So, Plume might help make the most of the bandwidth that the SmartThings Wifi can offer, but that doesn’t change the fact that the SmartThings Wifi offers less bandwidth to begin with compared to some other routers. I'm now able to walk between buildings, or sit at my kitchen table, and experience full bandwidth without any issues. Michael covers the smart-home, home-entertainment, and home-networking beats, working in the smart home he built in 2007. A 13-year veteran of PC Magazine's Labs (most recently as Director of Operations), John was responsible for the recruitment, training and management of the Labs technical staff, as well as evaluating and maintaining the integrity of the Labs testing machines and procedures. With the next two units, you don't need to use an Ethernet cable; just plug a power cord into each one, and it connects to the others wirelessly. I've used Google WiFi for since it launched and I can say that the experience SmartThings Wifi has provided since the update has mirrored that of Google Wifi. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, John spent six years in retail operations for Federated Stores, Inc. before accepting a purchasing position with Morris Decision Systems, one of New York's first value-added resellers of the original IBM PC. Samsung sells SmartThings Wifi in a pack of three, or individually. Here's why that's disturbing, Inside Ed Bott's home office: 'Two of everything', This is the one thing every smart home needs, Why I replaced Google Wifi with Synology's mesh networking, Google Wifi's Network Check feature just got a lot better, Google fixes Chrome issue that allowed theft of WiFi logins, Security researcher fined for hacking hotel Wi-Fi. The latest business news, reviews, features and whitepapers, Watch our video news and reviews from around the world, Comprehensive buying guides, features, and step-by-step articles. But if you don’t need a top-shelf router, and not everyone does, the SmartThings Wifi’s price tag and its performance as a smart home hub renders it a good enough value. I tapped it and when the LED began blinking green and red I hit Next to connect my phone to the router. The TP-Link Deco M9 Plus Mesh Wi-Fi System also acts as a home automation hub that will control numerous devices, but it doesn't support Z-Wave products. A three-pack of units costs $380. The app. The Good The system works as a midtier router and a SmartThings home automation hub, all controlled by a single app. In other words, SmartThings is the better smart-home system, but Ring is a better home security system that also has smart home features. I started using SmartThings Wifi when it launched in August 2018 but ultimately had to postpone my review until now due to the lack of backhaul support, which was added in a recent update. Both solutions worked but weren't ideal. Previously we would keep Wi-Fi much further outdoors. For a mesh Wi-FI system, the Samsung Connect Home offers average coverage of 1,500 square feet per device. (Although we would love to be able to do this with voice, through Alexa or Google Assistant.). We'd just like to see more range and only one app. The Samsung Connect Home units are sleek, off-white disks without any antennas or bulkiness that needs to be hidden. As with the original nodes, there are no USB ports, and the LAN ports do not currently support wired backhaul, but that's on the roadmap. The more devices you have, the larger the area you can cover, and the more reliable your Wi-Fi network should be. (Mine does, but I didn’t benchmark the system that way.) Finally, neither SmartThings device includes an LTE module for backup. The accompanying app and setup process were frustrating. After all of the hubs are up and running, Plume's technology begins working on optimizing the network and communication between the hubs.