Review: Small, practical and reliable
Ovislink company was founded in 1993 and it has been making network devices for business and regular users ever since. The company’s Air Live line has been available for the masses for a while now but the company recently launched the latest device in this line – the AirLive N.Mini. We’re talking about a compact and light device that is used for wireless networking.
The product measures 75 x 54 x 18 mm and is currently the world’s smallest device with 802.11n standard. It is used for networking of computers and other multimedia devices.
AirLive N.Mini comes in a compact cardboard box with a plastic window that allows you to see the device. The box says this product belongs to Green series of AirLive, i.e. devices that are up to 80 percent more efficient than standard devices. N.Mini thus consumes only 1W when idle and 2W when active.
The back of the box has a few sketches that show basic functions of this device.
The contents are pretty modest, which didn’t surprise us much having in mind that size of the packaging. Inside we found the N.Mini, LAN cable, power adapter, CD with various manuals and quick-installation guide.
AirLive N.Mini measures 75 x 54 x 18 mm, which is slightly less than a standard cigarette box. As you can see, the design is pretty simple.
Top of the device features 5 status LEDs and a WPS key, which is used to set up the connection between two identical N.Mini devices.
The bottom of the device has a three-step switch for operation mode, a hole with the reset key and an air outlet used for cooling.
Back of the N.Mini features one 10/100Mbps network connectors and a power connector as well. Of course, the network port is used for connecting the device to your modem and there is no option for connecting more devices.
Air Live N.Mini is a device you can use as a wireless AP (Access Point), router or client.
When the device is in router mode, the device acts as a standard wireless router that assigns IPs to its clients. Those who already have a cable router and need wireless internet can use the N.Mini in AP mode and create a wireless network.
Client mode is intended for users who have multimedia devices without a wireless option but want to connect them to a network. Of course, for this task you’ll need two N.Mini routers where one is set to act as an AP, whereas the other is set to client mode. All you’ll need to do afterwards is press the WPS button on both devices for them to synchronize and set up a secure connection.
We’ve been using the N.Mini for about a week and we must say we’re more than pleased with what it can do. N.Mini uses 2TR2 MIMO 11b/g/n Radio, which allows it to cover the same area as standard routers. We must admit we’ve been pretty impressed with reception quality and signal coverage especially considering that the device has no external antenna.
Router configuration is pretty simple and similar to standard router models. The configuration is accessed via web interface.
N.Mini web interface is pretty similar to those of standard routers. Actually, the interface is somewhat more simple than in standard routers but it will suffice for most users.
With one client connected to the network, data transfer speeds were at 76-87Mbps. This is a pretty good score for 802.11n wireless standard.
The device excellently handled torrent apps, which use quite a number of connections. We did not notice any choking nor a significant speed difference compared to standard, cable connections.
AirLive N.Mini is a wireless device whose size makes it ideal for frequent travelers as well as those who don’t want to clutter their home with large routers and a bunch of antennas sticking out of them.
N.Mini is practical and simple to use – you won’t need software or any special knowledge of networking. We were impressed by strong signal coverage and strength, especially considering the lack of external antenna.
Data transfer speeds are very good, even when using P2P programs that open quite a number of connections (torrent clients).
The device is extremely efficient – it will consume only 1W when in stand-by mode and up to 2W during operation. The device does not heat up much, so we can easily omit it and being priced at around 34 euro makes it a really valuable and affordable companion on the road as well as at home.