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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Motorola’s MH7020 mesh WiFi system review: Speed and protection for your home

Motorola’s MH7020 can be bought as a single unit or with one or two satellites given the kind of house one has. Here's our review of the mesh WiFi system from Motorola.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Rs. 7,999
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: September 16, 2021 2:22:35 pm
Motorola MH7020 mesh WiFi, MH7020 review, MH7020 Wifi system review, Motorola Mesh Wifi system review, Motorola MH7020 price, Motorola MH7020 price in IndiaMotorola MH7020 mesh WiFi systems review: This one promises to make a difference to all the speed problems for your home internet. Here's how it works. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

Literally, every day of work from home is a struggle with WiFi connection and Internet speed. With three persons almost always connected to the net, it is no surprise that this also becomes one of the most talked-about points at home. Over the past months, I have even installed a second broadband connection at home to get the better of the problem. However, it is still a question of which is the better connection on a particular day.

This is where Motorola’s MH7020 whole-home mesh WiFi system wants to make a difference. And it is not just the problem of speed that this system solves for.

Motorola MH7020

Motorola’s MH7020 can be bought as a single unit or with one or two satellites given the kind of house you have. I got the single unit for review. I was initially a bit skeptical because some of the WiFi systems I have reviewed earlier were quite complicated to set up. In contrast, the MH7020 is just plug-and-play with a LAN cable connecting the unit to the router. Also, remember, this is not a modem in itself and will always need to be plugged into your existing WiFi.

The unit has an LED Motorola logo in the front which glows bright green if your connection is successful. And that is the last you will see of the unit because all the magic with this product is nested in its app.

Motorola MH7020 mesh WiFi system app Motorola MH7020 mesh WiFi app systems: Here’s what the app looks like from inside. (Screenshots from the app)

The MotoManage, or MotoSync app in India, can at first appear a little intimidating, but it is actually quite simple and all you have to do is follow instructions. You first add your unit on the app — the satellite too if you are using them — and you can then manage everything.

The next thing to do is for your devices to move to the WiFi link to the Moto signal using the unit’s password, which again you can change if needed. The MH7020 made the connection much more stable and strong. In fact, the pockets in the house where I had to go off WiFi to the mobile network were now getting much better signals.

One good thing about the MH7020 is that it uses the cloud to identify every device that connects to the unit. It actually tells you the type of device it is — from my son’s Nintendo Switch to a review unit of the OnePlus 9 Pro — and instead of just showing mac addresses as we are used to.

Another interesting feature is the inbuilt speed test which tells you the download upload speeds you are actually getting and what it is good for.

On all the devices connected via the MH7020, you can switch on additional layers of protection. For instance, you can switch on filters for ad tracking, malware, and adult sites. For households with small children at home, this brings in an added layer of assurance. Motorola uses open-source resources for the same if you are not using a premium package. Interestingly, for Indian users the MotoSync app will offer all premium features for free.

MH7020 mesh WiFi On all the devices connected via the MH7020, you can switch on additional layers of protection especially for children’s devices, including the ability to add a fixed schedule. (Screenshot from the Motorola app)

There is more when it comes to keeping your children safe. On the app, I could create a profile for my son’s devices — my old MacBook Air which he uses for online classes and for watching YouTube, etc, his Nintendo Switch for gaming, and a smartphone for making calls when he is alone at home. Now, with the MH7020 I could set rules for all these devices on a calendar and take them offline as per a schedule of 10 pm to 8 am.

I can also pause all the devices with a single touch and even block particular sites if it comes to that. Also, on all the profiles I can see usage patterns to study which domains — it does not show specific sites always — more time is being spent on.

I could not have asked for anything more to play Big Brother for my son. While this gives you enough insight to keep an eye on young users, Motorola has also made it in such a way that the privacy of others is not at risk by not offering too many specifics on browsing patterns, etc.

With a price of Rs 7,999 for a single unit, the Motorola MH7020 is a must-have for homes with WiFi issues, multiple devices, and more than one user. The two-pack and three-packs cost Rs 13,999 and 19,999 respectively. I’m getting at least the one-pack for sure.

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