We have been at a number of trade shows lately, and it has been interesting talking to people, learning just how many still say they have never downloaded their router’s app or interacted with the functionality besides perhaps pressing the restart button. We asked why and a couple of answers stood out: they didn’t know about the additional features available – or, if they did know, they immediately said it was just too difficult to change features on a router; they needed an installer or technician to do that.
We actually understand. We know WiFi routers have a bad reputation for being not easy to use with ugly interfaces that look like you need to be a programmer, unfriendly terms like SSID, and features that it is hard to grasp the practical use for. But the reality is that some WiFi router manufacturers – ourselves and a few others – have worked hard over the last few years to add consumer focused functionality and make a router as easy to use as any other consumer device.
Our Almond WiFi router range – Almond 3, Almond+ and Almond 2015 – have built-in touch screens enabling you to set up on this screen without opening your PC and super intuitive Android and iOS apps. There is no need to turn on a computer or negotiate a difficult web interface. In short, you now don’t need to fear that playing with the features of your WiFi router will result in a weekend of pain and misery from the rest of the family as you wait sheepishly for the technician to come.
Almond routers also have many cool features that can improve your home WiFi experience no matter how straightforward your WiFi needs — Would you like to block people who shouldn’t be on your network? Reset and update your router from anywhere? See the web history of your children’s devices? These features and many more are now all possible to manage with a few taps inside our app.
See all the devices using your WiFi network
There are a number of reasons why you might want to do this. It is possible that you or one of your family lent your WiFi password to a neighbor or friend and they are still using your WiFi network. You might be sharing an apartment and one of your roommates shared it with a friend. At the most innocuous level, this will probably result in slowing down your WiFi and your Netflix buffering at vital times. But at a more serious level, it might be that they are surfing websites you don’t want on your record, and hacking or visiting websites that end up bringing dangerous viruses into your WiFi network. At the very least, it is good to know who is using your network so you can understand if you need to take further action.
With an Almond router, this is easy as all you have to do is open the app and tap on the Devices tab, and scroll down to Network Devices. There you can see a list of WiFi devices using your network with information whether they are online and the name of the device. If it is not clear who the device belongs to you can then tap on the Settings tab and then check the type and manufacturer.
Once you know who the phone belongs to you can edit the name so it is easier to recognize, for example, to the name of the person.
For any unknown device in the list, you can choose a number of solutions.
Block – Directly tap the icon to the left of the name of the device to block it from your WiFi network.
Follow – Want to know more about the unknown device? To do so go Settings and scroll down to Notify Me, and then select Always. This way you can receive a notification when the device comes online.
You can also tap on View Device History to see the frequency the device is on your network.
Managing your Kids’ WiFi
Parents are concerned about the amount of time their kids spend online and also the types of sites they visit. Both of these are easy to manage with the Almond app.
With scheduling, you can set the times when your kids are allowed to use WiFi. To do so, go to Allow on WiFi and then select Schedule.
Want to get someone’s attention at any time? You can block them in the app or, if you have Amazon Alexa with one voice command. Just designate any device as a kid’s device and when you say, ‘Alexa, turn off kid’s Internet’, it will block Internet of all kids’ devices.
Get notified anytime a kids’ device comes online so you can understand better when and how often they are using the Internet. If you are an experienced user you can even link your Almond to IFTTT and collect all your kids’ surfing habits in an excel file.
If you choose Almond can collect the browsing history for each device using your network and then sort it by movie ratings. Rather than just simply blocking, this way enables you to have a dialogue with your children about the kinds of sites they are visiting (Browsing history is part of our IoT security service which is presently only available for Almond 3, but will be rolled out for Almond+ and Almond 2015 soon).
One way to avoid neighbors continually using your network – or if you have personal NAS and you don’t want your guests to access – is the guest network. A guest network creates an entirely new network for your guests that you can turn off once they leave and the same settings are never repeated. You can turn on your guest network on Almond’s touchscreen or you can also so with an Amazon Alexa voice command.
Almond’s built-in touchscreen makes it super easy to find and change your password. All you have to do is tap on Wireless Settings and then 2.4GHzor 5GHz to see the password. To change it simply tap the Wireless Password box. No need to every worry about where you keep your password again.
Reset and update
If your wife calls you and says the WiFi isn’t working this is easy to solve with Almond. You can reset the router from anywhere by going to the WiFi tab of the Almond app. Similarly, we will notify you if there is an update available for you and you can make the installation by tapping in our app.
Almond Smart Routers
The Almond series of smart routers enable are award-winning WiFi routers with integrated smart hubs. As well as Amazon Alexa support, they deliver unique features only possible because they have control over both your WiFi network and smart devices. Learn more here.