D-Link – pre-Christmas story on the limits of ISP bundled routers

screen-shot-2016-11-24-at-11-57-26

Treat the family to a superfast new router for a better connected Christmas

With Christmas fast-approaching and the prospect of the entire family at home for the holidays, it’s time to plan ahead to make sure everybody’s shiny new digital toys, tablets and streaming services work without a glitch: fast, secure and reliable Wi-Fi.

After all, a spare bag-full of AA batteries is no longer necessary to ensure everybody’s Christmas fun and entertainment lasts until the shops open again, although it’s still worth making sure those essentials are on your ‘list’, just in case!

Nowadays, it’s far more important to have a steady and dependable high speed internet connection, what with the kids, Granny and extended family all demanding your Wi-Fi password to enjoy their extended Yuletide break.

Thankfully, there are a few useful tips and tricks to ensure you get the best out of your home Wi-Fi connection. By far the most important is to invest in a router that is capable of supporting your household’s festive needs.

Why you should really invest in a quality router

Christmas 2016 is sure to put more data demand on the networks than ever before, as many of us eagerly hook up our new tablets, games consoles and smartphones and start to download loads of news games, apps and stream more TV, movies and music than at any other point in the year.

To cope with this, you can, of course, always upgrade your broadband package with your internet service provider (ISP) to buy more bandwidth. However, if you are still using that router you got bundled with your service provider a few years back, you may be disappointed. Your family is likely to have been out growing the router as you have added devices and services. Each device the router connects to shares its resources, so just buying more bandwidth from the ISP is not going to help eliminate Christmas day Wi-Fi bottlenecks as much as investing in a router upgrade will.

Also, remember that with the latest dual-, and even tri-band, routers there is a real difference in speeds between the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless bands. Many older and lower-end devices will only use the slower 2.4Ghz band, while most new laptops, smartphones and tablets will link to the 5Ghz band (wherever available) as it is far less congested and can transmit much greater volumes of data.

Temperamental Christmas lights were once a well-known Christmas pain, long lasting LED lights have made that better but if your family and guests are stuck on the 2.4Ghz band, lights can offer their own problems. However, they are not going to bother anyone wanting to maximise their holiday season entertainment if your router supports the latest Wireless AC technology, delivering them fast and speedy Wi-Fi on the 5GHz spectrum.

Why? Fairy lights actually generate an electromagnetic field that can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal, particularly when they are flashing, strangely enough! With the right lights, the effect of this might well be negligible, but it’s still definitely worth keeping your router away from traditional Christmas lights, LED fairy lights, microwaves and cordless phones, just to get the best performance.

Finally, in terms of achieving the best ‘Wi-Fi Feng-Shui’ and positioning your router in the optimal location within your home, you need to make sure your signal reaches as far as possible, by using common sense, such as placing your router in the most open area available space in the living space . After all, closed doors (really!) and thick brick walls are not going to help with your home wireless network.

Feeding Data-hungry Christmas Connections

All of which is yet another good reason to invest in a decent home Wi-Fi router. The more data-hungry devices you connect to your router, the more work that router has to do to distribute data speedily and efficiently to each and every one of your family and Christmas guests around the house.

The fact of the matter is that you probably have enough bandwidth from your ISP to serve your family and Christmas guests, but you may not have a powerful and efficient enough router to make sure they all get the data they want. It’s kind of like having a big enough turkey to feed everybody, but nobody to serve it!

Additionally, the networks are all sure to experience a surge in demand for capacity again this year. ISPs have been annually reporting that the evening of Christmas Day is the time of peak demand. So doing all you can within the home to boost your Wi-Fi network speed, reach and efficiency is extra important at this time of year if you don’t want your Internet to slow or drop out!

Finally, once you’ve decided to invest in a decent router, there are a few extra tips that we would give you to help you choose the right Wi-Fi router that can cope with the extra demand from your family and friends…

Best Wi-Fi router buying tips

  1. If you are looking for something that can provide extra punch, look out for a router that support SmartBeam technology where the Wi-Fi signal is automatically focused at connected devices to give better reception and performance
  2. To get the most out of dual-band connectivity, pick a router that can automatically connect devices that support the 5GHz band to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi. You then don’t have to worry about which band to connect to on individual devices
  3. Look out for routers that can provide guest Wi-Fi access, so that guests can connect to the Internet without having access to your personal network and files
  4. Make sure your router is kept up-to-date with the latest firmware, as this may offer performance tweaks as well as new functions
  5. Ensure the router is positioned to most effectively distribute your Wi-Fi signal around the house, i.e. as centrally as possible within your home, away from thick walls and metal objects such as TVs and definitely not on the floor.

D-Link’s top tips for faster Wi-Fi this Xmas season

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 11.43.33.png

In preparation for festive celebrations and gatherings, D-Link offers the following tips to supercharge your home network this holiday season:

Screen Shot 2016-11-22 at 11.44.01.png

  1. The router is the gateway to your smart home: Aging routers, or those provided by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), do not always deliver the strongest performance – especially as households add more connected devices. To improve home Wi-Fi, consider upgrading to a router designed to provide maximum performance for gaming and streaming HD media. The D-Link EXO router (Dir-869) router is equipped with advanced beam forming and band steering technology to create a high-performance wireless network designed to handle bandwidth intensive activities on multiple devices all at the same time.
  1. Location of your router is key: Have you ever tried to stream your favourite TV shows in bed, but been annoyed by poor Wi-Fi signals? Position the wireless router strategically to ensure it’s operating at its full potential to enjoy a tech friendly holiday. Tips include:
  • Keep it central – placing your router in the most central location as possible is a key consideration. Consider mounting the router on a wall, in a corner by the ceiling, or upstairs since radio waves typically spread out towards the ground.
  • Reconfigure the antenna – Positioning the router’s antenna vertically for the signal to reach wide, so the antenna is standing straight up. Many antennas can be adjusted and lie horizontally, but standing straight up is generally the ideal position.
  • Wireless interference – Household items like Bluetooth devices, microwaves, TVs, and cordless phones are pumping out radio signals that can interfere with Wi-Fi network signals. If you have to put a router next to a microwave, upgrading to a dual-band router like the D-Link AC1900 Wi-Fi router provides the ability to connect devices to the standard 2.4GHz band or less crowded 5GHz band, decreasing interference.
  1. Eliminating Dead Zones: Wireless dead zones have been around as long as Wi-Fi routers, especially in large homes. With the push of a button, the N300 Wi-Fi range extender (DAP-1365) grabs a router’s Wi-Fi connection and sends it to every corner of the increasingly connected home. The DAP-1365 also features a Smart Signal Indicator to help find the best location for optimal Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home.
  1. Creating a guest Wi-Fi network: The last thing hosts’ want is guests bothering you all night for your Wi-Fi password. Instead, create a Guest Network that allows visitors to connect to a dedicated Wi-Fi network without affecting the devices on your private home network.

To alleviate Wi-Fi dead zones and buffering headaches, D-Link is giving away home networking gear to help people stay connected this holiday season. 

Availability:

  • D-Link Dir-890L ULTRA router – (Inc. VAT) £307.99
  • D-Link Dir-869 EXO router – (Inc. VAT) £137.99
  • D-Link Dir-879 EXO router – (Inc. VAT) £184.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round the clock views of your home, day or night

screen-shot-2016-11-16-at-09-34-04

Are you keen to be able to monitor your home via your mobile, wherever you are in the world, 24/7? I know the answer for most people would be a resounding yes, but the first thought running through a lot of people’s minds would also be; surely that’s going to cost a lot? Well not necessarily, as D-Link have brought a new IP home camera to the market that is available now for under £100, with all of the high quality features that you have come to expect from our broad range of products.

The mydlink HD Wi-Fi day and night camera (DCS-936L) is our brand new camera that packs a punch for its incredibly affordable price and small, compact size. It comes equipped with a built-in motion detection feature that is capable of sending email alerts when movement is detected, ensuring that you are always aware of what is happening whilst you are away. The DCS-936L offers a number of other features including HD 720p video at up to 30 frames per second, an onboard microSD card slot for local video recording, night visionup to 5 metres via built-in IR LEDs, motion detection to trigger recording and send email alerts, one-way audio (built in mic), and support for H.264/M-JPEG video codecs for video compression and viewing.

Not only is this an ideal camera for the home but this is also an ideal solution for small businesses that don’t want to incur the high costs associated with investing in a professional surveillance/alarm system. With the DCS-936L’s wide 120-degree field of view and its ability to be deployed for various applications, everyone now has access to home security at an extremely affordable price.

Available now for £88 – http://www.dlink-direct.co.uk/dcs-936l

Adopting a smart approach to home security – Paul Routledge guest blog

 

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-09-55-10

Now the clocks have gone back and the evenings are darker earlier, homeowners all across the UK are warned to heighten the security of their homes.

Last year the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) reported that there was an estimated 785,000 incidents of domestic burglary in the UK and most were on vulnerable and compromised properties, which the dark nights favour.

New research of 2,000 UK adults conducted by D-Link uncovered how security conscious people are in the UK. The results were shocking. Over half (54%) of UK adults do not have security systems or burglar alarms installed in their homes and 74 per cent of installed burglar alarms, do not contact the police.

Even more surprising, based on these findings, is that only 11 percent believe that their household and possessions are safe and protected against burglary.

However, it is not just a matter of home security downfalls. Further results from the survey showed that despite poor home security measures, people were no more cautious with their belongings. Around a third (31%) have accidentally left their windows open whilst their property was empty and 20 percent have left their doors unlocked.

Seemingly people aren’t fully prepared when protecting their home in the winter months as only 23 percent use a light timer when they go out of the house for long periods and only 9 percent have security cameras in their home. Many people find that solutions available to them such as alarm systems are very costly and can often involve incur monthly fees. This has led to people seeking other solutions that will help protect their homes in the winter months.

D-Link recently surveyed 8,500 consumers across Europe about their thoughts on smart home technology and discovered that keeping a home safe and secure was by far the leading reason people are choosing to adopt smart home technologies, with as many as 5,000 respondents stating it as their main reason other than saving money. The research also found that the three most popular smart home products that people are looking at buying are motion detectors (14%), security related video surveillance cameras (23%) and smart plugs (25%). More than a third of respondents also mentioned the appeal of managing the house when going to bed, as thanks to home automation there would be no more having to go back downstairs to switch off the lights, lock doors and check windows are closed. It can all be managed from your app on a smartphone or tablet.

Luckily however, for consumers looking to bolster the security of their homes, there are many different systems to ensure a home is safe and secure, including smart home security. Smart home enabled security devices essentially allow users to control their home via a smartphone or tablet app, providing the ability to set power usage thresholds, schedule light timers and most importantly monitor the home whilst away. Consumers for instance could set a motion sensor, that when triggered could alert a smart plug to turn the light on.

Smart home security products offer a cost effective and affordable alternative form of entry-level security to costly alarm systems that can often tie you into a monthly reoccurring fee. They’re also suitable not just for homeowners but for those that are renting as well, due to the portability aspect and the fact that they are a security solution that can be deployed anywhere as long as there is access to the Internet. Currently in today’s market there are a number of technologies on offer from different manufacturers, so for the average consumer it can be quite a daunting situation deciding which products to choose. However, there’s now far more interoperability in the market and we are increasingly seeing manufacturers working to address this with solutions providing consumers with the opportunity to build an ecosystem in the home.

Unlike traditional security systems, smart home 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. They provide an alternative to expensive alarm systems and professional grade cameras which can leave the consumer facing a hefty fee. Smart home solutions on the other hand often have no installation costs, no monthly fees and are very much plug and play devices that can be implemented by the consumer themselves. The scalability that smart home solutions offer are also a considerable reason behind consumers adopting smart home solutions as a means of security.

Everyone’s had that moment when they second guess if they’ve left a window open, or the iron switched on, whilst out of the house. Chances are that they haven’t, but wouldn’t it be great to have that guarantee no matter where they are in the world? Smart home technology is making it possible to have that peace of mind, with a myriad of devices available that are compatible with a smartphone, they can update you on everything from your energy consumption levels to a potential intruder or a plug which should be switched off.

But it’s not just watching an empty house where people think that a connected home makes sense. 1 in 10 want smart devices in their home to help keep an eye on what their pets are up to or to help watch over their young children. The flexibility of the technology in comparison with traditional alarm systems really is significant.

Having all this technology in our homes isn’t beneficial if it’s is awkward to set-up and manage. Our study group agreed. Over half of respondents stated that they wanted to manage everything to do with the smart home from a single app on their phone. The set up process for smart home technology can often be as simple as scanning a QR code, syncing the device to a router using WPS and the user is set to go. After all, how can we really have smart homes if the system we manage them from isn’t simple or smart?