The Motorola Q11 (manufactured by Minim under license from Motorola) is an inexpensive Wi-Fi 6 mesh router kit that is easy to set up and comes with built-in security software, making it an attractive option for people on a budget.
The Q11 we tested comes in a three-pack that should be sufficient for a 5,000-square-foot home. The Q11 lacks Bluetooth and Zigbee support but has MU-MIMO, beamforming, and the ability to use 160MHz data channels (160MHz is the highest bandwidth available on 5GHz routers) for gamers or data hogs at home.
When I evaluated the Motorola MH7603 mesh system I was impressed by how easy it was to use. Its built-in network security and parental control software were some of my favorite features. However, I was disappointed that it did not have multi-gig LAN and USB ports. The Motorola Q11 also lacks multi-gig and USB ports, but it does support the aforementioned 160MHz channels and WPA3 encryption, two things not present in the other model.
Setting up the Motorola Q11 requires the use of the Motosync app, which is developed by Minim and can be downloaded on both iOS and Android devices. The app utilizes QR codes located on the underside of the Q11 devices. It takes about 20 minutes to set up all three components but I did have to go back later and move things around for better performance.
The mobile app is relatively helpful should you run into issues along the way. The app displays useful information such as the number of online devices and their names, and allows users to view satellite signal strength and reboot satellites.
The Security center on the main screen provides information on security software scans, intrusion numbers, and vulnerability checks. Additionally, the Home Filter feature can block ads and malicious websites, filter adult content, and track internet use and filtering parameters for each user profile.
The app also indicates whether the current connection supports various online activities like web browsing, music streaming, gaming, and 4K videos.
I appreciate the frictionless manner in which I can create profiles for members of the home, assigning devices, and put together schedules. As a parent I wish I had this sort of control in my house a decade ago when my son began his journey with phones, tablets, and laptops.
The Motosync app can also track data use on a household or individual basis for those with monthly data limits, and offers a direct chat link to the company’s support staff through a headset logo at the bottom of the screen.
The Q11’s performance is excellent when connected in relatively close proximity to a satellite or the main router. Similar to what I found with the MH7603, things work best when you spread the units out a bit. When they suggest a home of up to 5,000 square feet, they’re serious. I can blanket my entire home of around 1,800 square feet with just the main component.
The Q11 offers basic home network options, including port forwarding capability and UPnP, and provides built-in router security without any extra charge. And with the WPA3 and 160MHz channel support, it makes for a more attractive package than the MH7603.
Although there were occasional connectivity issues during the first week of use, the Motorola Q11 mesh system performed well overall in testing. The Motosync app works effectively, but users need to create an account, which could be a concern for some regarding data privacy. Don’t want to share your data? You’ll lose access to pretty much the full app.
I have a few quibbles with the experience but it’s not so much a Q11 problem as it is with Motorola/Minim. When I experienced connectivity issues with the mesh system, I had hoped to manually check for a software update but ultimately found that there was no option to do so. Further, there are no settings for updates or an update changelog available.
I had to do some trial and error in placement of the router and accompanying extenders and that was mostly after a few online searches. As it turns out, you can have your mesh system set up too close.
Also a pain point, there was no way to prefer a band for a connected device, even though the Q11 system does a decent job of finding the right band. However, it took a long time for new devices to connect to the 5GHz band, sometimes taking over 10 minutes.
The Motorola Q11 is a budget-friendly Wi-Fi 6 mesh router kit that is easy to set up and configure. It is a great option for people on a budget and do not need all-out performance. However, it may not be suitable for all users, specifically those who need more Ethernet ports or USB connection for network-wide data storage.
Also worth considering, the app is helpful and seems to offer most of the features I want, but it takes time to figure out where things are located — if they are available at all.
The Q11 can be ordered as a single unit for $99 or in a three-pack for $199. Unless you have a rather large home, I would recommend going with a single unit for this model. It’s rated up to 2,000 square feet and should be more than sufficient for the average homeowner.