How to help your children maintain an online/offline balance this summer

Since the beginning of July marked the start of Parental Advice Week, we were interested to see how we could help make the lives of parents that little bit easier. D-Link carried out some nationwide research to get an insight into parents’ observations of their children’s internet habits. With the school holidays approaching, we found that 84% of parents across the UK are aware that children are likely to be spending even more time online during this summer holiday, as opposed to participating in traditional outdoor summer activities.

It’s no secret that children having greater access to the internet is inevitable and can have its benefits, with schools increasingly using the internet as a way for students to stay connected from home. Keeping in mind having good internet skills is essential in today’s society with a large percentage of jobs needing computer skills.  Children can use the internet to aid learning, for example when they do not understand something in class, with the use of online videos and research. Additionally, it is helpful for children to be able to retain contact with friends who they may not get to see over the summer break.

However, the ubiquity of digital devices, especially those that are mobile, make it tempting for children to stay connected 24/7, therefore it is important for them to understand when to disconnect and have a digital detox. Too much screen time for children can lead to sleep difficulties, increased risk of obesity, cyber bullying and poor performance at school. Creating healthy habits with technology early on should help them strike the balance independently later in life.

With so much amount of time spent online, parents nowadays (71%) are in agreement that controlling internet access is the most beneficial method to positively influence their child’s behaviour. Our research found that traditional methods of influencing children’s’ behaviour, such as grounding (36%) and cancelling days out (52%) were said to no longer be effective. However, we also found that although restricting internet use is an effective tool, 38% of parents thought it could cause upset between parent and a child compared to 26% for grounding and 14% for cancelling a day out or social plans. This is a testament to how valuable screen time has become to children which further highlights the importance of managing this for the long term benefits.

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One way to create an online/offline balance is by using a D-Link router such as the EXO AC1750 Wi-Fi Router (DIR-869) This makes it easy to manage online activities as it features a number of parental controls that enable you to easily schedule an ‘internet curfew’ in your home, block/allow specific websites and/or devices, and monitor internet activity.

Using the router, you can implement rules such as having predetermined times where electronic devices are not allowed, such as family meal times or bed times. You could also create a specific time each week where the whole family has technology free time. This way, rather than children feeling this is a rule they have to follow they will see that everyone in the family is taking part in an activity together.

Furthermore, online time can be used as a reward or incentive; completing chores for instance can provide an allocation of free time for playing video games or watching pre-approved YouTube channels.

Ultimately, it is important to have an open and flexible communication about why children desire to spend so much time online. You can help open their eyes to the benefits of offline activities that can be equally enjoyable and more rewarding, to help implement a greater online/offline balance, and in turn strengthen the relationship between your child and you.

Parental Advice Week: How to utilise technology for successful parenting

Parenting can be a tricky business. Whether you are a first time parent or already have six children, you will constantly find yourself learning new parenting tricks of the trade. Although technology often comes with a stigma for being a bad influence on kids, it can in fact aid you in taking care of your children. With over 30 years of experience, we at D-Link thought we would share some of our best kept secrets with you in aid of Parental Advice Week by guiding you through some of the ways technology can help you with parenting.

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Increased Safety and peace of mind

With child safety unanimously at the forefront of parents’ minds, technology can play a vital role in maintaining a secure home for your loved ones. The HD 180 Panoramic Camera (DCS-960L) allows parents to keep an eye on their kids, with a single stand alone camera.

Boasting the title of the world’s first 180-degree wirelessAC Wide Eye camera, it offers home security that captures your whole room in 720p, enabling you to see more of your home at a glance.

Never miss an important moment

No parent wants to miss key milestones in their child’s life, but for parents who have busy schedules, this is sometimes inevitable. Worried you might miss your child’s first steps whilst at work? Or simply want a live update of what is happening whilst you’re out? The DCS-960L has the ability to not only live stream straight to your smart phone, but also record so you can capture every significant moment.

Feel as though you are always home

mydlinkThere has never been an easier way to monitor your home, as you can watch through the lens of your Wi-Fi connected camera, from wherever you are, with the mydlink Home app

What’s more,the app works with other mydlink home 

devices, meaning you can enable push notifications whenever movement is detected, or set schedules for when devices turn on.

100KT.pngEnjoy peace of mind and save time

The handy Smart Home HD Starter Kit (DCH-100KT) includes a smart plug (DSP- W125), a Wi-Fi Motion Sensor (DCH- 2150) and a Monitor HD (DCS-935L).

Although complete peace of mind when you’re away from your children is difficult to achieve, the motion sensor in this kit makes it easier. It sends push notifications to your phone that will alert you whenever motion is detected, enabling you to know when a door is opened or closed, and to monitor off-limit areas like medicine cabinets.

Additionally, monitor HD allows you to see your home in HD 720p- seeing everything in detail, even when zoomed in, so you can always relax about what is happening at home.

When you’re a parent, every day is a busy one and every second of the day counts. With the smart plug in this kit you can turn your devices on and off from your mydlink App, saving you countless trips back home when you forget to turn off any devices!

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Keep your children protected online

Whilst the internet provides a range of advantages to children’s lives and acts as an essential resource to aid modern learning, it is important to not forget the dangers that it exposes children to. The EXO AC1750 Wi-Fi-Router (DIR-869) helps you to combat these issues as it features a number of parental controls that enable you to easily schedule an
‘internet curfew’ in your home, block/allow specific websites and/or devices, and monitor internet activity. These parental controls can be managed from your smart phone for maximum convenience.

Ultimately, it is evident that technology can make parenting a more pleasant experience, and with many of D-Link’s products being designed with the security of the home in mind, you can be assured that your most precious possessions and family members are protected, whilst you stay connected from wherever you may be.

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DAP-1330 Range Extender- http://www.dlink-direct.co.uk/dap-1330

Omna Camera- https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/product/HKXW2ZM/A/d-link-omna-180-cam-hd-camera?fnode=504a0ecbcf23f19da5291a26a9b1045e9480763a89a23c64d5d70de75e5326fefe2bde6e760f8739a3772071ce26c47bdd33fad4fbc6c23978991765aa1fde72ea8604764ba1563b3aefd576211a5129133fc4c397a82899f74d186e6743f313

DCH-107KT Home Security Kit – http://www.dlink-direct.co.uk/dch-107kt

DWR-921 4G Router- http://www.dlink-direct.co.uk/dwr-921

DIR-895L Gaming Router- http://www.dlink-direct.co.uk/dir-895l

 

How Can D-Link’s Smart Home Make Your Life Easier?

As a new contender to the market, the uptake on Smart Home devices is growing daily. Adopting this new technology allows you to choose new devices that give you significantly more control over how your home operates, increasing home security, safety and functionality, as well as saving you money due to decreased energy consumption and ease of general upkeep.

Furthermore, through the application of smart products, you can enjoy more control over your home’s functions from anywhere in the world, via your mobile device. Do you leave the house wondering whether you left your iron on? Did you remember to turn off your hair straighteners before you left? Did the children leave the lights on? Did you remember to close the back door on that balmy summer evening? Nowadays, you have no need to worry as you can swiftly power off various connected appliances in seconds, thanks to a smart home app on your mobile device.

With these advantages in mind, we thought we would highlight some benefits that you can take advantage of with our range of smart home products, which deliver new ways to gain more control of the new functions available for your automated home. To enjoy these, we’ve collaborated with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa range and If This Then That (IFTTT). Essentially, IFTTT is the language of the Smart Home, allowing you to build your own device ‘recipes’ to create interactions around the home. You can pair a range of our mydlink Home devices with other IFTTT enabled products and apps to do a wide range of really useful things around your home.

One truly exciting Connected Home enhancement we have made in recent times is the compatibility between our popular Wi-Fi smart plugs and Amazon’s Echo/Dot. This compatibility gives you an intuitive way to control your home simply using the sound of your voice. Plus, thanks to our compatibility with IFTTT, even if you don’t own an intelligent personal assistant, you have no need to worry; you can still set the lights to turn off automatically when you leave the house, or have the coffee maker turn on and make you freshly brewed coffee as the sun rises using your mobile.

Other significant advances have been made in security. With D-Link’s door and window sensors you will be alerted if you’ve left a window or door open. Installed alarms are also becoming a thing of the past now that motion detectors and a multitude of home security cameras can be linked and controlled from wherever you and your smart phone may be. In fact, security of your home no longer needs to be a worry and one quick and easy way to get up and running is with the Smart Home Security Kit. This clever bundle allows you to monitor your home from anywhere in the world, safe in the knowledge that your treasured belongings are being protected. Comprising a connected home hub, a door and window sensor, a siren and a monitor – all managed by the mydlink Home smartphone and tablet app – the kit provides fantastic peace of mind; it’s not just smart home technology, but smarter and now more secure home technology.

There’s really are no end of commands that can be actioned to ensure you make the most out of your D-Link Smart Home products, to make your life that little bit easier, more secure and much more reassuring.

To learn more about the IFTTT commands available, please visit this link:

https://ifttt.com/dlink_smart_plug

D-Link’s smart plug is now currently available as part of our smart home starter kit package, which can be purchased via this link:

https://www.dlink-direct.co.uk/dch-100kt

Interoperability to drive the networking solution market in 2017

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Interoperability and opportunity are set to define the 2017 operating environment for the networking solutions market, fuelled by a more eclectic range of consumer channels and a demand for integrated, agile, and accessible solutions.

With a multi-channel retail environment raising customer expectations to new heights, buyers are just as likely to buy their technology in DIY or stationary stores, as they are specialist departments. This renewed choice and fluidity has been compounded by the explosion of online retail.

It’s a scenario ripe for potential and one that demands ever more flexibility from the entire channel eco-system if it is to be fully exploited and new routes to market progressed.

One such opportunity is the fast-evolving smart home market, which if the many ambitious growth forecasts of industry commentators bear out, will see connected living become increasingly mainstream. This growing appetite is reflected in our focus at D-Link as we look to build on a rapidly expanding portfolio of products from water to window sensors which can be controlled from a smart phone or tablet, offering simple, secure and cost-saving benefits which we are keen to convey to the man in the street.

It’s an area where attention usually centres on the all-singing and dancing innovation, but of equal merit is the actual enabler, which makes the magic happen. The humble router is a case in point; the bread and butter of our offering, bolstered by our 30-year track record in leading this market, we have seen it underpin a vast wealth of applications and now acts as a gateway to multiple smart solutions, powering game-changing innovation.

Integration becomes equally important around this technology, driving solutions that sync with others, while more broadly teaming up with other vendors to boost accessibility and operability, a cohesion which is less likely to be achieved by a disparate range of apps.

A case in point, is D Link’s recent introduction of the first Apple HomeKit compatible camera. HomeKit – Apple’s single ecosystem for smart home products is a prime example of a platform built to enable vendors to collaborate, creating a smart home platform in which products from multiple vendors are interoperable with each other. Another prime example is D-Link’s four-way partnership with N Power, Nest Labs and Yale, an arrangement which saw us pool our collective strengths in heating, security, energy and wireless networking solutions to create a family of connected home products. Trialled as a fully integrated home automation offering across 300 homes in the Midlands, it is the kind of collaboration which can bring connected living to the mass market, challenging assumptions that this state of the art innovation is the sole domain of the wealthy.

Indeed, integration and accessibility is a reoccurring theme that will underpin our broader efforts this year. In a climate of tighter IT budgets, where the customer expects more bang for their buck, solutions that work straight out of the box and can be integrated with existing infrastructure have never been more important. It’s an expectation that manifests itself in

different ways across both the business and consumer world. The former expects scalability and easy configuration so that infrastructure can be tweaked or overhauled in a simple, low cost way to adapt to challenges and demands, while being future-proof and able to be used in different applications. For the consumer, it is about solutions that can be used in different ways to optimise the value, such as the baby monitor that doubles up as a pet cam.

Equally high on the agenda in our hyper connected world, is a wireless offering that meets many demands, in terms of the opportunities for smaller resellers in areas such as bed and breakfasts to the large-scale examples of schools, hospitals and large businesses, specifically the pubs and restaurant sector.

Increasingly we turn to the Cloud, an area that offers real growth potential, powering solutions such as Central Wi-Fi Manager (CWM). Designed to thrive in demanding and multi-site installations and enable the management of 500 APs through a single, secure portal, it’s a type of technology with broader implications; by enabling resellers to manage customers Wi-Fi externally, it enhances the scope of their offering as resellers evolve into more of a managed service provider role.

With our growth as a business inextricably linked to the achievements of our resellers, this type of development which adds value to their offering beyond simply product provision is a key focus driving the kind of differentiation which will raise their head above the parapet in a crowded market. This relationship will be nurtured with technical support from site surveys, training, sales and marketing

Conversely, the opportunity that the demand for wireless and 24/7 online throws up one of the market’s biggest challenges – Security. Ensuring our solutions are robust and watertight, while delivering what the customer expects is paramount. It’s a balancing act of driving innovation while containing the risk posed by increased accessibility and one that the entire channel will have to negotiate as it gears up to capitalise on a market buzzing with opportunity.

5 Reasons You Need the New Omna 180 Camera

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Are you looking for peace of mind when you go away on holiday or leave the home? Our new camera, the market’s first to have Apple HomeKit compatibility, offers a 180-degree field of view so you can be assured you will always have a watchful eye over your home – 24/7.

  1. As the first home security camera that is accessible through AppleHome, the Omna 180 is the next vital step into completing your Apple Smart Home set up. With the sleek design you would expect from D-Link product, and the ability to connect it to all your current apple devices, it will blend into your interior décor and become another one of your ‘go to’ products you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. Have your iPhone turn off the lights. See who’s at the front door from your iPad. And even control things remotely with the help of Apple TV. The Home app makes all your connected devices work harder – and smarter for you.
  2. The Omna’s 180-degree wide-angle lens can capture an entire room, and its Full HD 1080p resolution will allow you to see every little detail. Infra-red LEDs are not in sight, hidden behind the black bands on either side of the lens, providing night vision of up to five metres (16 feet), even in complete darkness. You can also access the Omna 180Cam HD directly from the Home app on your iPhone or iPad. Or you can simply use the free Omna app for even more control and advanced settings – you’ll receive instant activity notifications no matter where you are. You can also receive alerts and record video clips whenever motion is detected.omna 180 HD Cam
  3. With April Fool’s Day just around the corner, the two way audio feature could assist you in executing the perfect own back prank on your family. The feature is also handy on the days you need a quick update on what’s happening at home when nobody is checking their phones. There are endless opportunities to utilise this feature to aid your everyday life as an alternative to lesser quality mobile video streaming.
  4. Haven’t been eating your carrots recently? No need! With the Omna 180 you can see in the dark. With 5m Night Vision your camera no longer becomes useless after lights out, and the security of your home isn’t compromised. In fact, with the help of the infa-red LEDs, you can easily use it to identify who’s entering your house from the comfort of your bed.
  5. Similarly, the motion detector triggers video recording when unexpected movement is detected. You can choose to receive push notifications when this is activated, who knows what it may capture from uninvited guests- to bringing to light who is sneaking out for a midnight snack after hours. This can be saved to a MicroSD card (up to 128GB) to be played back as evidence! Additionally there are no hidden subscription fees to pay to get the best out of your camera; everything is readily available at your fingertips for no extra cost.

You can purchase the D-Link Omna from the Apple Online Store today for £199.95

A Smart Investment – the opportunities on offer for re sellers looking to adopt smart technology

 

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As predicted by analysts, the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technology are now becoming more prevalent in our everyday lives. Simply put, the IoT is the concept of being able to connect any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). It’s essentially a giant network of connected devices, and the IoT is set to take the channel by storm as it allows for endless opportunities and connections to take place.

In the UK alone for instance, the use of IoT services are already prevalent, as seen in the energy sector and the rollout across the UK of British Gas’s Hive Heating. Smart heating alone has opened up opportunities for electrical installers and plumbers and allowed them to expand their business and service offering.

Web tools such as ‘If This Then That’ (IFTTT) have also been created to meet the growth in connected devices. Put simply, IFTTT automates everything from apps to websites to app-enabled accessories to smart devices. At D-Link we collaborated early with IFTTT, as interoperability is ultimately the future of smart technology. Whether it’s our televisions, phones or the technology in our homes, smart technology and IoT are terms that many people will now have come across.

While it’s often associated with consumer technology, the IoT is a lot more than just smart homes and connected appliances. Devices are now creeping into most businesses, in the same way in which computers and the Internet did twenty years ago.

As a result, businesses are beginning to benefit greatly from smart technology, and are aware they need to keep pace with the speed of innovation in order to ensure employees have the latest tools – from access to mobile productivity apps, to wearable technology. In this respect, the physical workspace is evolving.

With affordable and accessible IP solutions that can be monitored from smartphones and tablets, voice control technology such as Amazon’s Alexa, motion sensors that can trigger alerts to the user’s phone, and energy saving with the use of smart plugs to control electrical devices, small to medium sized business owners now have a wealth of different solutions available to them.

Many smart products can now also be applied and used as entry-level security solutions for small to medium sized businesses that don’t necessarily have a wealth of resources to invest in protecting their business. In fact, just purely installing surveillance devices contributes to safety and acts as a valuable deterrent, enabling home and business owners to protect what’s important to them. Unlike traditional security systems, smart products are an entirely scalable solution that can be operated at any level, with the ability to add as many cameras or sensors that are required. With no installation costs and no monthly fees, smart home security is a very attractive prospect for small to medium sized businesses that do not want to invest in more expensive, professional solutions.

With this in mind, the opportunity smart technology presents for B2B and B2C resellers is vast and it’s an area that is only going to witness further growth as new technologies are brought to the fray. For resellers looking to offer smart technologies and solutions now is as good a time as any to get on board and reap the rewards from such an excellent opportunity.

First and foremost, resellers that want to sell smart solutions should look to educate users, whether this is via content, displays, social media etc. as the huge breadth of products on offer from a number of vendors can often be overwhelming for potential customers. Physical displays can be incredibly effective in order to showcase smart home solutions, allowing people to have hands on experience with the technology. They can also be used as a mechanism to educate and inform consumers about smart technology and its benefits.

It’s also important to demonstrate the way in which smart products interact with each other in order to create a fully automated environment. Many people aren’t aware that, for instance, a camera could be set up to detect motion and subsequently trigger a light via a smart plug, all set up via the user.

Ultimately the increasing importance of smart technology in people’s lives is a trend that we will see continuing this year. Following the launch of widely adopted products such as Amazon Echo and the collaboration this had led to with multiple vendors, including D-Link, smart technology is now starting to gain significant mind-share amongst the public. This means that customers are ready for the technology, making it a must have offering for resellers in 2017.