The smart home would not be possible without its private wireless network, as nearly every accessory requires a unique IP address and a Wi-Fi connection. But those home-based networks can have dead spots and areas where bandwidth is less than optimal. Samsung has joined the parade of vendors striving to offer higher-power or meshed Wi-Fi products that are designed to improve the reliability and throughput of networks in every nook and cranny of the home, a significant upgrade over the typical Wi-Fi router. With their Samsung Connect Home Wi-Fi play, the company has upped the high-power and meshed network ante by also integrating their popular SmartThings smart-home hub technology into the system. You can read our in-depth review of the SmartThings system here.
Available in three configurations, Connect Home can be purchased in a Connect Home single version (to outfit small homes, apartments, or flats up to 1,500 square feet with corner-to-corner Wi-Fi), a Connect Home 3-Pack mesh system version (for larger homes up to 4,500 square feet), and a Connect Home Pro version (for higher bandwidth capabilities in homes up to 1,500 square feet).
All versions have the Samsung SmartThings hub built in, one of the more advanced home automation systems available. As such, there is no need to purchase a standalone SmartThings hub to enable integration of a wide variety of connected home accessories. In addition to a line of Samsung-branded accessories, such as motion sensors, water leak sensors, and arrival sensors, a broad range of third-party products can also be integrated.
As an example of the scope of available integrations with SmartThings, the Google Home line of smart speakers and the Google Assistant voice assistant, as well as the Amazon Echo line of speakers and the Amazon Alexa voice assistant are included. Furthermore, a broad selection of smart door locks from Kwikset, Schlage, and Yale are part of the program; smart thermostats from ecobee and Honeywell can be integrated; security cameras from the Netgear Arlo line and smart doorbell cameras from Ring can be easily linked in; and much more. The Samsung SmartThings website lists 168 such products.
The Samsung Connect Home app is used to set up and manage the Connect Home Wi-Fi system as well as any integrated SmartThings accessories—though the SmartThings hub can be deactivated if desired. For homeowners using the standalone version of the SmartThings hub, the SmartThings app can still be used.
The entry point for the Samsung Connect Home line is the Connect Home AC1300 Smart Wi-Fi System kit, at a special holiday price of $130.