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Along with Galaxy S8, Samsung lifts lid on Google Wifi rival that runs your IoT security

Samsung doesn't just have a new Galaxy S8 to show off, but the new Connect Home Wi-Fi router that crams in a SmartThings hub.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

The Samsung Connect Home router and app aim to make it easier for people to manage their connected things.

Image: Joshua Goldman/CNET

Samsung's new Connect Home will offer a rival to Google Wifi or the Eero mesh router, but also features Samsung's SmartThings hub to manage IoT devices in the home.

The Korean giant is pitching the product as a convenient answer to the many things that can go wrong with the security of IoT devices.

Samsung acquired SmartThings in 2014 and has sold the product to help people coordinate and manage their connected devices. With Samsung Connect Home, consumers will get the SmartThings Hub as built-in features.

ZDNet sister site CNET reports that the Samsung Connect Home hardware itself includes a package of up to three small wireless routers, with one connecting to the broadband modem and the other units acting to boost Wi-Fi coverage in the home.

According to Samsung's fact sheet, Samsung Connect will help people simplify control and management of their connected things. A new Samsung Connect smartphone app features a dashboard that displays the status of different connected devices and allows settings to be changed from the screen.

Samsung Connect can discover SmartThings IoT devices and works with Samsung's Smart TVs, providing alerts to a TV or phone for "enhanced security and connectivity". It will work with a range of Samsung household products, including cameras and larger appliances.

The hardware uses the Zigbee and Z-Wave wireless protocols, as well as Bluetooth 4.1, and is compatible with third-party products such as the Philips Hue lights, Netgear Arlo, and Ring Video Doorbell.

Users can also create custom modes, such as a morning or movie mode that would adjust lights, music and speakers for those occasions.

The Samsung Connect app is for now pre-loaded on the new Galaxy S8 and S8+, and will eventually be available on Google's Play Store as well as Apple's App Store.

Samsung will be releasing a standard Connect Home and Connect Home Pro with better specs, but only available as a single unit. The standard unit will deliver 866Mbps on the 5GHz band, while the Pro will give 1.7Gbps on 5GHz. Both offer a 1,500 square foot range on a single device, so a pack of three will cover 4,500 square feet.

Samsung hasn't revealed pricing or availability though the product is likely to hit store shelves by the second half of 2017, according to CNET.

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