Nokia today expanded its range of Wi-Fi products with the addition of the Nokia Beacon 1 mesh system. With prices starting at $130, the Beacon 1 is an affordable alternative to last year's Beacon 3 and shares many of the same features.
Like its predecessor, Beacon 1 supports 802.11ac and can be used to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to more areas of your home, eliminating dead spots. The dual-band system also features the same easy setup procedure that involves scanning a QR code in the accompanying mobile app with subsequent Beacons being plug and play.
The system is limited to AC1200 speeds — unlike the Beacon 3 which supports AC3000 — but there are built-in features to optimize the available bandwidth such as 'Intelligent Channel Selection' that allows beacons to detect both Wi-Fi and non-WiFi interference and choose the best Wi-Fi channel and band automatically. The Beacon 1 system can cover approximately 1,500 square feet per beacon and the mobile app will provide a Wi-Fi heat map of your home to help you find the optimal placement for each one. It also features a bridge mode that works with your existing router/modem combo as the gateway while the beacons provide the smarter Wi-Fi coverage.
Mesh networking systems are becoming more prevalent and the competition is already fierce in this market with the likes of Amazon-owned Eero, Netgear Orbi, and more already in homes of many consumers. Nokia appears to be using cost as a differentiator, stating that "Beacon 1 is an entry-level, whole-home mesh WiFi system for consumers looking for the best performance at the best price".
Nokia Beacon 1 is available to order now at Amazon. The 1-pack retails at $130 with the 3-pack on offer for $300.
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