PowerCloud Systems announced last week that it has begun shipping the Skydog router and software to the more than 1,000 Kickstarter backers. Also, the home networking hardware will be available to the general public in October from the Skydog.com website.
Skydog is a router for home networks that is paired with a web interface and smartphone app to enable real time monitoring, guest access control, quality of service (QoS), and parental controls. The router itself has five Gigabit Ethernet ports (four LAN, one WAN), a single USB port, and a reset button. The hardware is in an all black case with vents around the top edges, blue indicator lights on the front edge, and a large Skydog logo in the center.
The Skydog router uses an 802.11n Wi-Fi radio that operates on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously. PowerCloud Systems rates the router at 300 Mbps on each band.
Users will be able to pick up the Skydog router in October for $149 plus shipping. The $149 price buys the Skydog router itself, the mobile application, and three years of the Skydog subscription service (tied to the management interface). The Kickstarter also mentioned a $199 option for the router, app, and five years of the subscription service, but that SKU does not appear to be available on the Skydog site at time of publication.
It's not a router that will appeal to everyone, especially with the need to pair it with a cloud service for management features, but it could be the ideal device for families with kids or people that just want a simple UI to manage their home network and do things like allow people access to the Wi-Fi when guests come over, for example.
You can find the full press release below.
Revolutionary Home Network Solution Skydog Ships on Time to More than 1,000 Kickstarter Backers
Combination Wi-Fi Router + Mobile App Delivers Unprecedented Visibility and Control to Connected Families
PALO ALTO, Calif. – August XX, 2013 – PowerCloud Systems, a pioneer in cloud networking, has announced that Skydog™ is shipping on time this week to more than 1,000 Kickstarter backers. Skydog is an easy-to-use wireless home router and companion mobile application that provides unprecedented visibility and control of the home network. With Skydog, parents can manage their children’s online experience, as well as the security and performance of the devices, applications and users connected to their home network. Skydog will be available to the general public via www.Skydog.com in October.
Before Skydog, parental and security controls on home networks were largely limited to blanket settings made on the router or an individual PC. Skydog changes that paradigm by allowing parents to set individual network access controls for each user, covering all of his or her devices. Moreover, Skydog allows users to optimize the performance and security of their home networks. Said Jeff Abramowitz, CEO of PowerCloud Systems: “Our successful Kickstarter campaign has enabled a new era in managing the connected home with a level of visibility and control that is unavailable through any other platform. Skydog gives parents the means to ensure a productive and healthy Internet experience for their children while also improving the whole family's digital lifestyle.”
Skydog represents a robust solution for the demands of today’s connected home. 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 SkypeTM are available to work-at-home parents, and more. Skydog is a direct response to the new intricacies of modern connected homes aimed at improving the connected experience for everyone. 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 innovation of Skydog lies in its patented cloud-powered platform. Skydog includes a powerful Wi-Fi router and a cloud-based application that can be accessed from any connected smartphone, tablet or PC. This allows home network administrators, who are often busy parents, to see and control home Internet usage, even when they are away. Skydog revolutionizes home networking in three key areas:
· Real-Time Visibility:
o Monitors the network, including who is online, which devices are being used, usage tracking of specific sites and how much bandwidth is being used.
o 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.
o 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:
o 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.
o Enables time limits for specific website access by user, covering all devices, based on a calendaring system, such as school days versus weekends.
o Provides firewalled guest access, granting an extra layer of security to the family network.
o 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:
o Installs quickly and easily using the Skydog app.
o Organizes attached devices by primary user to simplify and unify actions like setting policies on applications or Internet use.
o Easily piggybacks on existing routers or broadband gateways, to provide the additional functionality only available with Skydog.
o 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.
About PowerCloud Systems
PowerCloud® Systems is a leader and industry pioneer for cloud-powered wireless networking. The company’s patented and award-winning CloudCommand™ technology was invented at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and makes deploying and monitoring Wi-Fi networks and services easy for businesses with mobile customers. The CloudCommand platform is deployed worldwide in hotels, schools, retail chains, managed care facilities and other businesses seeking truly affordable, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi. Investors include PARC, Qualcomm Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners and Walden Venture Capital. More information can be found at www.powercloudsystems.com.