D-Link, Netgear Join CES Cloud Services Fray

Home and SMB networking giants D-Link and Netgear got the cloud itch at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 in Las Vegas this week, adding cloud gear to their respective rosters of home networking wares.

D-Link and Netgear follow other hardware makers, including Acer and Lenovo, to add cloud computing services to their product portfolios to capture the increasing hype surrounding the cloud evident at CES.

For D-Link's part, the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based home and SMB networking player pulled the curtain off of a suite of cloud services that reaches across multiple product lines to unlock remote sharing and management capabilities through its mydlink portal and mydlink apps for Apple iPhone and iPad and Android devices.

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"D-Link's new Cloud Services ensure your home network is in the palm of your hand, wherever you are," Daniel Kelley, associate vice president of marketing, D-Link North America, said in a statement. "We've built a significant cloud platform offering real-time access to a range of products and features from anywhere you can get an Internet signal via the mydlink portal and apps. From remotely watching a live video feed of your pet via a pan/tilt cloud camera, to monitoring what's going on with your home network, to accessing a movie from a USB thumb drive plugged into the back of a router, we are committed to delivering more power and convenience to consumers than ever before."

D-Link's mydlink.com portal lets users access network camera video feeds in the cloud from any device, and the addition of cloud services adds access to more network devices and capabilities, like sharing a home network with friends and colleagues via a personal D-Link cloud; sharing and accessing content across devices via an app; and remotely controlling a home network to determine who is using the network, how and when it's used and to receive e-mail alerts if there's an intrusion attempt.

Along with the launch of cloud services at CES, D-Link also showcased the new D-Link Cloud Router, a sub-$50 Wi-Fi router with cloud services built in, that offers up to 300 Mbps and for Fast Ethernet ports. The Cloud Router is now available at the estimated price of $39.99.

D-Link also added the D-Link Cloud Camera 5000, a surveillance play for home and small offices with remote control and viewing capabilities from a Web browser or mobile device.

And, lastly, D-Link debuted the amplifi HD Media Router 3000 with SharePort Cloud, a high-performance home network offering that provides data transfer rates of up to 900 Mbps for HD video streams, swift online gaming and speedy downloads, and the SharePort Cloud technology lets users share and manage content between people and devices from a single location, while also access documents, photos, music, videos and other content using free native iPhone, iPad and Android apps.

According to D-Link, it will continue to evolve its Cloud Services over the next year and will soon launch remote storing and sharing solutions.

Next: Netgear Cloud Targets Smarter Network

D-Link rival Netgear also stormed CES with clouds in its eyes, unveiling its Smart Network Cloud Application Platform, a platform that lets Netgear users buy and download apps from the cloud for their home network. Enabled through Netgear's latest routers, ReadyNAS storage devices, media players and upcoming products, the Smart Network gives users more control over connected devices, Netgear said, while also providing a platform for new applications in the cloud that let users customize their network capabilities.

The platform features apps across various categories, including games, tools and utilities, that let users manage connected home devices like Wi-Fi thermostats, printers and others and prompt them to perform tasks.

According to San Jose, Calif.-based Netgear, Smart Network Apps can be developed by anyone, from independent programmers to game developers, home appliance companies, utility companies and others. For example, utility companies can offer an app to let users monitor and lower energy usage, or internet service providers can create apps that enable content sharing to public Web sites.

Netgear also launched AppManager, a dashboard that lets users select and downloadable apps from Netgear's cloud. The dashboard features Netgear-built apps and apps from third-party vendors.

Netgear is also targeting developers, opening up the Smart Network Platform for developers to create apps. The Smart Network software development kit offers an XML API that interacts with Netgear network devices and other Smart Network applications. Netgear said it is accepting applications from developers to join the community via an early access program.

"Netgear's Smart Network Cloud Application Platform opens up a whole new world of possibilities for consumers everywhere. For the first time, consumers can use our dashboard to create a customized network experience that caters to their needs and desires," said Cedar Milazzo, Netgear senior director of engineering, in a statement. "Today's smart devices are only as smart as the networks they are connected to. Over the years, mobile phones have evolved into smartphones, and televisions have evolved into Smart TVs. Now Netgear is driving the evolution from home networks to Smart Networks. Netgear Smart Network will allow consumers to use innovative new applications to harness the power of all of their network devices and use those devices in new ways that meet customers' needs and that enable accessibility from anywhere."