Here’s something I haven’t written before. I think I can finally declare that a product genre has been developed to a point so near to perfection it’s hard to imagine how or when it can be improved upon. The genre of which I speak is the WiFi router and the developer in question is the American startup Plume. I know I have previously hailed Netgear’s Nighthawk R7000, which seemed to have solved the problem as early as 2015 but isn’t ideal in every home. In 2017, I raved about BT’s Whole Home, which brought 100 per cent coverage to an impenetrable apartment I had moved to – but deteriorated a year after installation. Then last November, Netgear’s Orbi RBK23 system looked to have finally closed the issue – and has been much praised by readers who bought it.
Yet Plume has now trumped even Orbi for me. For one thing, it’s neater. Orbi required some pretty hefty boxes, each with its own cable and power supply, to be scattered throughout the house. Plume, however, involves just these discreet and not unattractive pods to be plugged directly into two, three, four or more mains sockets, depending on the size of the house. Secondly, installation of Plume is laughably simple. Plug, plug, plug, download the app, wait a few minutes, and you’re done. Thirdly, Plume’s coverage is spookily consistent. For the month I have been using Plume at the time of writing, my WiFi-measuring app reports almost the exact same speed – 68 Mbps, give or take a fraction – in every distant corner of my place. It’s sensational – and so long as it doesn’t deteriorate over time, and so long as some clever clogs doesn’t debunk its security system, I think it’s The One. Just to add, there are two types of Plume pod: SuperPod and the lesser PowerPod. Spoil yourself and buy wall-to-wall SuperPods. No point underpowering your ultimate WiFi nirvana.