Suffice to say, we need a better solution for home Wi-Fi connections than what routers currently offer. That’s why we’ve been increasingly seeing innovative alternatives, from Google’s OnHub to startups like Portal. Plume offers a different take on improving home Wi-Fi by eliminating the router entirely and replacing it with a fleet of mini-hubs that plug right into your wall sockets.
Instead of having a single router to handle your home’s internet traffic, the system relies on multiple Plume units that you distribute around the house. As such, you can put one in every room, ensuring the signal is equally strong anywhere you go. It essentially acts like a mesh system to ensure a strong Wi-Fi signal everywhere in the house, except without the reduced bandwidth, ensuring you enjoy your internet connection’s full speed, whether in the living room, the kitchen, or the attic.
Plume interfaces directly with your ISP’s modem, so there’s no need to use an extra router in the house. Each one has an Ethernet port, so you can plug in via cable (probably useful if you can keep one right next to a PC), although it’s really designed for wireless use. All the multiple pods plugged into your outlets create a mesh system that they’re calling Adaptive Wi-Fi, which automatically adjusts the signal a pod emits based on the specific needs of the devices that connect to it. The actual processing is cloud-based, too, so you get the advantage of big data in optimizing your Wi-Fi service.
Now available for preorders with a fall release, Plume is priced at $39 each (minimum pre-order quantity is six pods).