Keeping your files safe

DNS-320L_LHow many of us actually back up our digital files from our PCs or laptops to a separate location?

We all know we should but it’s just another thing that goes on our list and never gets done. However, if you’ve ever lost all of your files when either your hard drive crashes or your laptop gets stolen, you’ll know the pain and aggravation it causes – work documents, all those precious photo memories and all that music you’d invested in, gone and never to be seen again.

Backing up your files needn’t be as much hassle as you think. If you invest in a network attached storage (NAS) appliance, it connects directly to your PC, Mac or laptop and once you’ve set it up, you don’t have to keep remembering when to save your files to it,  it just does it automatically. And not only is it an extra layer of security for storing your files, it also frees up space on your local hard drive to keep your machine running quicker.

D-Link’s NAS boxes aren’t just good for protecting your files. All D-Link’s network storage products have a built-in application to share documents and media content such as photos, music and videos on a home network or over the Internet. Thanks to the mydlink™ portal you can even download and upload files, delete files/folders from the NAS box and check the status of your device remotely.

With the mydlink™ Access-NAS app available for iPhone®, iPad® and Android™ you can also view photos, and stream music and videos from your mobile devices. You can also download files from your NAS to your mobile device to send on or watch later. Files can be furthermore uploaded to a ShareCenter™ and backed up, meaning that you won’t run out of space on your mobile devices.

And finally, if you’re security conscious and have set up IP cameras around your home, you can use your NAS box to view and store the footage. So, there’s no excuse – it really is that simple.

What Wireless AC Means for You

StudentsPicture this: a group of uni housemates all have the latest notebooks, Smartphones, and tablets. There’s probably an X-Box or PS3 in there, too. Some of them download large files regularly, others stream media, or play online games, or do all of these things at the same time. The results aren’t pretty: file transfers slow down, movies skip, games lag or even drop entirely. Even access to simple stuff like YouTube or Facebook stops being fun, and becomes frustrating.

Wireless network problems aren’t limited to a bunch of students living in the same house. Now that mobile devices are so popular, it’s not unusual for each family member to have a smartphone or tablet, maybe even more than one. Letting the kids go online is all fun and games until their activities interfere with dad’s VPN connection or keep mum from sending her big presentation to the office.

Even those who live alone are not immune to WiFi problems. One big issue in blocks of flats is overlapping wireless networks, running on the same channel. Interference among them can make it impossible to get online, especially for anything that requires a stable connection, like streaming video, video chat, or online games.

In all these cases, the basic problem is that we have essentially outgrown our existing WiFi networks. Fortunately, there is a solution: it’s Wireless AC, the next-generation standard for high-speed wireless internet. It promises a utopia in which every device in the house connects to the network with maximum speed and reliability, no matter what anyone else is doing on the network or how many other networks are in the vicinity. The benefits of Wireless AC are considerable.

First, and most obvious, is better performance. Older wireless networks utilise the 2.4 GHz frequency, which has become cluttered with too many wireless devices (and possibly your neighbour’s wireless network as well). It’s also prone to interference from electrical devices like cordless phones and microwaves. As a result, WiFi connections often seem to drop for no reason, usually at the worst possible time. By contrast, Wireless AC utilises the 5 GHz band. With fewer devices and other networks using it, it is relatively free from congestion, so high performance is maintained. To understand this difference, imagine other cars caught in a traffic jam, while you speed through the empty bus lane.

The other side of this improved performance coin is that Wireless AC offers greater channel bandwidth. Continuing with our driving analogy, older networks resemble a three-lane motorway, whereas Wireless AC is a six-lane one. Naturally traffic – your data – can pass through more quickly. The result is that new applications like streaming HD media over the local network become possible, so for instance you can connect a digital video recorder (DVR) wirelessly in any room of the house to stream HD media, or synch your files wirelessly in a fraction of the time it takes now.

These enhancements also mean that more of your existing WiFi devices can connect at their maximum rated speed. They can even be separated by frequency for better performance: your current computers, consoles, IP cameras, and the like can use the 2.4 GHz band, while newer Wireless AC enabled ones connect at 5.0 GHz. There’s a good chance that your next smartphone, tablet, or other wireless device will support Wireless AC, too. It’s already being included on laptops and popular handsets from Samsung and HTC. If you’d rather not wait, you can also add a USB Wireless AC adapter like the D-Link DWA-182 to your notebook or desktop computer.

Less obviously, Wireless AC in mobile devices is also good for battery life. When your smartphone or tablet connects to a Wireless AC network, your data is transmitted faster, making your device more energy-efficient. With more battery life and faster data transfer rates, you can get more done in the same period of time, and use your device longer.

So, are you ready to upgrade to the future of wireless? D-Link offers the widest range of Wireless AC Cloud Routers on the market, from the fully-loaded DIR-865L, which boasts maximum performance and an industry-leading set of features, all the way down to entry-level models. Whether you’re a technology enthusiast who wants the latest and greatest, a parent who wants a way for the whole family to connect without hassles, or a student on a limited budget, D-Link makes a router just for you, so you pay for only the performance and features you need, and always get a router that’s attractive and future-proof.

Network security at home

Man with laptopWorried that people you don’t know might be connecting to your network? Concerned that the kids are on the internet when they should be asleep? Don’t just sit there worrying – do something about it!

When connectivity was done with cables it was all so easy because, without a wire, nobody could connect to your router making it hard to sneak in and use it un-noticed. Likewise, if you wanted to stop the kids surfing after hours you simply “pulled the plug” at the router end and that was it for the night.

Wi-Fi, however, adds a cloak of invisibility, which means having to get a little bit creative and delve into some of the more advanced router options to keep a lid on network use. But then some of the simplest precautions can be the most effective, for example, ensuring you have set a secure password for your router.

Most D-Link routers let you configure more than one wireless network (called an SSID), each with its own security settings including a password. Furthermore, look for time and date controls to limit when each network can be used and setup – one, tightly-controlled SSID for the kids and another, more relaxed network for the grown-ups.

Most routers also let you manage access using the MAC address fixed into every network device, typically, by blocking connections to unknown addresses. This can take a while to setup, but it isn’t difficult and is a very easy way of preventing neighbours or passers-by using your router to connect to the Internet without your knowledge, even if they manage to crack your password. Another common option is the ability to see a list of devices actively connected to and using your router. Some can even log this information so that you don’t have to sit watching for intruders all the time.

Thanks to the latest D-Link Cloud routers with web-based management and mydlink technology, extras like the ability to monitor and manage your network remotely with a free Smartphone app, make it easy to check who’s on your network and make sure they’re offline when they should be.

Your chance to win a DCS-933L camera

D-Link has teamed up with Sixtyplussurfers, the online community for the over 60s, to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a DCS-933L Day/Night Cloud Camera.

DCS-933L

The DCS-933L  is a versatile surveillance solution for your home or office. Unlike a standard webcam, the DCS-933L is a standalone system that can transmits high quality video images, without the need for a computer. Furthermore, the built-in wireless extender function improves your existing wireless network to give your home or office more complete wireless coverage.

When connected to the Internet, the DCS-933L can send e-mail notifications with snapshots or video clips whenever motion or sound is detected. You can choose areas of interest for motion detection or set the sound volume level for when you want to be alerted. Night time monitoring is also possible with the built-in infra-red LEDs which allow for night time viewing of up to 5 metres, enabling round-the-clock monitoring, even in complete darkness.

To win, just visit the Sixtyplussurfers website and answer the simple question.mydlink™ Cloud Services make it easy to access your camera from wherever you are, whenever it’s convenient for you. A step-by-step guide has your camera up and running in a matter of minutes. If you have more than one camera, you can add it to your existing mydlink™ account and watch all your cameras from a single location. Accessing your cameras on the go is easy too. Just download the free mydlink™ app for your iPhone, iPad or Android device and you can quickly and easily view your camera feed from anywhere with a wireless or 4G LTE/3G connection.