Routers are the essential gateway that connect our many home gadgets to the Internet, but setting them up can be a major hassle. Chinese newcomer Keewifi has focused on simple connectivity with a new $99 router that enables devices to securely access Wi-Fi without the need for passwords.
The plug-and-play device is small and uses the 802.11ac wireless networking standard, along with proximity technology to authenticate mobile devices as an alternative to standard Wi-Fi passwords. Keewifi stresses on its Kickstarter campaign page that by tapping one’s mobile device on the router one can set up a connection in only 30 seconds. But the company’s video on the site shows that when a mobile device is even held closely to the Keewifi, connection is achieved and a circular blue light glows on top of the router. The device needs to be held within just 2 inches of the syncing panel. Keewifi is looking to raise at least $50,000 on Kickstarter. The company expects to fulfill initial units to backers in July.
There are, of course, plenty of routers on the market, some of them cheaper than Keewifi and many of them from brands familiar to U.S. consumers, including Linksys and Netgear. The new router’s simplicity will likely be appealing to many consumers and stands to make it a hit, but only if Keewifi manages to get decent distribution.