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Skydog Kickstarter Router Ships to Backers, Retail in October

By - Source: PowerCloud Systems | B 16 comments

The Kickstarter-funded network router arrives in October.

PowerCloud Systems said last week that the Kickstarter-funded Skydog networking router is shipping this week to more than 1,000 backers. After that, the $149 device will be made to the general public for direct purchase starting in October via the Skydog website. Skydog aims to "disrupt" the home networking market by offering a level of visibility and management not seen in competing products.

"Skydog is a direct response to the new intricacies of modern connected homes aimed at improving the connected experience for everyone," the company said. "With Skydog, the ability to monitor who uses a network, with what device, and with what purpose, even remotely from a smartphone or tablet, is a reality."

The Skydog system is comprised of a Wireless N dual-band router and an HTML5-based application that can be accessed from anywhere on any device. It promises a high level of visibility and control of the user's home network, showing who is actually online, which devices are being used, what websites are being accessed and how much bandwidth is being used.

The hardware specs include dual-band connectivity, offering up to 300 Mbps on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz channels. Other features include "robust" WPA2-PSK security, Gigabit Ethernet wired ports, and a compact design of 17 x 11 x 2.5 centimeters. Naturally, the HTML5 app requires a compatible browser like Chrome, Firefox and Safari on mobile and the typical set of updated browsers for the desktop.

Skydog allows the user to set time limits for specific websites that are accessed by a specific user. This time limit covers all devices, not just a single MAC address, and is based on a calendaring system such as school days versus weekends. When time limits on the specified websites have been reached, the administrator and/or the individual user will be notified. That's just one example of how this solution can be used in the home environment.

"Skydog represents a robust solution for the demands of today’s connected home," the company said. "Families once didn’t think about the home network as long as it worked. In today's "always on" homes, parents need to consider the myriad of devices their family is using to connect to the network, protecting the information available on the network, managing streaming services, making sure applications like Skype are available to work-at-home parents, and more."

For more information about Skydog, head here. Below is a list of features this product promises to bring to home networking this fall:

Real-Time Visibility

  • Monitors the network, including who is online, which devices are being used, usage tracking of specific sites and how much bandwidth is being used.
  • Sends text alerts when specified issues arise, such as an Internet outage, or a new guest seeking to access the network. Skydog also speeds the diagnosis of problems, such as checking Wi-Fi signals of devices.
  • Notifies the administrator or individual user when time limits on specified websites have been reached, even when those websites are accessed across multiple devices.

Easy and Powerful Home Network Management

  • Actively manages broadband usage by assigning priority bandwidth access to certain users, such as a work-at-home parent, or applications, such as a streamed movie to the family room television.
  • Enables time limits for specific website access by user, covering all devices, based on a calendaring system, such as school days versus weekends.
  • Provides firewalled guest access, granting an extra layer of security to the family network.
  • Allows for remote network management, such as a parent's home or vacation property, using the same mobile application.

Ease of Set-up and Use

  • Installs quickly and easily using the Skydog app.
  • Organizes attached devices by primary user to simplify and unify actions like setting policies on applications or Internet use.
  • Easily piggybacks on existing routers or broadband gateways, to provide the additional functionality only available with Skydog.
  • Works on any connected mobile device using a powerful, yet simple HTML5-based app, allowing for anytime, anywhere visibility and control of users and devices on the home network.

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Display 16 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    firefoxx04 , September 3, 2013 8:01 PM
    Sounds like a decent alternative to the linux tomato routers for people who dont want to deal with firmware flashing and such.
  • -1 Hide
    razor512 , September 3, 2013 9:58 PM
    Insanely overpriced and unreliable. It has an unnecessary cloud requirement as most of those features are offered by many 3rd party firmware, and can be accessed from anywhere, no cloud needed.

    The router it,s self is a generic cheap implementation of a low end SOC, with cheap components, eg while higher quality (similarly priced, and even many cheaper ones will use higher quality capacitors and other passives). The router is simply a $30-50 router with an insane price markup, and heavily cloud reliant meaning it now has an additional point of failure. If the cloud service dies, then your router becomes very useless. If you decide to stop paying them for the cloud crap then the router becomes rather useless.
  • 0 Hide
    azgard , September 4, 2013 12:12 AM
    Quote:
    Insanely overpriced and unreliable. It has an unnecessary cloud requirement as most of those features are offered by many 3rd party firmware, and can be accessed from anywhere, no cloud needed.

    The router it,s self is a generic cheap implementation of a low end SOC, with cheap components, eg while higher quality (similarly priced, and even many cheaper ones will use higher quality capacitors and other passives). The router is simply a $30-50 router with an insane price markup, and heavily cloud reliant meaning it now has an additional point of failure. If the cloud service dies, then your router becomes very useless. If you decide to stop paying them for the cloud crap then the router becomes rather useless.


    Which network company are you affiliated with? This router is a home oriented package offered at a much lower price point offering you would otherwise get from a company like Cisco. Which for example your generally looking at a router starting at $300 with a service contract of $150+ per year. This is hardware +3 years a steal in comparison.
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , September 4, 2013 1:21 AM
    As long as they add a real simple way to unlock ports im all-in.
    Im still fighting my way out of allowing port forwards to be able to host games online in older games.
  • 1 Hide
    cmdr001 , September 4, 2013 2:06 AM
    @azgard

    Do you happen to be one of the devs of this scam or a investor of it? Because really, for the price you're being charged you can get a number of other routers of superior quality even that can carry similar firmware with the same and even more functions and not have to rely on an external service that taxes you an additional fee.

    I'm not sure why you're jumping to enterprise grade material from Cisco and stuff when quoting prices and then you're comparing it to a supposedly home environment router.
  • -1 Hide
    azgard , September 4, 2013 4:19 AM
    Quote:
    @azgard

    Do you happen to be one of the devs of this scam or a investor of it? Because really, for the price you're being charged you can get a number of other routers of superior quality even that can carry similar firmware with the same and even more functions and not have to rely on an external service that taxes you an additional fee.

    I'm not sure why you're jumping to enterprise grade material from Cisco and stuff when quoting prices and then you're comparing it to a supposedly home environment router.


    Enterprise? I'm not even using enterprise pricing with cisco buddy, thats for the small business equipment. Triple my prices and then you start enterprise pricing. Still your thrashing the product because it's 'overpriced' when it's quite clear your buying a service package with it, the thing you complain about and level as junk.

    But now that I think about it, how do you even have any idea how well this product even perform's? Unless your a backer you shouldn't even have one.
  • 0 Hide
    Jonjolt , September 4, 2013 5:23 AM
    I don't see any specs, nor can I find them anywhere. There are more pictures of the Admin UI than anything else. I bet I'd brick that thing in no time. I'll stay with my Cisco 3845 it's as loud as a vacuum cleaner sometimes but it's a beast and can take everything I can throw at it.
  • -1 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , September 4, 2013 5:23 AM
    Quote:
    @azgard

    Do you happen to be one of the devs of this scam or a investor of it? Because really, for the price you're being charged you can get a number of other routers of superior quality even that can carry similar firmware with the same and even more functions and not have to rely on an external service that taxes you an additional fee.

    I'm not sure why you're jumping to enterprise grade material from Cisco and stuff when quoting prices and then you're comparing it to a supposedly home environment router.



    The fact that this relied on crowd funding should have been the first clue this was a scam.

    Good ideas don't have trouble finding funding.
  • 0 Hide
    Grandmastersexsay , September 4, 2013 5:36 AM
    Quote:
    As long as they add a real simple way to unlock ports im all-in.
    Im still fighting my way out of allowing port forwards to be able to host games online in older games.


    I don't know how anyone could make it any simpler, nor would I want them to. People like you have led to routers that that support UPnP, a horrible security risk that everyone should turn off. The problem is that many people don't even know that anyone behind their router can automatically map a port without a username and password.

    Routers don't need to be dumbed down any more than they already are. Stop being lazy and spend 5 minutes to figure it out on your own.
  • 1 Hide
    internetlad , September 4, 2013 7:37 AM
    Is this an article or an ad?
  • 0 Hide
    Kamab , September 4, 2013 8:05 AM
    I backed (and received) this and I have a WRT610N v2 router, which was running dd-wrt. I liked the idea and already I think the ability to set up multiple networks with different security and bandwidth allocation is useful. I don't know if it was the best price possible, but I had been waiting for similar router configuration options for a while (QoS can be hard to use, this interface is simple).

    I'm not sure how I feel about the online control panel yet. It does seem like it could be an additional point of failure. So far I am glad I backed this project.
  • 0 Hide
    booyaah , September 4, 2013 8:09 AM
    So I have an ASUS RT-AC66U flashed w/DDWRT. The firmware flashing was quite easy, just stick in USB stick with the firmware file, hold the reset button and reboot it); I had never flashed my router's firmware before and I don't consider myself a Linux expert.

    - I have OpenVPN server/client setup (granted these require more technical expertise)
    - I can remotely access my router from anywhere using SSL.
    - I can also SSH into the linux command line for fine grained control (adding users to my vpn list).
    - I can monitor network bandwidth and view historical reports.
    - I can handle multiple static WAN IPs much like a commercial router does.
    - I can setup multiple subnets...the possibilities are endless.

    I don't see any advantage to this Kickstarter router even from a hardware perspective. No AC band (future proofing), no external antennas, does it even have a USB drive? For $25 extra, go with a superior router AC66U especially if you want to stream 1080p video wirelessly the signal is great.
  • 0 Hide
    razor512 , September 4, 2013 9:08 AM
    The router has an fccid U2M-WBR4200AGN

    The router is a generic non branded router sold to a range of companies that want to put their name on the product (kinda like store branded ketchup).

    It is a bare bones SOC implementation, that is further underclocked and aftermarket limited to keep the band edge emissions below the FCC limit without the need of additional shielding, and thus further saving cost.

    It is an N600 router that is built down to an increadibly low cost.

    it uses bottom of the range hardware, and then charges money for a cloud service that is not needed to offer the functionality that it offers.

    It is like making a toaster that has a special key and a crank to get the bread out, and you have to call the toaster company so they can send someone over as a steep fee to get the bread out after it has been toasted.

    With that router, you are basically paying a price premium to have an unreliable cloud connection that can go down at any time for any reason (eg not profitable enough, time to move into the spam business and leave skydog customers with overpriced paperweights)

    the router it's self is not new and has the specs:

    CPU: Atheros AR1022 (need someone who has the router to telnet into it, or connect into the serial connector on the PCB to find out the CPU speed) (The board does not require the 3.3v VCC pin for the serial connector, so just ground and Tx and Rx are needed)

    Flash: 8MB
    RAM: 64MB Winbond W9751G6KB-25

    2.4GHz wifi radio: (built into SOC) Atheros AR1022

    5GHz wifi radio: mini pcie addon card Atheros AR9382

    Gigabit ethernet is also handled by the main SOC Atheros AR1022
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , September 4, 2013 9:59 AM
    So, this outdated router relies on a cloud service for configuration? What's the point of WPA2-PSK then? The router offers no real security.... Your network could be more easily attacked through the cloud service....
  • 1 Hide
    razor512 , September 4, 2013 10:09 AM
    Quote:
    So, this outdated router relies on a cloud service for configuration? What's the point of WPA2-PSK then? The router offers no real security.... Your network could be more easily attacked through the cloud service....


    While someone can hack the cloud service and change your settings, that attack will be unlikely to be done by your neighbor, but since the cloud service keeps track of all usage and web activity (including which sites you are on, which IP's you connected to and for how long.

    You can get the warm feeling of knowing that the NSA won't have to go through as much trouble to know what you are doing, they just have to ask skydog.
  • 0 Hide
    darknate , September 4, 2013 3:28 PM
    "The fact that this relied on crowd funding should have been the first clue this was a scam.

    Good ideas don't have trouble finding funding."

    Wait....it received funding so its a good idea but how it received it means it's not? Make up your mind whb you decide to comment instead of backtracking over yourself.