Since Luma was founded in 2014, it has since been known for selling Wi-Fi solutions. Specifically, they sell a WiFi router that uses mesh networking technology to deliver consistent signals past the limit of the host router to a specific range. This also is built with a corresponding mobile app for more convenient and secured control over the network and your kid’s devices using the parental controls.
Knowing how the IoT (Internet of Things) has taken over the internet by storm, they aim to build something that can provide everyone with the cybersecurity they need without the need of a CISO or a Chief Information Security Officer. And this is what led to the birth of the Luma WiFi router.
In this article, we’ll cover the bits and pieces of the Luma WiFi router, it’s specs, and exactly how can this piece of technology reshape the future of internet browsing at home.
What is Luma?
In a nutshell, Luma WiFi is designed to extend the limits of your router’s coverage. By adding range extenders or nodes to the end-points of the WiFi coverage, you extend the coverage of the WiFi signal without compromising the speed and performance of your internet connection.
According to Luma, this type of “intelligent” system they’re using was only available to large companies before. But now, they’re making it available to household consumers for everyone to enjoy. To give you a general idea of its benefits, here they are:
- Comes with a hacker protection
- Full control over the devices connected to the network and even have an idea what kind of data is flowing through
- Allows you to see what’s happening on each device in real-time
- Extensive parental control feature to restrict access for specific users and even pausing the internet and adding limits
- Can be accessed via the Luma app (available on iOS and Android)
How Users Welcomed Luma
With the new mesh technology and outstanding security features Luma had offered to consumers, it has easily become everybody’s favorite. But this didn’t mean it’s for everyone even though this was one of the cheaper mesh-based networking solutions on the market.
See, Luma’s capabilities and features are perfect for users living in big properties and those who are looking for a mesh router that’s easy to install, easy to maintain, and easy to expand when there’s a need to. Users looking to control their children’s devices will also find Luma’s outstanding security feature worth investing in.
But then again, since it’s one of the cheaper options in the market, it doesn’t offer as many customization options and features as other premium-grade mesh routers on the market (more of this below).
The Potentials of Luma
The mesh technology Luma utilizes is truly revolutionizing and it has definitely changed our WiFi experience. One of the most notable benefits of mesh networks is the fact that they are truly wireless, unlike traditional network setups where cables have to be buried in ceilings and walls to achieve a clean setup.
In a wireless mesh network like Luma, all you need is the range extender or nodes. And if you need more than 2 nodes, you can always buy more according to your needs.
But exactly how beneficial these things are? Let’s break it down:
Cost less to set up a network, particularly, a large area that needs full WiFi coverage. Compared to the traditional way of expanding your network, you’ll have to hide them away by either buying a cable management sleeve (cheaper) or having to bury them in the walls (more expensive and tedious).
Mesh network systems like the Luma doesn’t need any of this as it’s pure wireless from the get-go. Just plug the main mesh to the router and you’re good to go.
Stronger when Together
The package comes with 1 host mesh and 2 nodes to extend the range. If you’re located in an area where 2 or more nodes are accessible, you get a faster wireless experience.
Unlike traditional home WiFi systems, these are so convenient because they’re small. You can even bring them with you to outdoor venues or even at a concert. And since they’re useful for NLoS (Non-Line-of-Sight) network configurations, you can rely on the connection as long as there are plenty of nodes around since they’re configured to adjust accordingly to find the best signal.
Mesh or nodes are programmed to self-configure and self-heal. This means the network will constantly find which nodes have the strongest signal and automatically connects to it. If the path is blocked for some reason, it automatically finds the next-strongest nodes around.
What Happened to Luma
4 years after it was released, Luma was acquired by Newell Brands for a reported $10 million in January 2018. And from there, the brand Luma will run under First Alert. This means there will be issues with how the old products operate under the new name.
As expected, customer service has gone from bad to worse. And if you’re planning to buy Luma today, then consider our list of Alternatives below to avoid the hassles that thousands of consumers were experiencing.
Alternatives to Luma
With Luma performing worse and worse every day, it’s expected for consumers who were expecting so much from this type of technology to look for alternatives. Good thing there are plenty of options you can choose from today.
And here are our picks…
Eero is the best-performing mesh router around. It uses multiple nodes to create a blanket that covers your entire property.
Like Luma, you just plug Eero into your modem and the other range extenders or nodes to other standard outlets and you’re good to go. Moreover, it also comes in 3-packs of Eero nodes which can be spaced at least 40 feet apart. There’s also an app that controls everything the mesh WiFi does, including a scheduled WiFi lockdown for visitors and your children.
The Netgear Orbi is yet another mesh WiFi that you can invest in. Compared to Eero and Luma, this comes only in 2 nodes that communicate back and forth via a dedicated 5 GHz frequency to consistently throw out a 2.4 GHz and another 5 GHz for your devices to connect to.
The only issue consumers have had with this product is the fact that it only comes with 2 instead of the standard 3. Because quite frankly, 2 just doesn’t feel enough to cover the entire house. Aside from that, users also had issues getting their phones to connect with the WiFi mesh.
This is a different type of mesh WiFi router compared to most of its competitors in the market. This comes with a pack of six miniature pods that functions just like a mesh node. If you live in a big property or you need more than six to cover an entire area, you can add accordingly.
If you need a more discrete type of mesh that doesn’t stand out, this is ideal for you. If speed is your concern, it can support multiple devices and even gaming at once.
The Unifi is the solution that works best if you’re aiming to do a complex WiFi network. Thanks to its Unifi Controller app, your desire to achieve an enterprise-level functionality at home can be achieved.
The app can be configured even before you have them installed. Just upload your home plan to their website so you can plan the placement of the mesh WiFi. By setting the thickness of the wall, you can achieve near-accurate results of the coverage.
It can also be configured to set up guest passes, access times for your children, WiFi frequencies, and even limit the bandwidth. If you just want a faster, reliable WiFi you can place in your property, this should be your pick.
Although you’re better off with any of the above-mentioned WiFi if you’re looking for a straightforward setup procedure.
The Google mesh network system is a very straightforward WiFi mesh network to setup. And it’s even cheaper than Eero, about $200 cheaper. Although it has to be noted that it isn’t as fast as the Eero.
But it does have other functionalities like Best thermostats, Phillips Hue lights, and other features like Family Pause feature that, as the name implies, allows you to pause WiFi access for specific devices.
Even though Luma has held strong at first, their production just wasn’t fast enough to accommodate their customers. And since they were acquired by Newell Brands in January of 2018, you’re better off buying the alternatives instead.