TP-Link announced today at CES 2020 a new HomeCare Pro feature for Wi-Fi 6 routers. Powered by Avira, this is a network security solution that protects the entire network from online threats in real-time.
A significant upgrade to HomeCare
Initially, the HomeCare function, available in most TP-Link routers released int the past few years, is a parental control feature plus TrendMicro’s Antivirus, making it similar to Asus’s AiProtection (also powered by TrendMicro) or Netgear’s Armor (powered by BitDefender).
The Pro version continues the ability to block malicious sites, prevent intrusion, and protect end-devices. Also, it now includes a unique capability that automatically identifies smart home devices and determines if they are safe. When detecting security issues or vulnerabilities, it will notify users to take action.
So apart from general endpoints like computers or smartphones, HomeCare Pro can also protect IoT devices like smart bulbs, smart thermostats, smart plugs, and so on.
On top of that, HomeCare Pro’s parental control function also gets some upgrades. Now with scene mode, it enables users to turn off Wi-Fi connectivity of several devices at a time. It also offers rewards where you can make your children earn internet time by completing chores.
Finally, HomeCare Pro includes enhanced reports to let the user know what’s been going on in their network and for how long.
Pricing and availability
HomeCare Pro is available in the first quarter of the year to TP-Link’s Wi-Fi 6 routers.
Unfortunately, it’s not free. Instead, it comes with a trial period and then costs $6/month or $55/year.
Update: In early May 2020, TP-Link changed the policy on HomeCare by dropping the “Pro” notion and made it free for all of its routers and mesh systems, starting with the Deco X60. The way it works, the subscription automatically renews itself, at the time it expires, without payment requirement.