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Zyxel Multy WiFi
Consisting of a Zyxel Multy X node and a Multy Mini to act as a satellite it provides wireless mesh coverage at both 2.4 and 5GHz with separate 5GHz channels being used to provide wireless “backhaul” communication between the two units.
The node is roughly 9 x 7 x 2 inches thick and has all its connections on one of the long sides. It is white in colour so won’t look out of place in any home when it is sitting flat on a desk or hung on the wall. In addition to the Internet connection there are three gigabit Ethernet ports together with a USB2 port as well as the power socket and a small hole to access the concealed reset button on one of the long edges of the unit.
The Mini is about 5.5 x 4.75 and 1.25 inches thick. It is also white in colour and has an Ethernet and a USB port. There are keyhole slots on the rear for ease of wall mounting while the cable from the supplied power brick is about 6ft long so one must take care to ensure that its chosen location is close enough to a power point. The colour and whether flashing of LED array on top of each unit, in the shape of a broad arrow, indicate current status.
The printed QS Guide supplied in the box is, to say the least, terse as all it says is install and open the Multy App [on one’s iphone or Android smartphone] and follow the App instructions to set up your WiFi system and then there is a note “see the User’s Guide at www.zyxel.com for more information, including customer support and safety warnings”.
The 69-page Multi-X User’s Guide is very useful because the phone app just gives step-by-step instructions that one has to follow blindly so one does not really understand what is happening. For example having sited the Multy close to one’s modem, powered it up, and connected it to the modem using the provided Ethernet cable one must “Wait for 2 minutes. Tap below [on the smartphone App] when Multy begins blinking blue.” In fact, reference to the table in the User Guide indicates that, in this case, the blinking blue LEDs indicate that Bluetooth is enabled on the Multy Device.
One names the location – such as “study room” – prior to the unit checking internet connection via Bluetooth and is then told to wait while it is checking the internet connection via Bluetooth. Once that has been dealt with one then sets up names and passwords for the WiFi at 2.4 and 5GHz.
The next stage was to install the satellite Mini. However, when I initially tried with it at the most distant part of the flat it told me that the signal was inadequate and that the device should be moved nearer to the Multi X. After I had done this it was a straightforward task to complete the setup – even though the signal between the two had to traverse two internal walls as well as the fridge etc. in the kitchen.
Everything went smoothly, however, with the overall result being that I had good signals at both 2.4 and 5GHz throughout the whole area so I felt that there was no need to use any of the Ethernet ports.
In view of the fact that smartphones and tablets are increasingly becoming the device of choice as they are often used in preference to a PC, it is understandable that Zyxel decided that setup would be via a phone App. Similarly, even though I have not been able to test it, in view of current trends, it has been designed to work with Amazon’s Alexa.
Priced at £229 on Amazon the Zyxel Multy WiFi system has been well designed and packaged as a premium product. Consisting of a combination of a Multy X and Multy Mini it is an easy to use means of enhancing wireless coverage as well as providing additional Ethernet ports.
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