D-Link Takes to the Clouds


D-Link Launches Cloud Initiative

D-Link's On Cloud Nine!

HardwareZone was at Marriot Hotel earlier today to witness D-Link's inaugural launch of their Cloud initiative. In a nutshell, the Taiwanese firm's new campaign involves a rather practical ecosystem of online services as well as networking devices with remote management facilities. A total of seven products were unveiled today, consisting of four IP cameras (including one pan-and-tilt model), two routers, and a NAS-ish network video recorder. Observably, at the heart of D-Link's cloud-based products is the 'mydlink' portal. To put things in perspective, this platform enables users to access, control, as well as configure their networking products from any location in the world as long as they are connected to the Internet. In addition, 'mydlink' apps on mobile platforms such as Android and iOS are already available, while support for other operating systems such as Microsoft's Windows Phone are said to be cooking in the pipeline. D-Link did not provide a definitive release date when we queried them about the actual availability though. 

 We heard from Mr Ted Kuo, D-Link's Global Strategy Officer, that the Cloud idea has been brewing with the Taiwanese networking firm for years in fact. And it is only recently that they've managed to overcome all the engineering obstacles (like phone integration etc) to make the Cloud ecosystem a reality. We guess this picture sums up D-Link's initiative pretty well.

Mr Jacky Chang, Vice President of D-Link (South Asia, Australia & New Zealand), gave us an overview of the Cloud initiative and the company's new suite of networking products. "After 25 years of groundbreaking technology and innovation, the D-Link Cloud initiative is D-Link's latest endeavor to drive usability and connectivity in the consumer networking space", said Mr Chang.

Entering The Cloud

Accessing devices entrenched behind your local area network isn't exactly a new trend or a freshly-baked invention, is it? To be honest, routers with remote administration facilities have been around for years. At the consumer end, however, what D-Link has done with their recent Cloud initiative is to take that remote administration concept and simplified it further by a notch with very user-friendly attractions. For instance, their IP cameras only require three basic steps to get the device up and running, as compared to conventional ones which require you to fiddle with iffy things like dynamic DNS services and port forwarding on the router. Of course, the option to manage your network devices via your mobile phone or tablet is a huge bonus too. Now, is this what you might call "true networking"?

Want to configure your router while you are at work? By simply logging in to the 'mydlink' portal, you are able to block a client's Internet access or check their online browsing history. Control freaks would relish this feature for sure!

Although there are already a number of proprietary IP cam viewers on Android and iOS, D-Link has made it even easier for you to access your video footage with minimal fuss and configuration woes.

We were also given a brief demonstration on how simple it is to control and manipulate the IP cameras via the 'mydlink' portal. To access the portal, all you need is a username and password. And to assign any of the Cloud devices to your 'mydlink' account, just run the setup wizard (found in the bundled CD) and follow through with a few simple steps. As things stand, users may use the DNR-322L Network Video Recorder with 2-drive bays to store content captured by the IP cameras. According to D-Link, they are also looking into the possibility of storing video footage on the cloud instead of storage devices like the DNR-322L. Some of the star products highlighted today include the DCS-5222L Pan and Tilt Camera with day and night features (Infra-red lighting) as well as the DIR-857 HD Media Router 3000 with dual-band radios. To find out more about D-Link's latest Cloud products, please hop on to the next page.

Screenshot of 'mydlink' portal - Cloud devices added on to your 'mydlink' account are listed on the left column. From here, you may configure D-Link's Cloud devices regardless of where you are at in the world as long as you are connected to the net.

 This camera is definitely worth a mention for its full-blown features. D-Link's Cloud Camera 5000 (or DCS-5222L) offers full pan and tilt features as well as day and night viewing. Viewing in the dark is made possible by its Infra-red LEDs. Other perks include a built-in microphone and an audio outlet.

You can say that the DCS-942L is the smaller sibling of the DCS-522L. The two models are almost alike in terms of features such as their wireless 802.11n compliance and day/night vision, However, the DCS-942L does not offer any pan and tilt functions like its more expensive brother.

The DCS-942L has a built-in microSD card slot with enhanced video compression that enables you to record more footage compared to MJPEG. Other features include motion detection and support for D-Link's ViewCam management software which lets you store footage in a local hard drive.

The DIR-857 (in the foreground) is a dual-band router that supports max 900Mbps transfer rate (simultaneous dual band connectivity) to meet the demands of media streaming. That black NAS-like thingy you see in the background is the DNR-322L Network Video Recorder, designed to complement the slew of Cloud cameras with its real-time recording and playback features.

Update (February 21st 2012): We've just received word from D-Link that the HD Media Router 3000 (DIR-857) will not feature the PowerLine Bandwidth function.