Let’s start with a photo. The Xiaomi Mi AC2100 WiFi Router arrived today and about all I can get out of it initially is the MAC address and serial number along with a website mewifi.com – that’s because the entire box is in Chinese – as is the instruction leaflet inside.
I also know that it has lots of advanced features many of which, are only available via an APP. The router has a nice, black, futuristic substantial look to it, a feeling that disappears a little when you dig deeper as it is plastic, not metal.
I plugged the unit into the mains (no on-off switch – just reset, 12v in and four RJ45 connectors one of which is marked LAN, the others 1, 2, 3 respectively. Only a VERY dim orange light inside gave the game away that the unit is actually ON. Actually, not true, on the OTHER side there are two slim, long LEDs only one of which is on right now, glowing in cyan. Ahah, English text next to the lit LED says SYSTEM, The other LED has INTERNET marked next to it.
I plugged my Ethernet into the WAN connection and a spare PC into one of the LAN connectors. A quick status check of the PC showed it on LAN subnet 192.168.31.x and in a browser on the PC, MiWiFi (in Chinese). And sure enough, both lights on in Cyan.
Setting up the SSID and password was easy even without any English – done. I looked to see if I could find options for English on the menu – nope.
As it happens I already had the MiFiFi app on my phone and so I agreed to pair the router to the phone – at which point the App wanted a password – I tried nothing, admin, pass, password… none of which worked until i tried 1234567789 and I was in.
Sadly the above took me no further toward getting English out of the router itself and at least half of the setting adjustments in the APP (example Hardware and System settings) resulted in “couldn’t save settings”.
Now I am sure there will be die-hards who want to take this further and will accuse me of being a wimp for giving up so easily – but hey, life is short and there are many, many multi-lingual routers. So, it seems that the APP is KIND of in English but the router itself definitely not multilingual.
A shame, it looks nice.