Plume SuperPods With Wi-Fi 6 Review: Adaptive Cloud Mesh

Most folks choose to not be bothered by system configuration, bands and channels, or the deeper complexities of Wi-Fi. They merely need quick and dependable connections at house. Plume’s SuperPods are a plug-and-play mesh system that anybody can arrange and use with a simple cell app.

Just as a result of Plume’s SuperPods are easy to make use of doesn’t imply they lack options or top-notch efficiency. There’s built-in cyber safety and parental controls, with computerized optimization dealt with within the cloud. You additionally get neat extras like ad-blocking and movement sensing.

In testing over the previous few weeks, I’ve discovered Plume to be a slick system with a lot to suggest it, however (and it’s a giant however) the SuperPods with Wi-Fi 6 value $159 every. Most properties will need three, which prices $477, and also you want a HomePass subscription for $99 a yr. That makes Plume considerably costlier than any of the best mesh systems or Wi-Fi routers we suggest.

Set and Forget

Each Plume SuperPod plugs straight into an influence outlet (no cables) and contains a trendy silver hexagonal design that blends in quietly. Hate ugly routers bristling with antennas? You will admire Plume’s look. Plug your incoming web connection into the principle router and place the equivalent nodes (every has two gigabit Ethernet ports). The firm means that three SuperPods are sufficient for the common house (it was a lot for my two-floor 1,600-square-foot home).

Setup is a breeze within the HomePass app. Within minutes, I had my home lined. The solely potential drawback is discovering handy energy retailers. I used extensions and energy strips for a few my SuperPods. But as a result of they’re cumbersome, it may be robust to plug something in proper subsequent to the SuperPod.

The HomePass cell app is simple for anybody to make use of. It tracks the web velocity you might be getting out of your supplier and reveals a connectivity map for SuperPods and related units. You can create particular person profiles and set content material filters for teenagers. You may assign major units, like a smartphone, to every particular person within the family to trace when they’re house. If you need to schedule web downtime, you are able to do it on a per-device foundation, which provides loads of flexibility.

Performance is superb, with quick Wi-Fi speeds and dependable connections. We had no points with a number of simultaneous video streams and gaming periods. In a room containing a SuperPod, Plume’s system carried out in addition to any I’ve examined—together with the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8, my present high advice. Where the XT8 pulled forward was in long-range efficiency. In the yard or a few rooms away, the SuperPods have been slower. A trio of SuperPods served my house and yard fantastic, however of us with bigger properties may have extra.

Comprehensive safety blocks malware, keyloggers, phishing makes an attempt, and different undesirable intrusions. There can also be non-compulsory advert blocking, which labored nicely in my testing.

Something I’ve by no means seen earlier than is Plume’s movement sensing, which makes use of the evaluation it already does on radio frequency waves bouncing round your house to find out when there’s person-sized motion. It can flag your children getting up within the night time, an intruder within the house while you’re away on trip, or assist unobtrusively observe an aged relative (extra privately than a digicam). My cats didn’t set off it. You may activate movement alerts and evaluation a chart displaying motion within the house over the past seven days.

The Cloud Model

Plume began as a software program firm targeted on shifting community optimization and administration to the cloud. But the foremost router producers handed, so it started to make its personal {hardware}. While most routers get rare firmware updates, with assist dropping off after a couple of years, algorithm and firmware updates deploy on Plume programs mechanically each three weeks. This course of is a minor ache with the Asus XT8, the place you have to set off the firmware set up, which typically fails, after which reboot your system.

By monitoring the standard of your expertise for all entry factors and related units, Plume additionally continually tweaks the topology of your system to optimize your Wi-Fi connections. Say, for instance, your neighbor comes house and begins watching a great deal of YouTube and creates interference for you. Plume will swap channels to make sure all of your units are on the most effective connection. Many routers have an auto-scanning operate that purports to do that, however in apply, they scan and make adjustments sometimes.

With Plume, you will have to replace your {hardware} each few years, however your settings and historical past persist. Much of the worth shouldn’t be the {hardware} however the tailor-made cloud smarts and expectation of fixed enhancements and new options.

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