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:
- 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.