Friday, September 09, 2016

Xiaomi WiFi Extender

Huawei LTE B315 + Xiaomi Wifi Extender

This is my current home internet set-up - Huawei LTE B315 + Xiaomi Wifi Extender. Both Unifi and Streamyx are not available for me in this new building. The only option at this point is to be tied up to a rather unknown provider named Whoopie.

About Whoopie
I do not like the upfront payment by Whoopie nor am I comfortable with its T&C and people behind it. At first, the toll-free number given is not valid. Then another given number located in Kuala Lumpur was answered by someone who is the customer service, technical consultant, etc - 1 man show. At one point, he asked me to pay upfront for 12 months usage. I'm renting for less than 2 years (network minimum contract is 2 years) and I've asked what happened if you don't serve the area I'm moving next? Because, Unifi allows you to forfeit the penalty for cancelling before the contract is due under such condition.

So, the 1 man show came out with multiple on-the-spot terms & condition, being all flexible on my demands/conditions but to only tell me everything will be pending approval once I signed & paid on their conditions? Say, what?! Doesn't contract when signed means you've agreed to all the terms already written/stated?

Yes, I am one of those who reads every single words stated in the contract; even those that is not written but ought to. At which, I will always seek further details and clarification on each term that is not agreeable or clear with the party involved.

Also note that the printed contract given at the apartment and the one available on their main website has DIFFERENT terms; last checked on March 2016. Beware.

You need to pay pretty much every upfront there is to get started, including installation and troubleshooting visit. Troubleshooting visit has no regards if it is their network nor their equipment issues. Additional cost on top of visiting cost will be imposed. Meaning, they will visit your premise to troubleshoot for a fee & any repair cost further will be imposed upon that.

Xiaomi Wifi Extender
Now, that brings me to why I'm using a contract-free U Mobile and invested in a proper LTE modem that comes with a TEL line-out.

MYR40.90 from Lazada
Minimalist Design (^_^)

I've gotten the extender after some testing with the LTE modem. Signal is weak after 2 walls. I've placed the extender in our master bedroom whilst the LTE modem stays in the hall.

Plug into a power source

Orange light blinking for pairing/start-up

Green light paired/connected

Setting up is a breeze if you already have Mi Home App. I have 2 other Xiaomi home devices prior to this. The breeze part ends when there is certain hiccups that might pop-up during the pairing time. Which is pretty common with all the Xiaomi devices I have at the moment. Just need a few tries if that happens.

I'm one of the lucky one at this point whence a few tries do works without a big roundabout tweaking. Also, it is fairly common to find set-up instructions online as well as troubleshooting at this point.

I've set mine up to have a different SSID than the main modem;

Extender's connection comes with a "_plus"

I've initially set it up to have the same SSID as my main modem. When I moved around the apartment with my mobilephone, the signal will drops since it won't switch to the stronger connection by default.

By choosing to turns on the different SSID name in your Mi Home App - Mi Wi-Fi Repeater - turn off the first option in the line. Yes, I couldn't read Chinese words that well, relying on Screenshot - Google Translate - Camera - Gallery - scan for Chinese words to translate ヽ༼ಥ_ಥ༽ノ

It works well on our Xiaomi phones, iPad and Chromebooks thus far. One annoying bit though, when I manually switched it to connect to "_plus", my phone's default browser will pops up, trying to get to its IP page. I don't use the default browser at all. I need to clear cache & force stop the app (browser) each time since I'm only using Chrome browser on all my devices.


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