A few years ago, I needed to buy a router, but when I looked at the ones at the store, it was daunting. The associate wasn’t really able to help me, so I went with one based on brand name. That wound up being a bad decision, as that router didn’t provide the most reliable service in my apartment.
If I were in the market for a router today, I might give Luma a look instead. The company is the creator of a namesake wireless router that utilizes mesh networking technology to improve speed and coverage in the home while also providing enterprise-level security. It’s available for purchase today from Luma’s website and Amazon for a special price of $99 for one and $249 for three.
Started by Paul Judge and Mike Van Bruinisse, Luma is the culmination of expertise these two founders have gathered from working together at the messaging security company CipherTrust and the cloud-based security service Purewire. The two saw that the home was rapidly looking like it needed a network fit for a small business due to the proliferation of devices we have.
With Luma, the company has built a router from the ground up with the strength, speed, and scale to support multiple devices and users. It focuses on three areas, starting with speed: It’ll understand where in the home most of the bandwidth is being used and reprioritize accordingly to ensure that you won’t have to hover around the router to get the best speed.
The next factor is safety, where Luma gives admins control over which people have access to the network and the content, from a mobile app. Guests don’t need to enter a lengthy and difficult-to-remember password in order to jump on your network. They just try to connect, and the Luma app will display their name for you to approve (or deny) authentication. Additionally, you can see what devices are connected and instantly disconnect them.
Lastly, Luma boasts that its routers contain enterprise-level security, something that’s not really common in consumer devices. It’ll scan to make sure that passwords are secure, find out if there’s any malware, quarantine a device if one is infected, and more.
“Today’s in-home WiFi experience is archaic,” said Van Bruinisse. “After decades of working on enterprise networks, we constantly wondered why home Wi-Fi systems completely ignored fundamental features like speed and safety, with absolutely no visibility into the network. That’s why we created Luma: to offer people the Wi-Fi solution they need, and deserve.”
The benefit of using Luma is that it utilizes mesh networking, something that you see with Meraki, Ruckus Wireless, and Ubiquiti Wireless — all services geared towards the enterprise. The routers come in either a single pack or a pack of three you can position around the home.
As of right now, Luma doesn’t have integrations with any other partners — it’s just a router. So don’t expect it to intelligently take over other connected devices like your Nest thermostat, Nestcam, August smart lock, or Leeo smart light.
The company has received an undisclosed amount of funding, backed by Felicis Ventures, Base Ventures, BIP Capital, Relay Ventures, and a few angel investors, including Maynard Webb, Meraki cofounder Hans Robertson, Beats chief marketing officer Omar Johnson, and San Francisco 49ers chief executive Jed York.
As mentioned earlier, Luma is available for sale today at a special price of $99 for one and $249 for three; however, that price will rise to $199 for one and $499 for three in the future. The company told us that the routers will be available in Home Depot, Amazon, and Best Buy starting in Q1 2016.