Whether you’re looking for faster Wi-Fi or security for your home network, there are a few strong alternatives to Plume to consider. When it comes down to it, Plume is more of a complete home Wi-Fi solution than a simple mesh system, but for many people, it’s a bit more than they really need. Whether you’re just looking for worry-free whole-home Wi-Fi or want the software to keep an eye on your kids’ internet activity, you’ve got choices. We’ve rounded up some of the Plume alternatives so you can get the Wi-Fi coverage you need without wasting a penny on features you don’t.
Secure Wi-Fi for homes of any size
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The often overlooked but consistently impressive Gryphon AX is a speedy tri-band Wi-Fi 6 router with enough speed for a gigabit connection, live customer support, parental controls, and the promise that your browsing history is only ever stored locally. Gryphon also has an optional Premium Protection plan for those looking for more security when away from their home Wi-Fi and some more in-depth security features at home for around $90 per year.
ASUS has decided to undercut the competition by making its AiProtection Pro software completely free on a large number of devices including the ZenWiFi XD6. It has most of the best features as well including malicious site blocking, Intrusion protection, and parental controls with content filters. One of ASUS’ best tricks is AiMesh which means you can expand your mesh with any AiMesh router making it easy to build a custom mesh Wi-Fi system.
Eero 6+ is one of our favorite mesh Wi-Fi routers thanks to its easy setup, reliable performance, and impressive software features. For free, you get all of the basics you would expect with a mesh system but with eero Plus, a subscription service for $100 per year, you get improved security, content filtering, VPN access, and a lot more. You also get eero Internet Backup which is one of the easiest ways to use a mobile hotspot as an internet source if your primary connection goes out.
TP-Link’s security software is far from the most advanced but it’s completely optional, has a relatively low price at around $55 per year, and the features most people are looking for like content-based parental controls. The Deco XE75 is a Wi-Fi 6E mesh kit with enough power for gigabit connections and very flexible expansion options. The Deco XE75 also allows you to separate the 6GHz band making it one of only a few Wi-Fi 6E kits where you can use your 6GHz band at will.
Netgear has been a leader in mesh Wi-Fi since its inception with the Orbi series, but the Nighthawk MK63 is an affordable and compact mesh kit with excellent security options that will work well for most homes. With a fairly sedate AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 connection, the real story comes with Netgear Armor, a subscription service at $100 per year that blocks threats, comes with VPN data, scans for vulnerabilities in smart home devices, and much more.
AmpliFi Alien is a more focused mesh experience with no subscription services and only basic protection built into the software. Still, this is plenty for most people and if you keep your devices updated, you may not even benefit from the advanced security of the other systems. AmpliFi Alien has a display on the front so you can see your real-time network activity and a fast mesh backhaul to keep speeds high and consistent. If you’re looking for a pure mesh experience without any bloat, the Alien is a strong choice.
Get the Wi-Fi features you want for less
For most people, any of the best Wi-Fi 6 mesh systems will provide all of the security they really need, but Plume’s guided buying experience is not to be ignored. Plume bundles in its subscription service with the hardware so all Plume customers get the same premium experience. If you want a comparable feature set with the option to choose whether or not to subscribe, Gryphon should be one of your first considerations. As we saw in our Gryphon AX review, this router has plenty of speed to keep up with a gigabit internet connection and easy-to-use software with great security including some of the best parental controls in the business.
If you’re looking to save, some cash, the ASUS ZenWiFi XD6 is a reasonably-priced mesh with ASUS AIProtections Pro included for free. As we saw in our ZenWifi ET8 review, AiProtection Pro has most of the features included with the subscription services including excellent parental controls. ASUS also makes mesh expansion easy (and cheap) with most of its modern routers being compatible. The ZenWifi XD6 is a good starting point with a speedy AX5400 Wi-Fi 6 connection that should have no trouble keeping up with a gigabit internet connection with an entire family connected.
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When Samuel is not writing about networking or 5G at Android Central, he spends most of his time researching computer components and obsessing over what CPU goes into the ultimate Windows 98 computer. It's the Pentium 3.