12 Jul 2014

Almond Plus

I backed my first Kickstarter in March of 2013. It was for a new network router. The company behind it already makes a router (the original Almond), and it’s a top seller on Amazon. Being a small company, they went to Kickstarter to get funding for a new and improved version. It has a few things that make it special. A touchscreen, support for additional apps and sensors, and a lot of horsepower inside. Unfortunately, like most Kickstarter projects, the Almond+ was significantly delayed – about 10 months! As disappointing as that was, at least it was because they were improving the originally promised hardware:

  • Dual core 1 GHz ARM Cortex-A9. (Most routers are single core 500MHz.)
  • 512MB RAM (Most routers are around 16MB).
  • Simultaneous dual band AC1750 3×3 MIMO 802.11ac and 802.11n Wi-Fi.
  • Integrated ZigBee and Z-Wave support for home automation.
  • Gigabit WAN and four Gigabit LAN ports.
  • 3.5-inch resistive touch screen.
  • Two USB 3.0 ports.

Mine arrived today, and it’s all set up. My favourite part is that the core OS is OpenWRT, a very power open source router firmware. I’m not sure why they used an old release of OpenWRT (Kamikase) though, perhaps related to kernel and drivers, or because it was easier to integrate with Securifi’s UI and touchscreen. Who knows. Overall though, I’m very impressed. Especially for the $95 I paid. It has a few rough edges, but hopefully will receive continued software updates.