Samsung Connect Home is a mesh router; SmartThings is a smart home hub. They are two very different products, but they share one thing in common: both can function as a SmartThings hub. You probably know enough about SmartThings, but Connect Home is a pretty new, so let's talk about what it is first.
Connect Home: Router Features
Although a little less experienced than competitors, Samsung isn’t entirely new to the router game. They have previously sold and manufactured routers. However, Connect Home is Samsung’s first Wi-Fi mesh router.
What Is A Mesh Router?
Unlike routers that are usually hidden behind closets or shelves, mesh routers are made to be placed out in the open. More importantly, mesh routers can eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones without affecting your internet speed.
Like most mesh routers, Connect Home is sold as a one pack or a three pack. If you have multiple routers, one mesh router becomes the gateway by connecting to your modem. It then broadcasts the signal to other mesh routers that are also connected to your network. The “other” mesh routers are interconnected, receiving and transmitting data. The interconnectivity creates a mesh-like blanket of Wi-Fi signals that cover your entire home. In effect, whether your device is connected to the router closest to your modem or the one farthest from it, your internet speed remains optimal.
Another advantage of mesh networking is unified SSID. Whether you’re connected to router A or router B or router C, the SSID (a.k.a. Network Name) remains the same. Thus, your device won’t need to connect to a different Wi-Fi name as you move around the house, which is in contrast to using Wi-Fi extenders.
How Connect Home Compares to Other Mesh Routers
Samsung isn’t a pioneer in consumer-grade mesh networking. In fact, Eero has had this technology for years and Google already has the Google Wi-Fi, their own mesh router. How does Connect Home compare to existing solutions?
Note: Connect Home comes in two versions: the original version and the Pro version. The Pro Version is the same as the original version in almost all aspects, except those noted below.
|Connect Home||Connect Home Pro||Google Wi-Fi||Eero||Eero Beacon|
|Wi-Fi Standard||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 2||802.11a/b/g/n/ac||802.11a/b/g/n/ac||802.11a/b/g/n/ac|
|Wi-Fi Speed||Up to 867Mbps on 5GHz||Up to 1.7 Gbps on 5GHz||Up to 867Mbps on 5GHz||Up to 600 Mbps on 5GHz||TBD|
|Wi-Fi Speed||Up to 400 Mbps on 2.4 GHz||Up to 800 Mbps on 2.4GHz||Up to 300 Mbps on 2.4GHz||Up to 240 Mbps on 2.4GHz||TBD|
|Range||1,500 sq. ft./router||1,500 sq. ft./router||1,500 sq. ft./router||1,000 sq. ft./router||1,000 sq. ft./router|
|Processor, Memory, Storage||710 MHz Quad Core 512 MB RAM 4GB Flash Storage||1.7GHz Dual Core 512 MB RAM 4GB Flash Storage||710 MHz Quad Core 512 MB RAM 4GB eMMC||1.0GHz Dual Core 512 MB RAM 4GB Flash Storage||700 MHz quad-core processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB flash storage|
|Smartphone App||Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android, iOS||Android, iOS|
|Where to Buy||Buy Here||Buy Here||Buy Here||Buy Here||Buy Here|
Our Thoughts On Connect Home As A Router
Connect Home is a mid-level router. It compares well to Google Wi-Fi, and on paper, it looks better than Eero. On the other hand, the Pro version appears superior to all. However, Samsung isn’t an experienced router manufacturer. They create great appliances, great phones, and great wearables, but their current routers? Not so great.
Connect Home: Smart Home Features
SmartThings (Samsung Connect) Smartphone App
Like all the other modern mesh routers, Samsung Connect Home has a smartphone app. You can use the app to configure the router as well as control your internet use. What's unique about this app, when compared to other mesh router apps, is that it's the same app you use to control SmartThings products and Samsung smart appliances. It's an all-in-one app, so if you're invested in Samsung and SmartThings products, it will make your life easier.
Connect Home as a SmartThings Hub
Besides Wi-Fi, Connect Home is also compatible with other connectivity standards such as Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Bluetooth 4.1. If you’re familiar with SmartThings, these standards are also what the platform uses to connect to its products and third-party devices. So if you own devices that are a part of the SmartThings ecosystem you have a choice: SmartThings Hub or Connected Home.
When Connect Home first launched, it had a different app (Connect Home), which was frustratingly difficult to use. In fact, the app difference was the main reason why we preferred using the SmartThings hub rather than Connect Home for unifying our smart home system. The SmartThings app has been around for a while and it's been improved several times. The Connect Home app, on the other hand, was nothing but unreliable. However, SmartThings and Samsung shook things up when they launched the new SmartThings (Connect Home) app. It's based on the original SmartThings app, so it's reliable, plus upgraded with a bunch of new features. What's more is that it's now the single app that controls Connect Home and SmartThings. Because of this change, the software difference is now a non-factor.
However, there's still the hardware factor. The SmartThings hub comes equipped with battery backup that can keep the hub running for several hours. In the event of a power or internet outage, the hub is also capable of allowing certain rules to run locally. Connect Home, on the other hand, needs constant power from an outlet. It's a slight difference, but an important one for some.
Our Thoughts On Connect Home as a Hub
Now, to the main question: Which is better, SmartThings or the new Connect Home?
Now that Connect Home uses the same app as SmartThings, it's now a viable option for anyone who needs a router and a hub. If you're already a SmartThings user, however, we don't recommend that you replace it with Connect Home. Connect Home doesn't offer any new smart home feature.
Do we like the idea of Connect Home? Absolutely! We need to declutter our smart homes now more than ever, and AIO devices like Connect Home offer an easy way to do that. If you're interested in Connect Home, you can buy it from Amazon. The price varies, but a single-pack of Connect Home usually sells at $129.