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.

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.

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

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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.

Interact With Your Pets and Keep an EyeOn Them, Wherever You Are

 

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Our latest pet monitor, the EyeOn Pet Monitor HD 360, is more than just a way to watch over your pets. As the most sophisticated pet monitor on the market today you can not only watch your pets but also interact with them too, making sure they are well looked after wherever you are, day and night.

Whether you are away on holiday and you want to ensure your neighbour is feeding the cats, or you’re out for the afternoon and want to see whether the dog is ok, our pet monitor will allow you to do just that. Pan and tilt capabilities provide you with ability to monitor a large area via the mydlink lite app, available for both IOS and Android. This app allows you to access your camera remotely, allowing you to capture images of live video footage or look back over recordings from the day. The camera also uses night-vision automatically when it gets dark with up to 16 feet of visibility, so you can check in at any time.

Ultimately there are many ways you can use the EyeOn Pet monitor HD 360 to make looking after your pets easier. With features such as a temperature monitor, 2 way audio, built in microphone and speaker, 720p resolution and a motorised whisper-quiet pan and tilt, you can keep a close eye on your pets without the often unnecessary worry. View the secret lives of your pets whilst you’re away and record footage onto the SD card or straight onto your phone to share with friends and family.