LAS VEGAS — Almond 3, the latest router from Securifi, can double as a smart home hub. But CEO Rammohan Malasani hopes one thing doesn't get lost amid talk of the device's built-in ZigBee radio and support for Z-Wave and Bluetooth devices.
"It's also a damned good router at a reasonable price," Malasani said.
The $119 price tag planned for the Almond 3 when it ships in the next few months — most likely early in the second quarter — contrasts with the $250 Almond+, the high-end counterpart to the Almond 3 that also blends home automation features with a networking device. The Almond+'s Z-Wave support is built-in (the Almond 3 supports Z-Wave via USB) and its 3.5-inch touchscreen is larger than the 2.8-inch version that will grace the Almond 3. But otherwise, Securifi has packed a number of smart home features into a lower-priced router.
For instance, Almond 3 will be able to integrate with Nest and Philips Hue devices, giving you control of your smart home devices from the router's touch display. And Securifi expects to announce support for more devices later this year. When it ships, the Almond 3 will be able to connect with ZigBee-based smart home devices through its built-in radio while supporting Z-Wave and Bluetooth devices USB dongles.
One of the things that impressed me about the Almond 3 was the ability to program in Wi-Fi triggers that uses the Wi-Fi in your connected devices to sense your presence. You can set up rules based on the time of day and whether you're at home or not to turns lights on or off, set a motion detector, or unlock a door.
Securifi also touts a built-in programmable siren in the Almond 3 that uses Wi-Fi triggers to automatically set and disable the alarm, depending on when you're at home (as determined by whether your smartphone is connected to the wireless network). That siren can also act as a doorbell, Securifi says.
In fact, later this year, Securifi plans to start shipping buttons that connect to the Almond 3 router — they'll cost less than $10, Malasani says — which can be used with the siren feature to act as a doorbell. Hook up two of the buttons, along with a ZigBee-compatible lightbulb, and you can create a two-way light for around $30 without having to do any complicated rewiring.
With those smart home capabilities, it's easy to forget that the Almond 3 also hosts your home wireless network. Securifi says the dual-band AC1200 router will be four times faster than its predecessor, the Almond 2015. It has three Gigabit Ethernet ports and one USB 2.0 port.
The new router supports mesh networking, allowing you to extend your network's reach. Securifi plans a software update to add mesh networking support to its Almond+ and Almond 2015 devices which would let users set up an expanded networking using multiple SecuriFi routers.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.