Third Wi-Fi Mesh Router Launches

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Tim Higgins

Chime logoChime is another 802.11ac mesh router hoping to capture your attention…and wallet.

Innovation Labs by AVG recently launched its Chime Wi-Fi mesh router on Indiegogo. It joins an increasingly crowded field of 802.11ac Wi-Fi mesh routers, competing with eero that launched in February and Luma that announced just last week.

Chime will be third to market, with its first shipment not scheduled until September 2016. If eero ships next February and Luma in "spring" 2016, it could be a challenge for Chime to attract customers, especially if mesh performance doesn’t live up to its hype.

Chime Wi-Fi Mesh Router

Chime Wi-Fi Mesh Router

Chime’s packaging looks a lot like eero, but it’s not the same box. However, the specs of all three products are similar as the table below shows. Also like eero and Luma, Chime is controlled by iOS or Android apps.

Chime Luma eero
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 4.0 w/ L.E. 4.0 w/ L.E. 4.0 w/ L.E.
Ethernet Gigabit; 1 WAN; 1 LAN Gigabit; 1 WAN; 1 LAN Gigabit; 1 WAN; 1 LAN
Processor Dual-core Quad-core 1 GHz Dual-core
USB One USB 2.0 One USB 2.0 One USB 2.0
Size
Form
Orientation

5.3" x 5.3" x 1"
Square
Horizontal

4.6" x 4.1" x 1.2"
Hexagonal
Vertical
4.75" x 4.75" x ~1"
Square
Horizontal
Price $200 for one
$500 for three
$199 for one
$499 for three
$199 for one
$499 for three
Table 1: Component summary

Chime’s value proposition comes from its AVG heritage, offering AVG AntiVirus and malware protection for all connected devices, plus content filtering and parental controls. The product description also says Chime is equipped with VPN and Tor for privacy. But VPN service looks to be optional, since the Indiegogo deal perks include three or six months of free VPN service.

Chime network threat protection

Chime network threat protection

Chime’s pitch says "Running our campaign on Indiegogo is not about raising funds, but about engaging directly with people who want and need Chime". But if you scroll all the way down the page, you get the real bottom line:

"Chime cannot guarantee results. Your experience may vary. The final design of the product may vary. This is a crowdfunding campaign. Delivery is not guaranteed if insufficient funds are raised."

The campaign was at 5% of its $650,000 goal, with 115 backers and 25 days left to go when I posted this story. I’m not one of the 115.

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