Interoperability to drive the networking solution market in 2017

Networking

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

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.

Take your home on holiday

ID-100184071With the holiday season well and truly upon us, thoughts are turning to relaxing and unwinding in beautiful weather…but holidays can also cause anxiety when planning, with worries like: “Will the kids get bored? Is the house secure? Are the teenagers having a party while we’re not there? Will the animals be looked after properly?”

Fear not, the rise of reliable connectivity has changed our lives forever at work, it’s changed the way we’re able to access entertainment at home and it’s changed the way students are able to study. Well, it’s set to offer us more choices when we’re on holiday too – and that doesn’t just mean we can be chained to our work emails for two weeks!

Rare are the times when we escape from our always-on culture and, now that we’re used to that reliable connectivity both at home and at work, we want to be able to access what we need, no matter where we are.

From the moment we leave home, connectivity means we’re never lost thanks to our Sat Navs. The cries of ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ can be reduced by giving the kids access to their favourite content while we’re on the move. Once at our destination we can stream our favourite movies or music, look up restaurants to go to in the evening and find local attractions to visit.

We can also have peace of mind by being able to keep an eye on what’s going on at home, accessing home surveillance cameras to check our older children aren’t having parties or the pet sitter is caring for the animals properly.

What makes D-Link products different is that, thanks to mydlink™, users can do all this through one app. You can access, control, view and share content from all of the D-Link devices in your home – routers, storage devices and IP surveillance cameras can be controlled and monitored from your own personal account – creating your own personal home cloud, accessible from anywhere.

So, you can enjoy your holiday and stay connected – and that doesn’t just mean to work!

 

 

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.

How interconnected are you?

We recently spoke to members of the public regarding their use of technology both at home and at work.  As the following video shows, people’s expectations of technology are growing as their digital lives are becoming increasingly interconnected.  The video also goes on to highlight current opinions on IP surveillance in the home and the growing user demand for any time, anywhere access to their digital content.

Competition time!

Competitionimage2Would you like the opportunity to win some of D-Link’s latest cloud products worth up to £300?

All you have to do is send us a picture of your home network set up – products can be D-Link or woe betide from someone else!

Entries can be made either by sending your picture to uki-marketing@dlink.com  or tweeting it to @dlink_uk using the hashtag #dlinkcomp.

The closing date for the competition will be 15.02.2013. The winner will be picked at random from all entries and notified via email or Twitter DM (so make sure to follow us on Twitter so that we can get in touch).

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T&Cs as follows – 1) The prize giveaway will open at 10am on 9th January 2013 and close at 11.59pm on 15 February 2013 2) The prize is x1  DIR-826L, x1 DNS-320L (inc 2TB hard drive) and x1 DCS-5222L. No cash or alternative prizes will be given 3) To enter you must email uki-marketing@dlink.com or tweet @dlink_uk 4) The winner will be picked at random from all entries 5) The winner will be notified via email or Twitter DM by 28th of February 2013. The winners must reply by the 10th of March 2013 or a new winner will be picked at random from the list 6) The name of the winner will be posted on the blog upon their receipt of the prize