There are few things as frustrating as troubleshooting a Wi-Fi network and coverage within a home or apartment. For something so vital to maintain a connection to the outside world, or provide a means to binge watch Breaking Bad from start to finish "just one more time," Wi-Fi sure is a fickle technology.
In recent years, mesh networking has emerged as a promising means to eliminate most of those issues, while providing added controls and functionality to network management. Mesh networking uses multiple access points (AP) that blanket an area in a signal, handing off devices to another AP when it can provide a better connection.
Last year, Samsung released its own mesh networking solution with Samsung Connect Home. In addition to acting as a mesh network, Samsung Connect Home included Samsung's SmartThings functionality for control of connected devices such as locks, doorbells, and lights.
Learning from its experience with Samsung Connect Home, the company on Monday announced SmartThings Wifi. Overall, the access points look similar to last year's model, save for an additional SmartThings logo on the top of the small white box.
This time around, instead of trying to manage the mesh network itself, Samsung has partnered with Plume.
Plume's AI smarts will work in tandem with Samsung's hardware to learn network conditions, make suggestions on improving a network, prioritizing devices, and parental controls for connected devices.
Most of those features are reserved for Plume's membership program, but Samsung has worked it out with Plume so that all SmartThings Wifi users will get to take advantage of the advanced features without any further fees.
In addition to its mesh network capabilities, SmartThings Wifi also acts as a SmartThings hub for connecting, controlling, and managing smart home devices.
SmartThings Wifi is available starting today, August 13 on Samsung.com and through various retailers. A 3 pack, with enough power to cover a 4,500 square foot area, is priced at $279. Single SmartThings Wifi devices are $119.