For most homes, Wi-Fi is an absolute necessity and it would be ideal to have strong and fast Wi-Fi signals no matter where you are at home.
The good news is that there are now a lot of options for you to choose from if you want to make sure that you and your family members are connected to the Wi-Fi at home. Two of these systems are Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi and Eero.
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Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi
The Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi breaks the mold when it comes to Wi-Fi systems that blanket your home with strong signals. For one, it does not have a base station that you connect to your existing router.
For another, all Plume pods are small. You simply plug these into any available wall socket and, voila, you get Wi-Fi signals in a room that used to be a dead spot.
The beauty of Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi is that it makes it easy for you to blanket your home with strong and fast Wi-Fi signals. It also helps that the Plume is very easy on the eyes, with an interesting hexagonal shape and your choice of three colors: champagne, onyx and silver.
Setup is done using the mobile app, and everything would be up and running in just a few taps. You can set up a six-pack Plume in just under 10 minutes.
With Eero, and other Wi-Fi systems, you would need to find the right spot to make sure that the Wi-Fi extenders are able to communicate with the main unit. That could take some trial and error, especially for those extender units that do not have a signal indicator.
But with Plume Adaptive, you would not have this problem and you can say goodbye to finding the right locations for your extender unit. You just need to find an available power outlet to plug the pod in.
This convenience has some tradeoffs, though. Plume is able to extend your Wi-Fi signal for a short range. You can still cover every inch of your home with a Wi-Fi signal, but uniform speed is not guaranteed.
Remember that when Wi-Fi signals travel from one transmitter to another, there is signal loss. This means that the more Plume pods in place and the farther away you get from the main router, the slower your Wi-Fi signal would be.
The biggest problem with Plume is that it can cover your entire house with a Wi-Fi signal only when you have one pod in each room. And because the Plume pods cost $69 each, that can rack up a very sizable investment.
You would need to put one Plume pod for every space that is separated by walls. So a large home can easily require 12 pods, a townhouse with two bedrooms would need anywhere from four to six pods, and a one-bedroom apartment would need 3 pods.
The good news is that a six-pack would cost only $329 (saving you $85), while a three-pack costs $179, giving you a savings of $28.
Another problem is that each of these pods would need to be plugged into a wall socket, so you have to make sure that there are enough of those available for your Plume.
There’s not much else it can do
If you want to cover your house with a Wi-Fi signal, Plume can do the job for you. However, it is debatable whether it does that well enough, or reliably enough, to consider spending more for the system.
It delivers slower signals the farther you get from the main router. But adding another nail in Plume’s coffin is the fact that you cannot do anything with it other than share your Wi-Fi.
It does not offer any of the other common features offered by other systems. You cannot set up parental controls, there are no online protection features, and you cannot prioritize bandwidth to certain devices or rooms.
Eero is a mesh Wi-Fi system that brings Wi-Fi signals to every corner of your home and even outside to the yard. It has the main Eero unit, which you connect to your modem, and the beacon that you add to extend the signal even further.
You would need to set it up using the mobile app, which is a very simple process and which means you could be up in no time.
Eero has some network settings and features that make it much better than the Plume. For one, you can group devices together, allowing you to pause the Internet connection to these devices.
For instance, you can group your kids’ laptop computer, iPads and smartphones, so that you can pause the Internet for their devices when it is time for dinner or time for homework.
You can also schedule Internet time, so that you do not have to manually pause the Internet connection now and again.
There are no advanced network tweaks that you can do, but this is not really that big of a problem for most people who just want to have reliable and fast Wi-Fi signal in all parts of their home. If you want to be able to tweak your network, you can get a Netgear Orbi.
Eero comes with a mobile app that can show you each Eero unit and tell you which devices are connected to each one. You can even check the signal strength of each beacon using the mobile app, and then turn each beacon’s LED light on or off.
But what sets Eero apart from other Wi-Fi systems is that it is compatible with Amazon Alexa. Yes, you can now use voice commands to pause the Internet, or even to find a missing gadget.
What you would like about Eero is that the Wi-Fi signal is seamless. You can connect from the main router, walk around the house and get connected to the beacon and you would not see any interruption in your connection.
The speed is generally fast. Eero delivers generally faster Wi-Fi signals than the Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi.
When it comes to signal loss, Eero has less of a problem with that. The Eero has greater range than the Plume, which means that the main Eero unit would be able to cover a wider area than the Plume.
A two-bedroom home would be blanketed by one Eero unit and one beacon, which means the signal loss is not that much of a problem because there is only a single hop.
With Plume, the same two-bedroom home would need anywhere from 4 to 6 pods. At 50% signal loss, you would be dealing with a much slower Internet connection at the pods that are placed farther away from the Internet modem.
Another way for you to avoid the signal loss with the Eero is when you have a home that is wired for LAN. Eero has a pro pack that allows you to be able to connect to your Ethernet cable to so that each Eero transmits its own signals, rather than act like a bridge.
With this setup, there are no signal hops, hence there is no signal loss. Your Wi-Fi signal will be as strong and as fast, no matter where you are.
Eero, however, does have a more expensive system than the Plume and other similar systems. Most homes, with two to four bedrooms, would need the Eero and two beacons, which costs $400. Individual Eeros would set you back $199, while an additional beacon will cost you $150.
Coverage-wise, you would need fewer Eeros to cover the same house, compared to Plume. Even so, Plume might still give you a cheaper price.
For instance, a two-bedroom apartment will require you to spend $199 for an Eero and a beacon while it will only cost you $179 for the three-pack Plume set.
Which one is the better buy?
Eero delivers fast Wi-Fi signals to anywhere in your home. Compared to the Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi system, it is much faster and is less prone to signal loss. Eero also wins because of its Amazon Alexa technology. And even with its very limited features, it still wins over Plume because Plume offers no features at all.
However, you still should consider the Plume Adaptive Wi-Fi if you only want to make sure that you blanket your entire house with a Wi-Fi signal and you want to make that as painless as possible. Plume is still the easiest and most affordable way to do this.