s ok.

    The overall shaky design of the hardware and dependency of crappy (Chinese!) software may explain why this Xiaomi M WiFi extender I is sold for $6 now: just too many issues with its setup and maintenance,

    A tinkerer’s toy at best, needing diligence, experience and a lot of good luck to get up and running.
    It will reward the user with high speed transfers over large ranges, even between buildings and across floors.

  18. November 30, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Have you opened it? What chips are inside?

  19. Ray
    January 13, 2017 at 3:45 am

    Set up always stop at 44℅ and it’s telling me connection was interrupted.

  20. Xav
    June 9, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    After i setup the wifi extender with phone, can I connect my desktop with the wifi extender without downloading anything?

    • June 10, 2017 at 12:37 pm

      Yes you can. Enjoy!

  21. Pujo
    June 16, 2017 at 12:01 am

    What is the name of the white pen in the first picture?

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