Wi-Fi Company Plume Introduces New 'SuperPod' Mesh Router Alongside $60/Year Subscription

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Wi-Fi router startup Plume today announced an upgraded version of its mesh networking devices and a new subscription model for its customers. Plume first began selling its "Plume Pod" routers in late 2016, and today revealed a new tri-band router called the "SuperPod" (via The Verge).

Plume's SuperPod works like any other mesh system, requiring users to connect the first Pod to their modem with an included ethernet cable. The rest serve as wall plugs that users permanently place in an outlet to enhance the Wi-Fi signal throughout their home. In comparison to the original dual band, four-channel model, SuperPod has a tri-band Wi-Fi radio with eight channels and two ethernet ports.


When connected and running, the SuperPod system learns the user's home usage patterns "in a matter of days." This means that the SuperPods will learn when you use Wi-Fi the most (getting news from a smart speaker in the morning or watching 4K films at night) and implement "Adaptive Wi-Fi" to actively optimize the network for more consistent speed and performance.

For users to take advantage of these features, they'll have to subscribe to Plume. The company previously sold the Plume Pod without a subscription, but today is changing that by requiring customers to subscribe to its Adaptive Wi-Fi service before they can purchase a SuperPod, The Verge notes.

The service costs $60 per year and if users opt out of the subscription in a year's time "the routers may not fully work," although Plume CEO Fahri Diner said the company wouldn't outright "brick" the devices if users decide not to pay down the line.
Diner says Plume wants to provide so many additional services as part of its subscription that customers will happily remain subscribed. "Our intent, our hope, is to make the decision a no-brainer," Diner said in a phone call. "If the customer doesn't want to renew, it won't be because of the price. They will be unhappy for us for one reason or another."
Plume is offering price discounts for it subscribers, however, selling a three-pack of its routers for $39, down from $179. Three packs come with two dual-band routers (the older models) and one tri-band router (the new model). In terms of adding supplemental Pods onto the system, the company will still sell its Plume Pod for $39 and the individual price for the new SuperPod is $99.


Potential customers can also choose to pay a flat $200 fee for a lifetime membership to the service, while existing Plume owners will be grandfathered in to the new features for free. Other features include parental controls, speed tests, service management, and "Plume HomePass." This service creates unique Wi-Fi passwords personalized to guests when they visit. The iOS app can also detail Wi-Fi connections, freeze device connections to prevent kids from accessing the internet, data consumption charts, and more.

Wi-Fi mesh systems have become a popular solution for in-home Wi-Fi over the years, with options from companies like Linksys, Orbi, Eero, Google, and others. The technology is looking to expand as well, with the Wi-Fi Alliance in May announcing a new certification program called "EasyMesh," which aims to allow users to build mesh networks in their homes across different brands.

For Plume, orders on the SuperPod will open June 15 and the device will begin shipping June 21.

Article Link: Wi-Fi Company Plume Introduces New 'SuperPod' Mesh Router Alongside $60/Year Subscription
 

Mikey44

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
139
332
Mesh is the future, and I hope that this business model doesn't catch on. It feels like so many are jumping on the 'nickel and dimeing you to death' band wagon.

I'd rather pay the one and done, lifetime subscription. But then again, I also don't want a consumer router. I'd prefer a SOHO for the advanced feature set.

:shrug::confused::rolleyes:
 

vipergts2207

macrumors 68020
Apr 7, 2009
2,169
2,935
Columbus, OH
This incessant rush to turn anything and everything into a subscription is a joke. Garage doors, cars, now routers. What's next, subscription toothbrushes? I wouldn't be surprised. Only a fool would subscribe to this, as you'll be losing money after ~3 years. If you want me to subscribe to something, you better be offering me an actual service, not a piece of hardware that I'm paying for in perpetuity.

Edit: I'm now familiar that there is in fact a subscription toothbrush.
 
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Mikey44

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
139
332
That's silly, I wonder how many people will be sucked into that
Enough. Or not enough, and those that do get sucked in will lose their service when they go out of business.
 
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eagle33199

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2007
88
273
Plume's SuperPod works like any other mesh system, requiring users to connect the first Pod to their modem with an included ethernet cable.
Most people probably already pay a subscription fee for their cable modem / wifi router combo Comcast, etc. At least this would be a better alternative.
So now we pay a subscription for the modem and another subscription for this? How is two subscriptions a "better alternative"?
 

Mikey44

macrumors regular
Mar 6, 2012
139
332
This incessant rush to turn anything and everything into a subscription is a joke. Garage doors, cars, now routers. What's next, subscription toothbrushes? I wouldn't be surprised. Only a fool would subscribe to this, as you'll be losing money after ~3 years. If you want me to subscribe to something, you better be offering me an actual service, not a piece of hardware that I'm paying for in perpetuity.
Subscription Toothbrushes already exist. I was thinking subscription houses, but those already have something like that, it's called a rental. Admittedly, you could change it a bit as a subscription, and that way the person can modify it somewhat.

However, I am getting sick of all these companies deciding that subscription is the way to go, and sneak into my wallet for only 5-6 bucks a month. Sorry, not happening!
 

awer25

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2011
1,081
288
"When connected and running, the SuperPod system learns the user's home usage patterns "in a matter of days." This means that the SuperPods will learn when you use Wi-Fi the most (getting news from a smart speaker in the morning or watching 4K films at night) and implement "Adaptive Wi-Fi" to actively optimize the network for more consistent speed and performance."
This sounds like a sorry excuse for "feature". I want to be able to utilize my full network speed whenever I am actively using a device, not some auto-QoS that I can't control.

"The service costs $60 per year and if users opt out of the subscription in a year's time "the routers may not fully work," although Plume CEO Fahri Diner said the company wouldn't outright "brick" the devices if users decide not to pay down the line."
Well that just sealed the (no) deal.
 

benlukes

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2014
134
155
Most people probably already pay a subscription fee for their cable modem / wifi router combo Comcast, etc. At least this would be a better alternative.
...the best alternative would be to buy your own router (one that doesn’t charge a subscription fee), and not pay the cable company. That is what I have done for years, and I have saved hundreds of dollars doing it.

This is insane, and I really hope consumers vote with their dollars and don’t buy this product. Giving people features they don’t need and charging them a yearly fee for them is a disgusting business practice.
 
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