Photo Credit: Nokia
Getting seamless wireless coverage throughout your home can be a frustrating task with normal Wi-Fi routers. Adding wireless repeaters works to an extent, but it ends up degrading the network performance. Mesh Wi-Fi router systems can help overcome this while adding a bunch of useful features. Nokia launched its first mesh Wi-Fi router system, Beacon 3, last year. The company is now expanding its range with a new, affordable mesh Wi-Fi router called Beacon 1.
Nokia's new Beacon 1 mesh Wi-Fi system is an affordable alternative to the Beacon 3, while still carrying some of the features of the previous variant. Beacon 1 supports 802.11ac and can be used as a standalone Wi-Fi router or as a Wi-Fi range extender around your house, to remove dead spots.
Beacon 1 supports a dual-band wireless system and features a simple-to-use setup procedure. Users can simply scan a QR code via a mobile app. It's also easier to add additional Beacon units via a simple plug-and-play setup. You can also add Beacon 1 to extend the coverage of your existing Beacon 3 setup.
While Beacon 1 also supports 802.11ac, just like the Beacon 3, its bandwidth is capped at AC1200 speeds. The mesh Wi-Fi router features 'Intelligent Channel Selection' that enables each unit to pick the right Wi-Fi channel and band after detecting interference. The router can identify devices and prioritize traffic accordingly.
Beacon 1 promises to cover an area of around 1,500 square feet per unit. You can add additional Beacon 1 units to extend the coverage. Nokia's Beacon 1 is now available on Amazon, priced at $130 (roughly Rs. 8,900) for a single pack. A 3-unit pack is also available at $300 (roughly Rs. 20,500). Beacon will compete with other mesh Wi-Fi systems such as Amazon's Eero, Netgear Orbi, and Google Wi-Fi. Nokia is betting on its entry-level Beacon 1 to expand its wireless offerings.