There’s a fresh class of Wi-Fi routers hitting the marketplace that use individual modules to produce a mesh network that gives wireless networking to all or any areas of your house. The Luma Home WiFi System ($399; 3-pack) joins the Eero, AmpliFi, and Plume systems as the most recent modular Wi-Fi solution to tout simplicity and whole-house coverage. Luma helps it be simple to invite users to a guest network also to create filter policies for every single user. The machine delivered good close-proximity throughput inside our testing, but we discovered that performance took popular as we moved from the key module. Moreover, management options and ports are limited. For half the purchase price, you can grab a normal midrange router, like our Editors’ Choice Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router, which gives far better overall throughput and will be offering a good amount of ports and management settings.
Design and Features
The 3-pack system of routers reviewed here (which Luma identifies as modules) is made for the typical home, nevertheless, you can truly add more modules (up to ten about the same network; $149 each) if you require more coverage. In the box, additionally you get three power supplies, and one Ethernet cable. The hexagon-shaped modules can be purchased in white, gold, orange, or silver, and measure 4.1 by 4.6 by 1.1 inches (HWD). There’s a round LED ring on the facial skin of the module that flashes blue through the initial setup, green when configuring the Wi-Fi network, and red when there’s one. The light is out when everything is ready to go. The modules talk to one another with a proprietary mesh network and so are designed to be located within 40 feet of the other person to blanket your house with Wi-Fi coverage.
Each module can be an 802.11ac router possesses a quad-core processor and two radio bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz). They are AC1200 routers with a maximum data rate of 300Mbps on the two 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps on the 5GHz band. Much like the Asus Google OnHub SRT-AC1900 router, the Luma uses programmed band steering and chooses which band is most beneficial, predicated on location and load. It’s a good feature, but it turns up as an individual SSID, therefore you can’t dedicate a band to specific devices, such as for example gaming consoles and media servers. You merely get one Gigabit LAN port on each module; it’s on the trunk of these devices and is joined by a Gigabit WAN input and a USB 2.0 port. The USB port can be utilised for charging peripherals, but during this writing, it had been not yet in a position to hook up to USB hard disks.
The Luma network is manipulated utilizing a mobile software for Android and iOS users. Much like the Starry Station, the Eero, and the Asus Google OnHub routers, the Luma will not give you a Web-based management console and will only be accessed and handled by using a mobile device. The iphone app opens to the Wi-Fi page, which ultimately shows the keeping each module in a generic home floor plan. It lets you know just how many Luma devices are online, plus your current upload and download speeds. Swiping the screen left brings you to a full page where you could see each module by name; tapping a module displays the status and Ip for that module. The three-bar icon on the upper-left corner goes to the primary Menu, where one can access Wi-Fi and Account settings, launch an online help page, and look for Luma devices on Amazon.
Wi-Fi settings are limited by changing the network’s name and password and enabling the Guest Network, and Account settings are limited by changing the name of every module. There are no QoS, Firewall, or Port Forwarding settings, nor is there settings for creating access schedules. Parental controls add a Content Filter policy with five rating levels: Unrestricted, R-rated, PG-13, PG, and G. You can apply a rating across the complete network or add users, and assign a different level to each user as you see fit. When you put in a user, you may also add their commonly used client devices to be sure the filters are always set up. You should use the Control page to provide users usage of your guest network via text or email also to add new Luma modules to the network. Gleam Pause button that quickly switches off Access to the internet over the network until you disable it.
The Luma offers an integral Security feature that continually scans all linked devices for malware and vulnerabilities to hacking and viruses. It’ll quarantine infected devices and try to purge them of infections, and can send a push aware of your mobile device when something is detected. You can examine your status by tapping the Security icon on underneath of the house screen.
Installation and Performance
To set up the Luma routers, you need to download the free Android or iOS app. When you initially open the app, you press the Setup Luma button and choose just how many modules you are installing. You will be asked to answer questions, such as for example which kind of home you stay in (single-family, apartment/condo, or townhouse) and just how many floors are in your house. I chose single-family house with two floors (basement and main floor).
You then need to tell the iphone app where your router/modem is situated by clicking on a location of your house (front, back, middle, upstairs, or downstairs) and create a network name and password. The iphone app will prompt you to plug in the first Luma module, hook up it to your modem, and restart the modem. After that you can name the module by using a set of room names (MASTER SUITE, Kitchen, Office, etc). The light ring will spin blue briefly and turn solid blue when the module is initialized. Press the beginning Wi-Fi button and await the light ring to flash green seven times. It’ll turn off if it is ready. The complete process took significantly less than five minutes for me personally. You can tap Add Another Luma to set up additional Luma modules or you can choose to add more at another time.
When adding more Luma modules, the procedure is comparable to that of establishing the first module, however the application will let you know where to install the next module based on the positioning of the first device. In my own case, it had been the upstairs center of my home. It took around about a minute to initialize, and 25 seconds for the Wi-Fi setup. The iphone app had me install the 3rd module in the heart of my basement, and the installation was as quick as the first two.
Performance in testing was mixed. I ran my usual throughput tests, but since I possibly could not isolate the air bands, results are predicated on the Luma’s band-steering feature. On the close-proximity (same-room) test for the key module (the main one linked to my modem), the Luma delivered an extraordinary 457Mbps. That is right up there with the Linksys EA7500 (495Mbps) and far faster compared to the Eero (188.7Mbps) and the Asus Google OnHub (307Mbps). The Starry Station managed 398Mbps upon this test. On the 30-foot test the Luma’s score of 76.1Mbps edged at night Eero (71.2Mbps) and beat the Asus Google OnHub (39.8Mbps) handily, but couldn’t keep pace with the Starry Station (160Mbps) and the Linksys EA7500 (298Mbps).
I ran the same tests on each one of the two satellite modules and discovered that the close-proximity throughput was drastically reduced (106Mbps for the upstairs module, and 101Mbps for the basement module), as the 30-foot test scores were practically identical to the key module (77.2Mbps and 75Mbps, respectively).
The Luma Home WiFi System is an excellent wager if you seek simplicity when establishing and maintaining a home Wi-Fi network. Like Eero, it’s relatively expensive, particularly if you need a lot more than three modules to cover your house, but technically challenged users will appreciate its built-in parental controls and no-hassle security features. If you wish total control over your network, however, the Luma will probably disappoint, in which particular case you’re better off with a normal device, including the Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router, our Editors’ Choice for midrange routers. It’s about 50 % the cost of the Luma system, offers better throughput performance, and is filled with features, including multiple LAN ports, Multi-User Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) streaming, and plentiful management settings.