Securifi Almond Touchscreen Router Review

Securifi Almond 2015 Wireless Router

Securifi Almond 2015

The Securifi Almond 2015 Long Range Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender is an Amazon best seller in the computer routers category with extremely high customer reviews.

The most unique feature of the Securifi Almond is the built-in touchscreen. This enables easy setup of the Securifi wireless router without the need to connect it to a computer. Many of the customer reviews comment about the quick and easy 3 minute setup.

The new Almond 2015 has 30% better WiFi range than its 2012 predecessor, which also has an amazing 4.5 star rating with over 10,300 reviews. The Securifi Almond can function as either a primary wireless router or can easily be configured as a wireless range extender, utilizing your existing router, to extend your wireless range in your home.

With compatible sensors the Securifi can also double as a smarthome security and automation hub to remotely monitor doors or windows and control lighting, thermostats, appliances, etc.

 Securifi Almond 2015 Long Range Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender Price

Securifi Almond Router Reviews

As of this writing there were 1276 Amazon reviews with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. For a product with this volume of reviews this is an excellent rating. Here is a breakdown of the Securifi wireless router ratings.

  • 927 or 73% gave the Almond a solid 5 star review.
  • 130 or 10% of reviewers posted 4 star rankings.
  • 67 or 5% ranked the router 3 stars.
  • 44 or 3% were somewhat disappointed – 2 stars.
  • 108 or 9% gave a dissatisfied 1 star rating.

Almond Router Mobile AppA quick note on my observation of the poor reviews. Many of the 1 and two star reviewers complained about compatibility or speed issues when configuring the Securifi Almond as a wireless range extender. There were a lot of complaints about slower Internet speeds when connected to the Securifi range extender vs. connecting to their primary wireless router. Unfortunately this is how all wireless extenders function. There are some losses in the process and you can expect somewhat slower speeds as a tradeoff for the extended wireless range. To eliminate this would require configuring the Securifi as a wireless access point (WAP) and running an Ethernet cable between it and your primary router.

Almond 2015 Features

Securifi Almond 2015 Features

Below you will find the most common pros and cons of the 2015 Securifi Almond router / wireless extender extrapolated from over 1200 Amazon customer reviews of the product.

Securifi Almond Pros

  • Quick & Easy Touchscreen Setup
  • Excellent Wireless Range
  • Home Automation Features
  • Good Securifi Tech Support
  • Smart Phone App
  • Reliable Connection – No Restarts
  • Local Weather Screen Display
Easy Setup

Easy Setup

Securifi Almond Cons

  • No Dual Band – You need the Almond+
  • Doesn’t Support Z-Wave
  • Connection Failures – Some users experienced connection problems.
  • 3 Min. Setup Unrealistic – Some users had difficulty configuring the Almond


Almond 2015 Technical Specifications 

Almond 2015 Technical Specifications 802.11bgn (300Mbps)

2 LAN + 1 WAN + 1 USB

Home Automation: ZigBee HA 1.2

Port Forwarding, Firewall, DMZ, UPnP

Free iOS & Android Apps & Browser UI

Range: 50-150 ft. (Depends on Construction)

Power Supply: 12V, 1A (Input:110 – 220V, 50-60Hz)

Securifi Almond Resources

 Securifi Almond 2015 Long Range Touchscreen Wireless Router / Range Extender Price


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Current Cox Data Limits

Current Cox Data Limits

Current Cox Data Limits

Cox has typically employed “soft data limits”, which did not carry any penalties for exceeding the monthly data cap for broadband Internet usage. However as recently reported in their post “Cox Communications Eyes Usage Caps, Overage Fees“, Cox has been testing data overage fees in trial markets.  Below is a excerpt from this page of the Cox website detailing the current monthly Cox data limits for their various Internet packages.

Current Cox Data Limits:

Cox High Speed Internet packages include various speeds and Data Plans tailored to provide you with plenty of freedom to stream, surf, download and share. See the table below for available options.

Note: Unused data does not carry over to the next month.

Package Monthly Included Data Speeds

Download / Upload

Starter 200 GB 5 Mbps / 1 Mbps
Essential 250 GB 15 Mbps / 2 Mbps
Preferred 350 GB 50 Mbps / 5 Mbps
Premier 700 GB 100 Mbps / 10 Mbps
Ultimate 1000 GB 200 Mbps / 20 Mbps

Note: 300 Mbps / 30 Mbps in select areas

Gigablast (Where Available) 2000 GB 1 Gbps / 1 Gbps

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Cox Gigablast Internet Install

Cox Gigablast Internet Install

Cox Gigablast Install

I recently had the new Cox Gigablast (Gigabit) Internet installed. In this post I will explain the Gigablast install and review the performance of the service.

Gigablast is Cox cable’s name for its fiber optic Gigabit Internet service. Google started installing Gigabit fiber Internet a few years ago and other ISP’s such as Cox are following suite with their own fiber offerings to stay competitive in the residential Gigabit Internet market.

Fiber Infrastructure

Cox recently dug up my neighborhood and pulled new multi-fiber cables and installed the necessary equipment to support their FTTH (Fiber to the home) expansion. Below are pictures of the new Fiber Optic termination enclosure which Cox buried flush with the ground. Inside the enclosure is the pictured fiber connection equipment which splits the multi strand fiber to the individual houses. These upgrades enable Cox to provide synchronous Gigabit Internet to residential homes and businesses in the area. Synchronous means that the upload and download speeds are the same, in this case 1 Gbps upload and 1 Gbps download speed. Most Internet service plans are asynchronous, with higher download speed and lower upload speed. My old Cox Internet plan was around 100 Mbps download speed and 10 Mbps upload speed. Many newer services such as online backups and cloud storage involve the uploading of multiple Gigabytes of data. The super fast upload speed of the fiber optic Gigablast Internet make these services much faster and more convenient to use than slower cable or DSL broadband Internet.

Cox Fiber Optic Junction

Cox Fiber Optic Junction Box


Flush Install of Fiber Connections Enclosure

Flush Install of Fiber Connections Enclosure


Cox Fiber Distribution Assembly

Cox Fiber Distribution Assembly

Cox Gigablast Is In Your Area

A few weeks ago I got an email from a Cox representative informing me that Gigablast Internet was available in my area. The email went on to offer me a terrific deal, if I would commit to a two year contract. The price was $50 cheaper per month and I would get the much faster Gigablast Internet service with free professional installation ($300 Value), a free fiber modem (ONT) and a free Netgear R6300 wireless ac Gigabit router. My previous Cox bundle also included premium two number phone service (I have a separate Fax #) and the 6 tuner, 2 Terabyte Contour DVR service plus three additional DVR client boxes. Cox threw in free HBO and a three year price lock guarantee to sweeten the deal. Since I had no intention of switching Internet providers in the next two years, it was a no brainer decision to upgrade to the Gigablast service. I also opted to upgrade my Contour service to the newer X1 Contour with voice remotes. Cox recently licensed the X1 technology from Comcast. Although this option cost me $10 more in monthly fees, it was well worth the money. The X1 interface and menu options with voice control is light years ahead of the old clunky Contour interface. It would take another review to fully describe the new Contour system, maybe later I’ll get around to it.

Here is a copy of the email I received from Cox:
Installation Date: June 14th between 8am – 12pm

Cox Communications would like to welcome you to the world of Gigablast Internet service!

Cox is unleashing Internet so powerful it will change how you connect with everything. It’s the technology of tomorrow at 100x the speed of today. Run all your devices at the same time & Download 100 tunes in 3 seconds, an HD movie in under a minute and more

Your current monthly service is $271.97
Your total estimated monthly service is $218

Includes Free Gigablast Installation & Modem/Router, Advanced TV HBO with New Contour 6 & Premier Phone Line

This comes with 24 month commitment & 3 Year Price Lock Guarantee.

Please click on the link below for Price Lock Guarantee and installation process.

Price Lock Info     Gig Installation Process

(Cox Representative’s Name Removed)

Gigablast Team

Gigablast Install

Short Fiber Run To House

Short Fiber Run To House

My house is very close to the Cox distribution box, the fiber optic cable only needed to be pulled around 15 feet to reach my house. It was so easy, that the installer moved my installation date up by 2 weeks. Before the Cox installer came out, someone from Cox pre-installed the heavy sheathed fiber cable to the house. (See Pictures). When the installer arrived he mounted a box on the exterior of the house that serves as a fiber optic coupling to transition from the heavy underground cable to a more flexible fiber cable that is run to the location where your fiber modem, technically called a Optical Network Terminal or ONT, will be located. Special equipment is used to install the connectors on the fiber strands. Due to the technical skills and tools requires to properly install fiber, Gigablast must be professionally installed, there are no self install kits.

Professional Gigablast Install

Professional Cox Gigablast Install

On my install the Cox technician had to redo one of the fiber connections because the optical signal wasn’t right. I had assumed the TV and phone would share the Gigablast fiber connection, however this is not the case. The TV and phone service is provided via your existing RG-6 coax. You still need your coaxial cable modem / VoIP interface for your Cox phone service if you have it. My network equipment is in the laundry room, so the technician routed the fiber through the attic and into my laundry. Then he wall mounted a Alcatel Lucent G-010G-A Optical Network Terminal (ONT) where the fiber terminates. He then disconnected the WAN connection to my router from the old DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and connected it to the new ONT. This needs to be a Gigabit rated Ethernet cable that connects the ONT to your router’s WAN or Internet port. CAT6 or possibly CAT5e Ethernet cables will support Gigabit network transfer rates. Your router also needs to have Gigabit Ethernet ports and support the newer wireless ac standard to fully utilize the available Internet bandwidth provided by Gigablast. Cox provided a free Netgear R6300 AC1750 Dual Band Gigabit Router with the deal. Since I already had a suitable Synology RT1900ac Router, I configured the Netgear R6300 as a Wireless Access Point (WAP) to extend my wireless range. After everything was connected, the technician called in so Cox could De-authorize my old cable modem and authorize the new fiber ONT.

Alcatel Lucent G-010G-A Optical Network Terminal

Alcatel Lucent G-010G-A Optical Network Terminal – (ONT)


Completed Outdoor Fiber Connections

Completed Outdoor Fiber Connections

Special Fiber Install Tools

Special Fiber Optic Install Tools

Cox Gigablast Speeds

The Gigablast speeds are incredible. On a Ethernet connected desktop, I got 943.31 Mb/s download and 951.56 Mb/s upload speeds. Ping time or latency was almost nonexistent at 2 ms. As with any network connections, your speed will vary depending on your equipment and conditions. Typically Ethernet connections are fairly stable, whereas wireless (WiFi) connections vary considerably depending on conditions and equipment. My Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone showed respectable 329.69 Mbps download and 377.36 Mbps upload speeds with a 4 ms ping on a 5 GHz WiFi connection to my Synology router. Even my 2.4 GHz ASUS Ultrabook gets over 100 Mbps Internet speeds for both uploads and downloads.


Cox Gigablast Ethernet Speed Test

Cox Gigablast Ethernet Speed Test

Smartphone Speedtest

5 GHz WiFi Smartphone Speedtest


With the special Cox promotion, installing Gigablast was a easy decision for me. Even if there were no promotions, the Gigablast service has great value if you utilize a lot of monthly bandwidth, such as multiple streaming from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc.  The data caps on Gigablast is currently 2 Terabytes per month, which is much higher than other Cox broadband Internet plans or competing ISP providers. I think the price for just the standalone Gigablast Internet without any additional Cox bundled services is around $100 per month. With additional bundled cox services it drops to around $70 a month.


Verizon Certifies NetComm Wireless M2M Router

Verizon Certifies NetComm Wireless M2M Router

NetComm Wireless M2M Router

NetComm Wireless Limited, a leading global developer of data communications devices has its 4G Wi-Fi M2M Router (NTC-140W-01) certified by Verizon Wireless for use on the Verizon Wireless Private Network.

The certification now opens the door for customers of both entities to enjoy a whole new Internet experience. In a press release dated May 3, the company said mission-critical wireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) data can now be secured using the NTC-140W-01 to create a direct connection to internal enterprise systems over a segregated private network.

It has been developed to accelerate the uptake of M2M in the US and the NTC-140W-01 brings Verizon Wireless LTE/XLTE network coverage, speed and security to enterprises that collect and manage large amounts of data. These will come from digital displays, smart buildings, remote healthcare, emergency response and other bandwidth-intensive M2M applications.

David Stewart, the CEO and Managing Director, NetComm Wireless made the official announcement of the certification. “We are pleased to introduce a device that separates M2M data from public Internet traffic to secure remote management and advance real world M2M applications by providing undisrupted access to the bandwidth, speed and capacity offered by the Verizon Wireless Private Network.”

It has further been designed to support M2M deployments over the long-term and the future-proof NTC-140W-01 enables the secure migration of machines and business assets from 2G to 4G LTE. The industrial-grade device reduces deployment risk and features automatic failover for reliable connectivity to time critical systems, tele-health services and disaster recovery applications.  The NetComm Wireless NTC-140W-01 features powerful edge processor for optimal performance, and its embedded NetComm Linux OS and Software Development Kit (SDK) enables the installation of custom software applications to the on board memory.

The NTC-140W-01 features two super-fast Gigabit Ethernet ports and high-speed WiFi connectivity to decrease data transfer delays and enable fast and reliable networking across multiple devices.

Recent Verizon Posts:


Cox Ranked 18th in Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Cox Ranked 18th in Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Cox Diversity

Cox Communications has continued to show why it’s the best service provider in America after ranking eighteenth on the 2016 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list.

The announcement was made officially by DiversityInc at the diversity and inclusion’s keystone event held at Cipriani Wall Street on April 19. DiversityInc’s annual survey – tracking the nation’s top companies when it comes to hiring, retaining and promoting women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT and veterans – is the most rigorous, data-driven survey of its kind, gauging detailed demographics based on race/ethnicity and gender at some of the largest U.S. employers.

“At Cox, we believe that creating a culture of inclusion builds diversity.  We place a big emphasis on leadership involvement in diversity and inclusion and we are proud to see our efforts once again being recognized on DiversityInc’s prestigious Top 50 Companies for Diversity list,” Len Barlik, the company’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer said in a press release.

“With more than 1800 companies considered, Cox’s rank in the top 20 for the second straight year, as well as our position on two of DiversityInc’s specialty lists – Mentoring and Diversity Councils, is very rewarding.” Luke Visconti, the DiversityInc’s founder and CEO paid tribute to President Pat Esser and his team for continuing to push Cox Communications to be an employer of choice and a thought leader among companies committed to making strides in diversity and inclusion.

Companies with more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees are eligible to enter, and there is no cost to compete. Each company’s rank is based on an objective analysis of 183 separate factors, based on data from a 300-question survey. The four equally weighted areas of measurement are talent pipeline, equitable talent development, and CEO/leadership commitment and supplier diversity. The mission of DiversityInc is to bring education and clarity to the business benefits of diversity.

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Portland Joins Google’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship Program

Portland Joins Google’s Digital Inclusion Fellowship Program

Google Fiber Low Income Internet

Google Fiber customers in Portland have something to smile about after the company confirmed it will be adding the city to its program for expanding Internet access to low-income residents.

Other beneficiaries of the development will be people who go without speedy online connections.  The Digital Inclusion Fellowship program operates in partnership with a Portland organization, the Non-profit Technology Network.

It is already in the second year and awards fellowships in 11 cities to reach people without Internet access and help overcome the digital divide. reported that in Portland, the fellowship program will work with the Multnomah County Library and Free Geek as host organizations.

The library has just posted its fellowship opening, a one to two-year post responsible for enhancing existing digital literacy programming while building and expanding the capacity of community partners to deliver adult digital literacy programming.

Google Fiber contributes $1 million to support salaries and benefits for the fellows, and stipends for community organizations that participate.  The Digital Inclusion program operates in 11 cities. Portland is the only one of them where Google hasn’t committed to offer its superfast Internet service.

Even though there has been no official communication from the company in regards to this development, all latest indications have clearly painted an announcement in the offing. For instance, they have hired Portland staffers, won permission to string its fiber on local utility poles and begun applying for permission to build network hubs in the city.

Expanding the Internet’s reach has been a priority for Google Fiber since the service’s launch four years ago. Last month, it announced a new, $15 service in areas of its cities where unusually high numbers of residents go without Internet access at home.  Portland is preparing its own “Digital Equity Action Plan” to improve broadband connectivity for low-income residents.

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Windstream Takes Kinetic to Sugar Land

Windstream Takes Kinetic to Sugar Land

Windstream Takes Kinetic to Sugar Land

Windstream Communications has announced that Kinetic, the company’s next-generation television service, is now available in Sugar Land, Texas.

They will allow over 30,000 homes in Sugar Land to sign up for the new television service. Kinetic utilizes the company’s 100 percent fiber-backed network to provide an enhanced viewing experience. This new development is geared towards increasing their market presence in America.

Sugar Land is the third Kinetic market following successful launches in Lincoln, Neb., and Lexington, Ky., in 2015. The Kinetic launch came in the wake of Windstream announcing ultra-fast 1-Gigabit Internet service in Sugar Land. The two services make Sugar Land one of the most advanced and connected communities in Windstream’s consumer markets.

Sarah Day, the president of consumer and small business for Windstream said their customers should be braced for more goodies going forward. She reiterated their commitment to serve customers in the best way. “We continue to invest heavily in innovative technologies that allow us to offer services that meet our customers’ current and future needs,” she said in a press release dated April 11.

“With the launch of Kinetic today and the announcement of 1-Gig service last week, we’re offering the Sugar Land community access to an unparalleled in-home TV and Internet experience.” All customers interested in signing up for Kinetic are encouraged to call 1-877-481-9463, or visit

Kinetic is powered by the Ericsson Mediaroom platform and offers a unique user experience coupled with features that subscribers want and deserve from a TV provider. With Kinetic, customers will receive fast, high-quality, interactive television with features like High Definition (HD) channels, video on-demand, kinetic on the go, instant channel change, wireless Set Top Box and free Whole Home DVR among many others.

Kinetic is available as a bundled service with Windstream’s High Speed Internet and telephone services. All bundle rates, which vary based on channel selection, include the features listed above. Rates for TV-only service start at $39.99.


Midcontinent Agrees to Acquire Dataware

Midcontinent Agrees to Acquire Dataware

Midcontinent Dataware

Midcontinent Communications has entered into an agreement to acquire Dataware, LLC, with an aim of increasing their foothold in the local industry.

Dataware is a firm that has provided data center space, and cloud and managed services since 2001. The deal includes two data centers located in Sioux Falls and Yankton, SD – giving Midcontinent the infrastructure to deliver business-class data center and managed services across the Upper Midwest.

Scott Smidt who leads the data center strategy and team as Vice President of Business Engineering and Operations for Midcontinent said the new development is a positive to their growing business. “The combination of the data center environments on top of our Northern Plains Network is an advantage for Midco Business, but even more so for our customers,” he said in a press release.

“Businesses already benefit from the reliability, redundancy and capacity of our wholly owned and operated fiber-optic network. Soon, they can use that network to access their secure data housed in a Midco facility.” Even though details of the agreement are not in public domain, it’s understood to be a win-win situation for both parties.

Actually, Midcontinent will continue to serve Dataware customers as it expands its service line near-term and long-term to include additional managed business IT services. The company is assessing opportunities to expand the data center strategy into other cities. That will be a trend-setting move for other industry players who are still lagging behind.

“As we look to the future, we may examine opportunities in additional Midco markets presently underserved by large data centers, such as Fargo and Grand Forks, and then move our focus to other key Midco markets,” Steve Grosser, the EVP for Midcontinent said.

Midcontinent data centers are considered Tier II facilities, meaning they deliver on service-level commitments while also offering a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.

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Verizon Taking Mobile Spectrum to Rural Areas

Verizon Taking Mobile Spectrum to Rural Areas

Verizon Taking Mobile Spectrum to Rural Areas

Verizon Wireless is putting in all the effort towards covering as many rural areas as possible with its mobile spectrum.

In their latest offensive, the company has put in place strategies to help expand its mobile spectrum to rural America. At the end of it all, they are targeting increasing the number of markets up to 466 nationwide.

With the help of XLTE, Verizon Wireless is targeting to increase bandwidth and in turn, keep their loyal customers happy. The move is seen by market analysts as a reaction to constant complains by customers who insist on getting much better services. For some time, it appeared like their concerns were being wished away.

Now that Verizon has come out to address the issue, it’s hoped that market dynamics in America will change for good. “While XLTE network enhancements are invisible to the customer, the mobile experience is not. XLTE Ready devices automatically access both 700 MHz spectrum and the AWS spectrum in XLTE cities. Customers with 4G LTE devices operating solely on the 700 MHz spectrum in XLTE markets also benefit from the extra capacity created by XLTE Ready device traffic moving to the AWS spectrum,” a statement from the company read in part.

It is not clear the timelines they have put in place to have achieved this but it’s expected to take very minimal time. “It will all depend on the type of reception we get out there. If it’s positive, results will come fast but if it’s lukewarm we might take longer than expected,” an anonymous insider at the company said.

The rural markets they are targeting include McCook, NE, Waterville/Augusta, ME, Lewiston-Auburn, ME and Victoria, TX. While Verizon has been somewhat mum on the upgrades to XLTE, these markets were the focal point of first quarter 2016. Since these markets have already been enabled, there’s nothing you need to do to your device, or to your plan, to take advantage of the improvements.

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XO Communications Enhances Hosted PBX Solution

XO Communications Enhances Hosted PBX solution

Hosted PBX Solutions

In a bid to enhance the experience of its customers, XO Communications has enhanced its Hosted PBX (HPBX) solution.

They have achieved that by expanding the native video conferencing capabilities and integrating several of the leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems as well as Skype for Business. The integration of key CRM systems such as Salesforce stimulates user adoption by automating certain functions.

Furthermore, integration enables phone calls to be placed directly from CRM systems and automatically accessing customer records upon call connection. The Skype for Business integration allows users to leverage seamlessly all Skype collaboration tools while connecting phone calls through the HPBX platform.

Business customers leverage the XO HPBX service through the reliable and secure XO network. In addition to desktop HPBX phones, XO offers users the flexibility to access unified communications features on their computers and other mobile devices. “With this release, XO meets the emerging demand for UC head-on, expanding beyond the video, audio, and web capabilities that have become table stakes in today’s UC marketplace,” Bill Haskins, the senior analyst and partner at Massachusetts-based market research firm Wainhouse Research said.

“In order for an enterprise to fully leverage their UC solution, it must confidently support both internal employees and external customers and guests, independent of which voice delivery technology is being used. Add CRM and Skype for Business integration and XO deliver a flexible UC platform positioned to maximize worker productivity, which is what unified communications is all about,” Haskins added.

Jake Heinz, the senior vice president of marketing and product at XO Communications said; “As more businesses adopt HPBX services, they continue to look for ways to ensure rapid user adoption. XO is pleased to advance the integration of CRM systems with our HPBX service which makes it easy for workers to quickly leverage the full features of unified communications and their CRM systems.”

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