In this day and age, most laptops and devices come with a wireless adapter built-in, even the latest Raspberry Pi includes wireless. This is lucky for when you can’t get to the router in your house, or the cable just won’t reach your favourite seat, or when your ethernet connection is disabled by an update.
Some people found this out the hard way this morning when Apple published an update over the weekend which disabled the ethernet port in the El Capitan distribution of their operating system. The reason for the disabled port? An update for the System integrity protection system, a system designed to keep your computer secure by disabling malicious kernel extensions (kext) (the equivalent of drivers for Windows or Linux users). Sadly a small update blacklisted the ethernet ports kext.
While an update was quickly released to fix the issue, some people still had the issue of it disabling their system before they were able to update to the latest version. The idea is that it’s all done behind the scenes, without you having to select the update or even know about it, kexts are updated silently. These updates run even if you have disabled the standard automatic update.
Do you use cabled connections or are you constantly on the wi-fi? Could you live with the other? What would you do if someone accidentally disabled the wireless in your computer, laptop or even your phone?
Synology has a long experience producing network attached storage and surveillance devices so it was just a matter of time before they expanded into more similar areas. They got the knowhow and the expertise to do so and today I’m taking a closer look at their first router, the Synology Router RT1900ac Wireless Gigabit Ethernet router.
Let us first have a look at the basic hardware specifications. The Synology RT1900ac is built around a powerful dual-core CPU with a 1GHz clock speed and it comes with 256MB DDR3 memory. The dual-band 802.11ac wireless router can transfer with up to 1300 Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It is equipped with three external and replaceable MIMO omni-directional high-gain dipole antennas with 3.5 dBi for the 2.4GHz band and 4.6 dBi for the 5GHz band.
With a hardware base like that, you don’t need to worry about lags or bottlenecks. The RT1900ac has four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, all located on the rear in-between the three antenna mounts. The RT1900ac features a power button which is a nice thing to see on a router and while it isn’t a feature that is used a lot, it is great to have when needed.
Both the wired and wireless network connections will benefit from Synology’s bandwidth prioritization and network traffic control system that allows you to prioritize the important traffic such as your games. After all, you will always want to have the lowest latency that will give you that extra edge on the virtual battlefield. But that doesn’t mean that the Synology RT1900ac only is good for gaming, it is also awesome for streaming. You can enjoy buffer-free playback of your 4K movies when streaming them to your media devices around the house.
You don’t even need other devices in order to stream your favourite movies, shows, or music to your smart TVs and audio systems as the RT1900ac is DLNA compatible and comes with both a USB 3.0 and an SD card slot. You can also use it to stream from other network storage locations should you not want to use the direct storage features.
The access to connected devices isn’t just limited to media streaming. You can share any files on a USB storage drive or SD card (SDXC) via the Synology RT1900ac and access the contents from anywhere as well as share files with family, friends, and coworkers. The RT1900 supports all the common protocols such as SMB, AFP, FTP, or WebDAV. Whether you use a Windows PC, a Mac, an Android, or an iOS device, you’ll have access to it all.
As mentioned, Synology has quite some experience within the network area and they naturally created a great operating system for their new router. The new operating system is called Synology Router Manager (SRM) and it includes both basic and advanced tools such as VPN support, RADIUS server, and more.
The operating system is very similar to DSM, Synology’s NAS operating system, and comes with the same user-friendly interface and multi-task abilities. You can also go beyond the basic and pre-installed features and download more functions through the Package Center. Transform your router into a personal VPN server, professional RADIUS authentication server, 24/7 download hub or make it into your multimedia hub. The choice is yours.
We have seen two out of four sides on the new Synology Router RT1900ac so far and below is the third side where we also find features to highlight – there is something everywhere on this router. On this side we find a button to turn the Wi-Fi completely off and back on again for when it isn’t needed. There is a growing concern among some people who fear that exposure to wireless signals of all sort can affect us and those people, and everyone else too, have the ability to easy switch the wireless signals on and off depending on when they are needed.
Next to the Wi-Fi on-off switch we find the WPS button for easy connectivity between the router and other devices. A simple touch of the button on both devices and they will pair with each other and establish a connection. No need to search for the correct Wi-Fi network among all the possible ones and no need to enter any complicated passwords.
There is one more thing that I haven’t shown you yet and that is located right on the front of the router, around the corner from the USB port and SD card slot, and it is the one button that I have been missing on every single device with these ports since they came into existence. A hardware eject button. Simply press the button and the operating system will safely unmount the drive and make it ready for safe ejection. This is so much easier than having to log into an administration interface just to press a button to eject the drive.
Now that we’ve seen what the Synology Router RT1900ac is all about, it is time to mount the antennas and get a closer look at them. The squared antennas look out of the norm and fit well with the router. Synology also added smart Beamforming technology that lets the RT1900ac focus wireless signals toward up to six simultaneous devices and thereby increase the range, reduce the latency, and economize the power consumption.
Synology packed the Router RT1900ac with quite a few great features such as application layer quality of service (QoS) that lets you see how much bandwidth is consumed by individual applications and devices and then lets you restrict the amount of bandwidth the device or application is allowed to use. It also comes with parental controls such as time scheduling for individual devices as well as intelligent and manual web filtering.
Synology also added support for their QuickConnect service which makes remote control and access as easy as the local. Just register a unique and customizable QuickConnect ID, and you’ll to be able to log in to Synology Router Manager, access connected storage devices, and do much more from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Packaging and Accessories
Synology packed the RT1900ac in a simple brown box which is all that is needed. It has a sticker on the front showcasing the router itself and its feature highlights.
The rear side of the box has another sticker with a few more details and the device’s specifications and usage scenario as well as what the package contains.
Inside the package is a power adapter with connection options for the region where you purchased the device, in this case there is a UK and a slim-EU plug included. There are also three high-gain antennas and the extra stand in case you should want to have it in an upright position.
TP-Link’s smart wireless router with a touchscreen is now available and the Touch P5 is unlike other routers. You can control all the features without the use of PCs or smart devices, directly on the router via the 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen. A sweet extra function that can come in handy.
The Touch P5 features four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and one WAN port besides the AC1900 WiFi connection. The three antennas and up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band provide a great connectivity for lag free gaming and 4K video streaming alike.
The router features both guest networks and parental control as well as USB sharing. The powerful 1GHz dual core processor inside should provide plenty of power to run all this simultaneously. The Touch P5 was designed as a versatile unit and it can act as a router, repeater, or access point.
With its clean, user-friendly design, The Touch P5’s display interface provides an ideal portal through which to quickly access and manage your network settings. Now you can modify parental controls, add/remove devices from your network, and change guest access privileges with a few taps on your router’s display. For added functionality, the touchscreen display can also function as a clock, when not in use.
TP-Link’s Touch P5 routers are now available at the TP-LINK store and other major retailers. It features a 2-year limited warranty and 24/7 tech support. The MSRP is set for $204.99 which isn’t all bad considering you get the best available Wi-Fi along with a fancy touchscreen for control.
TP-Link also released a new video showcasing the router in a setup environment.
This video below was the first time we got a view on the TP-Link Touch P5 back in May 2015.
You might know Innodisk as a storage and memory manufacturer, but that isn’t the only thing that this company creates. They also produce a lot of embedded solutions and modules and the newest in this range is also a world’s first: A new M.2 form factor Single and Dual Gigabit Ethernet Module that doesn’t require extra drivers.
The single port module is called the EGUL-G101 and the dual port module that supports port trunking and link aggregation is called the EGUL-G201. The modules are built-in a 22×60 (60mm long) form factor which could be an issue with some boards that only take 2280 modules, however, newer boards take 40, 60, and 80mm modules.
The EGUL modules use the USB 3.0 standard that provides up to 5Gb/s throughput, plenty for even the dual EGUL-201 that only needs 2Gb/s. Unlike PCI-express based network cards, the EGUL modules can be used on both Windows and Linux platforms without the need for extra drivers and provide flexible network expansion for all kinds of embedded systems.
The modules use an industrial grade design, suitable for use in commercial systems. The EGUL-G101 and EGUL-G201 are built with strong electrical isolation and 30 micro-inch gold interface connectors for a robust connection. The ethernet modules feature 15kV ESD, 2kV HiPot and 2kV surge protection, preventing electrical damage to the system and connected components from potential differences or dirty electrical conditions while also maintaining signal integrity.
There are multiple daughterboards available, allowing you to set the actual RJ45 ports where you need them and where your case or rack allows you to mount them.
The new EGUL-G101 and EGUL-G201 modules should be available now, meaning they will arrive at resellers very shortly. It is really nice to see some available options in the M.2 form factor that previously was known as the next-generation form factor (NGFF). For a next generation, there have been way too few options for too long.
Thecus is at it again and has released two new NAS units, the N7770-10G 7-bay desktop NAS and the N8880U-10G 8-bay rack mounted 2U NAS. Both NAS are almost identical on the insides, so it basically comes down to the environment of operation when deciding which of the two to pick. The newest additions to Thecus’ line of SMB/Enterprise NAS deliver high-performance, resilience, and a wide range of solutions to handle the rigorous and mission-critical storage needs of businesses.
The two new Thecus NAS are both equipped with the Intel Core-i3 2120 Processor with a clock speed of 3.3GHz and 8GB DDR3 ECC memory. You’ll get two RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet ports and on top of that you’ll find a 10GBASE-T C10GTR Ethernet Network card installed for that extra bandwidth need. Local ports further include six USB 2.0 and two USB 3.0 ports, a HDMI port, and VGA D-Sub port. Both units also come with a status display with four control buttons.
The N7770-10G unit comes with a single 300W power supply, which should be more than enough to drive a machine of this kind. On the other hand, The N8880-10G has a redundant setup with two 400W power supplies. The N8880-10G, being a rack mounted system, also supports hot-swapping of fans next to the hot swapping of drives that all NAS can do.
The new N7770-10G and N8880-10G NAS units from Thecus are designed as a cost-effective and scalable solution. These 10G-enabled NAS are compatible with the latest high capacity SATA drives and NAS stacking is made easy through iSCSI target volumes.
Availability without interruption is a critical factor in many companies, every minute a unit like this is down could cost a lot of money. In order to prevent server downtime, the N7770-10G and N8880U-10G support High Availability (HA). In HA, two Thecus NAS are continuously synced using Heartbeat software while providing any number of its wide range of services including web hosting, file sharing, central storage, and iSCSI virtualization. If one NAS experiences issues, the other NAS will take over operations until the first is operational at which time the master NAS will be automatically resynced and brought back under the umbrella of full HA protection.
There are plenty of other backup solutions as well, such as B-tree file system (btrfs). Disaster recovery solutions include Data Guard for real-time remote or local backup, bundled Acronis True Image for client data backup and system disaster recovery, and backup to cloud services including DropBox, ElephantDrive, and Amazon S3.The 10G NAS are also bundled with Intel Security for uncompromising data security.
Rivet Networks released their newest LAN controller yesterday, they brand new Killer E2400 Gigabit Ethernet controller that is said to deliver unprecedented speed, intelligence, and control for the ultimate networking experience. The new LAN controller adds to the already impressive predecessor with Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 to offer cutting-edge network data detection and network optimization technology.
The Killer E2400 LAN chip automatically detects and prioritizes specific website traffic in addition to networked applications and games. It also provides two additional network priority levels for a total of six different priority levels to take full advantage of the enhanced application and website detection. The adapter is said to outperform the competition by up to 10 times when multi-tasking and being up to 50 percent faster at single application usage.
The Killer E2400 also works together with the Killer Wireless products via Killer DoubleShot Pro technology, which uses both Killer Ethernet and Killer Wireless interfaces simultaneously to automatically route high priority traffic to the fastest connection. For the absolute best connection, you can couple two of these chips together with the Killer Wireless-AC to get a DoubleShot-X3 Pro connection with up to 2.867 Gbps throughput.
The new Killer E2400 LAN controller is being released in partnership with MSI and GIGABYTE whole feature them on some of their best new Z170 motherboards such as the MSI Z170A GAMING M9 ACK, the MSI X99A GODLIKE GAMING, the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7, and the GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming GT.
Killer E2400 Features:
Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 offers the most advanced network data detection available in consumer products today. Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 automatically classifies and prioritizes network traffic for online games, HD video, and specific websites for better quality and fewer interruptions in a user’s online experience
Lag and Latency Reduction Technology designed specifically to reduce latency and improve online gaming and HD video performance
Visual Bandwidth Control shows which applications and websites are monopolizing bandwidth and gives users the control to optimize performance by adjusting priorities and setting bandwidth limits so that low priority traffic doesn’t interfere with multimedia applications or favorite websites
Powerline network adapters are growing a lot in popularity as the amount of connected devices in our homes also are growing. Wireless signals aren’t the optimal choice everywhere and there are also those of us that are worried about too many signals everywhere. You might not want to drill lots of holes through your walls either in order to run a network cable from here to there and everywhere and that is where the powerline adapters come into play.
You plug one in near your network connection and another where you need to connect a device. And that is all, the connection will be made using the existing power lines running through your home. Netgear’s two newest kits, the PL1200 and the PLP1200, can deliver up to 1.2Gbps transfer speed under optimal conditions. The only thing that is different on the two new kits is that one of them has pass-through so you won’t have to give up the power outlet for other devices and the other one doesn’t.
“Powerline has become an increasingly popular networking solution because of the explosive growth in connected AV devices, and the high speeds and reliability required to support demanding applications such as HD video streaming and online gaming,” said Oleg Fishel, the product line manager for NETGEAR Powerline. “With powerline technology, you can take advantage of your existing electrical outlets in every room and don’t need to run new wires to get fast, uninterrupted access to the Internet and the home network.”
The two new kits are fully compliant with the HomePlug AV2 standard so you won’t run into compatibility issues with other powerline adapters. Multiple simultaneous data streams (MIMO) with beamforming technology allows the NETGEAR Powerline 1200 adapters to deliver gigabit speed at even longer distances, ideal for 4K video streaming, lag-free online gaming, or whole-home video monitoring. You can add up to 16 adapters to expand your home network and they automatically enter power saving modes when not used.
The “Pick-a-Plug” function allows you to find the optimal power outlet where a LED indicator light will guide you to the perfect outlet to use, where you’ll get the best performance. The Powerline 1200 Adapter (PL1200) Kit is available now in the U.S. from major retailers in stores and online at an MSRP starting at $79.99, and will become available in Europe later this month. The Powerline 1200 + Extra Outlet Adapter (PLP1200) Kit will become available in the U.S. and Europe in May at an MSRP starting at $89.99 in the U.S. Both kits contain two adapters and two Ethernet cables.
Gigabyte apparently has developed a new microATX motherboard that comes with a 64-bit ARM onboard processor, a motherboard that is dedicated to datacenters.
The MP30-AR0 board is said to be built around Applied Micro’s X-Gene SoC, which is an octo-core chip clocked at 2.4 GHz that comes with a 45W TDP. Applied Micro’s cores are said to be their own design and are compatible with the 64-bit ARMv8 ISA.
The SoC appears to be paired to a quad-channel memory controller with eight UDIMM slots, each of them supporting modules of up to 16GB at 1600 MHz speeds and is also ECC compliant. The board is not designed with a great graphical solution in mind, having the board be more networking oriented.
The motherboard is said to come with dual 10-Gigabit Ethernet controllers embedded in the SoC and two auxiliary Marvell Gigabit Ethernets on the board itself. In terms of storage solution, the MP30-AR0 comes with only four SATA 6 Gbps ports and one SD slot. Two PCIe x16 slots are also present on the board, but each slot provides eight lanes of Gen3 bandwidth, most likely from the SoC.
Gigabyte states that the motherboard supports Ubuntu 14.04, having the motherboard also available in the company’s R120-P30 1U server.
Thank you TechReport for providing us with this information
TRENDnet has announced the availability of the Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit, model TPL-420E2K. TRENDnet’s Powerline 1200 series create a network connection over your existing power circuitry using all three wires in them: live, neutral, and ground wires.
The Gigabit port on these units will extend your network throughout the home. They system can cover homes up to 465 square meters or an electrical power line distance of up to 300 meters.
The system is of course using encrypted transfer to protect your data and will work flawless with other power over circuitry devices.
TPL-420E2K – Powerline 1200 AV2 Adapter Kit
Includes two TPL-420E adapters
Extreme Powerline 1200 networking over existing electrical lines
Enhanced performance and range with Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Powerline technology
Simply plug in the adapters—TRENDnet adapters auto-connect out of the box
Pre-encrypted Powerline for your convenience
Gigabit port maintains high performance wired networking
Connects over electrical lines for homes up to 5,000 sq. ft. (465 sq. m)
Ultra stable Powerline signal
Power Save mode reduces electrical consumption by up to 80% when idle
Press the Sync button to change existing encryption keys
Compatible with Powerline 600, 500, and 200 solutions
The TRENDnet TPL-420E2K should be available now from retailers and other TRENDnet partners for an MSRP of $129.99.
Thanks to TRENDnet for providing us with this information
Making a mockery of the “enthusiast” market has been a thing for as long as I can remember. From HDMI cables that cost hundreds of pounds, to speaker wire that makes promises so grand, it may as well be forged from unicorn horns. Standard cables are perfectly fine, typically the only time you’ll need a slightly more expensive cable is if you’re installing them into walls, where you want the cable to be more durable. So what about ethernet cables? How much should you be spending on one of those?
If you want “The Diamond” cable from AudioQuest, you can expect to pay £6899.00 for a 12m cable that comes with a 5 year warranty!
“The Diamond is a top-grade Ethernet Cable which is the result of a lifetime’s research by AudioQuest made from the very best materials available. This really is a ‘money no object’ cable for the dedicated Hi-Fi enthusiast that has extended into a world of digital audio sources.” – audiovisualonline
That’s about as much as I’m going to humour that affront to technology, as RJ45 signals are digital and unless you’re stringing together a bunch of rusty coat hangers to make your cables, a standard £9.98 20m Cat6 from OCUK will do the job nicely, especially with 8m of extra cable and a total saving of £6889.02!
I wonder if anyone has bought one…
What’s the most you would pay for a 12m RJ45 cable?
Setting up your home network can be a real hassle at times. You have the option of wireless signals, but that includes configurations as well as possible black-spots for the signal. Drilling holes through your walls might not be an option either, maybe because you rent and your landlord doesn’t want you to. So what option do you got left, you ask? Easy, use your existing power lines to transfer the signal. The Tenda AV1000 Gigabit Powerline Adapter is such a solution, and today I’m taking a look at the Starter kit.
The Ethernet over power circuitry is a great invention and one that has come quite a far since it started. The first devices only allowed for 100Mbit/s and some time later 200 Mbit/s speed, and that under the best conditions. While this might be enough for any internet traffic, it isn’t optimal for home networks that also handle a lot of file traffic between devices. Since then we’ve moved through the 500 and 600 MBit/s models and have now arrived at the full gigabit speed. And as the AV1000 name already suggests, I’m testing on of those today.
The increased speed capabilities make 3D/HD and other IPTV technologies work smoothly, even when multiple devices use the network at the same time. The powerline adapters are starting to become a real alternative to long cables while staying just easy configuration wise. The entire system is plug and play, so all you have to do is connect it, but there is a management software to change the Quality-of-Service (QoS) priority settings.
The Tenda AV1000 supports IGMP snooping, a process of listening to the Internet Group Management Protocol network traffic. By listening to these conversations, the switch maintains a map of which links need which IP multicast streams. It also has a 128-Bit AES encryption as well as the QoS service that can prioritize business traffic firstly, such as IPTV signals.
Tenda also made sure the devices are compatible with the latest AV2 HomePlug standards and are downwards compatible with 200M, 500M and 600M powerline products. It doesn’t matter if your other adapters are from Tenda, as long as they support the given standards. This in returns allows you to easily expand your current adapters with these new Gigabit ones without the need to scrap the old. That is awesome, if I may say so.
Each of the two P1000 adapters contained in this kit will only consume 0.5 watts in standby mode and the white design will make the devices just as invisible on your wall as the tiny power consumption on your power bill.
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.
Silverstone are known for their amazing cases such as the TJ11 or TJ07, if you want a chassis that is simply a modders dream then these are for you. Silverstone don’t only do Chassis though, they also have some amazing power supplies such as the platinum rated fan-less NJ520, completely silent with great performance. If this isn’t enough for you, Silverstone are also experts in cooling. This is the category we are going to concentrate on today and unusually it’s a notebook cooler rather than a CPU or GPU cooler that we going to put through its paces.
The Silverstone Noble Breeze NB05 is a multifunctional notebook cooler which combines cooling with a USB hub as well as an RJ-45 socket so that you can easily give a notebook without an RJ-45 socket Ethernet access. Let’s see how it performs and see if it lives up to the high expectations that I have for a Silverstone product.
For the packaging, Silverstone have used a clear PET blister pack. It’s a very simple and cheap way to package a product. With the nice insert, it does improve the look a lot. It protects the product as well as showing it off, the clear box also allows a lot of information to be shown.
As you can see, on the front of the package it lets you know that it’s compatible with notebooks up to 17″, it’s light, easy to carry and boasts a cross flow fan which results in better cooling and lower noise.
The back of the packaging gives you the same above information in a range of different languages along with the QR codes for the corresponding websites.
The most important information for us is the spec sheet that can be seen at the top of the packaging. It lets us know that the cross flow fan has a RPM of 1250 and a voltage of 5v resulting in a low 25db noise output. It also gives its dimensions and connections.
On the reverse side of this card it has more detailed information about the NB05’s dimensions as well as explaining that to use the USB3 hubs it might require an external source of power, which is sold separately. The warranty information can be found here also.
Inside the box, you will find the cooler, the USB cable and some foam pads to stop slipping and also give some protection to the cooler.
Seagate introduced us to the concept of Kinetic Open Storage Platform back in 2013 for the first time, and now they’re presenting the first HDD for this system. The Seagate Kinetic 4TB hard drive is designed for cloud storage applications and has built-in ethernet abilities.
The object-based storage drive has a built-in operating system and direct ethernet connectivity thereby eliminating bottlenecks in software applications by direct connection as well as reducing the total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for legacy software and hardware.
Besides the built-in operating system, the Seagate Kinetic hard drive has 512MB RAM and 64MB cache as well as dual SGMII Ethernet 1Gb/s ports and of course an application processor. Seagate says this system can bring down the overall running costs as much as 50% for data-centres by eliminating the need for extra hardware and the power consumption that comes with that.
The Kinetic Open Storage Platform is backed by a lot of large providers such as AOL, HP, Digital Sense and many more. A really interesting concept that Seagate cooked up and one that incredible useful for our ever-growing need for storage. Live demonstrations took place this week at the OpenStack Summit in Paris.
Thanks to Seagate for providing us with this information
Security cameras that run over a standard IP network are becoming more of a common place in the home and in a commercial environment, partly due to their ease of setup and the seamless integration in to an existing backbone, but also the ease of scaling the system up to the levels that we find in our supermarkets [for example] where tens, if not hundreds of cameras are connected in to a single environment. The additional benefit of utilising IP cameras though is the ability to connect into the system from a remote location and use it as though you are on the site itself. This is not where the selling points end though; power delivery to the cameras is another factor that has to be taken into account and with so many cameras in some instances being required, or the position where they required not the convenient for the purpose of mains power, the capacity to power the cameras directly from the network switch and through a single cable with the data to the camera, makes the speed of installation and the ease of expansion much quicker and easier.
Over the cameras that we’ve looked at previously, the TN4230 that we have here today is capable of being powered via PoE (Power over Ethernet) and additionally it is IP66 rated, meaning that it is suitable for installation outside, where exposure to the elements will test its resistance against whatever the weather can throw at it – just as well I’m in the UK for this part of the review seeing as our weather patterns change on a near daily basis. Alongside the option to connect the camera through an Ethernet cable, the TN4230 does allow for analogue connections to be made through a BNC interface with a mic-in and audio-out supplied through two 3.5mm ports. A digital relay output and RS-485 terminal further add to the feature set, allowing the camera to be connected to an existing security system where required and a power terminal is on hand for situations where PoE is not available.
To compliment the various connectivity options, the TN4230 boasts a 1600 x 1200 UXGA 2MP sensor, which although not 1080p, is near enough HD quality and along side infra-red low-light operation we also find 4GB of on-board storage available through a microSD card, two-way audio and even a heater to keep the camera warm during cooler periods. At this point I’ll note that whilst cooler operation is better for computer hardware, in an external environment, cooler temperatures bring moisture which is not the best companion inside an electrical device. Cloud access through Compro’s C4Home mobile app and desktop management through the included ComproView software make light work of checking up to see if everything is as it should be with the capacity to send out alerts via email when pre-defined events occur; such as motion detection. All this for around £260 may seem expensive but as we are about to find out, a hands on look around the camera may justify the price point.
Inside the box alongside the camera, we don’t get a whole lot as far as accessories go. Aside from a quick setup guide and a set of terminal headers for connecting the relay trigger, external power and RS-485 output, there’s little more than the camera to be found. Alongside the camera, Compro have sent us their BM-100 wall mounting kit as we will obviously need to get this up and fitted for testing outdoors.
Over the last couple of years the internet has been going through a radical increase in speed and with some connections passing well over the 100Mbps mark, many people are now looking for the next generation of routers that can keep up with the high-speed connections that are on offer. As part of the connection process, every ISP (Internet Service Provider) tends to provide us with their own branded routers such as BT’s ‘Home Hub’ and Virgin’s ‘Super Hub’ (in the case of the two leading Internet providers in the UK); but let’s be honest, whilst they all claim that their wireless router is the better than everyone else’s – they’re not necessarily the best.
When I took a look at Netgear’s R6300 Wireless AC router back towards the start of the year, the performance that I experienced both on the local network and through the internet was far superior to my BT Home Hub that I was provided with – especially when I saw my connection speed to the internet go up by around 5Mbps. This is generally the same story across the board for many people. We are on the whole demanding more from our wireless routers and the ISP provided equipment is not matching our needs, so it is soon being replaced by after-market alternatives that have so much more to offer. Netgear are one such brand that is considered by many. Having been one the of the industries leading infrastructure manufacturers for many years and the consumer level products have been a major part of their business model, with high customer ratings and renowned reliability proving they are one of the best out there.
As the internet has grown to be faster and faster, Netgear have been pushing to come up with a router that not only meets the demands of today’s heavy users, but with features that are ready for the next generation of wireless devices. After many months of R&D (Research and Development), towards the start of this year, a line of dual-band Gigabit wireless was brought to market and the R6300 was one of these. Delivering super fast, dual band wireless with speeds of up to 1300Mbps across an AC connection it has soon become one of the best routers on the market. The user interface also saw a massive overhaul with all the connectivity and configuration options that the end-user may need – laid out in an intuitive design. Once you top off the package with USB port(s) for connecting printers and storage devices to, enabling them to be accessed across the network or remotely through Netgear’s ReadyShare functions, it becomes apparent that Netgear are offering a little more than your run-of-the-mill router.
Like many routers, Netgear’s package is simple and to the point. With little more than a DC power adaptor and a CAT5e Ethernet cable to connect the router to a modem needed, a simple pack of paperwork rounds off all the bits that you’ll need to get things up and running.
In the grand scheme of networking vendors, TP-Link is not going to be the first brand amongst the big players that one would normally think of, but this is not to say that they are a small company. For a number of years, the Shenzhen based company has been making networking products ranging from un-managed switches, through to routers, wireless adaptors enterprise level managed switching gear. With the recent introduction of powerline technology, its only to be expected that powerline adaptors are going to be a part of their growing catalogue of products.
The 500Mbps kit that I’m going to take a look at today is not the first powerline kit to come out of the TP-Link production line, with a 200Mbps kit already available, but this kit sees faster speeds with a [up to] 500Mbps link speed and Gigabit Ethernet on each plug. Another feature that the TL-PA551 offers up is AC pass through which as simple as it sounds, allows the plug to still be used whilst the powerline does its work.
For those of you out there that follow my reviews, I hope you recall the time when I was very hesitant about powerline technology but with this view very much reversed, it seems I’ve grown a soft spot for it, as it can easily link different areas of a house together with ease and with no fuss – with some kits on offer that eliminate WiFi black spots or remove the need for wireless extenders altogether. This kit though with its AC pass through and Gigabit Ethernet ports is already looking to me to be a great option as it has the prospect to give a more than adequate throughput speed whilst still allowing the plug to be used for another electrical device.
TP-Link off this particular model in two SKUs, the first is a single plug which can extend an existing TP-Link powerline set-up even with 200Mbps models as they are full backwards compatible. The second variation and the one I have here to look at is a starter kit with two plugs and two cables. Also included is a set-up CD with the Powerline Utility, a user manual and a leaflet for some of TP-Link’s other products.
Over the last few months, the number of wireless storage products and options has been growing and each of them has their own individual selling points; Patriots Gauntlet Node for example allows the user to install a drive of their own choosing based on their capacity needs, whilst ADATA’s DashDrive Air provides storage by connecting a USB hard drive or SD card whilst internally it houses a battery pack to charge a device through the USB port. There are also options from Kingston and Seagate as well, but overall there is one option that every other product of this nature on the market lacks and this is LAN.
In such a tightly fought market, Corsair have thrown a new connectivity option into the mix and this sets the Voyager Air apart making it usable not only over wireless and USB like other drives can, but also over a wired network when at home or the office. This simple addition along with a massive 1TB capacity in the case of the drive I’m looking at today, swiftly pushes the Voyager Air in front of the competition.
On top of the LAN connectivity and massive 1TB capacity, Corsair’s drive also houses a large capacity Li-On battery allowing for up to seven hours of use from a single charge, USB3.0 is also available to use allowing for faster direct transfers to the drive and considering this is a portable drive, there is also an in-car power adaptor allowing the device to be charged whilst on the go – ideal for those long car journeys and allowing the kids to watch their favourite episodes of Dora the Explorer on an iPad or Android tablet without having to fill both devices with content of their own.
There are certainly a lot going for the Voyager Air, but it really comes down to how well it performs in the real world. After all it’s no use if the battery doesn’t last long or the mobile app is very ropey around the edges making connecting and using the drive hard or even impossible.
Aside the drive itself, Corsair include a regional accessory pack with mains power adaptor with UK and European tip in our case (naturally US customers will get a different tip), the in-car 12V charger, a USB3.0 cable and USB to DC power cable. All this can be kept together in the included bag and a user manual gives information on how to get yourself up and running.