most people prefer No interference from device configuration, frequency bands and channels or deeper The complexity of Wi-Fi. They just want a fast and reliable connection at home. Plume’s SuperPods are a plug-and-play mesh system that anyone can set up and use with a simple mobile app.
Just because Plume’s SuperPods are easy to use doesn’t mean they lack features or top-notch performance. Built-in web security and parental controls, with automatic optimization handled in the cloud. You also get neat extras like ad blocking and motion sensing.
In my testing over the past few weeks, I’ve found the Plume to be a beautiful system with plenty to recommend, but (and it’s big but) SuperPods with Wi-Fi 6 cost $159 each. Most families need three for $477, and you’ll need to subscribe to HomePass for $99 a year.This makes Plume more best grid system or Wireless Router we recommend.
set and forget
Each Plume SuperPod plugs directly into a power outlet (no cables) and features a sleek silver hexagonal design that blends quietly into it. Hate ugly routers full of antennas? You’ll appreciate how Plume looks. Plug the incoming internet connection into the main router and place identical nodes (each with two gigabit ethernet ports). The company recommends that three SuperPods are enough for the average home (more than enough for my two-story 1,600-square-foot house).
Setup in the HomePass app is a breeze. Within minutes, my house was built. The only potential problem is finding a convenient power outlet. I use expansion and power strips for a few of my SuperPods. But because they’re so bulky, it’s hard to plug anything next to the SuperPod.
Anyone can easily use the HomePass mobile app. It tracks the internet speed you get from your provider and displays a connection graph for SuperPods and connected devices. You can create profiles for your kids and set up content filters. You can also assign primary devices, such as smartphones, to everyone in your household to keep track of when they’re home. If you want to schedule internet downtime, you can do it on a per-device basis, which provides a lot of flexibility.
Great performance, fast Wi-Fi speeds and reliable connections. We had no issues with multiple simultaneous video streams and gaming sessions. In a room with a SuperPod, Plume’s system performed as well as everything I’ve tested — including my current favorite, the Asus ZenWiFi AX XT8. Where the XT8 leads is in long-range performance. SuperPods are slower in the backyard or a few rooms away. Three SuperPods would serve my home and backyard well, but someone with a larger property may need more.
Comprehensive security blocks malware, keyloggers, phishing attempts and other unwanted intrusions. There’s also optional ad blocking, which worked well in my tests.
Something I’ve never seen before is Plume’s motion sensing, which uses the analysis it already does on RF waves bouncing around the home to determine when there’s human-sized movement. It can flag your kids getting up at night, breaking into your home when you’re away on vacation, or help unobtrusively stalk an older relative (more private than a camera). My cat doesn’t trigger it. You can also turn on Motion Alerts and view a graph showing your home’s motion over the past 7 days.
Plume started out as a software company focused on moving network optimization and management to the cloud. But the major router manufacturers have passed, so they started to make their own hardware. While most routers rarely get firmware updates and support drops after a few years, algorithm and firmware updates are automatically deployed on Plume systems every three weeks. This process is a little nuisance for the Asus XT8, you have to trigger the firmware install, which sometimes fails, and reboot the system.
By monitoring the quality of experience of all access points and connected devices, Plume also continuously adjusts the system’s topology to optimize your Wi-Fi connection. For example, your neighbors come home and start watching tons of YouTube videos and disturbing you. Plume will switch channels to ensure all your devices are connected optimally. Many routers have automatic scans that claim to do this, but in reality, they scan and change very rarely.
With Plume, you may need to update your hardware every few years, but your settings and history are still there. Much of the value isn’t the hardware, but the tailored cloud intelligence and the expectation of constant improvements and new features.