Most WiFi routers look like NSA vans with a million antennas. The Starry Station isn’t like that. It's built to look friendly and easy to use -- and, for the most part, it is.
The Starry Station is a seven-inch-tall plastic-on-metal pyramid with an LCD screen. That’s the first tip-off to the most important thing about this product: it’s not meant to sit in an enterprise. The Starry Station was designed for home use, or small business, or a store. And for them, it’s a pretty interesting product.
You set up the Starry Station by working through menus on the screen, which do things like set the SSID and password. Then you need to pair it with a companion app on an iOS or Android device.
The screen and the app let you manage the functions of the router, but also show real-time status – things like the health of your network, what devices are connected, and how much bandwidth they’re each using. You can also ban certain devices during certain hours – like the time when kids are supposed to be in bed and their phones are supposed to be off.
Keep in mind that the Starry Station doesn’t play well with other Wi-Fi routers that might be on your network – it insists on being the DHCP server and doesn’t work in bridge mode.
That’s not really the point, though. The Starry Station has a simple but complete interface and lots of help screens -- so a good idea if you're tired of playing tech support for your family or friends.
At 350 bucks, it’s pretty pricy. But for non-technical users, the Starry Station is a nice, friendly, capable box that’s worth considering.