Plug-in pods could solve your WiFi connection issues

Plume's system is very similar to Eero, but cheaper.

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Steve Dent
June 16, 2016 3:18 PM
In this article: gadgetry, gadgets, gear, internet
Plug-in pods could solve your WiFi connection issues

If you can't get WiFi in that one room, there are ways to solve the problem -- range extenders and powerline plugs are a couple of solutions that come to mind. There's also Eero, system that improves your coverage using hubs you install in rooms with poor coverage. A new contender called Plume has a very similar system, except that instead of sitting on a desk, the "Pods" go into power sockets where needed. After you connect it to into your ISP's modem, it extends coverage via a mesh-like system the company calls "Adaptive WiFi."

Each pod has an ethernet port, in case you want to jack in (the Eero has two), but it's really designed for wireless use. The mesh system constantly calculates where you are and adjusts the signal to maximize connection speeds, which the company claims are the fastest on the market. It also uses cloud computing to improve its performance. "Plume is a self-learning system that gets better and better over time," CEO Fahri Diner said on the company's blog.

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Not now

The company is now taking pre-orders for $39 a pod, promising shipping in fall 2016, after which time it'll cost $49 (the minimum order is six pods, unfortunately). If you buy, you'll be taking a flyer on a product that hasn't hit market yet, though Diner says the company has been testing it in "thousands of homes" with an internet service provider. The price is a lot cheaper than Eero, which costs $200 per unit (or around $167 each if you buy three), but at least we know the latter solution works very well. Plume says it'll be faster for a quarter of the price, so hopefully we'll be able to test those claims for ourselves.

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