Whether someone is at home, work, school, hotel, or sporting events, chances are they would love to be connected to Wi-Fi. Cellular networks are much better than they were years ago, but there’s still nothing like a quality Wi-Fi connection. Like every radio, Wi-Fi access points only have so much output power, and even at ideal power levels for an access point, it may not extend to the far reaches of an area. A common way to reach hard to reach areas is with an extender. D-Link Wi-Fi Audio Extender will help extend a 2.4GHz b/g/n Wi-Fi network and also has a little bonus, audio streaming!
We carry smart devices in our pockets, but for as smart as our personal gear is, our homes are severely lacking in technology. Without a wattmeter it is difficult to track how much power an outlet is using, and if you want to put an outlet on a schedule, current timers are clunky and confusing. Enter smart products and an initiative of having a connected home. D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug will track power usage, set schedules, and allows remote operation of outlets.
USB flash drives have been around for quite a long time and are great for easily storing and transferring files. The mobile devices that we have these days have limited storage and with some you have the ability to add a USB storage, but with most devices this is not possible. Well SanDisk has come up with a great product that not only gives you USB storage but also wireless storage for your mobile devices as well. It is the SanDisk Connect Wireless Flash Drive, which looks like your ordinary flash drive, but also allows you to stream content wirelessly to up to 3 devices at once! Read on as we take a look…
Quality of wireless connectivity is subject to many factors, a few being congestion, mismatched protocols, and range. Range is the simplest to fix with hardware like Diamond’s Wireless Range Extender WR300NSI. Diamond has equipped WR300NSI with a signal strength indicator and fancy firmware. Are these features enough to successfully boost your wireless signal? We dive into this question and more in the full review.
While cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Box.net, SpiderOak, and more offer decent ways to store a few gigabytes of data for free, once a user passes that free mark, the price for storage increases significantly. Rather than pay a monthly fee, someone smart thought, why not use a user’s existing home network for storage instead? The WD MyCloud isn’t the first home network-attached storage device, but it is certainly among the easiest to set up that I’ve encountered. The MyCloud offers a unified access method – wd2go.com – to mount the storage and make it usable like a network drive no matter where in the world you are. With Time Machine-compatible backup and media playback servers, the MyCloud promises to be as useful remote as it is when you are sitting next to it. ThinkComputers takes a look at this promising cloud device and finds it not quite to be as clear skies as we’d like. Here’s the review.
Karma is looking to change that. “Social Bandwidth,” they call it. Karma provides the access point, you buy the bandwidth you need: no monthly bill, no contracts, no minimum usage. On top of that, when someone wants Internet, they can use your hotspot without affecting your bandwidth balance. They get their own! In fact, Karma gives you and them 100 MB whenever they sign into your hotspot and they get their own bandwidth to use. Sign up a friend using a referral link and get 500 MB instead.
The mobile accessory market is a flurry of good, bad, decent, and fantastic products. Apotop has managed to break into the crowded market and stand out among the rest. They were kind enough to send us three of their products, Travel Wi-Router, Wi-Reader, and Wi-Reader Pro. Each product shares similar feature sets, Wi-Fi hotspot, sharing an SD Card or USB device with a mobile device, and built-in battery ready for travel use. It all sounds promising, continue reading to see if Apotop delivers.
NAS devices have come a long way in the past several years. What used to be a bunch of hard drives plugged into a motherboard with an Ethernet NIC and a power port, running a stripped down Linux kernel with a few fileshare services running has expanded to these comparative monstrosities with connectivity galore: USB ports, eSATA ports, multiple NICs, and now HDMI. A NAS isn’t so much a NAS any longer: it’s a multimedia computer not just suited for the office closet, but for the living room, as well. The QNAP TS-469L, combined with QTS 4.0.1, wants to be in your living room. It wants to be your multimedia machine, storing the things you want to see on your television, be those things cast from your laptop, HTPC, or streaming device, or shown directly from the device itself. In this review, we’ll go into light depth on many of the features of the QNAP TS-469L, but also QTS 4.0.1, as this is the first QNAP product review we’ve done since the overhauled firmware was released several weeks ago.
In this modern area of wireless networking, the market is flooded with devices with advanced feature sets, sometimes not performing as well as others. This trade-off can be frustrating. Sometimes, the basic features are all one really needs in a WiFi router, and the Rosewill T600N fills that gap. It’s an 802.11a/b/g/n router that can do 300 Mbps per frequency and even features standard replaceable antennas for its 2.4 GHz radio. ThinkComputers takes a look at this sub $60 unit that frequently can be found online for under $50!
In terms of getting a network connection from one point to another in a way that most folk consider neat and orderly, some ways are easier than others. Running Ethernet or coaxial cable can be messy for existing structures, and sometimes there’s a reason not to use WiFi. When those two standard options are out, the next one to consider is Powerline networking. Powerline is oft-forgotten, because most folk reach for a better WiFi router when they need it. The 500 Mbps RPLC-500 Kit from Rosewill is a new contender in this space. It offers a smaller wall wart adapter than some of its competitors’ offerings and great power saving features. Its plug-and-play operation lets users get up and running in no time.