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This awesome touchscreen AC router doubles as a home automation hub

If you’re rocking a decent DIY home automation setup in your house right now, you’ve undoubtedly got a myriad of different boxes wired up to control your network – modems, routers, access hubs, and more. And with that many gizmos to fiddle with every time you need to adjust something, changing your settings can be a nightmare.

But if Soap, a recently-launched Kickstarter project, ever becomes a reality, this problem may soon become a thing of the past. It’s basically an all-in-one solution for all your home networking needs. Under the hood, it’s packing a boatload of networking tech, including:

  • Dual-band 802.11ac WiFi router
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • NFC module
  • RFID module
  • Z-Wave compatibility
  • Zigbee compatibility
  • Insteon compatibility

So, in a nutshell, not only does this badboy give you the best throughput rates for your Wi-Fi network with 802.11ac (see our router buying guide if you’re unfamiliar), it can Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 12.56.19 PMalso handle practically any kind of home automation device you can buy. And that’s not even the best part.

Arguably the coolest thing about Soap is its uber-simplified interface. Instead of buttons or a Web-based settings menu, Soap uses a big 7-inch touchscreen (much like the Almond from Securifi, but bigger, and with more features). In just a few taps, the device’s Android-based operating system allows you to things like:

  • Add/remove devices from a network
  • Set bandwidth limits for specific devices
  • Enable Web filtering and parental controls
  • And much, much more

On top of all that, Soap is outfitted with a number of awesome security features to safeguard your home against hackers – something that becomes increasingly important as you add more connected devices to your home. In addition to a robust firewall and built-in ad blocker software, it’s got clever features like Spy Mode (network monitoring) and FlyPaper, a setting that creates an “artificial vulnerability” area to lure potential hackers into accessing your network, and then trap them. 

There’s far too many features to cover here, so we highly suggest you head over to Kickstarter and check it out for yourself. If you back the project now, you can lock down a Soap box for around $170-$200 bucks – a fraction of what it would cost to buy a router and a bunch of hubs separately. 

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