Consumer-grade in-home WiFi networks take a beating, there’s no denying that. With heavy, bandwidth-eating activity taking place throughout the day, competing signals from neighbors’ networks and nearby Bluetooth devices, and the challenges of true whole-home coverage, we ask a lot of our routers and other signal-boosting products—never mind the toll it takes on the consumers tasked with setting up their own network. And, often, they come up short leaving us with dead zones or just laggy overall performance. For Nokia, those struggles became too much to overlook, which lead to their development of a suite of WiFi solutions.
This week, Nokia announced plans to expand their portfolio of WiFi products and new features aimed at improving the user experience.
The Beacon 1, which joins the Beacon 3 in Nokia’s lineup, is considered an entry-level, whole-home mesh WiFi system for consumers “looking for the best performance at the best price.” Like the Beacon 3, the Beacon 1 includes Nokia’s Intelligent Channel Selection feature, which automatically identifies the best possible WiFi channel for each device added to the network to ensure an uninterrupted WiFi experience.
“Having a high-speed, uninterrupted WiFi experience in the home is becoming essential for both operators and consumers alike,” Sandra Motley, President of Nokia’s Fixed Networks business group, said in a statement. “Operators want to eliminate the 30-50 percent of customer calls they receive due to poor WiFi performance while consumers want a solution that is easy to install, dependable and can deliver on the speeds they are paying for. Nokia’s enhanced in-home Wi-Fi portfolio addresses all of these requirements, providing a fast, ultra-reliable mesh WiFi solution that is unmatched in the industry today.”
Beacon 1 is a dual-band, AC1200 mesh router that can cover roughly 1,500 square feet per Beacon. That’s a slight step down from the dual-band Beacon 3 that’s an AC3000 system that provides roughly 2,000 square feet of coverage. To ease the installation process, Nokia pre-configured the Beacons that come in two- and three-packs to allow for pre-pairing, which eliminates the need for the consumer to install each new Beacon onto their network. Rather, they can simply set up the first Beacon and watch the others automatically recognize the network and self-install. Through the Nokia WiFi Mobile Application, users will see a visual representation of their WiFi network, including a heat map that will help them locate and manage those hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, they’ll be able to access device lists, manage guest networks, and more.
Beacon 1 will retail for $129.99 as a single-pack device; it will also be available in a three-pack configuration for $299.99. Beacon 3 comes as a standalone device ($199.99) and in two-pack (($349.99) and three-pack ($449.99) configurations. All Nokia Beacon products are available on Amazon.
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