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Get Yourself A Wireless Router This Christmas
EVERYONE DECIDED TO reinvent the router this year. It makes sense: With all the connected laptops, TVs, fridges, and toothbrushes in your home nowadays, stable and robust Wi-Fi is increasingly important. Most of these revamped routers share similar aesthetics (modern minimalism), technology (mesh), and ease of use (dead simple). But a few key differences set them apart. Here’s what you need to know to pick the right surfing buddy for your needs.
[Image: Google-Wi-Fi.jpg]
Google Wi-Fi

Google’s sleek mesh router system is brand-new and getting great reviews. A single unit plugged into your modem provides 1,500 square feet of Wi-Fi coverage; adding a couple more offers up to 4,500 square feet of solid signal. Setup is simple, with a slick app to guide you through the best placement. The app pauses kids’ access at bedtime, and Google Home and Alexa provide voice control to the entire system. Single units run $130, while a three-pack costs $300.
[Image: Eero.jpg]

Eero started the router redesign craze, and it remains among the best mesh-networking options. But it’s pricey, running $200 for one unit or $500 for three. The features, range, and performance are akin to Google’s router: The smarts to optimize a home network, modular expansion, Alexa integration, and a handy app to pause and manage access. Compared to Google’s clone, Eero may offer a bit better performance as you get further from a base unit. If you live in a palatial crib, that may be worth the added dough.
[Image: luma.jpg]

Luma does mesh too, but the marquee features of this Alexa-enabled system are its security and parental controls. Cloud-based security software detects malware on any connected device, be it a laptop, smart lightbulb, or a security cam. Then Luma quarantines the threat. In addition to pausing your kids’ web access at bedtime, the Luma’s curated lists of G-, PG-, and PG-13-rated websites keep them out of the darker corners of the internet. You get one for $150 and three for $300.
[Image: Roqos.jpg]
Roqos Core

The most distinctive thing about the Roqos Core (besides the colors) is the subscription plan . The router costs just $19, and $17 a month provides frequent updates to its open-source platform. And this is more than a router. This unique router isn’t made for mesh networking, but it’s a quad-core computer in itself. The open-source platform provides enterprise-level security to prevent malware from infecting any networked hardware. It also provides parental controls. If you decide to cancel the subscription, the Core keeps working, but you don’t get any updates.
[Image: Portal.jpg]

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