Welcome to the fifth instalment of Plug-In’s The Smart Home Series. Looking back to what’s been covered so far, let me bring you up to speed:
- Part one looked at the benefits of calling on Geek Squad for a free in-home consultation and to help with so-called D-I-Y projects that need professional help
- The second blog post shared how the Nest Thermostat serves as a hub for a connected home
- The August Smart Lock post shared how it’s an excellent year-round way to control door entry
- To keep both a watch of who’s at the front door, the latest blog featured Ring Video Doorbell is a wonderful device to replace the existing doorbell tomonitor who’s at the doorstep, all in HD
Today, in our fifth post of the series, we dive into the benefits of bettering your wifi connection and creating a connected home hub through the Almond+ Wireless AC Router by Securifi.
One of the most under-rated devices in any home is the wireless router. With so many devices now available to us in this hyper-connected world, too many people settle with accepting the slow, average routers provider by an Internet/ cable provider in comparison to what’s available today. On top of all that, buying your provider’s router can cost as much — if not more — than the price of buying a high-end router when either buying it outright or through a monthly rental. Let’s take a look at why the Almond+ Wireless AC Router and Smart Home Hub make an awesome duo for your home.
Meet the Almond+ Wireless AC Router and Smart Home Hub
Working in tandem with my existing modem supplied by my local Internet provider, the Almond+ Wireless AC Router and Smart Home Hub instantly provided a boost to my smart home’s internet connection. With its touchscreen interface, the router is also more aesthetically pleasing to look at than my previous router, provides greater Wi-Fi range throughout the house and also acts as a smart home security hub.
For the several reasons you’ll read on below, the Almond+ Wireless AC Router and Smart Home Hub is an easy to install router that provides blazing-fast Internet speeds and doubles-up as a smart home hub to manage several home automation devices all at once.
When you look ‘under the hood’ of Almond+, the technical specifications are impressive. Right off the bat, it’s worth noting it’s a Wireless AC router, which, simply put, means it’s the fastest Wi-Fi connection speed readily available to consumers today. It is considered a super-charged version of the previous 802.11n router speed. I always tell my family and friends to purchase a router model with “AC” it to benefit from higher streaming and download speeds.
A notable feature of Almond+ that makes it stand above the rest is its Home Automation function. This feature allows you to use the router as a smart hub to manage your smart home devices and set rules based on our lifestyle preferences. More on this below.
In the meantime, here is a look at the Almond+ router’s technology specifications:
- Wireless AC (802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 1750 Mbps
- Built-in ports: 1x WAN, 4x LAN and 2x USB 3.0
- Home Automation: Z-Wave, ZigBee and HA 1.2
- Software features: Guest network, USB file sharing, Port forwarding and VPN server
While the tech specs are impressive, the design deserves special mention. The router itself is built without antennas protruding from its top or sides, and its 3.5” colour touch screen is easy to look at.
Unboxing the Almond+ Wireless AC Router and Smart Hub
It was exciting unpacking the Almond+ AC Router and Smart Hub as the first item you’re greeted by is the two-in-one router itself. Securifi’s bright yellow box also includes the following:
- Power adapter
- Gigabit Ethernet cable
- Desk stand
- Wall plate
- Quick start guide
Here’s a short video showing you exactly what to expect as contents inside the packaging:
Right on the packaging, Almond+ brags it only requires three minutes of your time to set it up. I put this to the test, and after unpacking the unit and connecting it to my high-speed Internet provider’s source, it lived up to its claim. Watch on in my short video to see the installation process unfold in minutes without the need of a computer, though that’s an option if you prefer installing it that way:
Almond+ Has the Smarts to Serve as a Smart Hub
As mentioned above, a stand-out feature of this router is its ability to serve as a two-in-one device, both as a router and smart hub. As a hub for your smart home, it eliminates any guesswork of purchasing a costly standalone smart hub which can cost at least $100. Most importantly, it works with hundreds of third party home automation products for the home, including popular and established gadgets made by Nest, Philips and GE. What this means is you can maximize Almond+ to set rules such as turning on the coffee machine each morning at exactly 6:30 a.m. so you have the perfect brew waiting for you by the time you’ve made the bed and raced down the stairs to start the day.
This type of magic happens through Securifi’s Almond+ mobile app that can set rules with your home automation products, receive notifications of their activities, as well as provide remote control of your smart home eco-system.
Peanut Smart Plug Gets you in the Smart Home Game
Securifi’s Peanut Wireless Smart Plug is the perfect companion for the Almond+ Router, giving you the instant opportunity to get in the home automation game if you’ve yet to experience the conveniences of it. Alongside the Almond+ Router and app, it’s very easy to set-up and use. Through the “Add Sensor” menu option on the router’s touch screen, the router and smart hub combo found Peanut within minutes. It then belongs among the Connected Sensors category within the device, making it convenient to manage, right down to setting rules.
Since I’m not a huge coffee drinker, for now, I’m using Peanut to control the lamp in the living room. It’s an easy way to keep the main floor illuminated either before I head downstairs in the morning, or if I want to turn it off while upstairs.
For smart homeowners that are looking to upgrade their home Wi-Fi connection speeds and have a better way to manage all their home automation devices, the Almond+ Wireless AC Router and Smart Home Hub is a must for serious consideration. The two-in-one router and hub satisfies an instant upgrade that’s easy to install with or without a computer, is aesthetically pleasing and is simple to control through the free Almond+ mobile app.