Jan 14 2014

News - NETGEAR @ CES 2014

NETGEAR didn’t have a ton to show in the consumer space at CES, but they did have two very interesting 802.11AC range extenders on hand and their Trek travel router on hand.

Jan 14 2014

News - D-Link @ CES 2014

Oddly enough D-Link’s main product showing at CES this year wasn’t in networking, but cameras. My favorite was one that is intended for use as a baby monitor. I know that might sound a bit strange, but it’s all about the sensors – it includes audio and temperature beside the camera. Having a device like that would be slick in some home automation scenarios, and since it includes a standard camera style screw mount on the bottom would be easy to slap on the wall.

Oct 23 2013

News - D-Link Adds "Private Cloud" Feature to Routers

Exposing USB connected storage through the router isn't a new concept, but it is nice to see D-Link catching up to what the other players in this space are doing - especially as the feature will be pushed down to currently deployed hardware, even if it is limited to the newest "AC" kit.

Full PR after the click.


Aug 02 2013

News - D-Link Gaming Router with StreamBoost Technology Now Shipping

Even though I would prefer a more wall-mountable chassis, I remember being very impressed by this router and the StreamBoost technology back at CES. Besides the typical things we expect from a modern high-end router (Gigabit switch, AC, etc.) it also offers dynamic traffic shaping to so things like video streaming or gaming take priority over less time sensitive protocols like FTP or Bittorrent. $200 isn't cheap for a wireless router, but I've often found that you get what you pay for with networking technology. Of course we'll have to see how it holds up in the real world, so I'm going to be watching the reviews closely to see how it plays out.

Lastly, it looks like they are giving away a bunch of these. Just click through to the product page for the details. Full PR on the next page.

Jan 16 2013

News - NETGEAR @ CES 2013


After attending NETGEAR's press conference there wasn't anything that new or surprising to see when I stopped by their suite last week, but it was great to get a more detailed look at what they were bringing out this year. I did get a chance to take a closer look at their upcoming Google TV box, and the slick little IP cameras mentioned a few days before as well as a couple other things. Take a look after the click.

Oct 03 2012

News - Synology Introduces the DS213air and the DS2413+ NAS Devices

Synology DS213air and DS2413+

Synology has announced the launch of two new NAS devices, and side-by-side, they could not look more unalike. The DS213air is a sleek, petite, i-stlye box that could easily pass for a UPS rather than a NAS. It is undenaiably geared toward the consumer market. Not just because it's cute and priced right at $307, but because it comes with an 802.11n radio built-in. The integrated Wi-Fi can not only be used for connecting the DS213air to the network wirelessly, however ill-advised that might be, but it can also be used to turn the DS213air into a wireless hotspot or a wireless router when connected over Ethernet.

The DS2412+, on the other hand, is a 12-bay beast of a NAS. At $1700 and packing features such as ADS support for up to 100,000 users or groups, the DS2413+ is squarely aimed at the SMB market, though it sounds like Synology is also trying to make a case for a role in the professional photography market as well. I suppose if one had enough Blu-Ray discs that they absolutely had to rip to ISOs, there could be case for the DS2413+ at home, but the DS213air sounds like it might have real potential.

The DS213air is one of the innovative products to grace the NAS market this year. In their quest to offer differentiating features, Synology seems to have found an interesting niche. The DS213air is based on the DS213 platform (Marvell Kirkwood based 2-bay NAS). It integrates a single band (2.4 GHz) 802.11n radio (we are awaiting clarification on the exact speeds - 150 Mbps / 300 Mbps / 450 Mbps. 


Jun 19 2012

News - D-Link Announces SharePort (DIR-505) Mini-Wireless Access Point


We don't usually cover networking product announcements, but this one was too interesting for me to pass up because I've been looking for something just like this for when I travel and need to stay in a hotel that uses web browser based authentication for WiFi access - which isn't supported by most of the small (Netflix enabled) media streamers available on the market. Obviously I could tote a full size access point around, but that's not nearly as convenient as something the size of this device.

Click through for the full PR.

Mar 08 2012

News - Wi-Fi Alliance Finally Responds to WPS Vulnerability

WPS LogoA couple of months ago, security researchers released details about a security vulnerability in Wi-Fi Protected Setup, the pin-based system for quickly and easily adding new devices to a Wi-Fi network. As it turns out, routers with WPS enabled are susceptible to a brute force attack that allows interested hackers access to the network in just a couple of hours. In a recent statement, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that they have changed their testing and certification requirements in response to the vulnerability. Unfortunately, anyone who has already purchased a WPS-equipped router is left waiting for a fix from the manufacturer or forced to disable WPS, an option that is evidently not effective with all routers. 

While it sounds like the Wi-Fi Alliance will be taking care of the security hole on future devices, the statement doesn't address how it plans to do so, nor does it show that it is taking any steps to rectify the issue on old routers. By default, many devices ship with WPS enabled, and for now the only way to prevent an attack is to disable the feature. 

The Verge

Feb 06 2012

News - Kaleidescape M700 Disc Vault, M500 Player, and 1U Server Reviewed

Kaleidescape has made its mark with its high-end DVD and Blu-ray distribution systems and media servers. While many DIYers have built their own solutions for serving movies across their home networks, Kaleidescape's systems are intended to deliver the same experience to any user in a sleek, albeit expensive, turnkey package. At the heart of a Kaleidescape system is the Kaleidescape Server for storing copies of your DVD and Blu-ray movies. The server works in tandem with the M-class players and disc vaults for copying and playing back stored movies throughout the house. The need to keep the disc accessible to the server might seem to defeat the purpose for some users, but Kaleidescape may have put together a winning solution if you can live with the disc-access limitations and the price. 

Kaleidescape M700 Disc Vault

If you want a true server for native Blu-ray content throughout your home, Kaleidescape is the only company that has managed to work through the legal mess to release such a system. The Kaleidescape M Series players and disc vaults deliver 1080p video with Dolby TrueHD or DTS HD-MA to any room in your home over your wired network. 

Home Theater Review

Jan 13 2012

News - Tweak Mediabrowser to Share Playstates Only

Mediabrowser coverflow

By default, Mediabrowser runs largely as a local application. It's easy to set up the program with the media libraries pointed at any location, local or networked, but all of the playstate and settings information is stored locally. Mediabrowser has long been easy to tweak to share the playstates and display view settings by moving certain files to a network location and adjusting a configuration file, but it's always been necessary to move the two together. I've never actually done this because I didn't want to tie the entire household's display view settings to the whims of my fickle kids' installations, but with the help of a little smbolic linking it would appear that it is surprisingly easy to allow my kids to resume their Winnie the Pooh in their rooms without being saddled with their coverflow view in the living room.

Basically, it allows you to place your playstate directory (for maintaining watched status and resume points) and display.db file (which holds your view configurations) within a share and then use the <UserSettingsPath /> element to set the path to that shared location.  It works well, but I prefer not to lock my views to a single setting between multiple HTPCs.  I just want to preserve my watched status and resume points.

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