The old router might be on its way out! Taking its place are new "super WiFi" systems that create a strong, reliable signal in every room of your house.
For a while there, we really loved WiFi. The ability to surf the web on the couch, or at the kitchen table gave us newfound freedom with our gadgets.
But these days, those same signals are often a source of frustration. We all know the places in our homes where WiFi works better than others. Sometimes we spend more time troubleshooting the signal than actually surfing.
So what's changed? We are relying on WiFi systems that weren't necessarily designed to handle the loads of today's families, with various connected devices and networks overlapping from neighbor's nearby routers.
The solution? A breed of "super WiFi" systems that replace one router with a network of access points. These devices - scattered around the house - work together to provide a strong, reliable signal in every corner of our homes.
A company called eero is leading the charge. They've created a system that uses three access points. You place one near your router as usual, then the other two in different rooms in your home. The access points create their own mesh network with a signal that doesn't degrade the further away you are from the modem. A 3 pack sells for $500.
Personally, I bought a starter pack from a company called Luma. It uses similar technology to create a strong WiFi network and was about $200 cheaper than eero on pre-order from Amazon. I've never been happier with the WiFi signal in all corners of my home. I've noticed it's faster, less lag on video streaming and consistent speeds no matter where I'm accessing the internet from.
Other companies have similar products. Netgear just announced their whole-home solution called Orbi. It uses a router and a "satellite" to blanket up to a 4,000 square foot home in quality WiFi. It will be released in late September and sells for $400.
Then there's Amped Wireless - they are launching a system called ALLY. It uses extenders to create a powerful WiFi network. Their system sells for $380.
Besides the great WiFi coverage, there are other advantages to these systems. For starters, they are expandable. So if you need coverage in the garage or in your backyard, you can simply place an extender in those areas. Keep in mind, unlike typical range boosters or extenders, these WiFi networks don't require multiple names or separate networks.
Most of these systems are controlled through an app on your phone. You can use it to filter connections to keep inappropriate sites away from your kids... or even cut off internet access to certain devices at a certain time.
These "super WiFi" networks are expensive, but in the end, if you really want a no-fuss internet experience at home at the speed you're paying for, they are worth it.