Plume Joins the Mesh Wireless Battle

  • ATTENTION! As of November 1, 2020, you are not able to reply to threads 6 months after the thread is opened if there are more than 500 posts in the thread.
    Threads will not be locked, so posts may still be edited by their authors.
    Just start a new thread on the topic to post if you get an error message when trying to reply to a thread.

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Plume emerged from stealth yesterday with yet another multi access point solution aimed at improving Wi-Fi performance in any sized home. The headline for Plume, however, is its $49 per "pod" price. eero's module costs four times that and Luma's per unit price is 3x.
plume_pods.jpg
The catch, however is that the minimum Plume order is 6 pods, which makes your buy-in $234 if you buy now at the pre-order $39/pod price. Normal minimum order total will be $294, which is still more than $100 below Luma's $400 three-pack price.

For that $49, Plume packs simultaneous dual-band AC1200 and Bluetooth Smart radios into its wall-plugged "pod" and includes a single Gigabit Ethernet port, too. Plume's specs even claim DFS channel support, which will a feat in itself given the channel use restrictions and rules that come with DFS.
plume_specs.jpg

Plume has dubbed its approach "Adaptive WiFi", an approach they claim "requires a ridiculous amount of software code, novel optimization algorithms, deep data science, and lots of math". While I'm sure it needs all that, another radio or two per pod would certainly help, too.

Those that fear the cloud probably won't be comfortable with Plume being a "cloud coordinated WiFi system", with most of its heavy lifting done in the cloud. But this appears to be the norm for this emerging class of multi AP systems, since competitors eero and Luma take a similar approach.

The differentiation graphic from Plume's How It Works page certainly looks like Plume has more signal routing options than "traditional mesh" systems. But eero also uses both bands to manage its backhaul connections, so this claim seems to be largely marketing FUD.
plume_channel_hop.jpg

Plume appears to be applying some significant horsepower to its solution. Founder and CEO Fahri Diner made his bones (and at least some of his fortune) by founding long-haul photonic networking company Qtera and selling it to Nortel for over $3B back in 2000. Co-founders Adam Hotchkiss and Sri Nathan are also Qtera alums. Fourth co-founder Aman Singla is ex Atheros and Qualcomm Atheros where his last job was VP of Software Engineering.

You might want to check the FAQ before you pre-order. Although you can cancel the pre-order at any time, the pre-order ship date of between this September and November may give you pause.
 

Attachments

  • upload_2016-6-17_13-52-32.png
    upload_2016-6-17_13-52-32.png
    195.7 KB · Views: 764

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Neat...

Is it just me, or would PLC be something that would make things even better... the Pod's have to be plugged into an outlet anyways - and this would help with gap coverage.
 

pete y testing

Very Senior Member
so if i read this right the plume solution also does the routing and suggests you only need a bridged modem

Firewall and Gateway
SPI, NAT and local DHCP server, VPN Passthrough

or am i reading this wrong

if its doing the routing can you switch it to do just access point mode and nothing else ?

otherwise would there not be a dual nat issue if you connected this behind you router
 

TheLostSwede

Regular Contributor
Neat...

Is it just me, or would PLC be something that would make things even better... the Pod's have to be plugged into an outlet anyways - and this would help with gap coverage.

PLC would increase the price by a lot, Netgear has an AC1200 PLC range extender that they charge ~$95 for and Arris is looking for ~$90 for their recently announced one. That's almost twice the price what these guys are charging. It's also more expensive to certify a product like that and it adds a lot of bulk, my guesstimate is that you'd have to double the size of the product to manage to squeeze in PLC support.

Not a bad idea in and of itself though, although my personal experience with PLC is that it offers very poor performance as I've never gotten anywhere near the reported speeds which means the back haul won't be all that much better than using Wi-Fi.
 

TheLostSwede

Regular Contributor
so if i read this right the plume solution also does the routing and suggests you only need a bridged modem

Firewall and Gateway
SPI, NAT and local DHCP server, VPN Passthrough

or am i reading this wrong

if its doing the routing can you switch it to do just access point mode and nothing else ?

otherwise would there not be a dual nat issue if you connected this behind you router

According to their FAQ, you would use one of the "pods" as your router via the Gigabit Ethernet port. So you only need a modem of some kind, depending on your internet connection.
 

pete y testing

Very Senior Member
According to their FAQ, you would use one of the "pods" as your router via the Gigabit Ethernet port. So you only need a modem of some kind, depending on your internet connection.

lol so what do i do with the $500 router i currently have ,
 

Razor512

Very Senior Member
Aside from the cloud (no telling hot long their will support that device), it seems like a cool concept, but their focus on having one per room, points to low transmit power, and such a setup can quickly become very expensive.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Plume's architecture is similar to eero and Luma. One wired unit can serve as router and you would put your current router into bridge mode. This is the way I run my eeros.

Or if you'd rather use your current router, the wired unit will switch to AP mode.

I agree with Swede about adding powerline. Actually I'm amazed they fit the power supply and everything else into such a small package, IF in fact the pictures are showing the actual final package design. Getting a dual-band AC1200 radio, Gig Ethernet power, antennas and heatsinking into 7 cu/in. is quite a squeeze. Razor's observation is also spot on, transmit power will be relatively low for cost, thermal and package reasons. Not likely to have much in the way of power amplifiers.
 

joltdude

Regular Contributor
Why does Plume vaguely remind me of Riccochet? Something about a lot of low power devices connecting together... to get to the final destination...
 

headcase

Occasional Visitor
Tim - how is your setup with eero, again? So you have modem --> router --> 1st eero hardwired --> remaining eeros wireless? Which unit is doing the routing?

Also, how has the performance been for you? Any sticky clients with your setup?

Thanks for the insight...
 

Ronv42

Senior Member
Good concept, network configuration augmented by using analytics processed in the cloud on their servers, don't think I want that. Can't setup without using a iPhone or Android phone, deal breaker.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
The ecosystem here is pretty vibrant as of late - lots of players... eero, luma, now plume.

I'll kindly watch, as there is good stuff in there - and having done some similar studies 6 years ago, perhaps the chipsets are in a better place now. Back then, it was a bit more problematic, and the problem that was trying to be solved was much larger in scale.

All three of the players at the moment - on the right track, IMHO...
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Tim - how is your setup with eero, again? So you have modem --> router --> 1st eero hardwired --> remaining eeros wireless? Which unit is doing the routing?

Also, how has the performance been for you? Any sticky clients with your setup?
Eero is in AP mode. I need DHCP reservations, which eero does not support.

Both eeros are connected via Ethernet.

I don't move around with my wireless clients, so don't have problems with stickiness.

Sorry, but I'm not a good test case.
 

TheLostSwede

Regular Contributor
The ecosystem here is pretty vibrant as of late - lots of players... eero, luma, now plume.

I'll kindly watch, as there is good stuff in there - and having done some similar studies 6 years ago, perhaps the chipsets are in a better place now. Back then, it was a bit more problematic, and the problem that was trying to be solved was much larger in scale.

All three of the players at the moment - on the right track, IMHO...

Don't forget Chime from AVG http://chimewifi.com/
Admittedly their Indiegogo campaign failed massively https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/chime-the-fix-to-failing-wi-fi#/
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I assumed when their Indiegogo campaign failed, they abandoned the project.
 

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!
Top