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This router wants to be the center of your smart home

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The Almond+ and Almond 2015 feature integrated support for the internet of things

A router is a pretty boring appliance. It connects to a modem (an equally, if not more, boring appliance) and broadcasts Wi-Fi signals that you can connect to with your phone, computer, Xbox, or whatever. Without it, getting online in your home or office can be a hassle, but beyond that, there's not much to say. The Almond routers from Securifi have a different approach. They want to be the central hub for your future smartphone, providing internet and acting as the main hub for countless connected devices. Today, the Almond 2015 and Almond+ routers are getting an update that makes them even smarter.

The Almond+ and Almond 2015 are slick-looking routers with easy-to-use touchscreen interfaces. The Almond+ is the bigger brother, with high-powered antennas and gigabit networking ports, while the Almond 2015 is smaller and cheaper, and probably the better option if you don't need to cover a huge home. But both offer the same smart home hub features to connect all kinds of household appliances, such as thermostats, lightbulbs, locks, motion detectors, and more.

High-speed networking and a touchscreen interface make the Almond+ an attractive option to an Asus or Netgear

Today's update adds the ability to create automated functions that link various devices together. For instance, you can program the Almond router to automatically turn a light on for a set period of time when a door opens or activate the sprinklers in the yard when the outside temperature reaches a certain point. Programming these automated rules can be done via the touchscreen on the Almond or through its web interface.

Almond+ router

With more and more appliances gaining connected abilities, managing them all in your home can be a chore. Almond's routers provide an easy way to manage a bunch of disparate sensors and make them work together, all the while working as capable internet routers. The Almond+, which normally retails for $249 and is available for $199 for a limited time, can cover a 5,000-square-foot home with its dual antennas and offers 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks with 802.11ac support. It's comparable to similarly priced routers from Asus or Netgear, but with the added benefit of the smart home hub and touchscreen interface. The smaller Almond 2015 normally retails for $149 and lacks some of the Almond+'s advanced features, such as dual-band Wi-Fi, gigabit ports, and USB 3.0 ports (the Almond 2015 has a USB 2.0 port).

Neither the Almond+ or the Almond 2015 will give the crazy D-Link AC3200 Ultra a run for its money in terms of performance or scary appearance. But if you're looking for a router that can power your future (or present!) smart home, they are very interesting options.