ASRock E3V5 WS (Intel C232) Super Alloy Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging


Today’s motherboard review lands right in the middle of everything. Not because it’s all over the place, but because it has a lot of usage scenarios and support for pretty much any setup. You could use ASRock’s E5V5 WS motherboard in a gaming system as well as in a server setup as both of those setups are fully supported, but its real area of operation is to act as the base for a powerful workstation.

The ASRock E5V5 WS uses an LGA 1151 socket and the board is compatible with both E3-1200 v5 processors such as the one I’ll be using later on in this review, but it also supports normal 6th Generation Intel Core processors – so basically the entire Skylake and Skylake-S line-up. As backbone behind the CPU that you end up using is the Intel C232 chipset that is perfectly tuned for workstation environments and a motherboard like this. Memory wise you can use normal DDR4 DIMMs as well as ECC UDIMM memory modules with a speed of up to 2133 MHz in the four DIMM slots with 15μ gold contacts for a total of up to 64GB RAM.

The gold contacts in the memory slots aren’t the only quality feature in this motherboard. The E3V5 WS motherboard is part of ASRock’s Super Alloy series and comes with premium 50A power chokes and is made of a high-density glass fabric PCB. It also features ASRock’s full spike protection that protects from sudden surges, lightning, and electrostatic discharges (ESD).

The network connection isn’t controlled by the average low-performance controller either and we find an Intel PHY i219LM controller on this motherboard. The Gigabit Ethernet controller supports Wake-On-LAN, supports 802.3az energy efficient ethernet and PXE. The Ethernet controller is one of the parts that is protected by the Full Spike Protection. The second part with protection is the USB. The ASRock E35 WS features two USB 2.0 ports and four USB 3.0 ports on the rear panel and you can connect another four USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports via headers. All of these are protected by the ASRock Full Spike Protection. The audio is also protected by this and we find a 7.1 channel HD Audio controller, the Realtek ALC892. It features Blu-ray audio support and uses ELNA solid audio capacitors. Last but not least, you also find legacy PS2 connectors for both your mouse and keyboard.

 

Internally we find good expansion options too. Since we are dealing with an Intel-based motherboard, we also get IRST for RAID setups across the six SATA3 6 Gb/s connectors. Supported modes include the normal RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 modes.

There are two PCIe Gen3 x16 slots that support both Nvidia Quadro and AMD FirePro workstation graphics cards as well as consumer graphics cards. There is also full support for the use of AMD’s CrossfireX technology for multiple graphics card usage. As I mentioned earlier, you can make a great workstation with this motherboard. There are three more PCIe Gen3 x1 slots available for further expansion and neither of them will be blocked by the use of two-slot graphics cards. Even with a CrossfireX setup, you’ll still have access to the three x1 slots.

Quality hardware and components are just one side of the story, we also need a good BIOS and proper software to have the best experinece. The E3V5 WS comes with both of those features too. The UEFI BIOS has the easy EZ mode dashboard besides the advanced setup pages, which contains multiple readings of the system’s current status. You can check the most crucial information of your system, such as CPU speed, DRAM frequency, SATA information, fan speed, etc.

Even better, you can reach the tech support purely from the systems BIOS, as long as the system has an internet connection. You can also install LAN drivers onto your windows installation directly from the BIOS.

The ASRock OMG (Online Management Guard) technology allows you to establish an internet curfew or restrict internet access at specified times for your kids. Stay in control of their surfing times without yelling. This probably isn’t the most used function in a workstation system, but it could be used to shut down any connection attempts outside of office hours. Another useful feature is the USB Key function that can replace the password question when you log into windows. Do it by plugging a USB drive in instead.

The well-known ASRock XFast RAM and XFast LAN are also built into this motherboard. The XFast RAM feature allows you to fully utilize the memory space that otherwise can’t be accessed in 32-bit systems, among others. XFast LAN is a quality of service protocol that prioritizes the important traffic so you don’t have to wait for loading times. ASRock Live Update and APP Shop also help to make the maintenance easier.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers product page and can as such be subject to changes in future revisions of the product.

Key Features:

  • ASRock Super Alloy
  • Server-Grade LAN chip support
  • Supports the Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 Processor & 6th Generation Intel Core Processors (Socket 1151)
  • Supports DDR4 2133 & ECC UDIMM memory modules
  • 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 and 3 PCIe 3.0 x1
  • Supports AMD Quad CrossFireX
  • 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec), ELNA Audio Caps
  • 6 SATA3 and 6 USB 3.0 (2 Front, 4 Rear)
  • Supports Full Spike Protection, ASRock Live Update & APP Shop
  • Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit, 8.1 64-bit, 7 32-bit, 7 64-bit, Server 2012 R2 64-bit, Server 2012 64-bit, and Server 2008 R2 64-bit support

Packaging and Accessories

A quality motherboard also deserves a great look package, and the E3V5 WS got that. The front makes no secret about the boards power.

On the rear of the box, you will find a detailed photo of the motherboard itself as well as feature highlights and specifications.

Inside the box is a user manual, a driver disk, two SATA cables, and an IO shield besides the motherboard itself.

D-Link DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi Camera Review

Introduction


Home security is an ever growing trend as technology gets smaller and better, and at the same time, it has also become a lot for affordable for the everyman. Today I’m taking a look at one of the best options in this category as I’m having D-Link’s DCS-2630L Full HD 180-Degree Wi-Fi camera in my testing area.

Where most home surveillance cams still come with a 720p resolution, the D-Link DCS-2630L adds on top of that and goes for the full 1080p HD experience. While 720p already was a great step up from the old 480p CCTV resolution, it just doesn’t beat the full 1080p experience. The Wi-Fi camera doesn’t just feature a higher than usual resolution, it also has a wider field of view, allowing you to monitor an up to 180-degree wide area. Basic cameras only feature 90 or 120-degree view, which allows the DCS-2630L to monitor a lot more real estate that might prevent you from having to set up multiple cameras. The wide-view feature is also a lot better to look at than a traditional wide view fisheye view that distorts things.

Recording video during daylight is an easy thing, but you’ll also want to monitor what is going on when it is dark. After all, that is the time of day we usually associate with the need for protection. D-Link added night vision capabilities to the DCS-2630L with the help of infrared LEDs. The camera is able to see in the dark at a distance of up to 5 meters (16 ft) with as little as 0 Lux light. The IR LEDs can be turned on manually, but the camera also features a light sensor that determines when the LEDs are needed.

Next to the six infrared LEDs it also features two PIR sensors that detect infrared radiation when a person or animal passes for an enhanced motion detection. And that is another one of this cameras features next to just being able to show and record what is going on. With motion and sound detection, the camera is able to start recording automatically and also push notifications to your Windows, Android, and iOS device to let you know that something is going on.

D-Link didn’t just built-in a high-quality microphone to picks up on loud noises like the breaking of glass and the ability to send notification alerts about this to you, it also features 2-way audio that lets you send audio back. A high-quality speaker lets you respond to what you see using your mobile device.

The Full HD sensor features a 1/3-inch 3-megapixel sensor to deliver images in sharp and rich detail while the camera lens is made of glass for the best possible results. All this coupled with the de-warping technology provides you with a clear and ultra-wide 180º field of view surveillance. The camera comes on a wall mountable metal stand with flexible tilt for the perfect angle. It also allows for 360-degree camera rotation to ensure that your video is perfectly level no matter where you mount it.

It isn’t just an ordinary camera on the Wi-Fi field either and it sports a proper IEEE 802.11ac dual-band connection for reliable connection and streaming. It also features a convenient WPS button for quick and simple connection with the rest of your network infrastructure. Everyone can press a button. Besides the wireless connection, the DCS-2630L also features a micro SD/SDXC card slot with support for up to 128GB memory cards. This is enough for up to a week of continuous clip recordings in 1080p.

A status LED lets you know what your camera’s doing, which is a simple but very useful thing. The whole camera in itself is very power effective and only requires a USB connection, portable battery, or power adapter to run. That also allows for a very flexible placement.

Feature Highlights

  • 180-degree Ultra-Wide-View
  • Full HD 1080p video
  • Night vision up to 16-feet
  • Sound & motion detection triggers e-mail / push alert notifications
  • 2 PIR Sensors – Enhanced motion detection senses when a person or animal passes for accurate
  • notifications
  • microSDXC card slot – Record continuous, scheduled, or detection triggered video clips directly to a
  • microSDCX card up to 128 GB
  • Unique De-warping technology maximizes the video quality with less distortion to eliminate a fish-eye view
  • Built-in two-way audio
  • mydlink app support for iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows phone

Specifications

Packaging and Content

The D-Link DCS-2630L is a consumer camera and the package is made to be as eye-capturing as the camera catches images. The front displays the camera and usage scenario as well as the product highlights such as 1080p and wide eye lens.

On the rear, you will find more detailed information about the functions and features, all in full colour.

Each of the two sides is full of information too. On one side you find the features listed above the minimum requirements for usage.

On the other side, you’ll find a simple representation of the camera’s easy setup and usage as well as what’s inside the box.

Besides the Wi-Fi camera itself, you also find the Quick Install Card with default information and QR-code for easy setup as well as the quick install guide, a GPL code statement, and an assistance card if you should have trouble.

There’s also an AC/DC adapter included with a plug fitting the region where you bought it. Due to the clever usage of micro-USB, the camera is also easily powered otherwise.

Thecus N2810 2-Bay 4K Capable SMB NAS Review

Introduction


Today’s review is a little bit special as I don’t just get the chance to test one of the newest NAS on the market, but also a new operating system at the same time. Thecus N2810 2-bay SMB multimedia NAS server with 4K playback is in the testing area and it comes with Thecus’ brand new ThecusOS 7.0.

Thecus N2810 NAS is powered by an Intel Celeron N3050 Braswell dual-core processor with 1.6GHz base clock and a 2.16GHz burst speed. This is a great processor for NAS usage as it’s both powerful and energy-efficient. On top of that, the N2810 supports hardware AES 256-bit encryption for that extra layer of security without impacting performance the way a software solution will. This is backed by 2GB DDR3 memory, but you can upgrade the system to a maximum of 8GB DDR3 RAM should you require more. The standard 2GB should still be plenty for normal usage scenarios and seamless 4K media playback.

Thecus opted for a full USB 3.0 setup which is a nice thing to see. Thanks to the USB bus’ compatibility you can easily use legacy devices while having maximum speed on your modern equipment such as high-end flash drives and external SSDs. There are two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and one on the front. The front port also features a convenient one-touch copy button that allows you to copy content to or from a USB drive with a single press of the button.

The two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports on the N2810 support 10/100/1000 BASE-TX Auto MDI/MDI-X and Wake-on-LAN. You can naturally also set them up for link aggregation and Thecus allows you to set all seven modes: Load balance, Failover, 802.3ad, Balance-XOR, Balance-TLB, Balance-ALB, and Broadcast.

There is also the HDMI port for direct playback on your TV or monitor without the need for any other device at all. This is a feature we see more and more on modern NAS devices and it is one that I really love. While streaming is great, a direct connection allows for higher compatibility with formats and there are fewer points of failure or lag on the way. That said, the Thecus N2810 has absolutely no trouble streaming either, but we’ll get to that later.

Keen eyes will already have spotted the serial UART port too and that isn’t something that we usually see on NAS devices, it is however an awesome feature. We sometimes find the port on the PCB, but rarely on the device itself. UART stands for Universal Asynchronous Receiver/Transmitter and is part of the serial communication protocol.

The N2810 is the first Thecus NAS to run the completely new ThecusOS 7.0 operating system and user interface. The refreshed OS offers an easy to use and intuitive user interface and quite a lot of new features over the previous OS including the new Photo Station, Thecus App Center with over 700 apps, and user profiles. Besides the design and feature improvements, it also got a push in regards to the performance where it gets even more out of your hardware.

The N2810 steps up to the challenges that 4K playback creates and provides a robust hardware platform that is able to handle multiple tasks with ease. The built-in HDMI port allows you to transform the NAS into a multimedia hub by connecting it directly to your TV or media center to utilize the power of KODI. There are plenty of streaming options too with basic DLNA as well as Plex Media Server that can stream to your consoles with ease. The server can also automatically assemble iTunes, iPhoto, and Aperture content. Apple TV and Chromecast are both supported too, completing the circle of media abilities.

The N2810 is an SMB NAS and as such comes with a comprehensive list of enterprise-oriented features too, although none of them are limited to firms and enterprises, home users can take equal advantage of them. The Thecus System Failover feature is a fault tolerance process that creates mirrored data volumes. With at least two Thecus NAS available, data is copied by schedule and all changes are mirrored between the two NAS. While the second NAS is not visible, it communicates with the primary NAS. In the event of a power or network failure, a scheduled maintenance, or other unforeseen circumstances, System Failover automatically redirects operations to the secondary Thecus NAS, which then acts as the primary NAS.

Local failover is also achieved easily with a Thecus NAS and Snapshots. With BTRFS support, users can enjoy the simplicity of snapshot backups through BTRFS subvolumes. Snapshots of data at various time points can be manually or automatically made and just as easily later restored to rollback files or folders to previous states.

To complete the backup and failover abilities, the N2810 comes bundled with Acronis Backup Software that can backup all your data to the NAS with a single click as well as local backups and Time Machine support. Real-time remote replication (Rsync) is naturally also supported and it is one of the easiest to use and widest available backup methods.

Security is an important factor on a NAS, after all, it’s the device that holds all your files, memories, and data. Whether you’re an enterprise user or a home user, a virtual private network can come in very handy. The N2810 can operate as a VPN server and allow users to remotely access through a secure network.

Thecus also added Intel Security to the package that gives you an active defense against viruses that might have made it onto your NAS. The software protects you by scanning the files on your NAS and defending it against possible threats. Intel Security is the world’s largest dedicated security technology company and Thecus users will be able to benefit from Intel Security’s powerful software on their NAS entirely for free.

With the Thecus N2810, it is also an easy task to set up your own personal cloud service that will work with mobile iOS and Android devices with the use of Thecus’ T-OnTheGo app and your PCs. The mobile app enables users to access, copy, stream, and edit any data between their NAS and mobile device. Your own personal cloud, available from anywhere with internet access. The access from anywhere is made as easy as it could be thanks to the built-in DDNS feature that will give your NAS a name rather than a difficult to remember and mostly changing IP address.

You can also reverse the whole thing and use the public cloud systems together with the N2810 NAS. The system will work with DropBox, Amazon S3, and ElephantDrive cloud backup functionality. Guard your data with RAID at home and an additional level of protection in the Cloud. Just drag and drop files into the folder on your NAS and access them on any computer or mobile device with DropBox, Amazon S3 or ElephantDrive.

With currently available hard disk drives you get up to 8TB in the consumer sector and 10TB in the enterprise sector. With two drive bays at your disposal, that’s already a lot of storage and you can take maximum advantage of this storage thanks to iSCSI and the efficiency of iSCSI thin provisioning. Connect through iSCSI for the fastest data transfer speeds available and make wasted disk space a thing of the past with thin provisioning’s flexible storage functionality.

Feature Highlights

  • Embedded with Intel Celeron N3050 Dual Core CPU
  • Running on the newly-designed and enhanced ThecusOS 7.0
  • Seamless 4K Multimedia Playback
  • Uninterrupted Accessibility with Thecus System Failover
  • Secure Remote Access with Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Faster Transfers: 2 LAN Ports for Link Aggregation
  • 99% Virus Prevention: Bundled with Free Intel Security
  • Complete Client Side Protection: Bundled with Free Acronis Software

Packaging and Accessories

Thecus packed the N2810 in a beautiful box that clearly shows the intended usage, as a 4K capable multimedia center.

The rear of the box continues the beautiful full-colour wrapping with the feature highlights. There’s no doubt that you have a premium device in your hands when you look at the package.

It continues on the sides where the brand new Thecus OS 7 is presented on one side.

The second side reveals the hardware specifications, device size,  and package content.

Inside the product is a quick installation guide and a product disk as well as the warranty card and product notes.

Besides the manuals and the NAS itself, there is also a power adapter with connection cord, two sets of drive tray keys, an RJ45 LAN cable, and a security latch for the power cable that can prevent accidental removal.

Tenda AC15 Dual-Band AC1900 Gigabit WiFi Router Review

Introduction


Tenda might be a company that is mostly known for the entry-level products at lower speeds, but they also got some top of the line devices that easily can compete with anything else on the market. Today I’m taking a look at the new Tenda AC15 which is an AC1900 Smart Dual-Band Gigabit WiFi router.

Tenda designed the AC15 with the smart home in mind and as such the router brings a lot of features that can make your everyday digital life a lot easier. Starting with the dual-band AC1900 technology we know that we have a strong router in our hands that will deliver some of the best possible wireless network speeds. The AC15 also features beamforming technology that helps to boost the range of the high-powered amplifiers and external antennas.

The AC1900 standard defines a total speed capability of the router up to 1900Mbps where it is capable of delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently. The Beamforming+ technology helps to achieve the best connection with each device as it locks onto a device’s location and strengthens the signal in that direction rather than blasting it equally in every direction.

The router is equipped with 3 external dual band antennas with a 3dBi strength. Sadly the antennas aren’t replaceable, at least not without taking the unit apart, but they should offer plenty of performance for small to mid-sized homes.

Tenda built the AC15 router around a Broadcom dual-core processor and equipped it with DDR3 memory, but the specifications page does not reveal which exact processor nor how much memory it has. That might, however, be something we can find out through the user interface or by opening it up.

Next to the obligatory WAN port, Tenda equipped the AC15 router with three more Gigabit Ethernet ports for your wired network devices. It also features a USB 3.0 port for easy storage and printer connections which then can be shared to any device that you want via your network. This also allows you to create a personal cloud system and that’s even an easy task to do thanks to Tenda’s personal cloud system. We’ll have a close look at that when we got to the user interface.

There is an ever-increasing concern what effect WiFi signals can have on us humans and it’s better to be on the safe side than sorry. Whether this is a concern to you or not, the Healthy e-life functions in the router allow you to dim the LEDs as well as turn the WiFi signal on and off by a user defined schedule. Why should you be bothered by blinking lights and wireless signals when you aren’t home or asleep. Might as well turn it off, which also saves on the electricity bill.

The initial setup and further configuration of Tenda’s AC15 is a breeze as you can do it from any device, whether it’s wired or wireless. You can either use the easy web setup wizard or use the available Tenda apps. Once setup, you have a powerful wireless router that supports IPTV, VPN, FTP, DDNS and DLNA among others.

Feature Highlights

  • Ultimate 11ac speed of up to 1900Mbps, delivering both 1300Mbps 802.11ac at 5GHz and 600Mbps 802.11n at 2.4 GHz concurrently.
  • Broadcom dual-core processor with DDR3 memory for multi-client with responsive performance and fast speed.
  • Beamforming+ technology boosts range for the 802.11ac WiFi devices.
  • High powered amplifiers and three external antennas for whole-home coverage.
  • USB3.0 for personal secure cloud and printer sharing.
  • Smart managements of WiFi schedule, LED indicator and power saving all are for your healthy E-life.

Package and Accessories

The retail package for the Tenda AC15 router is a beautiful full-coloured one. The front teases the features and the units design with its eye-catching and bright design.

The rear of the box has some more information on the routers usage scenarios as well as more information about the features.

The full network specifications can be found on the side of the box, so you know what you get before you make the purchase.

The router itself is wrapped with a plastic cover to protect it from scratches. There’s also an extra SSID and password sticker on the plastic which you can remove and place somewhere else for safe keeping.

There’s an install guide, GNU license notice, and a wireless standard certification included, but the last two are more for legal reasons.

Besides the router and the manuals, we also find a power adapter, an RJ45 LAN cable and the foot for the router inside the box.

 

QNAP TAS-268 QTS and Android Combo NAS Review

Introduction


In today’s review, I am taking a look at a NAS that comes with a twist that we previously haven’t seen out-of-the-box. I’m talking about QNAP’s TAS-268 NAS which is a 2-bay hybrid NAS that runs both QNAP’s QTS and Android at the same time. The TAS-268 doesn’t just have a twist in the operating system, the physical form also takes a different approach than most NAS on the market.

At the core, the QNAP TAS-268 is a normal NAS with the function that you would expect from such a unit. It doesn’t come with the most power processor, but in return, it also comes with a low price tag despite all the functionality. It is built around an ARM 1.1 GHz dual-core processor and comes with 2GB DDR3 memory. It also features an onboard 4GB flash memory to be used by the Android system. While this doesn’t sound like much, it should be plenty for this device’s functions.

Besides this 2-bay unit, QNAP also released a 1-bay unit with the only difference being the number of drives you can install. But it is the 2-bay unit that we’re looking at today and it supports RAID 0, RAID 1, JBOD, and single disk setup with two 3.5-inch hard disk drives. There are plenty of external connection options on the TAS-268 with one Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port, four USB 2.0 ports on the rear and one USB 3.0 port on the front.

The front also features an SD card slot for easy and portable storage connection just as you’re used to from your Android phone or tablet – just much easier. You don’t need to remove any covers and battery as it is the case with many phones, instead, you have the SD slot right at the front of the device where you need it.

To complete the convenience experience, QNAP also added the one-touch copy button which allows just what the name promised, copy the content from the front USB port with a single press of the button. How the button shall react can be changed in the QTS system and it is capable of copy operations in both directions, both to and from the USB drives.

With a NAS like this that supports Android, we also need an HDMI port in order to connect it to our monitor or TV and the TAS-2688 also features this on the rear. It is accompanied by four USB 2.0 ports that come in handy for keyboard, mouse, and game controller connection in order to take even better advantage of the Android platform and all the available apps. You can also control the system through the use of the included IR remote control. The TS-268 supports HD and 4K H.265 / H.264 file formats, 4K H.264 with up to 15 frames per second and 4K H.265 with up to 30 frames per second.

Shouldn’t you want to connect the device via HDMI or maybe you just want to get your stored and linked media files onto more devices then you can take advantage of the common DLNA streaming that QNAP also supports. Consoles, Smart TVs, Mini-PCs and much more support this and it is probably the easiest method of streaming content.

Google Play also provides various media apps including YouTube, TED, Twitch and other video apps to be used directly on the NAS. You can install and stream movies, cartoons, TV series, news, and sports at any time in order to enrich your entertainment level.

QNAP introduced their myQNAPcloud system quite a while ago by now and naturally the TAS-268 also supports this. It isn’t just a simple and effective way to set up your new NAS, it also allows you to connect to the finished setup much quicker and easier. By acting as a simplified and locked-in dynamic DNS system it will allow you to easily connect to your NAS, securely, from anywhere in the world and any device as long as you and the NAS both have internet connectivity.

With that in mind, it is incredibly easy to create you own personal cloud system where you don’t have to rely on commercial or free options that thousands of other people use. Keep your files at home where you know who has access and who doesn’t. It is a breeze to sync files to the NAS via QNAP’s own Qsync as well as the Cloud Drive Sync app from the QTS app center that can sync files with Google Drive and Dropbox.

Both real-time and scheduled backups on Windows systems as well as with Time Machine on Mac OS systems is easily taken care of with QNAP’s NetBak replicator and it also features disaster recovery solutions including RTRR, rsync, and cloud storage backup (Dropbox and Google Drive) are also included. So all the bases are covered.

As previously mentioned, you naturally also get the ordinary NAS cross-platform file sharing capabilities from a centralized data storage. Whether you use Linux, Unix, Windows, or Mac OS, your connection is covered. And with the use of apps you get the same connectivity on your Windows Mobile, Android, or iOS system.

So far I have mostly been talking about the software functionality, but that’s just one of the great aspects on this NAS. The design is quite a bit different than we are used with a vertical unit rather than a horizontal oriented. This saves space on the desk with a smaller footprint which can be a vital factor near your entertainment system and similar likely placement scenarios.

The TAS-28 is also a very light unit due to a simple and clever design. Even better, the entire NAS can be set up completely tool-less for your convenience. There is a single thumbscrew at the bottom with which you can open up the chassis and the drive are mounted tool-less too with the included adapters.

Despite having a unique outer design, a lot of the internal design is something that reminds us of previous 2-bay NAS units – just improved with the tool-less drive mounting options and vertical instead of horizontal.

With all this talk about Android, we shouldn’t forget about the base QTS operating system. It provides a web-based user interface to help you easily manage files on the TAS-268. You can install various apps based on your needs to fulfill tasks like storage, backup, management and multimedia applications. File Station allows you to upload, download and manage files anywhere with a web browser. All of your photos, music and videos can be indexed by the built-in Media Library, and easily managed and shared with the Photo Station, Music Station and Video Station. The energy-saving Download Station is your 24/7 download center, allowing you to quickly download files to enrich your collection.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU
  • Android and QTS operating system
  • Organize & manage files and backup tasks in one centralized location
  • Synchronize files between computers, laptops, and mobile devices
  • Remotely access your files securely from your personal cloud
  • Stream your multimedia library via DLNA to other devices and your TV
  • Enjoy direct media playback via HDMI with HD videos and photos
  • Compact and streamlined chassis ideal for a desktop or living room environment

Packaging and Accessories

The TAS-268 comes in a simple white box with a representation of the NAS unit as well as the feature highlights.

The rear of the box contains some more information as to what’s so special about this NAS, but it’s kept short.

Opening up the box and we find a brand new NAS that is well protected with self-adhesive plastic film – you know the kind we all love to peel off once we get a new gadget.

Besides the NAS itself, there is a quick installation guide to help you get started quickly, a power supply brick and power cord fitting the region you bought it in as well as an RJ45 LAN cable.

There’s also a small remote control included that is about 3 inches long. Shown below are also the four HDD mounting brackets that simply snap into the drive and hold it in place.

Supermicro X11SAE Workstation (Intel C236) Motherboard Review

Introduction, Specifications, and Packaging


Intel recently released their Greenlow based Skylake series Xeon CPUs and it’s a pleasure to take a look at the first enterprise-grade motherboard built for these processors today. I have Supermicro’s X11SAE motherboard on the test bench which is a standard ATX-sized single CPU board, but one with all the trimmings.

“Supermicro’s new X11 UP workstations, long-life embedded systems and motherboards integrate the latest technologies such as USB 3.1 and M.2 as well as step up performance, density and efficiency to provide a new generation of Green Computing solutions,” said Charles Liang, President and CEO of Supermicro. “Indeed, with Supermicro’s first-to-market integration, advanced engineering and architecture expertise, we deliver the widest range of Skylake-S platforms available to the industry, enabling our customers with exactly the best competitive advantage on the market.”

Supermicro’s X11SAE doesn’t just support the new Greenlow Intel Xeon E3-1200 v5 family CPUs, you can also use 6th Gen Core i7, i5, i3, Pentium, and Celeron series processors. The brain behind the motherboard is the new C236 chipset which comes with a lot of enhancements over the predecessors and Supermicro generally added the newest technologies to this motherboard. Additionally, the motherboard supports up to 64GB DDR4 2133MHz ECC UDIMMs in its 4 sockets. While this motherboard does support ECC and non-ECC modules, it doesn’t support RDIMMS, so make sure you get the right ones.

There are plenty of storage features on this motherboard with the eight native SATA3 6 Gbps ports provided directly by the chipset. The ports support RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 for that extra spice in your storage setup and the motherboard also has two SuperDOM ports with built-in power. You’ll also find a next-gen PCIe M.2 slot beside the default SATA3 ports, allowing you to get that extra speed. The M.2 slot doesn’t support AHCI modules, but 2242, 2260, and 2280 PCIe modules will run at a great speed thanks to the x4 slot.

Further expansion can be added through the two PCI-E 3.0 x16 and three PCI-E 3.0 x1 slots. The Supermicro X11SAE also features two legacy 5V PCI 32-bit slots for use with older hardware despite the upgrade to the newest platform.

Externally the X11SAE has two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 LAN ports where one is powered by an Intel i210-AT and the other is powered by an Intel i219LM chip. There’s also a DVI, a DisplayPort, and an HDMI out for use when processors with iGPU are inserted into the motherboard. Further, you’ll find two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 and two USB 3.1 ports on the rear IO area. The USB 3.1 ports sport the increased bandwidth and power which allows it to run with up to 10Gbps.

Internally you can connect an additionally four USB 3.0 and size USB 2.0 ports. The motherboard also features two COM port headers, an ALC 888S 7.1 HD Audio chip, a TPM 1.2 header, and much more.

A workstation motherboard also needs a good set of monitoring abilities. You can connect up to five PWM fans with status monitor for speed control, on/off settings, and tachometer. The temperature monitoring includes the CPU and chassis environment as well as CPU thermal trip support and I2C temperature sensing logic and Thermal Monitor 2 (TM2) support.

As a Supermicro motherboard, we also have the benefits of their SuperDoctor 5 software that monitors system health of hardware and operating system services from the target nodes in real-time and provides alerts to administrators on the availability of systems in data centers.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers product page and can as such be subject to changes in future revisions of the product.

Key Features:

  • Single socket H4 (LGA 1151) supports: Intel Xeon processor E3-1200 v5, Intel 6th Gen. Core i7/i5/i3 series, Intel Celeron and Intel Pentium
  • Intel C236 chipset
  • Up to 64GB Unbuffered ECC/non-ECC, UDIMM DDR4 2133MHz; 4x DIMM slots
  • 2 PCI-E 3.0 x16 (run at 16/NA or 8/8), 3 PCI-E 3.0 x1 (in x4), and 2 5V PCI 32-bit slots
  • Single GbE LAN with Intel i210-AT, Single GbE LAN with Intel i219LM
  • 8x SATA3 (6Gbps) via C236; RAID 0, 1, 5, 10 + 1 PCIe M.2 (support PCIe x4 only, 2242/2260/2280)
  • I/O: 2x COM, TPM 1.2 header
  • 2x SuperDOM with built-in power
  • 6x USB 3.0 (2 rear + 4 via header), 8x USB 2.0 (2 rear + 6 via headers), 2x USB 3.1 (10Gbps, rear)

Packaging and Accessories

The Supermicro X11SAE comes in a neutral package and that’s all that’s needed for a board like this. It isn’t one you’ll find on a shelve in the local store while browsing around, it’s one your order because you know it’s the one you want. There’s still a sticker on the side that will tell you what’s inside and what the base specifications are.

The rear of the box explains a little bit about the series of motherboards which this one is part off. You get basic information about the series as well as a quick view of optimized chassis and systems.

Inside the box we find four SATA3 cables and the IO shield next to the motherboard itself.

QNAP SilentNAS HS-251+ 2-Bay Passive-Cooled NAS Review

Introduction


The first NAS that I reviewed after I joined eTeknix was QNAP’s amazing HS-251 NAS, so it is a real pleasure today as I have the upgraded model in the testing area. I will take QNAP’s SilentNAS HS-251+ for a thorough spin in my testing area and check on its performance as well as show you the latest version of the QTS operating system that was released recently.

The HS-251+ NAS retains the same basic design that provides you with a completely silent NAS. There are no fans or other parts that can generate any noise apart from the storage drives you’ll be using. This design adds another bonus which is a dust-free inside. This is made possible because the entire chassis is used as a heatsink for the entire unit and inserted drives. There are no fans to draw dust and other unwanted dirt into the system. That makes it very easy to maintain, but it also means that it should be placed on top of a shelve rather than in a tight spot where it could have trouble getting rid of the excess heat.

QNAP’s HS-251+ is powered by a quad-core Intel Celeron processor and while some might take a step back here, it’s a great chip for the system. You get four cores that run at 2.0GHz and with a burst speed up to 2.4GHz, it consumes very little power, which also helps with the cooling, and it has more than enough power to drive a system like this. The CPU is backed by 2GB DDR3L RAM and the NAS has a 512MB DOM for the basic system.

Whether you want to mount 2.5-inch or 3.5-inch drives, the HS-251+ can take both. We only got two bays at our disposal here, so most people will probably choose the larger 3.5-inch drives that provide up to 8TB capacity for consumers at the time of writing. Smaller 2.5-inch drives do however run more silently and it produces less heat, so it’s something that is worth to consider in a system like this. The drive bays themselves are hidden behind a removable front that further helps to keep dust out while it also gives the NAS a sleeker appearance.

Connection wise we find two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports next to the two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports. Sadly none of the ports are located on the front or front end of the sides, but it isn’t a big issue with a flat NAS like this. You can easily both reach and view behind the unit. The NAS supports both printer and storage sharing through the built-in USB ports and over the network, which is a thing that can make the household IT-setup a lot easier.

You can also expand the HS-251+ through the use of QNAPs expansion enclosures UX-800P and UX-500P with 8 and 5 drives respectively. This can provide you with up to 80TB raw storage capacity in the HS-251+ using 8TB drives.

Next to those more normal connections, the QNAP HS-251+ also has an HDMI port from which you can connect it directly to your TV and use it for media playback and even run other operating systems in a virtual environment directly from the NAS. The QNAP QvPC technology is awesome and I’ll be showing you some of those features on the following pages. The HDMI connectivity supports 1080p video playback and the NAS also comes with hardware transcoding capability, making the HS-251+ is an ideal companion at home for multimedia entertainment.

Included with the QNAP HS-251+ is also a remote control that makes the usage from the couch a lot easier, more convenient, and in a fashion one is used to from TVs, DVRs, CD players, etc. With this, it is easy to control the playback and navigate the menus without the hassle of a keyboard and mouse.

The newest QNAP operating system, QTS 4.2, brings an even smoother experience than the predecessors with its flat and modern design. QNAP have streamlined loading times and added an intelligent desktop and multi-window operation that makes controlling every aspect of your HS-251+ fully accessible and easy to use.

It’s easy to centralize your all your files and backups in one place with this NAS, as it allows you to create backup jobs to and from the NAS, sync with computers, tablets, and mobile devices as well as the cloud. The real-time and offline HD video transcoding allows smooth playback of all your files no matter what the connection is like and file formats that might not be supported.

You naturally also get all the other great features such as the headless 24/7 download center, surveillance station with up to 40 channels, official mobile apps for all key functions and management, app center with official and third-party apps to increase the functionality even more, alert functions via SMS and Email services, web server, FTP server, Radius server, VPN server, print server, Plex media server, and much more.

The QNAP HS-251+ also supports the Qsirch function that is a QNAP exclusive. It is one of the best search function available that will find anything that you’re looking for on your NAS with ease and a lot faster than any traditional method will. Simply type in as much as you know about what you are trying to find, including bits of the file name or even words/phrases in the document, and Qsirch will display a list of matches, complete with thumbnails, as you type.

Feature Highlights

  • Dual-core CPU with hardware encryption engine
  • Your personal cloud with centralized management, file storage, sharing and backup
  • Real-time & offline HD video transcoding for your mobile devices, PCs, and Smart TVs
  • Supports file synchronization between multiple devices to have most up-to-date files
  • Modern set-top design for your digital lifestyle
  • Storage is expandable through extra units

Packaging and Accessories

QNAP’s HS-251+ comes in a plain brown box with a sticker that shows us what is inside. We get all the details we need on the sticker itself, from hardware specifications to features, so it has everything it needs to have.

Next to the NAS itself, we find a Quick Installation guide, the remote control, a power adapter and power cable from the region where it has ben bought as well as two RJ45 LAN cables inside the box.

D-Link DXE-820T Dual Port 10Gbase NIC Adapter Review

Introduction


Among our recent upgrade to 10 Gbit networking here in the eTeknix review section wasn’t just the awesome 12-port smart switch that we saw a little while ago, D-Link also supplied me with a DXE-820T dual-port 10 Gbit Ethernet Network card to be able to connect with the switch in full speed. After all, what good does a 10 Gbps switch do when my test rig doesn’t have the same kind of performance.

The D-Link DXE-820T is a dual-port 10 GBASE-T RJ-45 PCI Express high-performance adapter designed for the high-speed PCI Express bus architecture. This adapter offers the increased bandwidth needed in modern environments as well as being a reliable and functional PCI network card. It has been specifically designed to allow throughput at rates up to 40 Gbps, thus eliminating the bottleneck that exists with current 32 and 64-bit PCI bus architectures.

The DXE-820T requires a PCI-E v2 x8 or x16 slot for enough bandwidth, but you don’t need to provide any extra power connectors or other things besides your network cables, naturally. The card is capable of a transmitting distance of up to 100m with Cat 6A or higher in 10 GBASE-T mode and up to 100m with Cat 5 type cables in Gigabit mode. This makes the placement of the switch a lot easier.

The DXE-820T features TCP, UDP, and IP checksum offloading functionality, which transfers the checksum processing tasks from the computer’s own CPU and onto the network card itself. The DXE-820T’s ability to handle the checksum processing means that the CPU’s processing power can be used for other tasks while still achieving 20 Gbps network speeds. It also means that the network card needs some extra cooling in the form of an active fan as well as a passive heatsink.

The adapter also features an onboard screening of 802.1Q VLAN tagged Ethernet frames, allowing you to assign multiple subnets to each server and isolate devices within each VLAN from the rest of the network for better traffic control and security. With support for advanced features such as 802.3x flow control, jumbo frames, and SNMP for network management, the DXE-820T can easily interoperate with your current networking equipment.

With two ports at your disposal, you can increase the network throughput even further than the 10 Gbit per second on each port. With Smart Load BalancingTM, the DXE-820T can configure multiple adapters to work as a team, sharing traffic and ensuring data reliability. This both creates a faster network and provides fault tolerance resulting in a stable and efficient network.

The low profile design allows the deployment in space restricted areas and D-Link also included a low-profile slot cover right away. The card itself is powered by Broadcom’s BCM57810 chip.

The card naturally supports Jumbo Frames for optimized setups and it allows for values up to 9K. The DXE-820T is compatible with all major operating systems with drivers available for both user systems and server systems such as Windows Server 2012 or Solaris 11.

Feature Highlights

  • High-Speed data transmission at rates up to 40Gbps allow for seamless data transfer.
  • 10GBASE-T technology supports distances to 100m over CAT6A or better copper cable.
  • Advanced Features: 802.3x flow control for traffic management, 802.1Q VLAN tagging for increased security, and checksum offloading to reduce CPU processing burden.
  • Bandwidth Management: NIC partitioning enables administrators to manage bandwidth for greater network efficiency.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

The DXE-820T NIC card comes in a very neutral box that only really reveals that we have a D-Link product inside. But it’s a network card and it isn’t like you would put the box in the display after installing the card anyway, so simply is good.

We do find a little sticker on the rear of the box that reveals what is inside, the model number along with serial, mac address, and hardware version.

There is both a driver disk and a quick installation manual inside the box, and D-Link also included a low-profile bracket for use in small-form-factor systems. Everything you need to get going with that extra speed.

D-Link DIR-890 AC3200 Ultra Triple-Band Wi-Fi Router Review

Introduction


When you pick the router you want to own, you can either pick an ordinary router for your setup or a great one if you want just a little more. But there is also a third option and you have the choice to go for something extraordinary. Today I’m taking a closer look a router from the last category as I’m having D-Link’s impressive DIR-890L AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi router in my testing area.

The DIR-890L brings impressive performance via three bands instead of the normal two bands, and it also comes packed in a stylish design with six antennas for maximum range, coverage, and speed. D-Link’s DIR-890L has a futuristic kind of design that somewhat resembles a drone or spaceship. A lot of the times this kind of designs can go too far, but D-Link seems to have nailed it and hit just the right spot between normal, futuristic, functionality, and design. It looks great!

We get more and more smart devices in our homes and that is something that increases exponentially the more people live in the household. We have smart TVs, smartphones, laptops, tablets, game consoles, computers, and much more. All of these need an internet connection through our one and only entry and exit point, the router, which means that we quickly can reach limits around the available bandwidth and channels, and we experience bottlenecks and lag.

Traditional routers have a 2.4GHz band for up to 600Mbps throughput that is suited for surfing, emails, and instant messaging as well as the newer 5GHz band that has a little less range but a lot more performance. D-Link added one more on top of that in the DIR-890L AC3200 router, they added a third band. The third band is another 5GHz band, freeing up some space on the first one by balancing the connections out. It also prevents slower connected devices from bottlenecking the band from faster ones. Each of the 5GHz bands has a maximum throughput of 1300Mbps which gives the DIR-890L a total wireless throughput of 3200Mbps. Effectively this is like three routers in one.

As mentioned above, not all wireless bands are the same, but that isn’t something you need to worry about with this router. The Smart Connect Technology allows the router to choose from the three Wi-Fi bands and automatically connect each device on the network to the best and clearest band available at the time of connection.

The Smart Connect feature is awesome as it manages everything itself and removes any worry from the user’s end what band to pick and choose from. You can still choose to use each band separately with their own individual SSID name and password settings should you wish to do so.

D-Link gave the DIR-890L six antennas and the router features beam-forming technology to improve coverage. With this technology, the router can direct the bandwidth in the direction of the devices connected and thereby give you a better overall connection experience whether you stream your movies, Skype with friends, or play online games.

The six antennas are adjustable in almost all directions, except down. So unless you want to place it upside down, then you can’t have it look like a spider on six legs as some of you probably already imagined. It is not something I would recommend doing as it would place the vents upward and allow for more dust to settle inside the router. You sadly can’t replace the antennas with aftermarket ones on the Ultra AC3200 and that might be a downside for some people.

The router naturally also features wired connections and not just wireless ones, although the wireless features are the selling point in this router along with the great hardware base. You get one WAN port for the internet connection and four Gigabit Ethernet ports for your LAN. The DIR-890L also comes with one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 port for file sharing from external storage drives or creating a network printing environment from your old USB-based printer. The D-Link share port allows all this with ease and also allows you to use the built-in DLNA server and stream to compatible devices.

D-Link also packed the router full of useful software features such as parental controls, blocking of unwanted devices, internet activity monitoring, and Wi-Fi guest networks. Intelligent Traffic Prioritization selects the fastest Wi-Fi for every device and prevents older devices from affecting optimal performance. VPN setup and all common features such as NAT and port forwarding aren’t a problem for the DIR-890L either.

There are a lot more features, but we’ll see them on the following pages when we take a look at the user interface and options. If all that shouldn’t be enough, or you just don’t like the interface for some reason and would like something else, then you can flash the router with DD-WRT, the open-source router firmware. The D-Link AC3200 Wi-Fi Router should be fully compatible with the open source Linux-based router operating system.

If all that shouldn’t be enough, or you just don’t like the interface for some reason and would like something else, then you can flash the router with DD-WRT, the open-source router firmware. The D-Link AC3200 Wi-Fi Router should be fully compatible with the open source Linux-based router operating system.

All this requires some power to run and that comes from a 1GHz dual-core processor that has no trouble keeping up the data packets for your gaming sessions or 4K media streaming. Speaking of 4K media streaming, the DIR-890L is a Nvidia GameStream-Ready product and certified for optimal compatibility with the newly released Nvidia Shield 4K Android TV Console.

Specifications

Packaging and Accessories

A Premium router also needs a premium package, and the D-Link AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Router has that. The huge box has a premium finish and is made from thick cardboard. The outside has a full-colour print with the router itself and the name on the front.

The rear of the box displays the main feature highlights in a graphical way, easy to see, read, and understand.

It isn’t just a folded box around an inlay either, but a real box where you lift the cover up.

Inside you see the beautiful router right away, safely secured and with the accessories packed in the boxes on either side.

Inside is a power cord, AC power adapter, and an RJ45 LAN cable to connect your new router.

There’s also a beautiful Quick Install Guide to help you get started, a configuration card with all the default settings and room to write you own as well as an extra sticker with the defaults for you to place where it is convenient.

D-Link Wi-Fi Webcam Turned into a Network Backdoor

Vectra Networks researchers today released an article demonstrating how they turned a $30 D-Link Wi-Fi webcam into a backdoor onto its owner’s network. Installing a device like a networked webcam may seem like a riskless action, but when the device can allow hackers to access the same network it becomes far more worrying.

Typically, attacks on Internet of Things devices are considered a waste of time due to their lack of valuable onboard data and lack of resources to manipulate. Vectra showed that should hackers focus on and be able to compromise a device’s flash ROM, they could replace the running code with their own tools such as those to create a backdoor. It doesn’t have to be a remote hack either, with the report stating “Once we have such a flash image, putting it in place could involve ‘updating’ an already deployed device or installing the backdoor onto the device somewhere in the delivery chain – i.e. before it is received and installed by the end customer.”

The first step of the attack on the webcam was to dump the flash memory from the device for analysis. It could then be determined that the ROM contains a u-boot and a Linux kernel and image with software used to update the firmware. With this, the steps used to verify firmware updates could be reverse engineered to allow it to accept a rogue update containing a Linux proxy service while also disabling the ability to reflash in future so the back door could not be removed. With all this in place, the hacker would be able to inject his own attacks into the rest of the network and use it as a pipeline to extract stolen data.

Such a compromise would be incredibly hard to detect by the user as long as the backdoor code did not interfere with the device’s normal operations. Even then, there would be no way for the device to be recovered and would instead have to be disposed of and replaced with a clean one. D-Link is yet to issue a patch for this vulnerability, but it is not expected they will, as a true fix would require specialist chips to verify updates or a Trusted Platform Module.

It is worrying that as we bring so many more tiny networked computers into our homes, they are far more of a risk than they seem. Vulnerabilities in even the smallest network device can compromise the security of an entire network and should not be overlooked.

D-Link Demos Smart Home Technology @ CES 2016

CES 2016: Turning your home into a smart hub appears to be the hot trend of late, as consumers want more control of their devices and household appliances. During CES this year, D-Link showcased their impressive range of smart home devices including a WiFi Smart Plug, WiFi Water Sensor, WiFi Siren, WiFi Motion Sensor and Smart Alarm Detector. The Smart Plug can be used to turn a fan off when you leave for work, power on a stereo to wake you up and a whole host of other options. The Water Sensor informs users when a leak has begun to protect your gadgets, and home from serious damage.

As its name suggests, the Siren warns away potential intruders within a close proximity of your home and act as a deterrent. The Motion Sensor like all the other devices utilizes IFTTT to make the home react to any motion. This means it’s possible to adjust the lighting at specific times. Finally, the Alarm Detector sends users a message via text or other means when a smoke or carbon monoxide warning is triggered.

The free mydlink Home app for iOS® and Android will provide IFTTT support in late Q1 2016 and adds huge potential to the hardware shown at CES.

Latest D-Link Devices on Show @ CES 2016

CES 2016: D-Link are one of the best-known networking brands on the market today, and that clearly shows with their product ranges on display at CES. The first thing to catch my eye was their new Smart Alarm Detector, the DCH-S165, not only does it keep you safe by detecting photoelectric and electrochemical issues, it’ll monitor sound, alert you via mobile, connect to other D-Link devices for data tracking and more! This is a cool thing to have in the home or office.

As always, some extreme looking routers, equipped with powerful transmitters, giving huge range, super fast connections and capable of handling a huge range of devices. Perfect for the modern connected home, or even a small business setup.

Going bigger? If your network demands the lowest pings, the fastest speeds and a lot of devices, then the AC5300 is the way to go. It certainly looks impressive, and as you can see below, it has the specifications to match its appearance.

Aside from a few storage devices, and their amazing routers, you’ll also find their new DCS-2630L, a wide view Wi-Fi camera that is perfect for home security. With sound and PIR motion, a microSD slot for local recording and more, this is a nice little camera, and the compact design means it’s going to be super easy to install and use.

D-Link DXS-1210-12TC 12-Port 10GBASE-T Switch Review

Introduction


As a review site, we need to keep our testing equipment above or at least on the same level as the hardware that we test in order to provide you with relevant reviews and in that regards we’ve just upgraded our network test are with new 10 Gbps equipment. Among the new devices is the D-Link DXS-1210-12TC 10 Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch that I’m taking a closer look at today.

In order to test this switch I need two systems with 10 Gbps capabilities and four CAT7 cables and below you see all but the one network card as that is onboard in one of my test systems. In my opinion, we have been stuck at Gigabit level for way too long and 10 Gigabit Ethernet is slowly starting to make an entry. It is starting to become more affordable which allows SMBs and enthusiasts to enter an area of the market that previously was limited to enterprise and large corporations.

D-Link’s DXS-1210 series is composed of several 10 Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switches and they are a cost-effective 10 solution capable of servicing a wide range of network needs in any business. Some of the switches in the series focus primarily on SFP+ connections which aren’t optimal for my test scenario. I still test a lot of normal Gigabit equipment and my switch needs to stay compatible to those. Luckily D-Link also has this one with eight 10GBASE-T RJ45 ports and two 10Gbps SFP+ ports. Additionally, since it has two combo ports for use with either RJ45 or SFP+ connections.

The DXS-1210-12TC uses a default 19″ rack format which makes it easy to deploy in server cases and D-Link also included rubber feet in case you should run in placed on a desk or shelve somewhere. The 10GBASE-T copper ports utilize RJ45 interfaces and support 10 Gigabit speeds over CAT6a/CAT7 LAN cabling for up to 100m. That makes it easy to deploy no matter how far apart your systems are. The 10GbE fiber ports can be connected to other 10GbE ports with low-cost Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables or with SFP+ optical transceivers over multimode or single mode fiber optic cabling.

D-Link made sure that there’s plenty of overhead when it comes to transmission capabilities in the DXS-1210-12TC. It is capable of up to 240Gbps switching capacity, double what is needed, and has a maximum packet forwarding rate of 178.56 Mpps.

A device like this will naturally consume quite a bit of electricity as it has to perform flawlessly at any time and needs the power to do so, but D-Link applied their Green technologies in order to improve on this area without sacrificing operational performance or functionality. The DXS-1210-12TC features smart fans that don’t run at full speed when it isn’t needed, internal heat sensors that monitor and detect temperature changes in order to adjust the fans. The switch can also toggle ports into sleep mode automatically and it is built with hardware parts that in themselves are energy-efficient. The DXS-1210-12TC will still draw between 42.65 watts in standby mode and up to a maximum of 90.81 watts.

Feature wise you’ll find anything you’ll want in a smart switch starting with a complete lineup of L2 features. The DXS-1210-12TC supports port mirroring, Spanning Tree Protocol, and Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP). DXS-1210 switches also support Auto Surveillance VLAN (ASV), and Auto Voice VLAN, which are best suited for VoIP and video surveillance deployments. The DSCP markings on Ethernet packets enable different levels of service to be assigned to network traffic. As a result, these voice and video packets take precedence over other packets. In addition, with bandwidth control, network administrators can reserve bandwidth for important functions that require a larger bandwidth or might have high priority.

The DXS-1210 series also features an extensive list of safeguards against traffic flooding and other malicious attacks. It supports 802.1X port and host-based authentication as well as external RADIUS server authentication. It also features Access Control List (ACL) for enhanced network security as well as ARP spoofing prevention. The DHCP server screening feature can also detect rogue DHCP server packets from user ports in order to prevent unauthorized IP assignment.

 

Maintenance is an easy job when it comes to the DXS-1210-12TC smart switch where it also features a few extra functions to make the admins life easier. It includes loopback detection which is used to detect loops created by a specific port and automatically shut down the affected port. There is also a cable diagnostic feature that’s primarily designed to rapidly discover errors and determine a cable’s quality.

The switch has a smart discovery protocol built in which makes it easy to set up and manage through D-Link’s Network Assistant Utility and it will detect all switches within the same L2 network. This allows extensive switch configuration and basic setup of discovered devices, including password changes and firmware upgrades. The switch also supports D-View 7 and Command Line Interface (CLI) through Telnet. D-View 7 is a network management system that allows for the central management of critical network characteristics such as availability, reliability, resilience, and security.

Feature Highlights

  • Green Technology
    • Power saving via the following features: Link Status detection, LED Shut-Off, Port Shut-Off, System Hibernation
  • Security Features
    • Access Control List
    • IP-MAC-Port Binding
    • Clientless MAC/Web access control
    • D-Link Safeguard Engine
    • Port Security
    • ARP Spoofing Prevention
  • Intuitive Management
    • D-Link Network Assistant Utility or Web-based GUI
    • CLI through Telnet
  • Advanced Features
    • Auto Surveillance VLAN
    • Loopback Detection
    • Cable Diagnostics
    • Static Route
    • LLDP/LLDP-MED
    • Auto Voice VLAN

Package and Accessories

Equipment like the D-Link DXS-1210-12TC smart switch doesn’t need a fancy package, it is what is inside that matters.

There is a small sticker in one corner of the box that shows what is inside and the feature highlights.

Inside the box are several leaflets about security and conformity as well as a Getting Started Guide and a Driver and Manual disk.

Included is a mounting system for use as a 19″ rack unit as well as four small rubber feet for those who wish to use it placed on a surface. Screws for the 19″ mounts are included too and so is a cable tie system for the power cord. You wouldn’t want to jank that out by accident.

Naturally there’s also a power cable for the region where you purchased the switch. The switch supports from 110V to 240V, so the only difference here is the plug on one end.

D-Link Announced Availability of the AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R)

D-Link announced the availability of the newest member in the Ultra-series Wi-Fi routers, the D-Link DIR-885L/R AC3150 UItra Wi-Fi Router. The new router follows the same design as the rest of routers in the ultra-series and it looks really sweet if you ask me.

It isn’t just the optics of the DIR-885 that’s different, so is its performance and capabilities. The DIR-885 is a 4×4 multiple-user multiple-input and multiple-output (MU-MIMO) router that delivers up to 1000Mbps on the legacy 2.4GHz band and up to 2165 Mbps on the newer 5GHz band for a total of 3165 Mbps wireless performance. The router is naturally also equipped with WAN and LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports as well as USB ports for file and printer sharing.

Beam forming technology further helps with the range and throughput when connected to the DIR-885 whereas the SmartConnect technology automatically allocates the best possible band for optimal Wi-Fi performance when a device connects. An intelligent QoS was also added for traffic optimization.

The DIR-885 is built around a 1.4GHz dual-core processor which is quite a bit more than we usually see. Most routers is a CPU clocked around 1GHz.

Naturally the DIR-885 comes with the same great features as other D-Link routers such as parental controls, basic firewall functions, scheduling, and much more including D-Link’s SharePort technology for even more usage out of your USB connected devices.

Feature Highlights

  • 11AC Wi-Fi Dual Band Connectivity – Speeds up to 2167 Mbps on the 5GHz band and 1000Mbps on the 2.4GHz band for maximum throughput with less Wi-Fi interference
  • 4×4 Data Streams – Supports four data streams for increased throughput
  • 1.4GHz Dual Core Processor – Faster network speed for a more powerful router
  • MU-MIMO Ready – High-bandwidth Wi-Fi signal to multiple devices at the same time
  • SmartConnect – Allocates the best possible band for optimal Wi-Fi performance
  • High Power Antennas – provide wider coverage throughout your home
  • Intelligent QoS – Traffic optimization delivers seamless performance for your applications
  • USB 3.0 Port – Speeds up to 10x faster than USB 2.0

The AC3150 Ultra Wi-Fi Router (DIR-885L/R) is available now for a suggested retail price of $279.99. Not a cheap price, but this isn’t an ordinary router either.

D-Link Inadvertently Publishes Its Private Code-Signing Keys

Hackers are viewed within the media and by films as master genius’s who are able to hack into protected systems with the intention of stealing a vast array of information. There is some truth in this assertion considering even multinational companies have been caught napping by cyber thieves, but, what happens if I don’t know, a tech firm accidentally publishes its private signing keys? Well, D-Link has managed to do this in what is known scientifically as stupididiotness.

Taiwan-based networking equipment manufacturer D-Link has published its Private code signing keys inside the company’s open source firmware packages. This was spotted by a user by the username “bartvbl” who had bought a D-Link DCS-5020L security camera and downloaded the firmware from D-Link which open sources its firmware under the GPL license.

All seemed well for “bartvbl” until they inspected the source code, only to find four private keys which are used for code signing. To test this, the user-created a windows application which was able to be signed by one of the four keys which appeared to be valid. Not only this, the user also discovered pass-phrases which are needed to sign the software,

It is yet unclear if any of these keys were used in attacks by malicious third parties, meanwhile, D-Link has seen the light and has responded to this embarrassment by revoking the certificate in question and subsequently releasing a new version which does not contain any code signing keys, which is good.

Thank you tweakers via Google Translate for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of thehackernews.

D-Link DCS-935L mydlink Home Monitor HD Wi-Fi Camera Review

Introduction


Today I’m taking a look at a somewhat different product than I am used to and that is a wireless home security camera. Security becomes a bigger and bigger issue for a lot of people and many would like to keep an extra eye on the home while they are away. The D-Link DCS-935L Home Monitor HD allows you to do just that and I’ll be taking a closer look at the hardware and software that comes along.

The mydlink Home Monitor HD, as it is known by as full name, allows you to monitor your home from where ever you are and see everything in full-colour high-definition 720p with sound, may it be from a computer, tablet, or a smartphone. The WiFi camera also comes with built-in night vision that allows you to see up to 5 meters in complete darkness.

One of the places that held many people back in the past and stopped them up from entering the world of do-it-yourself home security was the setup. It could be very complicated and require a lot of running of wires at the same time. That made people hesitate and they rather invested in a commercial and subscription-based security plan. Granted, a camera like this cannot do the same, but in return it can be set up by anyone and it only requires the initial purchase.

The DCS-935L WiFi camera is as easy to set up and connects to your Wi-Fi network, all it takes is the press of a button. Simply press the WPS button and you are securely connected to your wireless network at home. There is no need for extra and additional control hubs or other hard to configure interfaces and router settings.

The DCS-935L WiFi camera is part of the mydlink structure of smart home devices, allowing you to create your own smart home, all without a complicated setup. Those devices include music streamers, Wi-Fi motion sensors, Smart Plugs, and also the Home Monitor cameras as the DCS-935L.

Everything is connected through the mydlink Home app that is compatible with both Android and iOS-based smartphones and tablets. You can view the stream from anywhere you are connected to an internet connection, allowing you to always know what is going on in your home. You can also set the camera to alarm you when sound or motion is detected. Again, everything without complicated setup, installation cost, or monthly subscription charges.

The camera stand on the DCS-935L Wireless camera can be used universally in may ways, allowing you to place the camera in a convenient place and at the same time having it pointed where you want it to. You can turn and tip the camera and also hang it on a wall or ceiling that way. The rear of the stand features a cut-out to route the power cable through and still have it mounted properly.

Whether you want the camera to keep an eye on your kids or pets while you’re away, monitor for possible intruders, or something completely different, the D-Link DCS-935L could be a perfect choice. The smart hardware combined with the smart apps allow you to set up a smart home as easy as it rarely, if ever, has been seen before.

Specifications

The specifications are taken directly from the manufacturers specification page and can as such be subject to change in possible future revisions of the product.

Key Features

  • WiFi with easy WPS setup
  • 720p HD resolution
  • Microphone for sound recording
  • Nightvision for up to 5 meters in full darkness
  • Motion and Sound detection
  • No charges, fees, or complicated setups
  • Monitoring from Smartphones and Tablets

Packaging and Content

The DCS-935L WiFi camera comes in a little box that displays all the relevant information about the product easy to read. Inside you’ll find a power adapter, the camera in itself, and manuals and guides that allow you to get started quick and easy.

The included power adapter uses a universal plug switch as seen below. Even if you bought it in a foreign market or traveling with it, all that’s required is a new plug part. Flip the old out, put a new in, and you’re done. These plugs are used on many power supply units and there is a good chance that you already have one or multiple of the same principle.

D-Link DIR-880L Wireless AC1900 Dual-Band Gigabit Cloud Router Review

Introduction


D-Link has a long history in the network business and I myself have personally had many of their devices in use over the years, so my expectations are high here. I have the pleasure to take the D-Link DIR-880L AC1900 Dual Band Gigabit Cloud Router for a spin in the test area and it will be interesting to see what the DIR-880L can perform.

Right off the top we have the best possible wireless connectivity with the concurrent dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz connectivity for a total speed of 1900Mbps, 600 Mbps from the 2.4GHz band and 1300 from the 5GHz band.

The Advanced AC SmartBeam technology vastly increases the speed and coverage of your network. This allows you to stream HD video, make Internet calls, and surf the Internet from every corner of your home without interruption. The high-gain external antennas should send the signal into the furthest corners of your home with a strong connection wherever you are., giving you a strong connection wherever you are.

The slower 2.4GHz band is still great for checking emails, surfing the web, or viewing photos, but you’ll want the faster 5GHz band when you game online, stream HD content, or transfer a lot of files.

The wired connections are all full Gigabit connections and that includes the WAN port. No need to worry that the router will throttle your internet speed even though it might be faster than 100Mbit, which isn’t that unusual these days.

The addition of two USB ports, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 allow you to connect storage devices directly to the router and share them with everyone on the network. It doesn’t matter where you are and what device you connect from, you’ll always have access to your files. This is a great solution for people that rely a lot on portable storage or those who don’t have a NAS. You could also use these ports to charge your mobile devices, a function I often use them for.

The DIR-880L Cloud Router is mydlink enabled, allowing you an effortless access and view of your network no matter where you are. See who is connected to your router, change the settings, block someone from accessing something just like you would at home.

The mydlink SharePort app allows you to connect a USB storage device to the DIR-880L and instantly share documents, movies, pictures, and music with mobile devices. Put your music library on a USB drive and share it with everyone else in your home, or show photos on the living room TV while a family member watches a movie on their tablet. Stream media files to multiple devices without interruption, or save them to your device for offline playback.

Whether you want the D-Link DIR-880L to stand or hang on the wall, that is your choice. It is built to support both and the bottom of the router features four rubber feet for a secure stand as well as cutouts to hang it on two screws.

You’ll also find all the other information such as default passwords, serial numbers, and MAC addresses on the bottom of the unit.

The three antennas can be turned and positioned to give you the best coverage in your own home and surroundings. There aren’t two places that are the same and having the perfect router location can make a lot of difference. Being able to angle the antennas as you like can help a lot with this.

Feature wise you won’t be disappointed in the DIR-880L, may you want VLAN support, firewall, time scheduled operation, parental control, virtual servers, or the aforementioned cloud features.

The dual-core CPU is hidden below the large cooler that I sadly couldn’t get removed. Not knowing just how it’s secured to the chips I rather left it instead of destroying it by the use of force.

On the PCB, we see that this product doesn’t come from anyone. It is very well built, clean, and all components have been properly seated before they were soldered. I have no doubt that this kind of work will last a long time and it is refreshing to see.

Within the package you find everything you need to get started. The router itself, an RJ45 cable so you can connect it to your modem, fiber box, or internet plug, three high-powered antennas, a power adapter and installation manuals to get started.

D-LINK Issues Apology to Consumers for Cloud Routing Loophole

Today, D-link has issued an apology to the users of 17 of their routers due to a coding loophole which has allowed hackers to get access to sensitive information such as banking details and passwords. This is estimated to affect roughly 300 million users worldwide. This particular hack has been a lot easier to implement as all the hacker has to do is change a few router parameters to gain access to everything you do online.

D-Link has now formally issued an apology and has released firmware updates which aim to fix said security issue. A security expert, Liujian Hao stated “If in the background of targeted hacking software is installed, we can easily hijack these appliances connected to the router traffic to analyze the bank account passwords and other privacy.”

The 17 models in question:

● DAP-1522 (B1)
● DIR-629 (A1)
● DIR-300 (B1)
● DIR-600 (B1)
● DIR-815 (B1)
● DIR-816L (A1)
● DIR-817LW (B1)
● DIR-818LW (A1)
● DIR-820LW (B1)
● DIR-850L (A1)
● DIR-850L (B1)
● DIR-860L (A1)
● DIR-860L (B1)
● DIR-865L (A1)
● DIR-868L (A1)
● DIR-880L (A1)
● DIR-890L (A1)

We recommend anyone using D-Link products to check the router list and update all passwords and information, just to be safe.

Thank you to Firenews for providing us with this information

Thecus Releases New Firmware Update for ThecusOS 5.0

Thecus just released a firmware update for the ThecusOS 5.0 software that runs on its NAS servers. The new version 2.05.08 addresses several vulnerabilities and exposures and updates some features.

The new version 2.05.08 is compatible with the following NAS servers:

  • N16000, N12000, N16000PRO, N12000PRO, N16000V, N12000V, N8900V, N8900
  • N6850, N8850, N10850
  • N7710, N7710-G, N8810, N8810-G, N7700PROV2, N8800PROV2
  • N2800, N4510U, N4510UPRO, N4800, N4800ECO, N5550, N7510

Also from the press release:

The newest version, 2.05.08, includes Disk Clone and Wipe for seamless data replication and destruction, enhanced security with VPN server and Kodi (select devices) for optimal media streaming. Also included is support for 4K native HDD, VAAI UNMAP, VPN and PPTPclient/server as well as compatibility with D-Link’s DXE-810S 10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ adapter.

Updates for 2efsprogs (1.42.12), Xfsprogs (3.2.2), Thecus ID wording, and Linux kernel (3.10.66) are available along with improvements for the booting process, IE browser and WD60EFRX compatibility, and Japanese UI language.

Several vulnerabilities and exposures are also addressed with the new firmware including email notification password, jumbo frame, Samba Recycle Bin and share folders, as well as several other issues that are described in the release notes included with the download.

The new firmware is now available to download direct from the Thecus website (here). As is always recommended, backup all data before updating to the new firmware to avoid any data loss.

Globalgig and D-Link Team up to Bring 4G Router into Your Home

Globalgig and D-Link have released a new router based on 4G technology to give you the ability to have multiple devices connected wherever you might be. The D-Link DWR-922 comes with the standard cable, NDN and ADSL ports to connect to the internet traditionally, but it also features a SIM slot for a 4G mobile data SIM should you wish to run it off 4G entirely.

It is said that D-Link will be selling the router along with a Globalgig 4G SIM and $30 starting credit through its website. While Globalgig offers fast 4G internet through its Optus’ 4G network in Australia, it also has some great deals through its flat-rate 3G mobile broadband net access in 84 countries. Tariffs for roaming stretch from $20 for 250m and up to $70 for 5GB.

Staying connected in today’s era is something everybody is trying to achieve, and with the D-Link DWR-922, users won’t have to rely on a hotel or other venue for internet when travelling abroad. D-Link is selling the router bundled with a Globalgig SIM and $30 starter credit for 5GB of 4G in Australia and 1GB abroad for $249.95.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

D-Link’s New Super Routers are a Design Marvel

As if speeds of up to 5.3GBps weren’t impressive enough, D-Link’s new series of Ultra Performance routers are some of the most stylish hardware of their kind. D-Link describes the AC5300, AC3200 and AC3100 models as “attractive” with a “modern form-factor for today’s homes,” with which it is hard to disagree.

The tree models boast an 802.11ac tri-band beamforming with speeds between 3.1-5.3Gbps, gigabit ethernet, multiple high-power antennas, and USB 3.0 ports. The routers can be controlled via smartphone or tablet or though an optional DWA-192 USB 3.0 adapter.

The AC3200 is available now for $310, with the other two models set for release during the second quarter of 2015.

Source: Engadget

D-Link Announce a New Line of ‘Colourful’ Routers

Over the last couple of years we have been watching consumer electronics become more ‘stylistic’ for the home with less of the harsh lines and eye-sore designs that was once associated with technology at one time. There are, however, on or two product groups that are still deemed to be an eye-sore in the home and routers, which we all need to get on the internet, are deemed to be one of the worst things we have to look at. When you look at the OEM products that your ISP sends you, it’s not really going to be winning any design awards any time soon.

As one of the bigger names in the consumer and OEM networking markets, D-Link are looking to change the way in which we see our networking hardware in the home, with a new range of ‘designer’ routers that bring colour to the home and break away from the typical box shape that is associated with the humble router.

Available in red, teal, black and white, the cylindrical routers will offer up the latest 802.11ac network capabilities with 433Mbps speeds on the 5GHz band and 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band, alongside four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a single USB port for sharing media and printers on the network.

Daniel Kelley, the VP of D-Link marketing give as statement saying, “Wi-Fi routers have never had the reputation of being the most aesthetically pleasing products in the home, and we set out to change that with our color routers. With the launch of our new line of AC750 Wi-Fi Routers, customers not only get a powerful home network capable of supporting the most demanding applications, they also have a stylish device they can proudly display on the desk rather than buried underneath it.”

Whilst I can see where D-Link are coming from, the cylindrical design that they have chosen only reminds me of the new Mac Pro that was featured earlier in the year and how it resembled a trash can. Whilst I get that we need to come up with a more contemporary design, there are a number of other shapes that can be chosen, rather than one that looks like a bin.

The new AC750 routers are available now with an exclusive price of $79.99 at Amazon. If you feel this is a good design then please let us know below, or alternatively tell us what you feel would be a more suitable style to bring to the consumer market.

Source: Press Release

Wireless AC1750 Dual-Band PoE Access Point Announced By D-Link

D-Link has announced a new addition to its range of Wireless AC products, the Wireless AC1750 Simultaneous Dual-Band PoE Access Point bearing the model name DAP-2695, which has its key features set on higher traffic levels and greater performance expectations.

The DAP-2695 provides enhanced dual-band performance to deliver a more stable, secure and faster wireless connection, while having the option to configure it to work in a number of modes for added deployment options.

The flagship Wireless AC1750 Simultaneous Dual-Band PoE Access Point allows network administrators to deploy a highly manageable and extremely robust simultaneous dual-band wireless network. All six antennas are detachable and can provide optimal wireless coverage with maximum speeds of up to 450 Mbps over the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps over the 5 GHz band.

It can also be used in multiple operation modes, such as an access point, wireless distribution system (WDS) with access point, WDS/bridge or as a wireless client with WDS support. Network administrators are able to set up multiple units throughout a facility and configure them to bridge with one another while also providing network access to individual clients. As such the Wireless AC1750 Simultaneous Dual-Band PoE Access Point can be used to join networks between different buildings without the need to lay additional wiring.

The AC1750 also has advanced features embedded, such as load balancing when multiple units are deployed and it can be connected and powered with a single Ethernet cable due to its Power over Ethernet (PoE) support. Administrators have the ability to virtually pool these devices, using the D-Link AP Manager II or D-View SNMP management module to configure, check and maintain multiple access points from a single location.

D-Link’s Wireless AC1750 Simultaneous Dual-Band PoE Access Point is currently available for purchase at a price range of around £237.

General Specifications:

  • High-performance Connectivity
  • IEEE 802.11ac wireless1
  • Up to 1300+450 Mbps1
  • Gigabit LAN port
  • Made for Business-class Environments
  • Simultaneous dual-band connectivity for increased network capacity
  • Band steering
  • Console port for debugging
  • Rugged metal housing
  • Plenum-rated chassis
  • Ideal for indoor deployment2
  • Traffic control/QoS
  • Internal RADIUS server
  • Web redirection
  • Trusted Security Features
  • WPA/WPA2 – Enterprise/Personal
  • WPA2 – PSK/AES over WDS
  • MAC address filtering
  • Network Access Protection (NAP)
  • ARP spoofing prevention
  • WLAN partition
  • Convenient Installation
  • Supports 802.3at PoE+ Power over Ethernet
  • Wall mounting brackets included

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of dlinkmea

D-Link To Patches Router Back-Door Vulnerability

A patch has finally been released by D-Link for a serious security vulnerability in selected models of router, following the discovery of an easily accessed back-door to the router menu.

It was first discovered by researcher Craif Heffner back in October, where Heffner saw the ‘xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide’ which contains the backwards plain-text string ‘edit by 04882 joel backdoor’, as your browser’s user agent bypassed the router’s requirement for a username and password to access the configuration menu. Pretty scary as well as intriguing at the same time.

D-Link has admitted that the discovery was real but defended the practice stating that it was used by technical service engineers to retrieve router information in cases where the routers’ firmware crashed.

“The so-called back-door was implemented in these six older products as a failsafe for D-Link technical repair service to retrieve router settings for customers in case of firmware crashes that would result in lost configuration information,” a company spokesperson claimed via email at the time. ‘Nonetheless, the new firmware updates will respectively revoke any failsafe opportunity.”

Users who still run the affected routers, which are models DIR-100, DIR-120, DI-524, DI-524UP, DI-604S, DI-604UP, DI-604+, DI-624S, and TM-G5240, it is a relief to know that the company has finally released updated firmware files which remove the hard-coded back-door. D-Link reportedly promised a released date close to the end of October, but apparently hit something of a last-minute delay.

There are rumors that the DIR-615 model is also vulnerable to the flaw, but the rumor has been denied by D-Link with no firmware update planned for that device. Though users of the latter model should be cautions nonetheless.

Thank you Bit-Tech for providing us with this information

Backdoor In To Selected D-Link Routers Revealed

Internet security is something that we [in a good way] get shoved towards us all the time, however it has been revealed that a number of D-Link routers have a vulnerable back-door gateway built into their firmware that can potentially allow unwanted users from gaining access to the units web management interface and therefore potentially the rest of your network.

Whilst looking through the firmware code for a DIR-100 router, a blogger from /dev/ttySO stumbled across the potentially fatal piece of coding that allows this access to be made. Using a specific string of code and connecting to the router via a wired or wireless connection, the reverse engineered back-door allowed the standard security authentication to be bypassed and full access granted.

To narrow down the vulnerability, only units that run on the DIR-100 firmware are known to be affected, however with many ISPs providing their users with D-Link equipment, both to residential and business customers, the potential for a security breach in the likes of public areas is unthinkable.

After some research it has been calculated that the following units are likely to be affected:

  • DIR-100
  • DI-524
  • DI-524UP
  • DI-604S
  • DI-604UP
  • DI-604+
  • TM-G5240

Additionally, several Planex routers also appear to use the same firmware:

  • BRL-04UR
  • BRL-04CW

Even more worryingly it has been reported that some versions of the DIR-615 may be affected as used by Virgin Mobile, although this has yet to be verified.

Whether or not this back door was supposed to placed within the firmware is yet to be disclosed by D-Link, however I’m sure their firmware coding teams will be hot on the case to ensure that this security breach doesn’t affect the reputation of D-Link in the long run and a major security outbreak runs wild.

Source: /dev/ttySO

Samsung Buy Set Top Box Company Boxee

South Korean electronics giant Samsung is reportedly buying out the Israeli firm “Boxee” who make media streaming devices according to the BBC. The deal is reportedly worth around $30 million. Samsung stated that the takeover allowed it to acquire “key talent and assets” which “will help us continue to improve the overall user experience across our connected devices”.

Boxee’s products let subscribers record TV shows onto cloud storage and then stream them to TVs, computers and smart devices from this cloud storage. Given that Samsung is struggling to shift a lot of its smart TVs this could be a wise move for them as Boxee has a well recognised and trusted reputation with its consumer base. Now Samsung doesn’t have to struggle to convince people to use its smart TV services over that of its competitors because it now owns one of its competitors.

Despite this Boxee did struggle to make money because smart TVs are in their infancy. The acquisition by Samsung will help the Boxee concept to stay alive until smart TVs pick up in popularity a bit more, which is expected to happen in 2017 when an estimated 221 million will ship according to Informa Telecoms and Media. Only 54 million were sold in 2012.

Image courtesy of Boxee

D-Link Gaming Router (DGL-5500) Finally Here

It isn’t very often that a networking product gets me excited, but when I first saw D-Link’s Gaming router back last year I was very impressed. Since then Apple’s new Mac Pro has been released, and I am slightly worried about the resemblance, but that aside the D-Link DGL-5500 looks like an excellent piece of networking kit.

To give it some premium wireless it has 802.11 AC WiFi that allows for up to 1300 Mbps wirelessly and it is based on Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac technology. Furthermore D-Link have integrated something they call StreamBoost which is essentially a packet optimisation process that allows you to prioritise the applications you want in a way that prevents lag, it is supported by dynamic “traffic” management. Furthermore to ensure all your profiles stay with you D-Link offers cloud based storage of your network profiles, this also keeps your router up to date in terms of new firmware/software.

Finally it features the well known WPS push button connect feature and has four Gigabit LAN ports. The new D-Link gaming router will be available from Newegg for $199.99 soon. The estimated date that customers will get shipped these routers is around the 1st of August.

Images courtesy of D-Link