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  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    First, if no other manufacturer is selling AC routers for under $100, then just how good can this one, with all its other bells and whistles, actually be?

    Second question is answered by their website:
    "Can I use multiple Almond+'s in the same network?
    Yes, you can designate one of them as master and all the others will be secondary controllers"

    Good to know!

    Soapbox:
    I'm a bit confused that we're still dealing with WiFi protocols for home automation when PLN seems to be the perfect avenue for it. WiFi is crowded, wired ethernet isn't convenient, but every powered device is connected to an outlet or socket - can someone explain to me why PLN isn't leading the home automation trend? That's not a rhetorical question, I'd really like to know why. Thanks!
    Reply
  • nathanddrews - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    Sorry, I guess that was actually three questions. :P Reply
  • ganeshts - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    Realtek-based 802.11ac routers have been announced under the $80 price point. So, I think $100 for the whole combo can be achieved.

    As for PLC not being used for home automation, it is a combination of cost, reliability and reach. Some equipment like door knobs aren't connected to the mains, but they need to be endpoints for HA control. In addition, PLC's performance across modern circuit breakers is so-so. I will touch upon remaining aspects in one of the upcoming HA pieces. Btw, there is theoretically nothing preventing manufacturers from coming up with HA devices from using PLC.They can be controlled over the existing networking equipment with the consumer.
    Reply
  • Celeus - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    I'm a network geek by trade, and play with lots of consumer as well as enterprise grade gear. I really don't care for PLN. I've never had good success with PLN gear, either in homes or in apartments. I've had better luck with Moca and 802.11 bridging on crowded RF domains than with PLN.

    Lots of lost connections, doesn't work through UPS's or some power strips, poor security implementations that don't work between vendors- it just gets worse the more you work with it.

    I really wanted it to work, but I can't stand it. I can only imagine what it would be like to try and support a consumer grade product running on it, particularly one that needs to work reliably.

    Besides, a lot of things that need to talk for home automation aren't plugged in to home power outlets, or may be downstream from an AC-DC adapter. Thermostats are (the Nest powering itself off of the furnace/AC line is awesome btw). Curtain controllers, projectors, some AV gear, garage doors, security systems, existing environmental detectors and who knows what else all may have existing serial or contact-closure methods of communicating state or accepting commands. This is ignoring all of the home-security applications of door/window/glass break/motion sensors that may be away from power outlets.

    I'd be fine with things that supported PLN as well as other protocols (Zigbee, Z-Wave, Insteon, 802.11, X10 all come to mind) but my preference would be Zigbee and Z-Wave.
    Reply
  • bobbozzo - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    PowerLine Networking is unreliable across more than one segment; e.g. in the US, you have 240V (2 120V lines out of phase) coming into the house, and then that gets split into 2 120V circuits.

    Also, surge suppressors interfere with the components, leaving them unprotected.

    Futhermore, thermostats don't run on A/C, so it'd be near impossible to use PLN to control one.
    Reply
  • themelon - Friday, March 08, 2013 - link

    Actually household current in the US is not generally multi-phase. It's single phase with a split pole. You get 240v by running a hot-hot from 2 poles that are in-phase and 120v from a hot-neutral. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    ZWave and 802.11ah are 900mhz protocols, and Zigbee can operate at either 900mhz or 2.4ghz/ With cordless phones, etc moving from 900mhz to 2.4ghz, the 900mhz band is actually becoming less crowded. Reply
  • Penti - Sunday, March 10, 2013 - link

    900MHz used by GSM-R, 2G/GSM, 3G/UMTS and 4G/LTE here in Europe in the country where I am, varying a bit depending on country. Plus all the other stuff which uses the 900-band. Zibgee is actually suppose to use 868MHz in Europe, however that might be crowded by other unlicensed stuff to. Like RFID. Should still be better though then 2.4 which is crowded by WiFi and bluetooth etc, and doesn't propagate well indoors. Reply
  • Eleanor1 - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    First, if no other manufacturer is selling AC routers for under $100, then just how good can this one, with all its other bells and whistles, actually be?

    1) Just because other manufacturers are taking advantage of early AC adopters with marked up prices doesn't mean the actual cost of an AC radio is expensive. Almond manufacturer may be taking less profit than the major brands asking top dollar for a new technology.

    2) Their last router with only N and no zwave or zigbee was retailing for $120. The $99 price is only for early backers on kick starter. The actual price will be $130 - $150 when sold at retail on Amazon.

    3) As noted by another commenter, AC routers can be bought for as little as $80.

    4) when it comes to quality, I would trust the makers of the top rated router on Amazon - 4.5 stars by 660 customers. Only time will tell if they will produce another excellent product.

    To answer the rest... Yes multiple Almonds on one network. Although AC routers like the Almond+ should be able to cover a 5000sq ft house.

    PLN has numerous weaknesses as others have pointed out in comments. Plus not every powered device is plugged in. Many devices run off battery and are better with wireless such as sensors and cameras. Think about motion, proximity, door, water/flood sensors. Many door locks and thermostats use batteries. Use these sensors with powered devices like lights, blinds or A/V equipment and you can have a better automated house.
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    too bad it's sept availability Reply
  • Ninhalem - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    The reason for September is because they have yet to send the final designs to manufacturing. Plus as the Kickstarter page states, the manufacturer is a company known (doesn't give a name) for producing other well known routers and WIFI devices, so they need to wait a little bit till they can get a good slice of the pie. Plans stated that a big ramp up in production should occur in August. Reply
  • Rocket321 - Tuesday, March 05, 2013 - link

    My first thought upon seeing the product image :what is a router doing running Windows Phone O/S? Reply
  • kenyee - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    That was my main problem with it...it's home automation, but you have to use their API.
    If they provided web services or something off it that an Android phone or PC can talk to it, I would have been in for one :-)

    Wish it had four 802.11ac streams too, but they did two for cost reasons. Hope the next version has four...
    Reply
  • secretmanofagent - Saturday, March 09, 2013 - link

    I haven't looked too much into it, but they were talking about Hue and Ube integration. Reply
  • RouterGuy - Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - link

    Securifi hasn't even filed for FCC approval yet. And that's a 3-6 month process. So the September ship date is suspect. I think 2014 H1 is more likely. Much of this seems like vaporware. By the time it hits the market you will be able to get 4x4 MIMO instead of just 2x2 for the same price or less, which means double the wireless speed. Also, home automation protocol gear on USB sticks is like $50 right now. Seems the only "cool" thing on the router is the touchscreen and at least to me that is just a gizmo. Reply
  • perpetualdark - Wednesday, April 02, 2014 - link

    I think the point is to have an "all in one" device. Think of it this way: So you get a wifi router, a zwave controller, a zigbee controller, then find software that can tie it all together (only a few out there and usually in standalone controllers with their own web interface and limited 3rd party programming, and darn expensive in some cases), THEN you have to know enough to set up DDNS and port forwarding so you can access it from outside the network.. At best you have pieced together 3 or 4 different brands of equipment and have no central contact for tech support, leaving this firmly in the realm of the enthusiast. A product that can tie all that together and make it easy for a consumer with no real technical ability to use AND one that is below $200 would be great for a number of people. And take it a step further, adding the ability for the enthusiasts to openly write software for this platform, in a couple years you could have a complete package with good support and extreme ease of use while maintaining the flexibility that the enthusiast market desires. This company is on the right path. HA will explode as soon as it is more affordable for the COMPLETE package, including a good way to control it all that is easily operated by any average Joe. Reply
  • VagabondSteve - Monday, April 21, 2014 - link

    I know this is an old article, and an old thread, but does anyone know if the company is still around? That release date of 3Q or even 4Q 2013 has come and gone, so has 1Q 2014 and still no product. Have they folded their tents and gone elsewhere? Anyone know? Reply
  • FreeLectron - Saturday, April 26, 2014 - link

    Take the money and run? Reply
  • czyz - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - link

    I received my Almond+, it's working well and I'm getting better signal coverage than from my previous router, a Netgear WNDR3700v4. I've configured it using its touchscreen, its built-in simple web interface, and the OpenWRT LuCI interface that's available at port 90.

    I've also connected 4 zigbee sensors, though until they update their software pretty much all that can be done with sensors is pairing and displaying their status. For now it's just nice to know that it is receiving signal from even the most distant of the sensors and that I'll likely soon be able to use it for automation (or sooner if I get impatient and write a script that scrapes their web interface).
    Reply
  • FreeLectron - Saturday, April 26, 2014 - link

    Securifi show tell us more about their launch schedule. Reply

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