The TLDR version: The short story is that the Home Connect Pro performs very decent as a mesh networking system. Overall performance is almost as good as the Linksys Velop and appreciably quicker than the Google Wifi.
For the rest of you who like to pore over graphs, here they are. But first, a quick run through of our test setup.
To test this new breed of mesh networking systems, we've changed our test environment, but our test setup remains relatively unchanged. We have two notebooks, one acting as a host machine and the other as a client device. The router, or in this case, node, acts as a gateway. Since mesh networking systems typically manage channel settings on their own, we will leave it that way. For systems where manual settings are possible, a channel bandwidth of 40MHz is selected where applicable, while 80MHz or more is used for the 5GHz AC band.
The client device is a 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro, which is one of the few client devices in the market to come with a 3x3 Wi-Fi receiver, allowing it to achieve wireless speeds of up to 1,300Mbps.
To evaluate, we will be measuring the time and calculating the speed achieved when transferring a 1GB zip file. We will do multiple tests with different setups and different distances to simulate use around a typical single story flat and in a multi-story home.
Here are the test distances we used and what they represent:
Here are the different Samsung Connect Home Pro setups we used:
To further clarify, in tests where nodes were placed on the second or third floor, the measurement would be taken with the client device about two meters away from the node.
In this test, we will be looking at the performance of a single Samsung Connect Home Pro router in a single-story (using the different distance markers) and multi-story home. All other competitive mesh networking system results are also that of a single node setup.
The performance of a single Connect Home Pro node is quite decent. Its performance at 2 meters is quite impressive, but the drop-off as we move further and further away is quite severe. Nevertheless, its overall performance was comfortably in the middle of the pack.
In this test, we placed a second Samsung Connect Home Pro router in between the first node and the 15-meter mark to create a mesh network to get signal to the problematic 15-meter mark. We did the same for other mesh networks to see how their performance would compare.
In this test, we placed a second Samsung Connect Home Pro node on the second floor and created a mesh network to expand Wi-Fi coverage on the second floor. We did the same for the other mesh networks to see how their performance would compare.
The Netgear Orbi was the runaway leader here but the Samsung Connect Home Pro wasn’t too shabby either and was comfortably the third fastest mesh networking system. More importantly, at least its performance was consistent and reliable.
In this test, we placed a third Samsung Connect Home Pro node on the third floor to expand coverage to three floors. We did the same for other mesh networks to see how their performance would compare.
Again, the Netgear Orbi was the runaway leader thanks to its tri-band configuration and high bandwidth network for backhaul communications. As for the Connect Home Pro, it found itself in third-place once more, but only trailing the Linksys Velop by a very slight margin. Even though the gulf in performance between the Connect Home Pro and the Orbi might seem wide, the speeds achieved by the Connect Home Pro was more than enough for us to smoothly stream 4K content from YouTube.
In terms of performance, the Connect Home Pro is certainly competitive. It’s not quite as fast as the Netgear Orbi and Linksys Velop (both of which are tri-band systems), but it is quicker than both the Google Wifi and TP-Link Deco M5, which are comparable dual-band systems. Perhaps most importantly, it does a good job of expanding Wi-Fi coverage and I can see it being helpful in ridding homes of Wi-Fi dead spots.
As for features, the Connect Home Pro has the upper hand because of its smart home capabilities. If you are thinking of making your home “smart,” the Connect Home Pro could be an elegant solution to tying all your devices up together and making them work together coherently.
|Mesh networking system||Price for a set of three|
|Samsung Connect Home Pro||S$894|
|Google Wifi||S$360 / S$480 (depending on plan)|
|TP-Link Deco M5||S$399|
Where the Connect Home Pro falters is in its price. It is sold separately with no bundles and each router costs S$298. This makes it one of the priciest mesh networking systems. For a pack of three, you are looking at S$894. In comparison, the Linksys Velop in a pack of three is S$689, whereas a pack of three TP-Link Deco M5s’ is S$399. The Google Wifi might only be available to Starhub customers but it’s worth mentioning that depending on the plan you get, you would only end up paying either S$360 or S$480 for a pack of three Google Wifi. Only the Orbi is more expensive, but only just at S$949, but it has the benefit of being super fast.
In closing, you should really only consider the Connect Home Pro if you find its smart home capabilities to be useful. Otherwise, there are more affordable and equally good alternatives.
If you are thinking of signing on to Starhub, the Google Wifi is a good option. It is only slightly slower but it has the benefit of being super easy to setup and being more affordable. The TP-Link Deco M5 is also worth considering. It might be the slowest mesh networking system, but it is just S$399. For readers who are concerned about performance, the Netgear Orbi is unbeatable when it comes to sheer transfer speeds.