A wireless router like no other — millions of devices are hidden from view because they are ugly, but South Korea's biggest telecom company wants to change that with an award-winning design

Phillip Kim designed Vibrant WiFi router
(Image credit: Phillip Kim/KT)

While some business router manufacturers do try to make their products look attractive, for most it’s a case of function over form. That can’t be said of South Korea’s KT (Korea Telecom) as its Vibrant WiFi has won design awards from both Red Dot and iF Design.

The core KT WiFi 6D router itself isn’t that exciting - it’s a fairly standard shape and size but the antennas are contained inside the device and the LEDS are hidden. It offers up to 1.2Gbps wireless speeds, 1Gbps wired, and up to 100 simultaneous connections.

What makes the router an award winner is its support for detachable covers, referred to as skins, which slip over the base unit, so it will fit in perfectly (or not, depending on your preference) with its surroundings. A router power adapter called “Simply Connect” transfers power and data over a single USB-C cable, so it looks tidy.

Designer skins

There are a lot of skins available for the router, including ones covered in walnut, acrylic fiber, vegetable leather, ceramic, illuminated glass, and even Rattan.

If none of the original designs do it for you, KT has collaborated with a wide range of well known Korean artists for some more outlandish looks. While most designs cover the skins in eye catching artwork, others change the shape and form, adding additional elements to it. The Clock One and The Clock Two, for example, add an analogue clock to the skin face.

A lot of the designs won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but there are a wealth to chose from, with more being added regularly, so you're bound to find something you like from the range.

This approach to design makes a lot of sense in South Korea as routers are typically rented by users on two or three year contracts, rather than being bought outright. The skins allow the temporary custodian to stamp their preference on the product without changing it, so it can be easily refurbished and passed on at the end of the contract period.

Vibrant WiFi skins

(Image credit: Korea Telecom)

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Wayne Williams

Wayne Williams is a freelancer writing news for TechRadar Pro. He has been writing about computers, technology, and the web for 30 years. In that time he wrote for most of the UK’s PC magazines, and launched, edited and published a number of them too.