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Mercusys Halo H80X Review: Our Opinion

When it comes to maximizing WiFi coverage at home, the most compelling choice would be mesh network devices. And since WiFi 6 is already well established, you can opt for this latest standard. It becomes more difficult when you realize that there are not many cheap references and this equipment can be expensive.

Mercusys, a brand new to the French market, offers a WiFi 6compatible model at a fairly affordable price, consisting of a set of three devices, which is not too much to cover all certain households. We got our hands on the Halo H80X to test it out.

The modules are immaculately white and shaped like cobblestones, but keep a reasonable size. Each of them comes with its own power supply and one Ethernet cable to connect one of them to a modem or settop box.

The brand is discreetly applied on the front panel, and the LED allows you to monitor the status of the device. Ventilation will be provided above the holes.

View from above

At the bottom, almost the entire surface is perforated to allow air to pass through, and four legs help create space.

Aeration

On the back, the power port is next to 3 gigabit ports that can be used to connect your devices via ethernet.

Ports

The short guide is placed on a postage stamp and contains a link to the application. We must first create a Mercusys account in order to set up our first Halo H80X, the one that will be connected to the router. The LEDs can take on different colors to indicate the status: downloading, connecting, updating, problem, etc.

Assistant

After connecting directly to the module’s temporary WiFi network, configuration can begin. Of course, you can choose the name of your network, and we tried to choose the same as in our Box Orange. However, we ran into a bug before we figured out why the app refused to connect: the box’s WiFi stayed on the road and took over. We’ll see later if reactivation isn’t a problem.

wifi network

Like the wizard steps, the interface is very clear. The main page lists devices connected via WiFi to our modules. The other lets you access other settings and options, such as parental controls.

Interface

In the WiFi part, you can later change the network name and password, deactivate one of the ranges, or create a guest network. Advanced settings are reserved for insiders with more options similar to those found in traditional routers.

Settings

Three modules are now in place, and at first glance, all of our home devices are happy with this new network. Now there are a few tests left to run, in particular to see what range the device compares to the network broadcast by Livebox when we reactivated it.

Before that, it was necessary to check the correct operation of all devices. This happened on all computers, but we ran into a problem with the printer. It was indeed configured to work on WiFi via our operator box’s old local address, and the new local network address assigned to our Halo H80X prevented it from communicating with other machines.

In this case, two solutions were available to us, the first was to reconfigure the printer and all objects connected to it, working in this way. Another, simpler solution we have taken is to change the mode of operation of our mesh network. In the advanced settings in the “Operation mode” section, you can select the router mode (default) and the access point mode.

Access point mode

In hotspot mode, the mesh system simply relays to extend WiFi coverage. A good solution when you do not need to make any changes to the configuration of connected devices. On the other hand, we lose some features, such as parental controls, but this option has merit.

In this mode, as in the other, reactivating WiFi on our operator box did not cause any problems. This made it possible to compare the signal strength of the Halo H80X. It performs slightly better than Livebox and even manages to transmit WiFi far enough to cover 700 m2 of garden, with certainly less power than inside the house, but more efficient than the box provided by the operator (the yellow curve is one of Halo H80X modules).

Signal strength

In the picture above, we can see different signals sent by three devices. The transition from one module to another is smooth, the transition from one module to another without disconnection, switching between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks depending on the distance between the connected device and the broadcast device.

From a smartphone in Wifi 5, near the box, we get a theoretical speed of more than 800 Mbps on the 5GHz band. Moving away from home to the street, even at a very decent distance, we logically switch to 2.4 GHz, while maintaining decent speeds.

Debit

In terms of range, the Halo H80X seems to be a bit better than its direct competitor, which has already performed well while still being affordable, the DLink M15. For homes with thick walls that pose a problem for WiFi propagation, it will be necessary to switch to a WiFi/CPL combo solution such as the Devolo Magic 2 WiFi 6, which is much more expensive.

To blend in with the decor even more without affecting the installation, it would be helpful if the manufacturer used a retractable socket so as not to condemn it or use an extension cord. Likewise, the router mode should be easy to maintain so that you don’t have to reconfigure the network, even if it’s not too disruptive.

The most positive thing is at the level of settings that do not require special knowledge, thanks to a clear and highquality application interface. Once in place, the system is forgotten while devices remain connected in a stable manner. For those who do not want to invest too much, the system offered by Mercusys Halo H80X is a good solution for optimizing your home network to evenly distribute WiFi there.

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