Looking for something with the easy installation of aor system, but with a SmartThings hub built in? You’ll be able to get one soon.
Samsung announced its first Wi-Fi system today, the Samsung Connect Home. This is a midtier (2×2 MU-MIMO 802.11ac) system that’s very similar to the Google Wifi, or the for that matter. It includes up to three identical hardware units (it is also available with a single router), each of which is a compact wireless router with two network ports.
If you get a pack of three, one unit connects to your broadband modem and the rest of the units work as network extenders, making a seamless Wi-Fi network with a large coverage area. In similar products with this design, the goal has been to make it easier for the average consumer to cover an entire home with a strong wireless networking signal.
An all-in-one mobile app
Like other Wi-Fi systems, the Connect Home is connected to a mobile app you use to set up and manage your home network. Samsung says at launch the app, called Samsung Connect, is only available for the newly released Galaxy S8. Toward the end of the year it will be available on other Android devices and maybe even iOS devices, too.
Samsung has some big ambitions for this app, however. Apart from managing the Wi-Fi network it will also enable users to manage — including the setup process — Samsung-branded smart household devices, ranging from cameras to large appliances. The router also works as a hub for Samsung’s SmartThings home automation system, and the app will let you program and control SmartThings-compatible devices from third-party product makers.
The SmartThings twist
This unified approach has been a long time coming. Since Samsung acquired SmartThings in August 2014, this is the first time Samsung has united its own connected large appliances with SmartThings-compatible products in the same hub hardware and support application. This means you won’t need a separate anymore.
Samsung says the new Connect Home has built-in Zigbee and Z-Wave — popular light-weight wireless standards for home automation — and is compatible with hundreds of third-party smart home devices, such as Philips Hue Lights, Netgear Arlo Camera and Ring Video Doorbell.
If the device and the software work as expected, you will just need the Connect Home to control your entire home, and have Wi-Fi at every corner. It’s a win-win.
Apart from the 2×2 version of the Connect Home, Samsung will also have a Pro version that’s only available in a single unit for those living in a small home. The Connect Home Pro has the same physical size as a Connect Home unit but supports the top-tier Wi-Fi specs (4×4 MU-MIMO 802.11ac). It’s slated to be much faster though and has the same Wi-Fi coverage as a single unit of the Connect Home.
As of now, Samsung is tight-lipped about the availability and pricing of its new mesh systems. But it’s likely that they will be available by the second half of 2017.
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