The number of Internet-connected devices in your home has exploded–iPhone, Sonos, Nest thermostat, app-controlled cat feeder. When they’re all vying for Wi-Fi signal (or if your router’s across the house), speed slows to a trickle. It’s no wonder buffering keeps killing your Orphan Black marathon. “There’s this last-inch problem,” says engineer Nick Weaver. “We’ve got great pipes bringing faster Internet into our homes. But how do you get that speed to everything?”
Weaver helped develop a smarter router called Eero ($499 for three). Each Eero communicates with one another, creating a mesh network of up to 10 units. It switches frequencies to overcome interference caused by neighbors’ networks, and boosts the signal at each node to combat distance and walls. Each system supports hundreds of devices, so your smart home won’t get in the way of your binge-watching.
This article was originally published in the July 2015 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Free Your Wi-Fi.”