Range: How far can I expect to reach?

Your range at any moment depends on terrain and obstructions: flat open terrain gives you longer range, while hilly terrain or nearby tall structures gives you shorter range. The material of an obstruction matters too: you may be able to talk to someone in their cabin on a different level of a cruise ship, but lose contact with someone on the other side of a large granite boulder. 

The good news is that thanks to our MiloNet™ proprietary ad-hoc mesh protocol, grouped units help each other to extend the group's range. When you connect more Milos, each Milo acts as a "repeater" to increase the range of each connected Milo, extending the range for everyone in your group of 3 or more people.

Can you give me a number?

All communication radios have a practical limit to how far away you can go and stay in direct contact. That distance depends on many factors (and legal requirements) including the frequency, the antenna size, the power output, and terrain and obstructions in your environment.

Some no-license and GMRS license radios claim to give you a range of 20-30 miles between 2 walkie-talkies. Unless you're at the top of a mountain talking to your friend in direct line of sight on top of another mountain, those claims set unreasonable expectations for any realistic situation.

We don't like making promises we can't keep and it's important to us that you can use Milo in all the locations we say you can without you running into any trouble.

Connection strength (and therefore range) can vary dramatically based on the environment, terrain, and even weather conditions. It's the nature of radio waves to travel easily through air but struggle to pass through denser materials, like stone, and conductive materials, like water or metal. There, the radio waves are either absorbed or reflected by the materials.

Range is also affected by interference from other RF devices (e.g. WiFi, common in urban environments), and the frequency band used. With sub-GigaHertz bands added (MiloNet 2.0 Preview Feature for limited group sizes in v. 8.0.0), you'll notice significant improvements in most environments. That's because radio waves at this wavelength more easily get through some obstacles and make Milo resistant to WiFi and Bluetooth interference.

I get it - but I still want a number

Alright. 😊 In our testing, the range between two Milos can exceed 1,300m (4,000ft) line of sight. Additionally, as you connect more Milos in a group, each Milo acts as a "repeater" to extend the range of each connected Milo, allowing your group to spread out even farther, thanks to our MiloNet™ mesh network.
You won't always reach that far - and sometimes you'll reach a lot farther.
You may see Milos go out-of-reach among buildings in dense city blocks, or in highly technical mountain bike trails through tight valleys, where riding around a bend may stop the signal from getting through. One of our team members gets over 1 mile of range in one direction from their house, but only a few hundred meters in the other because of interfering terrain and buildings.

What happens when someone goes out of range?

Milo uses short voice notifications to tell everyone in the group the name of the Milo who just dropped out of range or returned into range. This is the core reason for why each Milo has a name: to keep everyone easily informed. If you're the one who goes out of range, you'll be notified as well.

When back in range, you don't need to do anything special - MiloNet™, our patented mesh network protocol, will actively work on reconnecting you with your group automatically when your signal is strong enough to do so. 

Starting with Milo version 8.0.0, you can choose the level of automatic notification, or even turn it off completely.

Read more about maximizing your range here: Maximizing your range