Telstra goes for EasyMesh with its new Wi-Fi Booster
Telstra's new Smart Wi-Fi Booster 2.0 will intelligently link up to other Wi-Fi EasyMesh devices, if you can find one.
Every Internet service provider (ISP) will provide you with a modem when you're connecting to the national broadband network. Typically they provide generic devices, with poor performance when it comes to actually flinging those precious data bits around your home or office.
Telstra has already had one joust at improving home Wi-Fi with its first-generation Smart Wi-Fi Booster, and it's just launched the second generation model, available from today for Telstra Broadband customers.
As with the first generation model, it works in concert with an existing Telstra modem to seamlessly improve your dwelling's Wi-Fi signals. Telstra states that it will only work with the second generation Telstra Smart Modem.
Where the Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster 2.0 gets really interesting is in its adoption of the Wi-Fi Alliance's Wi-Fi EasyMesh standard. Like other mesh networking technologies, the core idea here is that you install the Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster 2.0 into your network, and it essentially self-manages and optimises the signal throughput between as many nodes on the network as you have. The end result, in theory, is an uninterrupted flow of data, whether you're sharing a work document or streaming the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
The challenge for mesh networking devices such as Linksys' Velop or D-Link's COVR is that they all use their own proprietary algorithms. The Wi-Fi EasyMesh standard is intended to break that vendor lock-in by providing an open standard that multiple systems can work with.
Telstra is quite proud to note that it's got the first Telco ISP-provided device to be certified for Wi-Fi EasyMesh.
Of course, that's something of an early-adopter double-edged sword, because so far few large networking vendors have signed up for Wi-Fi EasyMesh. It's only when the big mesh players do adopt it that it will become truly useful in an interoperable sense. Still, you could always add more Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster 2.0 devices to your network in the meantime.
In pricing terms, the Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster 2.0 will cost $192 outright, or $8 per month over 24 months paired with a Telstra broadband service. You can check out the latest Telstra broadband deals below.