One of the most malicious buzzwords to hit the English language in recent years is subscriptions. Say what? Subscriptions have been around forever but have gain new legs with applications and services. Yeah, we subscribe to apps we used to own.
As it turns out, subscriptions are more than newspapers or magazines, more than cable TV or leasing a car. You can subscribe by the month to get better privacy and improved security with your internet access.
Do. The. Math.
Yes, I understand what’s really going on. We live on a very capitalist planet where everyone is out to get your money, and the latest trend is to offload certain features or functions– separate from the basics– into a subscription model.
Not all of my home gear came from Apple. I have an Eero mesh router to put Wi-Fi all over my wife’s palace. What bothers me about Eero these days is Amazon bought the company. Guess what that means? Prime subscription, meet security subscription.
Eero has a subscription plan for $9.99 a month. It’s called Eero Plus and you get 1Password, MalwareBytes software, and the Encrypt.ME VPN service. Annual plans are less on a per-month basis, but you get the idea. You pay for privacy and security by the month.
The latest Eero plan is called Eero Secure and it’s $2.99 a month. For that you get ad blocking, safe filtering, advanced security, and all the love that comes from a Weekly Insights newsletter, and an Activity Center that shows your device activity on your network.
Yes, privacy and security are important to me, but I’m a red, white, and blue member of the good old U.S. of A. and I have some financial constraints. I buy Apple products because they provide a good experience, and when resale value is credited to the Total Cost of Ownership equation, all that built-in privacy and security comes with a competitive price tag.
This growing trend toward monthly subscriptions has me worried. There once was a time when I could buy and use software. Licenses and times change, so now I rent. There was a time when I didn’t need to worry about online privacy and security– I own and use Apple gear– but now subscriptions have taken over; Apple Music, iCloud, VPN service, and various and sundry apps for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Worse– or, even better, depending upon your perspective– our iPhones are on the subscription model thanks to iPhone Upgrade Program.
Everything worthwhile has a subscription.
What’s next? An Uber or Lyft subscription? A McDonald’s subscription? Hey, it could happen. If only we could get politicians on a subscription. If we don’t like them, we cancel the subscription.
Wait. That’s called elections. Sorry. My bad.