Vodafone Connect home broadband comes with a fancy new WiFi AC router that you can control with your phone.
We caught up with Brian Fitzsimons, product manager at Vodafone UK, who took us through the Vodafone Connect app and why the Connect router is so amazing.
The router itself is a very highly-specced bit of kit; it’s a WiFi AC router with five antennas – two 2.4GHz and three 5GHz – and it utilises beamforming to reach faraway devices. There’s four gigabit Ethernet ports, two USB ports on the Vodafone Connect router and it’s also DLNA Certified.
But the real ace up the Vodafone’s Connect sleeve comes in the form of this iOS and Android app. This lets you do things like create guest WiFi hotspots, boost traffic to specific devices and manage the devices that are using your network.
Admittedly, this capability is nothing that new; we’ve been able to configure router settings by manually typing gateway addresses into the nav bar of our browsers since forever. But to be honest, this is something that only nerds and tech support types know about and actually do.
The same goes for channel changing, which we explain how to do here. It’s not rocket science, but we appreciate any service that makes this kind of stuff easier.
Fitzsimons said: “What we’ve aimed to do with this application is to make complex tasks really, really simple and in a nice easy way that people are familiar with.”
The Vodafone Connect app literally puts all of these features at your fingertips and presents everything in an easy to understand format.
Borrowing the design language of smart home apps, Vodafone Connect lets you quickly and easily change the SSID (the name of your router as it appears to other devices), the password, set a schedule if you want to turn WiFi off at any point, which could be useful for parents who want to enforce some family time.
You can easily set up a guest WiFi hotspot, which is useful in party situations and if you happen to find out that your neighbour is leeching off of your WiFi, you also have the power to kick specific devices off of your network.
The boost function means you can prioritise traffic on certain devices, which is handy in situations where you’re settling down to watch something on Netflix, iPlayer or whatever.
Vodafone plans to launch bigger boosts, which could be useful if you end up streaming a Star Wars marathon on Now TV or something, but for now, a boost will last for up to 2 hours at a time.
Vodafone Connect is available from £5/month plus line rental (£16.99/month) in over 22 million premises across the UK. We’ve got a full breakdown of prices here.