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Similar to devices like Eero and Google Wi-Fi, Luma is a Wi-Fi mesh system that launched in 2015, providing users with whole home Wi-Fi, parental controls, and network security scanning. Today, the company announced a new optional subscription model is coming to its mesh router, called "Luma Guardian," and it introduces a privacy VPN, antivirus software, ISP speed monitoring, and priority tech support for $5 per month.

According to Luma CEO Paul Judge, who spoke with TechCrunch, the reason behind the subscription service is related to all of the security issues that Luma discovered within its customers' networks over the years. Luma Guardian is a way for the company to dedicate time and resources to addressing those issues for the "thousands and thousands" of homes with its mesh Wi-Fi system.

luma-guardian.jpg
It was also one of the earlier home networking devices to bake IoT security into its system, and as a result, the company spotted security problems in around two-thirds of the "thousands and thousands" of homes that currently sport a Luma.

"We'd been blocking them, and the next step was, how do we go to their devices and clean them up?" Judge tells TechCrunch. "How do we install antivirus and clean up the infections on those devices? For 15 years, we built networking and security equipment for companies. You can have the best equipment in the world, but at the end of the day, they had a team to manage it all. Having someone there who pays attention is key."
Luma's system already comes with a few security measures, including anti-malware, IoT cyber security, and new device alerts that block potentially untrustworthy devices from connecting to your personal Wi-Fi, and Luma Guardian expands upon those features. This includes a "Stealth Mode" that's enabled through a virtual private network (VPN), allowing users to browse the web privately thanks to encrypted and anonymized web traffic sent between the Luma system, the cloud, and third-party websites.


Antivirus protection is allowed for up to three devices in the new subscription model, through a partnership with Webroot and its SecureAnywhere software, which performs regular scans of the devices to block viruses, malware, ransomware, and any suspicious files. Users will also be able to monitor the speed being granted to them by their internet service provider, with monthly reports in the iOS app to make sure they're getting the speeds they pay for.

luma-router-2.jpg

Also within the app, users can directly chat with Luma's support staff for any tech-related questions they have about the router or its software. Luma Guardian subscribers also receive a priority support phone number so they can be moved to the front of the line when it comes to getting help from the company's United States-based tech experts on the phone.

Luma owners can sign up for Luma Guardian through the Luma iOS app [Direct Link], and there's a 30 day free trial offer for new subscribers. The Luma router itself is sold on the company's website in a one pack ($149), a two pack ($249), and a three pack ($349). Luma describes the subscription service price as an "introductory" offer of $5/month for the first year, but the company didn't detail how much it might increase by after that period.

Article Link: Wi-Fi Mesh System Luma Launches $5/Month Service With VPN, Priority Tech Support, and More
 

Santabean2000

macrumors 68000
Nov 20, 2007
1,811
1,866
Bought the Velop system recently. Not a fan.

Wish Luma was available more widely. Or Eero.
 

earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
Staff member
Mar 6, 2015
391
588
Louisiana
Is this a sponsored post? It kind of reads like one

How is this there no disclosure on this very obvious ad? I know it's just Macrumors, but it's still an FCC violation.
This is not a sponsored post or an advertisement in any way. We've been covering updates to whole-home Wi-Fi systems over the past few months and find it worth sharing when updates come out from these companies.
 

jacksmith21006

macrumors member
Aug 5, 2016
61
43
Would get the Google WiFi instead. No subscription fee and Google is finding many of the security issues and is going to be far more secure.

I purchased a Google WiFi three pack and been very happy with them. Highly recommend.
 

SoulCloud

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2016
62
129
Is this a sponsored post? It kind of reads like one
If it sounds like one, then it is one.
And, one simply does not have to be paid in cash or bitcoins. A house full of routers or a paid up lunch with Eddy Cue would do the trick.
 

moebius

macrumors member
Jul 27, 2007
82
4
Is it bad that it made me happy to see that "the most interesting man in the world" is back from Mars?
 

Kabeyun

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
3,085
5,811
Eastern USA
Google is the last company that I would give more access to.
+1
I heard the NSA is rolling out a home mesh network. They promise it's secure and they won't keep track of anything. Anyone interested?

A VPN that runs through their network? So basically you pay $5 a month to let them monitor all of your web traffic.
As tempting as the term "baked in" may be, I heartily suggest researching and buying your VPN a la carte. Many, many considerations when choosing a VPN service and they're not all the same for every region. VPNs are like the dark net. Do it smart or don't do it at all.
 

mmomega

macrumors demi-god
Dec 30, 2009
3,814
1,994
DFW, TX
From "the reason behind the subscription service is related to all of the security issues that Luma discovered within its customers' networks over the years. Luma Guardian is a way for the company to dedicate time and resources to addressing those issues for the "thousands and thousands" of homes with its mesh Wi-Fi system."

This thing sounded pretty sketch.

How were their routers and AP's discovering security issues on networks?
Was their equipment already phoning home? every device, every site, everything that was happening on the network?
And now they are looking at that data saying we can now sell these people AV software that won't really do anything, we'll also now say we are tunneling all of their traffic through our VPN to analyze so we can further protect them?
It's like having a money launderer but it's an internet launderer..... and you're trusting the launderer with absolutely every single bit of information you are sending and receiving across every device and every friend, relative that comes over and jumps on your system.

I'll pass.
I'll be sticking with my Ubiquiti equipment for a little while longer.
 
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hotgril

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Jul 4, 2017
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Artsakh, Armenia
From "the reason behind the subscription service is related to all of the security issues that Luma discovered within its customers' networks over the years. Luma Guardian is a way for the company to dedicate time and resources to addressing those issues for the "thousands and thousands" of homes with its mesh Wi-Fi system."

This thing sounded pretty sketch.

How were their routers and AP's discovering security issues on networks?
Was their equipment already phoning home? every device, every site, everything that was happening on the network?
And now they are looking at that data saying we can now sell these people AV software that won't really do anything, we'll also now say we are tunneling all of their traffic through our VPN to analyze so we can further protect them?
It's like having a money launderer but it's an internet launderer..... and you're trusting the launderer with absolutely every single bit of information you are sending and receiving across every device and every friend, relative that comes over and jumps on your system.

I'll pass.
I'll be sticking with my Ubiquiti equipment for a little while longer.
Agreed. I'm very skeptical. I'll bet they'd just keep misidentifying my own traffic as malicious because I'm using weird ports or something. And I'd have to worry about any potential security vulnerabilities relating to their service, which might not necessarily be their fault. I don't dig it. I'm believe in security through simplicity, not adding complexity with these vague protection services.

You want to be secure? Use a router with a NAT (I mean most people do). Don't buy crappy IoT devices. Honestly I have no idea what the appeal of these are, other than a few that you'd only buy from reputable companies anyway (e.g. Amazon Alexa). Keep your stuff up to date. Don't download and run sketchy stuff. It's not hard. Neither I nor anyone in my family has ever been hacked, or at least none of us have been aware of it, which we would be if they stole account info or something.
[doublepost=1500616908][/doublepost]
As tempting as the term "baked in" may be, I heartily suggest researching and buying your VPN a la carte. Many, many considerations when choosing a VPN service and they're not all the same for every region. VPNs are like the dark net. Do it smart or don't do it at all.
I just run a VPN out of my house and connect to it from my laptop if I'm on some network elsewhere that I don't trust, e.g. airport wifi. macOS server makes this easy, but many router combos can host VPNs too and make it even easier. And I'd be way more concerned about networks away from home than my own network. So many more vectors for attacks out there.
 
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Kabeyun

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2004
3,085
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Eastern USA
I just run a VPN out of my house and connect to it from my laptop if I'm on some network elsewhere that I don't trust, e.g. airport wifi. macOS server makes this easy, but many router combos can host VPNs too and make it even easier. And I'd be way more concerned about networks away from home than my own network. So many more vectors for attacks out there.
Good solution. I'm just skeptical of bundling a router and VPN from the same place. I run a VPN on my Mini when's I want more secure (but somewhat slower) connectivity. Same on my iPhone/iPad via OpenVPN using my VPN service's config files.
 

hotgril

Suspended
Jul 4, 2017
128
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Artsakh, Armenia
Good solution. I'm just skeptical of bundling a router and VPN from the same place. I run a VPN on my Mini when's I want more secure (but somewhat slower) connectivity. Same on my iPhone/iPad via OpenVPN using my VPN service's config files.
Yes, a PC serving the VPN (I have a mini too) is better because you aren't dealing with baked-in and proprietary software like on the router.
 
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