How to keep your home secure this Autumn and Winter

October marks National Security Month (NSM) in the UK, and with day light saving time over, there will be an increased cover of darkness as we draw closer to colder months. Although many of us may prefer warmer and brighter days, burglars certainly do not, as they have more opportunity to break in to homes with the added protection of darkness before home owners return from their day. In fact, research by the Co-operative Insurance Group shows that after the clocks go back, burglaries spike by a staggering 38%*. We at D-Link understand the importance of home security and being assured that your home, family and belongings are protected, which is why in light of NSM we have compiled unique research and put together our top tips on how you can keep your home secure, during this period.

TIP 1: Don’t advertise on social media
Although it is common nowadays to post frequent life updates on social media, if you are going away for a break or to visit family this Winter, you should think carefully about what you post online. The idea of sharing your exciting holiday or family snaps online can be tempting, but it can also be dangerous as it advertises an empty home to burglars. The more people who know your house will be or is empty, the more you put yourself at risk to the possibility of a break in. Instead, try to just share your pictures directly with family and friends, or wait until after you return before posting.

TIP 2: Secure windows and doors
Ensure you keep all doors and windows closed and locked whenever you leave the house. Whilst this may seem obvious, our research found that 20% of those asked have left their doors unlocked before, so it’s important to check before leaving the house, as open windows and doors are viewed by burglars as an open invitation to your home.

TIP 3: Reconsider everyday habits
Often, it is some of the small everyday habits that people have that hold the greatest influence on the level of security of their home. Making simple changes to behaviour such as always setting alarms, changing security codes on a frequent basis, leaving radios or lights in your house on to make the property appeared occupied, and keeping all keys out of sight and away from the letterbox, can make a significant difference and deter an attack.

TIP 4: Ensure you have a security solution installed
Our research found that only 9% of those asked had security cameras installed, and just 18% had movement sensors installed.  Smart home solutions like these can be simple to install and highly effective, and can even give you control and quick real-time viewing of your home via a mobile phone/tablet. What’s more, with a 180 degree, HD view of your home, there’s a good chance you won’t miss a trick. This is why D-Link has created the DCS-960L .

The DCS-960L is the world’s first 180-degree Wireless AC Wide Eye Camera, offering a horizon-wide view that easily captures your entire room, wall-to-wall, in high- quality 720p, making it a home security solution with an eye for detail. Featuring unique de-warping technology, it maximises the video quality with minimal distortion, letting you see more of your home at a glance.  What’s more, it offers video recording, motion/sound detection and the ability to view and control from your smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as receiving push notifications to your mobile device when any suspicious movement or sound is detected. Simple to set up and use, the DCS-960L is the ideal solution for any home owner.

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At D-Link, we do not just want to help to protect people from financial loss, but also the psychological trauma and stress of a home burglary. That’s why we understand the need to create innovative solutions to help you keep you and your home as secure as possible, all year around.

Technology in Education

It is widely agreed that technology is the essence of innovation in today’s society. Every day, a new app or gadget is brought to the market that serves to make our lives easier in some way, and the education system is no exception. In fact, technology is moving at such a pace that in schools ICT is no longer a lesson to be taught, but a tool that is imperative for the teaching and learning of other subjects.shutterstock_143627581.jpg

Laptops, tablets, and other mobile devices have become essential learning tools of today’s classroom in all subjects, providing easy and fast fingertip access to a world of knowledge unavailable to previous generations of pupils. With the increase of BYOD – the umbrella term describing the learning method by which students and teachers take in their own mobile device – school supplied computers are becoming less important, possibly in a similar way that the advance of classrooms’ interactive whiteboards rendered blackboards obsolete. Moreover, the concept of 1:1 learning, which refers to every pupil having a device that they can take home at the end of the day and continue to use for both educational and personal purposes, is becoming a growing trend in classrooms across the country.

With BYOD and online learning aids becoming the norm, pupils in lessons will undoubtedly need vast network capacity, as they simultaneously require broadband access, and may also have multiple devices running multiple applications, all using network resources. To support this demand, many schools are beginning to implement a Managed Wireless Network (MWN). A MWN is a system that allows for a more powerful and capacious network through the use of faster access points, a wireless AC standard and band steering.

Furthermore, virtual reality is also a now growing aspect of classroom learning and can contribute a key role in providing students with an active rather than passive experience, through fully immersing them in an engaged learning experience with minimal distractions. From William Shakespeare appearing before students’ eyes in order to provide an analysis of one of his plays as students watch it, to students feeling like they are in a real life laboratory when performing a science experiment, virtual reality enables students to be transported to another world through the use of feedback headsets, tactile gloves and motion sensors, helping create a memorable learning experience.

It is important to consider that the security that schools use to protect their staff and pupils is also evolving, in line with new-generation networks. IP surveillance is paving the way for the future of school security systems, in particular IP surveillance, which is the digitalised, networked HD version of CCTV. With IP surveillance, authorised users can see recorded video from any camera, accessing images via their PC, or any mobile device. Such a system provides the flexibility of multiple views and angles, unlimited storage and easier search and retrieval.
However, a greater amount of technology in classrooms may also have some drawbacks.
For instance, it is unknown if a network will be able to cope with an influx of devices and what upgrades, improvements or complete rebuilds would be necessary to future-proof any systems installed or considered. Not to mention the fact that new technology drives significant change in the relationship between teacher and student and this also needs taking in to account. D-Link networks are easy to set up, use, and understand, serving to overcome this issue.

Inevitably, increased time spent online also leaves children more vulnerable to cyber bullying, offensive material, and radicalisation. Therefore, it is vital that policy emphasises issues such as permitted sites and devices, agreed hours of use, mandatory check-in procedure for student’s devices, and the consequences of inappropriate use. There is also the need for constant reconsideration of policy content and adaption to changing circumstances by renewing it regularly, as technology continues to evolve.

Overall, the future of technology in education appears to be about access, anywhere learning, and collaboration, both locally and globally, as well as a network robust enough to support the new demands placed upon it. With the introduction of many innovative systems and a changing attitude to the importance of technology in the classroom, it is apparent that technology has the power to transform how people learn.

Why your business should upgrade to Wave 2 Standard

Recent government figures have shown that Britain’s productivity rate revealed a gap of 16% compared with the other six members of the G7 group of industrial nations according to international comparisons published by the Office for National Statistics. This productivity gap – which is measured by economic output per worker per hour – indicates that businesses, their employees, and their equipment are not working in the most efficient way possible.

Wave 2 can help to combat this as it enables workforces to connect more and work faster, making them overall much more productive. Paul Routledge, Country Manager of D-Link UK and Ireland, commented ‘If organisations that are dependent on speed of access to information do not upgrade to Wave 2, there is a real danger they could be left behind.’

D-Link Wave 2 Wireless Network

Wave 2 is an addendum to the original 802.11ac wireless specification (Wave 1). It features MU-MIMO technology (Multi-User Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) that enables access points to talk to multiple devices simultaneously, without experiencing a lag or delay that can hinder productivity.

‘MU-MIMO means that all four antennas can speak to many devices, and that essentially means that a single Wave 2 device acts as multiple Wave 1 devices’ – commented Craig Kirby, a Technical Engineer at D-Link. ‘It is like having a couple of access points in one.’

MU-MIMO allows more devices to be added to the network, with Wave 2 access points allowing up to four devices to be connected at any one time. As the number of devices and cloud-based services that employees use is gradually increasing and is estimated to grow further, businesses are even more dependent on reliable Wi-Fi Solutions. Wave 2 ensures that all employees can achieve a steady and consistent connection.

While Wave 1 allowed for 20MHz, 40MHz and 80MHz channel widths, Wave 2 can accommodate up to 160MHz. The channel width determines how broad the signal is for transferring data: the wider the signal, the more data can pass through. Increasing this channel width therefore increases the speed and throughput of a wireless broadcast.

Furthermore, Wave 2 provides increased flexibility by introducing a fourth spatial stream. As the Wi-Fi Alliance says: ‘Device speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams’. The more spatial streams that are available, the better the device’s performance will be’ Craig Kirby adds. ‘As you are introducing a fourth spatial stream with Wave 2, this means that you could have an 88MHZ and a 160MHz broadcast at the same time.’

Businesses should be aware of how many devices each of their employees is using. The number of connected devices that are now connected in a business environment has grown exponentially, often leaving wireless networks grinding to a halt. Sharing files or online applications can start to reduce productivity of the work force. Inevitably, this demand is only going to increase as time passes which is why most forward-thinking businesses are looking to upgrade their network before severe problems arise.
Why D-Link?
The breadth of wireless products D-Link has remains unrivalled. As you can see from our consumer portfolio, we are expanding quite substantially this year with a number of consumer routers being launched that feature Wave 2 technology, and we can expect to see the same for business wireless very soon. With 31 years of industry experience behind us, we have a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the market place, which is why businesses across the UK have come to trust D-Link to provide bespoke solutions they can rely on. A UK based team of experts are on hand to help with either technical aspects or sales aspects, making the relationships we hold with our partners invaluable.

Furthermore, all Wave 2 technology featured in our catalogue is backwards compatible, meaning that Wave 2-enabled devices can still connect to previous 802.11 devices, but in this case, they would operate at the speed and functionality of the older technology. MU-MIMO will only operate between other Wave 2- enabled devices or access points, and the data transmission will revert to typical single-user transfer rates when encountering previous-generation devices ensuring that devices using the previous technologies are not rendered obsolete.

In terms of price, Wave 2 devices themselves cost only around 10% more than the older, Wave 2 standard, model devices. This is a small increase in cost for potentially double the data transfer rates. Also, although the cost per unit is greater, less access points are required, which may result in a reduced overall cost. Naturally, the overall cost of upgrading a network to Wave 2 will depend on how much of the core infrastructure needs to be upgraded.

Given increased data transfer speeds, businesses with a large data footprint, such as those that offer online services, should give serious consideration to upgrading their wireless network to the Wave 2 standard. ‘In my opinion’ says Paul Routledge, ‘Wave 2 Wi-Fi solutions are a great opportunity for dealers who collaborate with leading vendors and provide solutions that can benefit their customers’ business.’

Whilst Wave 2 alone does not solve the conundrum of the productivity gap, it certainly forms part of a series of solutions that can help businesses to succeed and increase productivity.

Interoperability to drive the networking solution market in 2017

Networking

Interoperability and opportunity are set to define the 2017 operating environment for the networking solutions market, fuelled by a more eclectic range of consumer channels and a demand for integrated, agile, and accessible solutions.

With a multi-channel retail environment raising customer expectations to new heights, buyers are just as likely to buy their technology in DIY or stationary stores, as they are specialist departments. This renewed choice and fluidity has been compounded by the explosion of online retail.

It’s a scenario ripe for potential and one that demands ever more flexibility from the entire channel eco-system if it is to be fully exploited and new routes to market progressed.

One such opportunity is the fast-evolving smart home market, which if the many ambitious growth forecasts of industry commentators bear out, will see connected living become increasingly mainstream. This growing appetite is reflected in our focus at D-Link as we look to build on a rapidly expanding portfolio of products from water to window sensors which can be controlled from a smart phone or tablet, offering simple, secure and cost-saving benefits which we are keen to convey to the man in the street.

It’s an area where attention usually centres on the all-singing and dancing innovation, but of equal merit is the actual enabler, which makes the magic happen. The humble router is a case in point; the bread and butter of our offering, bolstered by our 30-year track record in leading this market, we have seen it underpin a vast wealth of applications and now acts as a gateway to multiple smart solutions, powering game-changing innovation.

Integration becomes equally important around this technology, driving solutions that sync with others, while more broadly teaming up with other vendors to boost accessibility and operability, a cohesion which is less likely to be achieved by a disparate range of apps.

A case in point, is D Link’s recent introduction of the first Apple HomeKit compatible camera. HomeKit – Apple’s single ecosystem for smart home products is a prime example of a platform built to enable vendors to collaborate, creating a smart home platform in which products from multiple vendors are interoperable with each other. Another prime example is D-Link’s four-way partnership with N Power, Nest Labs and Yale, an arrangement which saw us pool our collective strengths in heating, security, energy and wireless networking solutions to create a family of connected home products. Trialled as a fully integrated home automation offering across 300 homes in the Midlands, it is the kind of collaboration which can bring connected living to the mass market, challenging assumptions that this state of the art innovation is the sole domain of the wealthy.

Indeed, integration and accessibility is a reoccurring theme that will underpin our broader efforts this year. In a climate of tighter IT budgets, where the customer expects more bang for their buck, solutions that work straight out of the box and can be integrated with existing infrastructure have never been more important. It’s an expectation that manifests itself in

different ways across both the business and consumer world. The former expects scalability and easy configuration so that infrastructure can be tweaked or overhauled in a simple, low cost way to adapt to challenges and demands, while being future-proof and able to be used in different applications. For the consumer, it is about solutions that can be used in different ways to optimise the value, such as the baby monitor that doubles up as a pet cam.

Equally high on the agenda in our hyper connected world, is a wireless offering that meets many demands, in terms of the opportunities for smaller resellers in areas such as bed and breakfasts to the large-scale examples of schools, hospitals and large businesses, specifically the pubs and restaurant sector.

Increasingly we turn to the Cloud, an area that offers real growth potential, powering solutions such as Central Wi-Fi Manager (CWM). Designed to thrive in demanding and multi-site installations and enable the management of 500 APs through a single, secure portal, it’s a type of technology with broader implications; by enabling resellers to manage customers Wi-Fi externally, it enhances the scope of their offering as resellers evolve into more of a managed service provider role.

With our growth as a business inextricably linked to the achievements of our resellers, this type of development which adds value to their offering beyond simply product provision is a key focus driving the kind of differentiation which will raise their head above the parapet in a crowded market. This relationship will be nurtured with technical support from site surveys, training, sales and marketing

Conversely, the opportunity that the demand for wireless and 24/7 online throws up one of the market’s biggest challenges – Security. Ensuring our solutions are robust and watertight, while delivering what the customer expects is paramount. It’s a balancing act of driving innovation while containing the risk posed by increased accessibility and one that the entire channel will have to negotiate as it gears up to capitalise on a market buzzing with opportunity.

The World’s First Power Over Ethernet Switches Featuring ONVIF (Open Network Video Interface Forum) Support

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The past couple of months have been significant for D-Link. In June we celebrated 30 years in business – a time period in which we’ve witnessed a great deal of change, both in terms of us as a business and events that have taken place in the channel. We have also continued to innovate and improve our offering and in July, we launched our new DGS-1100 MP/MPP series of switches, the world’s first PoE switches featuring ONVIF support. They’ve been designed to dramatically simplify the installation and management of IP CCTV systems.

Essentially the unique inclusion of ONVIF support enables the DGS-1100 series of switches to automatically recognise both D-Link and third party IP cameras, Network Video Recorders (NVRs) and other IP devices such as access control systems. Automatic device recognition via ONVIF means installation teams just need to plug network cables into CCTV cameras and other components, connect the cables to the smart switch and the system’s elements will appear in the switch’s dedicated surveillance optimised web interface.

Each of the DGS-1100 series switches is a fully featured smart switch. Security installers can benefit from advanced networking features and network engineers have a full range of capabilities available. D-Link’s auto-surveillance VLAN function is one example; it automatically creates a bandwidth protected virtual network for video, ensuring high-quality delivery of real-time video for monitoring and control, without compromising the transmission of conventional network data.

This feature means that in many locations DGS-1100 series switches can serve double duty, supporting a surveillance system and simultaneously providing high-speed connectivity to the business. With a rich feature set, advanced features and easy deployment, the DGS-1100 series of switches are set to integrate seamlessly with your surveillance network. These products are just the latest examples of the pioneering spirit that has characterised D-Link over the last 30 years, and we’re committed to building on it.

Availability and Pricing

  • DGS-1100-10MP – £203.33 (Exc. VAT)
  • DGS-1100-10MPP – £219.16 (Exc. VAT)
  • DGS-1100-26MP – £332.49 (Exc. VAT)

 

 

 

D-Link’s 30th Birthday – Looking to the Future of Smart Home Technology

same-birthdays

In the second of our series of blog posts leading up to our 30th Birthday we’re going to take a look at our entry into the smart home market and take a look at D-Link’s vision going forward. Ultimately for D-Link it comes down to four key industry segments driving our smart home vision. Over the past decade consumers the world over have rapidly embraced mobile telecommunications as connectivity has allowed them to stay more and more in touch with their friends and their colleagues.

The vision that many have for this technology, is to create a smart home that will contain multiple connected devices such as: appliances, control actuators, personal health and home environment sensors, entertainment consoles and displays. Data from these devices can be exchanged easily in support of a range of smart home services. Examples include local and remote home energy management, security monitoring, wellness monitoring and also the sharing of Internet and entertainment content.

D-Link first entered into the smart home market with a range of five products, these consisted of the Home monitor HD, motion sensor, smart plug; music everywhere and our pan tilt and zoom camera, the mydlink Home monitor 360 all work together in unison in order to create a smart home environment.

Looking ahead to our offering in the smart home market it is our recently launched smart home security kit that takes the mydlink smart home to another level. The kit includes the battery motion sensor, the siren with optional battery back up and the connected home hub, providing a combination of Z-wave and Wi-Fi allowing users to create an entry level security system in their home using smart home technology.

#Dlinkturns30

D-Link’s 30th Birthday

Birthday

As D-Link’s 30th birthday is soon approaching (23rd June for those who didn’t know) we will be releasing a series of blog posts leading up to this significant date in D-Link’s calendar, documenting the company’s history as well as looking to the future as the company looks to grow even further.

In this blog post we’ll take things right back to the beginning and take a look at the technological advancements that D-Link has made in the last 30 years. Over this period of time the networking market has changed drastically, below are some particular highlights for D-Link:

  • 1996 – Launched 1st Managed Ethernet Switch
  • 2002 – Launched D-Link’s 1st Wireless IP Surveillance Camera
  • 2005 – Patent for D-Link “Zone Defence Security”
  • 2006 – Worlds 1st D-Link Green brand Product
  • 2007 – D-Link becomes the first company in the networking industry to introduce Green Ethernet technology in its Gigabit switches.
  • 2011 – 1st Cloud Camera
  • 2013 – Launch of Baby Camera
  • 2014 – Introduction of series of connected home products

As can be seen from the timeline, D-Link has come from relatively modest beginnings in Taiwan into an exciting global brand offering the latest network solutions.

In 2014 D-Link’s first connected home products were introduced to the market and this has been a key focus of our consumer business ever since. With D-Link’s recently launched Z-Wave range of smart home products coming to the market this year and further smart home products in the pipeline this is certainly an area of growth that D-Link will look to exploit.