You don’t typically think of Wi-Fi routers when you think of Samsung’s product catalog, but considering all of the connected devices Samsung has created for the home, it certainly makes sense. The Samsung Connect Home is more than just a router, though — it’s a smart Wi-Fi system, Wi-Fi router, and SmartThings hub all in one device. This router has been designed to handle a demanding smart home that’s actively using lots of connected devices.
Measuring just 4.72″ x 1.16″ x 4.72″ and weighing less then half a pound, the design of the Samsung Connect is lovely and compact. Its unobtrusive rounded body with a matte white finish is more attractive than a traditional router. And look ma, no ugly antennas!
You’ll need to use the Samsung Connect app to set up the device, and you’ll also need to create a Samsung account. There’s no way to set up the Samsung Connect Home from a computer, so make sure you have a smartphone handy. Unfortunately, we discovered that the Samsung Connect app for iOS is a total dud — we could not get the setup to work successfully using the iOS app on an iPhone 7 Plus. Reviews of the app on the App Store suggest we’re not alone in having this experience. Hopefully, Samsung will update the app soon with a solid fix.
When we tried to set up Connect Home with a Galaxy S8, the S8 automatically picked up the Connect Home and the set up process was quick and painless. That process includes setting up SmartThings Hub functionality, meaning the Connect Home can control a whole host of different smart home devices, including everything from Samsung’s own SmartThings accessories, such as their motion sensor and smart outlet, to integration with Alexa, security cameras, speakers, door locks and a large collection of connected devices from other brands.
One thing we were disappointed by was that if you already are using a a SmartThings Hub, there is no option to import your existing devices and settings. Also, we noticed that some devices that can be controlled using the SmartThings app can’t be controlled using the Connect app, even though they’ve been recognized by the Connect app.
Outside of that gripe, the Samsung Connect app is very straightforward to use. The app makes it super simple to do things like monitoring devices connected to the network, creating a guest network, and implementing basic parental controls. Advanced users will likely not be satisfied as the app doesn’t let you do more advanced router configuration. The Samsung Connect Home is really geared towards a mainstream consumer who values performance and simplicity over tweaking.
Each Samsung Connect Home router has a range of up to 1,500 feet. We set up a single Samsung Connect Home inside of an 850 square foot apartment. The single unit did a great job covering the entire apartment with extremely low latency throughout the area, so we had no need to add any additional units. But, adding additional units to create a mesh network with more expansive coverage is super easy, and it can be done using the Samsung Connect app. You can connect up to five devices at once for a network coverage of up to 7,500 square feet, perfect for those living in two-story homes or who want to set up a network of these in an office.
After setting up the Samsung Connect Home, we didn’t see much improvement in download speeds, but upload speeds were faster than they were with the router we had been using.
For some background, my apartment typically has about 15 to 25 devices at a time connected to the Wi-Fi network, including usually at least one TV actively streaming content, a computer surfing the web, and multiple smartphones, tablets and connected smart home devices. With the Samsung Connect Home we noticed fewer hiccups while streaming. We also noticed that Alexa became quicker to respond to our voice interactions, and she even seems more accurate then when she was previously connected to our Apple Time Capsule router.