Yet another company seeks to solve the spotty Wi-Fi problem. A startup called Luma has designed a router that promises wireless security, monitoring and device connections – all easy to use. Luma encourages people to buy more than one device to distribute throughout the home to create what they call "surround Wi-Fi."
After setting up the routers, they create a single network so you don't have to reconnect as you go from room to room. Luma also boasts that they offer “enterprise-grade” security and device-specific parental controls, and activity tracking. These features make Luma seem to be mostly aimed at parents who want to see if little Jimmy is actually doing his homework rather than hanging out on Instagram, but it could easily be used by the adults in the house to spy on each other.
And the catch is that you can’t ever turn the monitoring completely off. The admin can hide a user’s activity but that can be easily undone and the entire history is then available to peruse. And there can only be one admin. The activity log doesn’t show all details – browsing any Facebook page will just show up as “Facebook.”
Luma comes with a smartphone app that handles all the controls. From the app you can block unwanted users, connect devices without a password and determine the appropriate website rating for your kids. There’s also an option to limit browsing by controlling how long a device can be active daily.
The target audience for Luma probably just wants a quick and easy fix for Wi-Fi usage – and are willing to pay the price. During the current pre-order period it’s $299 for three Luma devices ($125 each), and after that it’s $199 per device and $499 for three. Shipping starts in early 2016.