I love testing new products, especially when they come from companies I know. When Amplifi announced their Teleport product as a kickstarter, I immediately backed it. The premise is essentially to create a virtual connection from wherever you are, a hotel, a coffee shop, etc, back to your home network. Since I travel for work often, and regularly need to access my home network, this seemed like a great idea. I often travel with multiple devices, and it is always nice to be able to keep them on the home network while I am gone.
My first impressions were good, the setup was pretty simple, I am familiar with their products, so I set up the router. Because I have not had a great experience with Amplifi Mesh in my home, I chose to add the new router in bridge mode, basically passing through the network with a hidden network so I can keep the connection to the main network going. The challenge was setting up the remote device. Because it requires a separate public IP address, I had to do some crazy gyrations using my cell phone as a hotspot to set it up. Thankfully the wizard was very straight forward and I didn’t have any real issues with it.
When I went to use it, I was a little annoyed that I would have to set the device up each time from the remote location, and then connect to the hotel guest wifi with my phone to manage the home amplifi device, and enable the pairing. Clearly a great security move, but not really functional. I have noticed that an update has changed this, I can simply connect to the remote amplifi device wireless and give it the hotel guest wifi, it then handles authentication between devices.
I tested the device fairly extensively across the U.S. and even in Canada, with mixed results. In fairness to the product, the latency between my house and the hotels I have been in are largely to blame for the performance issues, but I have generally found that it creates an unacceptable performance lag. I have a VPN set up to my firewall which performs far better, and is accessible on each of my devices, and the performance is far better.
Overall the product works well, provided you have solid low latency networks underlying. The use cases are fairly limited though, and I am not sure I would purchase the product again. If there were a way to better prioritize traffic on higher latency networks, it would be far more valuable for frequent travelers, but for now, it will be mostly used for coffee shops in town, and eventually possibly for a vacation home.