Update: A week with Luma #SurroundWiFi

I’m still just as happy today as I was after receiving and installing my new Luma home WiFi last week. Now I want to provide an update on exactly what the experience has been like, some ups, some downs, and more of a user experience as opposed to the “unveiling” I did a week ago.

Getting to the heart of the problem

My initial install gave me some insights into how WiFi propagates in our home. We have Charter internet, which is fast (see typical Luma monitoring screenshot), but we’ve never known if it was our former WiFi router or the internet that was not very reliable. We have our home internet setup in one room, with the cable modem, WiFi router, NAS device, and AT&T MicroCell all powered up together. We would turn the power strip off, then back on again, 3-4 times a day because everyone in the house would lose connection to the internet. Like I said, with our old router, we never knew who was the culprit because we never had any sort of monitoring or diagnostic ability into that router.

With Luma, we can see the network. Literally. I can see which of the 3 Lumas in my home is connected, online, or offline. Turns out, all this time we’ve been restarting everything, it’s been the Charter cable modem. Once we knew that, it was an easy fix for Charter. Problem solved.

Dead spots no more

One of the biggest pains with a traditional home WiFi router is that it’s ONE device, connected wherever your DSL or Cable modem lives, unless your home came pre-wired so you could connect all your devices through a switch or router. Our previous home in west side Atlanta (which is coming up for sale BTW) actually is completely wired with Cat6 cable throughout, but I digress. With that one device, we could not get decent, if any, WiFi coverage back in the back of the house (office & master bedroom). Yes, we could still connect via the AT&T MicroCell, but that’s not WiFi.

When I first setup Luma, I thought I had this one solved, but it turns out the wall between my home office and our master bedroom has some WiFi-killing stuff in it. Previous owner? Who knows. It’s an old house, and the bottom line is that WiFi simply does not go through that wall. So, I moved the Luma literally about 5 feet to the other side of that wall and VOILA! We have 5 bar full signal 5×5 WiFi all over the back of the house.

Who’s doing what?

Luma gives you the ability to set every user’s content filtering individually as well as to set an overall general content filtering for non-assigned devices. I have my iPhone and two PCs assigned to me, as well as the ROKU, Chromecast, and home security cameras. My wife and kids all have their devices assigned to them. That allows me to set my kids’ content filtering to be appropriate for them. Naturally, Dad sets it one bar too low, and negotiates from there.

You think I’m kidding.

If they need permission to access some site or app, Luma lets them request permission, and then sends me a simple push alert letting me know that they are asking for permission to go to a certain URL. I give a thumbs up or thumbs down – from anywhere I happen to be because all of this is done from the Luma iPhone app – and everyone’s happy.

100% Uptime

I’m sure Luma would never advertise this, because there are no guarantees, but in the 7 days since the arrival and installation of Luma, we’ve had exactly zero downtime. We’ve got 6 PCs, 4 phones, 2 printers, an iPad, a Wii, a ROKU and a Chromecast, and not one device has missed a beat in those 7 days. Contrast that with the constant rebooting from our old router, which turns out not to be the culprit, but which couldn’t deliver a complete blanket of WiFi to our home.

Now we’re surrounded in WiFi.

What do you think about that?

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