Plume WiFi Pods 2020 Detailed Review and its Benefits.
Plume WiFi Pods: First, when you’re connecting to a single point on a home network, the signal has to pass through walls and floors that sit between you and the router. If you’re in a dense urban area, you’ll have many other routers and networking devices competing for the same portions of the wireless networking spectrum as you. There are several solutions to this, many of which we’ve reviewed before. But another contender has entered into the marketplace, promising to further improve wireless network extenders.
Plume WiFi pod is a unique technology that follows similar principles as other mesh networking devices, with a couple of twists. We’ll be putting their system to the test to see if it really can improve your network performance in challenging conditions.
As soon as we opened the box, we knew that the Plume WiFi was little different than its competitors. Most systems have a base station that serves as a focal point for your entire network. The signal starts in one place and is rebroadcast throughout the house by the extenders. With the Plume, there is no difference between the base station and the extenders. Every module in your home is exactly the same. Instead of buying a hit that has one, three, or five units, you simply buy as many Plume modules as you need.
Almost every manufacturer claims that their product is “unlike anything on the market”, but Plume really means it. Each of the individual units is very attractive in design and contrast strongly against what you’d expect a router to look like. The unit is hexagonal in shape, with each corner coming together into a point in the front. They call these modules “pods,” which is a surprisingly accurate way to describe them. Each pod is no larger than your typical transformer and plugs right into any electrical outlet. On the bottom, you’ve got a WAN port, which can also be configured as a LAN port depending on how you set itself up.
Quality of Service
With some routers and networking systems, QoS is just a simple part of the built-in networking technology. While all routers have QoS systems designed to prioritize your networking performance, Plume goes above and beyond what is considered standard. To understand how the Plume can improve your network, let’s first take a look at what exactly makes a network ‘good’.
There are two ways to measure performance: bandwidth and ping. Ping is the amount of time between a request and a response. If you’ve ever sat there waiting for a website to load while the browser said “connecting”, that’s a bad ping. Once you do get a response, the rate at which data is transferred is the bandwidth.
Distance and obstruction is the most common reason for bandwidth issues. The farther the signal has to travel, the slower it gets. This issue is made worse when it has to travel through walls. Mesh networking is the most obvious solution to the problem.
When there is too much distance between to devices, you put something in the middle. Device A communicates with device B, which passes the message on to you. This does a great job of improving the bandwidth. The disadvantage is that it increases your ping time, in the same way, your travel time increases when you have to stop for gas.
Despite how advanced this networking system is, the Plume is an absolute breeze to set up. The first step is to plug in a Plume into each room. Remember, since it can dynamically skip ‘hops’ to give you the best connection possible, the more you have the more possible routes the system can take. Having one in each room also cancels out the problems with walls, so your signal won’t degrade quite as much. You then plug in your modem to one of the Pods.
That is literally it. If you wanted to, you could get on the network right away. At first connection, you’ll be asked to choose a password. But one form and one button has you up and running. But where do you plug in your modem? Anywhere you want to! The Plume automatically determines if the pod is a LAN or a WAN port based on the IP address.
Plume WiFi Pods runs on the 802.11ac protocol, which is currently the latest available. When selecting any kind of wireless system, the important thing to remember is that not all networks are alike. 802.11ac technology is a little further ahead today than it was a year ago.
The Plume has AC1200 Gigabit WiFi which is capable of 300 Mbps on the 2.4Ghz channel and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz channel. Most modern computers are capable of streaming both of these channels simultaneously, so you can take full advantage of the connection speed.
Good range, but slow, inconsistent Wi-Fi
The Plume system relies on number of pods to deliver coverage. This means each pod itself doesn’t have to have a great Wi-Fi range. In fact, with the idea that you have one pod per room, you then are never more than 10 or 15 feet away from a pod. And this is exactly the ideal range for each pod.
This isn’t one of the first WiFi extenders to hit the market, but it’s certainly one of the best. It’s the QoS system that really takes the cake. No matter which system you choose, you’re always being forced to make compromises. Just look at our reviews of the best whole-home WiFi systems.
We mentioned that some devices were better for users who were streaming large files, others were better for users who were sharing the network with a lot of people. No matter which you choose, there were always trade-offs. Plume WiFi Pods is the first networking system that automatically changes its settings based on usage. But it’s not the software either. Need another room connected? Just add another Plume. Building your own network is as simple as plugging in a little device into each from. From there, Plume will do the rest.