Nokia unveils entry-level Beacon 1 mesh Wi-Fi router starting at $130

Nokia today expanded its range of Wi-Fi products with the addition of the Nokia Beacon 1 (opens in new tab) mesh system. With prices starting at $130, the Beacon 1 is an affordable alternative to last year's Beacon 3 (opens in new tab) and shares many of the same features.

Like its predecessor, Beacon 1 supports 802.11ac and can be used to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to more areas of your home, eliminating dead spots. The dual-band system also features the same easy setup procedure that involves scanning a QR code in the accompanying mobile app with subsequent Beacons being plug and play.

The system is limited to AC1200 speeds — unlike the Beacon 3 which supports AC3000 — but there are built-in features to optimize the available bandwidth such as 'Intelligent Channel Selection' that allows beacons to detect both Wi-Fi and non-WiFi interference and choose the best Wi-Fi channel and band automatically. The Beacon 1 system can cover approximately 1,500 square feet per beacon and the mobile app will provide a Wi-Fi heat map of your home to help you find the optimal placement for each one. It also features a bridge mode that works with your existing router/modem combo as the gateway while the beacons provide the smarter Wi-Fi coverage.

Mesh networking systems are becoming more prevalent and the competition is already fierce in this market with the likes of Amazon-owned Eero (opens in new tab), Netgear Orbi (opens in new tab), and more already in homes of many consumers. Nokia appears to be using cost as a differentiator, stating that "Beacon 1 is an entry-level, whole-home mesh WiFi system for consumers looking for the best performance at the best price".

Nokia Beacon 1 is available to order now at Amazon (opens in new tab). The 1-pack retails at $130 with the 3-pack on offer for $300.

Adam Oram

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.

1 Comment
  • Another better alternative is the Amplifi mesh routers. Not beingowned by Amazon or Google is a major plus in my book. But if you're going to be updating to iOS 13 and MacOS Catalina, don't buy anything that isn't a Homekit-enabled router. Eero is going to support the standard, and Amplifi is probably going to support it too. Netgear is listed. That is the future if you want security in the Apple ecosystem.