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Nokia Beacon 1 Review

Trusted Advisor

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Currently using a Linksys Velop Triband mesh router. Paid over SGD 500 for the system. Although powerful and fast, setup was quite painful. It required an app and multiple attempts! There was also issues with nodes disconnecting and needed restart. It was with this in mind that I tested the Nokia Beacon 1.

 

Setup was a breeze! Steps:

1. Download the Nokia WiFi app

2. Followed the instructions on the app

3. The router was setup within minutes

 

Adding the additional node was also easy using the app. Coverage is excellent even with the room door closed! Video streaming, video calls also worked well. Internet speed averaged nearly 140 Megabits which was slightly slower than the Velop (160 Megabits) on Chromebooks. This is sufficient for video calls and streaming. Internet speed was under 100 Megabits when connected to the secondary node. Given the current Covid 19 lockdown, video conferencing is important for working from home.

 

The app includes ability to setup profiles for family members and set limits on usage based on time. This is similar to Velop. However the layout is simpler.

 

Pros:

1. Simple setup

2. Aesthetically pleasing nodes with small form factor

3. Decent performance on Chromebooks

4. Good coverage

 

Cons:

Website router management - Velop comes with the ability to control the router via a website. Although basic and clunky, it is great those with fat fingers like me. Personally find it hard to work on a mobile via apps so website management is preferred. Unless I'm missing something, there is no equivalent for Nokia Beacon

 

Bottomline: If the Nokia Beacon was available at the time I needed a mesh router, it would have been a top contender.

 

See this for production information:

https://www.starhub.com/personal/home-broadband/devices/smart-wifi.html

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke
9 Comments

Hi! It does come with web router management, thought it's not as intuitive as the app version. Just enter the IP of the main router, e.g. 192.168.1.1 

 

Published my review of the Beacon 1 on my blog and on SH Community too!

Trusted Advisor

Thanks Chester. Note that the Velop has a remote web management via a Linksys Account. This allows router management even offsite which can be handy for monitoring etc. Believe the Nokia Beacon 1 does not have this functionality and the web management functionality applies only onsite. Of course, it is possible to configure offsite access using a dynamic DNS service but that's another story :-)

Ah yes indeed, that is a unique feature that not many routers offer, not even the traditional routers. But many mesh routers including Nokia Beacon 1 allow you to monitor outside the network from the app, and that would suffice for most people.

Trusted Advisor

Agreed. Imagine most would be comfortable with the app. As mentioned, personally find having to fiddle with mobile apps quite tedious as I have fat fingers :-(. This is why web management is preferred. BTW love your review :-)

Esteemed Commentator

Hi Smart Wifi ( with NOKIA  beacon 1 ) actually did not support VPN, affecting WFH and E-learning , the performance poor and does not live up to it's expectation. I regretted to sign up this pacakge.

Call up Starhub technical support and they sent down a Hub trooper and managed to install back my existing Linksys AC2600 router and the extra beacon put at my master bedroom. 

 

Now I have to pay extra $10 every month for my two beacons where I feel as redundant.

 

Disappointed

Valued Commentator

I have Smart Wifi (Nokia Beacon 1 router) installed. As soon as I start using the router, VPN is very slow - screens freeze. It's affecting WFH. Starhub tech team removed duplicate IP address twice at the backend of my setup but it doesn't help.

 

After hours of troubleshooting by myself and then by Starhub technical team at the backend, the situation doesn't improve. Once I switch back to my existing Linksys EA 7500, VPN is then back to normal. Starhub technical support will come to my place to troubleshoot it onsite. I hope the issue can be resolved.

 

New Commentator

HI, I just installed the Nokia Beacon 1 (2 units meshed)  replacing my TP-link router. The stability of this router is very much in question. The installation was easy enough but for some reasons  especially on mobile phones, the web pages would hang half way and display blank pages. I am using an Iphone 8 plus and also a hwawei mate 20 pro. Both have this same issue. The wifi signal would drop and very often the websites could not be accessed properly even when the signal is at maximum. On the Hwawei I would get "connection denied" very often and have to stop and restart the wifi on the phone which would resolve the issue.   I have not seen this in the laptops that I have but then I have only used the nokia router for 4 days. Switching back to my previous router, eliminated all these problems. Has anyone else experience this? 

 

Above said the coverage is excellent, but I would dispute that. My 2nd unit I could not place it too far from the main unit for it to connect. Also on my 2nd floor the signal it is very weak. Even though the Nokia is runing AC1300 I thought with 2 units meshed it would deliver fair signal over longer distance  but I am disappointed. My single TP link (AC1600) has muich better coverage. Maybe I should swap the main unit between the 2 and do some tests with that. It may be possible the main unit has some issues.

Trusted Advisor

From experience WiFi connectivity can be affected by the following:

 

  1. DECT - Using 2.4GHz DECT phone especially if paired, Note surprising considering WiFi also uses the same wireless spectrum. When I disabled pairing, it was much better.
  2. Elevation and placement - If the node is elevated, WiFi signal improve. Often, shifting the node helps.
  3. Barriers - As mentioned Nokia Beacon even works with wood door closed.
  4. Microwave oven - This can affect WiFi.

For best results, try to turn off devices that may interfere with WiFi and minimize these if possible. 

Valued Commentator

@bllowI have the same issues with Nokia Beacon as yours - 1.slowness with wifi. 2. Unstable. Second router disconnects (change from blue to red light) from time to time despite both are not far apart. 3. Weak coverage.

 

@Paladinas you see from our posts above, once we switch back to our existing / old routers, wifi speed, signal coverage are back to normal and better than that with the Nokia Beacon. No change to elevation, no need to stop cordless phone and barriers are the same.

 

Thanks