Continuing our article series for smart home controller products, today we will review another unique one: The Securifi Almond + Router, also often called the Securifi Almond 3. As the name suggest, this product is a little bit different to others we have reviewed before, because it is technically an internet router.While other products, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Wink Hub will be dependent on your Wi-Fi connection, Almond by Securifi provides an 802.11ac Wi-Fi signal. It is not an exceptionally high-speed, we could say it’s mid-level, but it is more than enough to cover a standard residential Wi-Fi. Now, what made this product different that any other routers out there is the fact that it is also a smart home hub, and comes with a touch screen control for monitoring and controlling your smart home devices.
Usually, two-in-one products as this one will suffer from sacrifices in quality, although they are a few exceptions, such as the NuBryte Touchpoint All-in-One, which we have reviewed before. We have mentioned, that as a router, the Securifi Almond is very decent for residential usage, but how about its smart home hub functionality?
As the best z wave hub and controller, the first thing we’ll need to see is its supported products and protocols. Fortunately, the list of the supported product is very decent, and you can see the full list here. As you can see, it mainly supports smart lighting and sensors with ZigBee or Z-Wave protocols, which are widely popular today. It’s a great start.
It is also a very great value, considering getting both a router and a smart home hub can cost you three times that amount.
How then, will it fare against other smart home hubs and controllers? Let us find out together. First, let’s kickstart our Securifi Almond+ review by discussing its key features.
The main highlight, obviously, is the Almond 3 two-in-one nature. As a router, it is very decent both in price and performance. As a hub, it supports quite a big list of third-party products and comes with a touch screen control and smartphone app for your monitoring and control purposes.
Paired with the fact that it is both a router and a hub, the price tag will provide you a very decent value. Getting a decent router alone might cost you more than that, let alone another smart home hub. Great overall bargain.
Almond 3 supports hundreds of devices, commonly with ZigBee and Z-Wave protocols. As a smart home hub, it can control many things from your smart lighting system to your sensors and alarm. A very decent value for its price. It doesn’t support IFTTT protocol but has a built-in rules engine that will perform similarly well.
As a two-in-one product, we will need to address both functions separately to understand the true value of the Almond 3. First, let’s discuss its router functionality.
As we first boot up the Almond 3, we were surprised that it took almost a full 3 minutes before it’s finally turned up. Most routers nowadays will take only 30 seconds or so. Even worse, the setup will require multiple restarts, easily will cost you about half an hour of your time. It is bearable, but it definitely can do better.
If you are using multiple Almond 3 (which also available in a 3-in-1 package), the syncing process is a little frustrating. The Securifi almond manual told us that it will take up to 3-minutes until the devices will be connected, but it took us 7 minutes until the syncing process was failed. In our second attempt, the syncing was successful, but we don’t have any idea what went wrong in the first attempt.
As a router, we can say that the performance is decent. The close distance speed is very good, and it can function well for up to 130-feet. However, as a Wi-Fi unit with three routers connected together (as with our case), it was fairly unstable, as they disconnected from each other relatively often. The two other Almond 3 that acted as extenders will suffer from around 50% speed loss, which is common with extender routers. Currently, the only router that won’t suffer from this speed loss is the Netgear Orbi, which is more expensive and can’t act as a smart home hub.
Now, let’s discuss how the Almond 3 performs as a smart home hub. First, you can control the smart home functions from three different platforms: the touchscreen on the Almond 3, a smartphone app, and a PC/MAC software. The touchscreen is a bit obsolete, it won’t give you the sharp, modern resolution of the Wink Relay, and you will most likely need a stylus since its touch recognition is fairly outdated.
However, the smartphone app works really well, and you can control your smart home systems from your phone or tablet easily. The functions as a smart home controller are pretty standard but quite decent. You can turn on and off all the different devices together, dim your lights, and you can even schedule your children’s devices to turn off when it’s time for them to go to bed.
Overall, it won’t perform as sophisticated as say, the Samsung SmartThings or Amazon Echo, but it is very decent.
- Affordable, considering its two-in-one functionality
- A decent router especially for a small home
- Decent third-party product support
- Easy to use and set up
- The mesh network functionality is not reliable
- Touch screen is obsolete
You Should Buy This If
If you are in need of both a router and a smart home hub, the Securifi Almond 3 is a very decent choice. Due to its mesh network connectivity issues, it might be more suitable for smaller households.
Let’s end this Almond 3 review with a verdict:
The Securifi Almond 3 will provide you with a very decent value considering its two-in-one functionality as both a router and a smart home hub. It performs very decently in both aspects, but it might not be suitable for bigger houses due to its linking issues.