Subject: General Tech | September 2, 2013 - 05:18 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: skydog, powercloud systems, gigabit router, 802.11n
PowerCloud Systems announced last week that it has begun shipping the Skydog router and software to the more than 1,000 Kickstarter backers. Also, the home networking hardware will be available to the general public in October from the Skydog.com website.
Skydog is a router for home networks that is paired with a web interface and smartphone app to enable real time monitoring, guest access control, quality of service (QoS), and parental controls. The router itself has five Gigabit Ethernet ports (four LAN, one WAN), a single USB port, and a reset button. The hardware is in an all black case with vents around the top edges, blue indicator lights on the front edge, and a large Skydog logo in the center.
The Skydog router uses an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio that operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously. PowerCloud Systems rates the router at 300 Mbps on each band.
Users will be able to pick up the Skydog router in October for $149 plus shipping. The $149 price buys the Skydog router itself, the mobile application, and three years of the Skydog subscription service (tied to the management interface). The Kickstarter also mentioned a $199 option for the router, app, and five years of the subscription service, but that SKU does not appear to be available on the Skydog site at time of publication.
It's not a router that will appeal to everyone, especially with the need to pair it with a cloud service for management features, but it could be the ideal device for families with kids or people that just want a simple UI to manage their home network and do things like allow people access to the Wi-Fi when guests come over, for example.
You can find the full press release below.
Subject: General Tech | August 6, 2013 - 11:50 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: wireless router, qualcomm, gigabit router, dual band, dgl-5500, D-Link, 802.11ac
Earlier this year, D-Link launched a new 802.11ac wireless router called the DGL-5500 that featured specialized Quality of Service (QoS) designed for gamers. The DGL-5500 is a black cylindrical piece of networking kit measuring 9.8” x 6.5” x 2.8”.
The D-Link DGL-5500 is comprised of a four port Gigabit Ethernet switch, dual band wireless access point supporting 802.11a/b/g/n/ac on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, Gigabit WAN port, a single USB 2.0 port for drive sharing, and D-Link’s custom firmware that provides routing, firewall, and QoS functionality. The QoS engine is powered by a Qualcomm developed technology called StreamBoost which optimizes traffic on both an application and device basis. The wireless router is further able to download application profiles from the Internet that are used to automatically configure the QoS' traffic shaping priorities for those apps.
D-Link is rating the wireless throughput of the DGL-5500 router at 450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5GHz band. Please note that D-Link brands the router as AC1300 but in practice users will not see 1300mbps throughput (to a single device) as you cannot combine both bands. You can use both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands for various devices on your network and get a sort-of total network throughput (between router and multiple devices on both bands), however, which is where the “AC1300” and various Gigabit wireless marketing terms come from (D-Link is not alone in using terms that add up the two bands, even though a single device can’t hit that throughput figure).
The D-Link DGL-5500 is available now in the United States from D-Link and various retailers for a MSRP of $200. For example, Amazon, Newegg, and Tiger Direct all have the 802.11ac router listed for $199.99 (although it is currently out of stock on Amazon).
Subject: Networking | April 15, 2013 - 02:28 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: skydog, gigabit router, 5GHz wifi
A new piece of networking hardware from PowerCloud Systems recently emerged on popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter. Aimed at consumers, the Skydog router is paired with a web interface and mobile application that makes managing your home network extremely accessible.
The Skydog router hardware itself has already passed regulatory certifications, and the super early bird backers will each get one of 250 pre-production units. The router features five Gigabit Ethernet ports (one port is for the WAN), a USB port, and a dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi radio. The Wi-Fi radio can operate on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously, and has a maximum rated throughput of 300Mbps per band. The router chassis measures 17 x 11 x 2.5cm and includes a number of blue indicator LEDs on the top-front edge. The USB port is not currently supported, but is there for future feature updates.
Where Skydog differentiates itself from the crowd is in the software. After connecting the router to your modem and computers, you can log into the web interface. It will prompt you for either a Google or Skydog account, and then will reportedly automatically configure itself. The software supports Quality of Service (QoS) features that will allow you to prioritize certain traffic and/or to give bandwidth priority to certain users. The web interface will show you network statistics, connected devices, device signal strength, track and notify users of network issues (for example, the internet going down) via the Skydog mobile app, and track and restrict the websites users visit. Further, the administrator can set up schedules on a per-user basis. The schedules can restrict usage by approved time slices and by bandwidth limits. It will notify users when they are approaching the allotted time or bandwidth limit via the mobile app. Real time notifications include ISP connection issues, guests requesting access to the network, and the above-mentioned bandwidth limit notifications.
According to the Kickstarter FAQ, the Skydog Home Network (which consists of the router and management software) will cost approximately $149 for three years or $199 for five years without a monthly fee. The wording suggests that a model with a lower hardware cost but monthly charge might also be available. The cloud service is a bit worrisome, and I'm not sure if I like the idea of essentially renting the router via monthly or yearly fees. This router is not going to be for everyone, but it does have some useful and inventive features for families. This would be a router that I could see the various ISPs offering up as a rental device and that I might set up for my friends or relatives with kids so that they could easily manage the network and restrict the kids access to certain times of the day and age appropriate sites.
With 29 days left in the Kickstarter, the project has 543 backers, and $51,905 pledged of the 75,000 goal. It certainly looks like it is going to be funded, and I hope that the Kickstarter leads to a successful retail product launch.
ASUS RT-N56U Wireless Router Review
On deck for review today is the ASUS RT-N56U “Black Diamond” Dual-band Gigabit Wireless-N Router. ASUS has a broad stable of networking equipment including wireless adapters, wireless routers, wired networking gear and even some power line networking gear. Released in late 2010, the RT-N56U is one of the lower cost offerings in ASUS’ Dual Band N series and can be found online for around $99.
ASUS RT-N56U Wireless-N Router Overview
The media review information supplied to us by ASUS claims the ASUS RT-N56U “Black Diamond” offers “Extreme performance in style.” The router’s “Aesthetic design” has a “Sexy and stylish approach with streamlined, meticulously designed and well-rounded appearance, just like diamonds sparkling and twinkling in the dark.” Now I don’t know about you, but if it’s dark, I’m not sure how you see diamond’s twinkling? But I digress; the RT-N56U is a great looking router, with the black cross hatched lattice surface we liked from previous ASUS routers.
Subject: General Tech | May 14, 2012 - 05:05 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: Amped Wireless, R20000G, Wireless-N, gigabit router
If you don't win the brand new Netgear R6300 802.11ac router which we were giving away last week you might be wondering just how you can get your hands on a Gigabit wireless device. Amped Wireless might just have what you need if you are serious about streaming large amounts of data wirelessly, be it game data, video or VoIP calls. The R20000G provides dual 600mW 2.4GHz amplifiers and dual 5.0GHz amplifiers allowing the use of both bands simultaneously and the dual high gain antennas should blanket up to a quarter of an acre in good signal. Security can be configured for WPS One-Touch Setup, WPA and WPA2 as well as optional parental controls to lock it down further. You can check out the full product page here.
Chino Hills, CA — May 14, 2012 — Amped Wireless, the leading manufacturer of high-power, long-range wireless communications products for the home and office, today unveiled its new flagship, long range router – the R20000G High Power Wireless-N Gigabit Dual Band Router.
Engineered to deliver exceptional levels of performance, power and flexibility, this new router is designed for use in large homes and offices. The R20000G brings unprecedented, simultaneous dual band Wi-Fi to home and office users of up to 10,000 square feet of coverage or a quarter of an acre, the same size as a major league baseball diamond.
How It Works
This new router not only boost wireless coverage, the R20000G delivers a combined speed of up to 600Mbps for smooth streaming of video, music and uninterrupted gaming across a number of devices, including: Game Consoles, iPads, Internet TVs, Notebooks, PC, Smart Phones, Tablets, VoIP devices and more.
“Amped Wireless has continued to make strides in the industry with our innovative power amplifying technology and design,” stated Jason Owen, President and CEO at Amped Wireless. “The R20000G is the ideal product for any consumer that wants to outfit their entire office or home and backyard, with a high performance router with the most Wi-Fi coverage on the market today.”
Building on their award-winning Wi-Fi technology, the R20000G is engineered with the latest state-of-the-art wireless features which includes:
- Dual high power 2.4GHz 600mW amplifiers, dual high power 5.0GHz amplifiers and dual low noise amplifiers for improving wireless reception
- Dual High Gain 5dBi detachable dual band antennas
- High speed 620MHz internal processor for faster networking
- Simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz dual band 802.11n technology
The combination of advanced power amplifiers, wireless reception amplifiers and high gain antennas, provide users with a significant increase in signal strength over great distances to improve home or office Wi-Fi coverage.
The R20000G also features 5 gigabit networking ports for connecting additional wired network devices, and a USB 2.0 port to share files among connected users. The high power router includes premium features such as, guest networks, adjustable Wi-Fi coverage controls, parental controls, website blocking and support for the latest Wi-Fi security to secure your Wi-Fi experience.
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