Nokia is doubling down on home networking. Just last year, the former smartphone titan acquired mesh networking startup Unium and bowed its first wireless router, the Beacon 3. Now the company is back with a sleeker, cheaper mesh router that can work in tandem with its pricier sibling.
On sale starting today, the $129 Beacon 1 (or $299 for a bundle of three) uses the same mesh-networking technology that powers the $199 Beacon 3, along with a new intelligent channel-hopping feature and a bridge mode that’s compatible with an existing router.
Dubbed “Intelligent Channel Selection” by Nokia, the Beacon 1’s smart channel-switching feature lets the router pick the best channels for the 2.4- and 5GHz frequency bands by analyzing nearby wireless usage patterns over time, rather than simply picking the clearest channels at the moment the unit is first configured.