We Got Served http://www.wegotserved.com Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:13:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 New Seagate Channel for ROKU Makes Media Streaming Easier http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/24/new-seagate-channel-roku-makes-media-streaming-easier/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/24/new-seagate-channel-roku-makes-media-streaming-easier/#comments Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:53:54 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69422 Stream media from Seagate Central or Seagate Wireless Plus to your Roku with a brand new channel.

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Seagate’s wireless hard drives have been around for a couple of years now and are a great way of streaming media to devices that may not have a traditional Ethernet connection, such as smartphones, tablets and so on.

I own one and use it in the car for the kids to watch movies and we’ll be taking it on holiday with us this summer to ensure we’ve got a big chunk of our media library with us as we travel (Fringe boxset, here we come).

With compatible streaming apps for iOS and Android mobile devices in the bag, Seagate has turned its attention to other devices in the home. A while back, an app for Samsung Smart TV was launched, and today the company has announced the a new partnership with Roku to allow their media streamers to access content stored on Seagate Central or Seagate Wireless Plus devices.

Music, movies, photos, and more can be streamed from your Seagate networked storage device to the Roku media player in a rich experience that includes cover art for movies, albums, song titles for music and thumbnails for photos.

seagate roku1 New Seagate Channel for ROKU Makes Media Streaming Easier

With over 1500 channels, Roku is the most-used streaming media player in the U.S, according to industry analysts, Parks Associates.

So, add a cheap Roku streamer you your travel bag and you have a very mobile-big-screen streaming solution for holidays or business travel.

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New WD Red NAS Hard Drives Boost Storage Capacities to 6TB http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/21/new-wd-red-nas-hard-drives-boost-storage-capacities-6tb/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/21/new-wd-red-nas-hard-drives-boost-storage-capacities-6tb/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:00:49 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69355 Huge storage capacities unlocked, courtesy of Western Digital's WD Red 6TB and 5TB hard drives, with new WD Red Pro line launched for small business.

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Western Digital today announced the next generation of their WD Red hard drives for network attached storage devices, delivering higher capacities and enhanced capabilities for NAS users.

The new range of consumer hard drives, now shipping in capacities up to 6TB, has been certified for use in desktop/tower NAS servers up to 8 bays, an improvement over the last generation which supported a 5 bay maximum.

The drives ship with WD’s NASware 3.0 firmware which is said to optimise NAS performance with built-in error recovery and protection in the event of power loss. Unfortunately, there is no firmware upgrade option for WD Red driver owners running NASware 2.0.

Western digital RED 6TB New WD Red NAS Hard Drives Boost Storage Capacities to 6TB

Today’s announcement also sees Western Digital rejig its storage line up for Small Business and Enterprise. The existing WD Se range, currently positioned for all types of Enterprise use, will revert to a focus on the Datacenter.

With WD Red designed for home and SOHO consumers, a new WD Red Pro line has been launched for small and medium enterprise use. WD Red Pro drives, available in capacities up to 4TB, are supported in both desktop and rack mounted NAS form factors up to 16 bays.

Advanced features built into the WD Red Pro hardware provide improved vibration compensation and a “dual actuator” (think of it as a double-jointed disk head which reads and writes data) enabling better positional accuracy over data tracks. They’re features that drop down from WD’s Re datacenter drives and combine to improve reliability and performance, according to the company.

For those seeking updates on WD’s eco-friendly Green hard drive range, there’s also good news. The company today confirmed that 5TB and 6TB WD Green drives would be shipping soon.

Pricing for the WD Red 5 TB (WD50EFRX) is £199.00, and £240.00 for 6 TB (WD60EFRX). Expect to see the WD Red Pro 2 TB (WD2001FFSX) at £124.00, £149.00 for 3 TB (WD3001FFSX) and £199.00 for the 4 TB drive (WD4001FFSX). All models are shipping now.

We’ve been testing the new WD Red 6TB NAS hard drives for a couple of weeks – check out our hands on review.

More: Western Digital

 

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Review: Western Digital WD Red 6TB NAS Hard Drive (WD60EFRX) http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/21/review-western-digital-wd-red-6tb-nas-hard-drives/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/21/review-western-digital-wd-red-6tb-nas-hard-drives/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:00:48 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69357 The Western Digital WD Red 6TB NAS hard drive is here, unlocking huge storage capacities and competitive performance. Check out our hands on review on the day of release!

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Hard drives. They may not be the most exciting technology around, but the world would be a very different place without them. For NAS and home server users, they’re a critical element in the connected home – with all of our digital media held on those shiny platters, we need reliable, high performing, high-capacity hard drives that don’t cost the earth. When we find ones we like, we’ll buy them. We’ll buy lots of them, in fact.

Network attached storage is a category that the major manufacturers have focused on intensely over the last two years.  They’ve developed specialist hard drives and accompanying firmware designed to maximise reliability and performance, whilst capacities grow ever larger. Seagate’s NAS hard drive range and today’s subject, Western Digital’s WD Red hard drives, are two such examples.

Today, WD took the wraps off its latest advance – high capacity 5 TB and 6 TB WD Red consumer NAS hard drives, equipped with the company’s latest NASware 3.0 firmware. The company kindly tipped us off about the new drives a couple of weeks ago and shipped us two Western Digital WD Red 6 TB drives to review.

Now I’m not going to make today’s review a huge benchmark test-fest (although there are a few benchmarks later) as we’re preparing a big round-up test of hard drives for NAS in the coming weeks. We’ll also see that performance comparisons today are only useful in certain situations. So, I’ll use the time we have together to share a little more detail about the technology working under the hood in WD’s latest offering before we run a few speed tests to show them in use.

The New WD Red NAS Hard Drive Range

Western Digital are refreshing their entire range of NAS hard drives for both consumers and small businesses. The WD Se enterprise hard drive range, previously positioned for all types of business use, is being re-positioned back to its traditional home in the datacenter, and a new WD Red Pro line is being introduced for small business. We’re awaiting a batch of WD Red Pro hard drives to be shipped to us, and so will review them separately. The headline is that WD Red Pro is coming in capacities up to 4TB and is designed for NAS Servers between 8 and 16 bays. It’s also certified for use in rackmount servers.

Meanwhile, on the consumer side, the WD Red refresh sees new 3.5″ drives launched in capacities of 1 TB to 6 TB drives. The previous generation of drives were capped at 4 TB, so the new 5 TB and 6 TB drives are perhaps of most interest. However, the whole range will now ship with Western Digital’s latest NASware 3.0 firmware. 2.5″ drives will also ship in capacities from 750 GB to 1 TB.

Part numbers (in case you need them) will be WD60EFRX (6 TB), WD50EFRX (5 TB), WD40EFRX (4 TB), WD30EFRX (3 TB), WD20EFRX (2TB) and WD10EFRX (1 TB).

Aside from the obvious capacity boost at the top end of the range, the other significant improvement in the revamp is that WD Red drives are now approved for use in NAS servers up to 8 bays. The previous generation, like Seagate’s NAS hard drive range, was capped at 5 bay servers. Note that this approval is limited to desktop/tower form factors – if you’re looking for a rackmount-supporting hard drive, WD Red Pro is for you. The consumer range is backed by a three-year limited warranty and 24/7 telephone support.

Under the Hood

The marvel of a 6 TB hard drive is trying to figure out how you can cram that density of data into a device that looks the same as any other 3.5″ hard drive you may care to pick up. The new WD Red 6 TB hard drive comprises five separate platters of 1.2 TB each. It’s classed as a 6 Gb/s SATA 3 device, with a 64 MB buffer. When it comes to spin-speed, Western Digital includes a feature called Intellipower – this combines an (undisclosed) fixed spin speed, transfer rate, and caching algorithm to balance power consumption with performance. As such, there’s no direct RPM comparison available with other drives on the market.

Also included on the 5 TB and 6 TB WD Red hard drives is the company’s Stabletrac feature – this secures the secures the motor shaft inside the drive at both ends, reducing vibration and therefore improving tracking during read/write operations. That translates into better performance, according to WD. 3D Active Balance Plus is similarly designed to reduce vibration and associated wear and tear on internal components.

Western digital RED 6TB Review: Western Digital WD Red 6TB NAS Hard Drive (WD60EFRX)

You’ll also hear Western Digital talk up its NASware 3.0 hard drive firmware. According to the company, this provides improved compatibility, reliability and performance in NAS servers, through features such as built-in error recovery, optimised power usage and protection of data in the event of a power loss. The details we received from Western Digital weren’t clear on the specific differences between the NASware 3.0 and 2.0 but the company confirmed that older drives currently running NASware 2.0 could not be upgraded to the new standard.

So, if you believe the claims, the NAS-centric features built into the latest generation WD Red drives should certainly help reliability, and the support options will certainly provide peace of mind. But does all this translate into a meaningful, tangible performance boost?

Performance

I promised that there wouldn’t be a benchmark test-fest, but it’s important to understand the key benefits that the new WD Red drive can deliver. That said, let’s be clear; the major boost you’ll benefit from with WD’s new drives is capacity. 6 TB is a huge amount of space on a single drive, and even in smaller, two-bay NAS servers allows RAID 1 mirrored configurations to deliver a decent slab of storage to support your connected home.

Western Digital did provide their own benchmarks comparing data transfer speeds with a couple of unnamed competitor NAS drives. The headline was interesting. File copy speeds to and from a NAS fitted with a new WD Red 6 TB hard drive clocked in at 128.9 MB/s and 84.7 MB/s respectively. The new 4 TB drive WD Red drive offered similar performance at 128.1 MB/s and 83.7 MB/s.

Compare those speeds to a competitor 7,200 rpm 4 TB NAS drive which came in at 128.5 MB/s and 83.9 MB/s. You can see there’s not a lot to differentiate manufacturers on file transfer performance alone. Whether that changes with a direct 6 TB to 6 TB drive comparison (once Seagate get their own 6 TB drive to market), we’ll see.

WD Comparison2 1024x613 Review: Western Digital WD Red 6TB NAS Hard Drive (WD60EFRX)

For our own tests, we looked at how the new 6TB WD Red drive compared in performance over traditional hard drives, as well as the last generation WD Red models. Is it really worth the price premium to move to a NAS hard drive? Check out the next page to find out!

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Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/17/review-linksys-ac1200-max-wi-fi-range-extender-re6500/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/17/review-linksys-ac1200-max-wi-fi-range-extender-re6500/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:10:19 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69315 The Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 is compact, easy to set-up, and once connected, delivers a decent boost to the weakest of network signals. If you suffer from dead spots in your home network, you should definitely take a look.

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You know, we’re becoming much more demanding as consumers.

If the products and services we buy aren’t as they should be – or rather, as we think they should be – then frustration, ire, despair quickly set in. I see it in my morning commute – carriages full of travellers glued to mobile devices. Working, watching, moving the world forward. Then in a flash, enveloped by a tunnel, out goes the mobile network, triggering a frenzy of tapping, swiping, frowning and mostly – this is a British train, after all – tutting.

Indeed, we’re so used to ubiquitous network access nowadays, that the lack of a signal can be intensely irritating and dead spots in the home will cause family frustration. A recent survey conducted by Cohn & Wolfe around the globe found 75% of respondents naming the garden as the place at home where they’d most like to have Wi-Fi connectivity, but currently do not.

It’s therefore no surprise that Wi-Fi range extenders are the second largest selling networking product category behind routers for home networking manufacturers such as Linksys, whose latest model – the top-end AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500 - we’ll take a look at today.

For the uninitiated, range extenders are a reasonably simply proposition. Your Wi-Fi router does a great job at covering your home with a network signal, I’m sure. But, that signal can be weakened by walls, by interference from other wireless devices and obviously distance. The result is known as a “dead spot” – an area of the home where there’s a very weak, or no Wi-Fi signal. My home has a great example.

A couple of years ago, we built a two-storey extension on our house. Our Wi-Fi signal is generally strong around the main building but flatlines in the extension – the signal just doesn’t reach the new master bedroom or the kids’ play room. Now, we got around the problem by wiring up each room with Ethernet – fine for the TV and gams consoles, but our mobile devices simply can’t connect to the router when we’re in the extension.

The answer is a Wi-Fi range extender – a small “relay” device that is plugged in to the mains, half-way between the router and the dead spot. It connects to the router and sends out its own Wi-Fi signal which – as the extender is positioned nearer the dead spot – is able to flood those hard to reach corners with network goodness.

Shipping this August as part of a new, three-tier line of range extenders, the Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500 is targeted at homes that have already upgraded their routers to the high-speed 802.11ac network standard. Like all AC devices, it supports slower 802.11 b/g/n as well as ac Wi-Fi signals, but the premium you’ll pay over 802.11n range extenders obviously makes sense for those running a high-speed 802.11ac router.

The RE6500 is a dual-band device – that means it broadcasts a signal at two frequencies. The most common, 2.4 GHz band is used by a plethora of wireless and other electrical devices, and can often be congested in the home – leading to weaker signals and slower throughput.  Meanwhile, the 5 GHz band, supported by newer devices, is reasonably clear, minimising wireless interference from other devices around the home. For those interested in the stats, Linksys rates the AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender at speeds of 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band – however, real-world speeds are always less than the marketers would love you to believe. Still, on network specs, the Linksys RE6500 is competing right up there with the fastest products available on the market today, such as Netgear’s similarly-rated AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6200 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500.

As a neat trick, the Linksys device includes a feature called “Cross-Band Technology” allowing the simultaneous use of both bands to maximise throughput. Netgear does the same thing on their extenders (they call it Fast Lane) – one band is used to receive a signal and the second is used to transmit.

Before we dive into the rest of the features, let’s take a look at the device itself.

What’s in the Box?

The Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500 ships in a compact, consumer friendly box reflecting the company’s latest rebrand (you may or may not be aware that the Linksys brand was purchased from Cisco by Belkin). Open the flap and discover:

  • Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • Power adaptor
  • Two Dipole Antennas
  • Ethernet Cable
  • Quick Installation Guide

With its twin dipole antennas screwed into the rear of the device, the RE6500 looks a lot like a traditional router, but is in fact much smaller than it may appear on our images. Sadly, the retro styling of Linksys’ recent blue and black routers hasn’t made it through to the range extender line, so it’s a much more sombre affair, visually – that’s probably for the best as you will want the range extender to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Range Extenders come in two form factors – ones that plug directly into a wall socket without the need for an adaptor, and those that sit on a desktop with a connected PSU. The RE6500 is unfortunately the latter, so you’ll need to find a flat surface to position the device – or take advantage of the screw holes in the base of the extender to wall-mount it.

 

In a direct comparison of features with Netgear’s EX6200, the RE6500 looks a little weaker on paper. It includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports (compared to five on the EX6200) to connect wired devices to your network – ideal for smart TVs, media streamers and games consoles positioned in rooms without a strong Wi-Fi signal.

Whilst there’s no USB port, or on-board media server on the RE6500, a 3.5″ audio jack is also included on the device, allowing you to hook-up non networked speakers to your home network and stream music wherever you please from a NAS, home server or PC. With both devices priced here in the UK ar £89.99, you should weigh up the features that you need before making your choice.

Setup and Performance

Setup is easy. Plug in the range extender half-way between your dead spot and the router and wait for a little while for the device to connect to your network – there’s not the usual array of fancy coloured LEDs on the RE6500 – just a single white LED which flashes when the device is not connected and goes solid when it is. Once powered on, I found the device ran a little hot after a while, so make sure there’s some ventilation available where its located.

Now, on your computer, smartphone or tablet take a look at the Wi-Fi network SSIDs available in your home – you’ll see one named Linksys Extender Setup. Connect to it and you’ll be able to configure the device. All you need to do is point the extender at your Wi-Fi network, enter your password and you’re done.

The performance boost I received from the RE6500 was impressive. In the house extension I mentioned earlier, which struggles to receive coverage from our downstairs router (an 802.11ac rated Apple Time Capsule) the signal was boosted to an RSSI of -62 from a previous reading of -92, as you can see from the before and after shots below. I measured the network with InSSIDer and you can see, the latter shot reveals the true manufacturer of the device as Belkin who, as I mentioned, now own the Linksys brand.

All very good, but what does that mean in real world terms? Well, for a start, without the Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender switched on, I can see my network on my mobile device, but I’m unable to connect to it as the signal is too weak. Power on the extender, and suddenly I can not only connect to my network on my smartphone, but I’m streaming high definition YouTube videos without a problem.

From a speed perspective, when I could muster a Wi-Fi connection in the dead spot from a test laptop, I’d see an average connection speed of 10.3 Mbps directly to the router downstairs. Connecting to the router through the RE6500 improved this speed dramatically to 45.3 Mbps. Obviously, the closer you get to the extender, the faster the speed you should expect. I found speeds rose to 91.2 Mbps when sitting adjacent to the device.

The dead spot is resurrected.

RE6500 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500

At £89.99, the Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500 is priced the same as Netgear’s AC1200 WiFi Range Extender EX6200 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500 which includes an additional Gigabit Ethernet port and USB 3.0 port for connecting a backup hard drive. If those additional features are attractive for your connected home, then you may wish to check out the Netgear device ahead of the RE6500, but note that you lose the 3.5″ audio jack.

Summary

If you suffer from dead spots around the home or small office, the Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 is the answer, quite simply. Whilst it’s not as compact as the slower products in Linksys’ new range extender line (which plug directly into the power socket) the device is reasonably unobtrusive – especially compared to the gaudy Netgear EX6200. Most importantly, it does the job it’s intended for, providing a significant boost to wireless network speeds and throughput in areas where devices struggle to even connect.

Sure, there’s one less Ethernet socket and no USB port on the Linksys device so it competes a little less effectively than Netgear’s offering in the tale of the tape. Therefore I’m a little surprised to see Linksys launching the RE6500 at the same price as its nearest competitor. But even so, if you’re frustrated by losing Wi-Fi access around the home or you’re seeking to extend your network into other areas such as your garden, the Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender RE6500 Review: Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender RE6500 will do a fabulous job for you.

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New Linksys AC1200 Range Extenders Boost Wi-Fi and Add Audio Streaming to Any Speaker http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/17/new-linksys-ac1200-range-extenders-boost-wi-fi-add-audio-streaming-speaker/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/17/new-linksys-ac1200-range-extenders-boost-wi-fi-add-audio-streaming-speaker/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:00:24 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69304 Linksys AC1200 Range Extender tops the range of three new networking boosting solutions to eliminate dead spots in the home.

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The networking gurus at Linksys today announced a new range of high-speed Wireless Range Extenders designed to boost Wi-Fi around the home, with a couple of additional tricks thrown in to boot.

The range includes three new models of varying speeds and feature sets. At the top of the tree is the $100/£89.99 Linksys AC1200 MAX Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE6500), a dual-band device supporting 802.11 b/g/n and ac Wi-Fi signals, but obviously ideal for those already running a high-speed 802.11ac router. The extender  delivers speeds rated at 300 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, minimising wireless interference from other devices around the home. Linksys’ Cross-Band Technology feature allows the simultaneous use of both bands to maximise throughput.

The RE6500 includes four Gigabit Ethernet ports to connect wired devices to your network – ideal for smart TVs, media streamers and games consoles positioned in rooms without a strong Wi-Fi signal. An audio port is also fitted to the device, allowing you to stream music to non-network speakers.

linksys AC1200 MAX Wi Fi Range Extender 1 1024x730 New Linksys AC1200 Range Extenders Boost Wi Fi and Add Audio Streaming to Any Speaker

 

Dropping down the range, the Linksys N600 PRO Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE4000W) is another dual-band device allowing simultaneous network connections on both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies. Rated at a slower 600 Mbps than the RE6500, the $79.99/£54.99 N600 PRO Wi-Fi Range Extender includes twin Fast Ethernet ports for device connection.

Finally, the entry-level Linksys N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE3000W) offers up to a 300 Mbps, single-band (2,4 GHz) connection to your router, with a single Fast Ethernet port. It ships at $79.99/£44.99

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The RE6500 is expected to be available in August at major retail and online resellers. Our review device landed on the doormat yesterday so you can check out our hands-on review right now.

More: Linksys

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Samsung 1080p HD WiFi Smart Home Camera Offers Remote Surveillance & Recording http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/16/samsung-1080p-hd-wifi-smart-home-camera-offers-remote-surveillance-recording/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/16/samsung-1080p-hd-wifi-smart-home-camera-offers-remote-surveillance-recording/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 11:57:06 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69297 New Smart Home Camera from Samsung offers high definition streaming to mobile, night vision and more.

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It’s been a while since we’ve heard about anything new in home surveillance and network IP cameras, so we were pleased to be told about Samsung’s new 1080p HD WiFi Smart Home Camera.

As revealed by its name, the new device kicks home security into the high definition era, with full 1080p video support so you view your burglaries with the same quality as the latest Hollywood blockbuster.

That said, with a two-way microphone and speaker on board, the 1080p HD WiFi Smart Home Camera is going to be just as useful as a communication device – want to keep an eye on the kids from afar, or yell at the dog from the office when she starts to chew your shoes at home? This camera is for you.

There are a few additional tricks here too. The camera features a 128 degree Ultra-wide angle image, which compares favourably with the standard 60 degrees you find on many cameras. There’s a night vision setting as well as motion and audio detection features, allowing you to trigger alerts when there’s activity in the home. Motion zone selection allows you to configure three specific areas of the camera view for motion detection and saving you from a barrage of false alerts.

As you’d expect, the camera is able to stream audio and video in high definition to a smartphone or tablet of your choice. Both iOS and Android apps are available, whilst Mac and PC users can check out what’s happening through a web browser.

With an SD Card slot fitted supporting up to 64GB storage, you can record up to 7 days of video locally if the network connection drops Continuous recording, manual recording and event recording are all available to select. 

As a Wi-Fi based camera (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4G & 5G Dual-band) in case you were wondering), Samsung is making much of the camera’s easy setup. No installation CDs or network cables required. It’s simply a power on, sync with the router and short configuration via your mobile device.

The Samsung 1080p HD WiFi Smart Home Camera (SNH-P6410BN) is available now priced at £139. UK retailers include Argos whilst Amazon is your friend Samsung 1080p HD WiFi Smart Home Camera Offers Remote Surveillance & Recording if you’re in the US.

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We Got Served Loves: The Griffin Survivor Case for iPad http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/16/got-served-loves-griffin-survivor-case-ipad/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/16/got-served-loves-griffin-survivor-case-ipad/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:54:58 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69292 Delicate tablets and smartphones don't mix well with water, dust, hard surfaces and especially kids. If you're worried about mobiles being mashed, it's time to check out the Griffin Survivor Case.

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Every year, hundreds of millions of dollars are spent protecting the billions of dollars already invested in mobile technology. We love our smartphones and tablets, but boy are they delicate! And if you’re a tech enthusiast with small kids running around the house, creating havoc at every opportunity, then those devices are going to need some protection.

You see, when your four-year old decides to dash said mobile device to the floor because they failed to beat level 432-14 of Angry Birds Star Wars (again), they don’t really care that it cost a lot of money. Because, hey, that’s your problem, Dad. So, it makes sense to get a case.

Not just any case. For toddlers, you’re going to need some pretty heavy duty protection. That’s why we love Griffin’s Survivor range of cases for iPad, iPhone and Amazon Kindle.

Tested and certified to meet or exceed US Department of Defense Standard 810F, Griffin’s Survivor Military-Duty Case is designed from the inside out to protect your iPad from extreme conditions … dirt, sand, rain, shock, vibration and a host of other environmental factors.

Forget military duty, could this case stand up to 3 hours of unsupervised use in your local kindergarten? The answer is a resounding yes.

OK, black hat time. At prices from around $40-90, Griffin Survivor is not cheap and they’ll certainly add some heft to those delicate devices. But if you want to protect against six feet drops, heavy rain, sand, dust, vibration – or in my house, youghurt, Weetabix, ice cream and toddler tantrums – then you’re going to need a decent slab of polycarbonate and silicone, right? It’s also a little bit of work to get your iPad or Kindle in and out of the case – a feat requiring removal of the protective silicone webbing before prising open the polycarbonate cover, then retracing your steps to put the case back together.

On the flip side, you’ll now be able to hand over your precious kit to the kids, safe in the knowledge that they can bump, drop, roll their favourite digger repeatedly over your iPad and it’s not going to feel a thing. So your bank account isn’t going to feel any more pain either. Good news all round.

griffin survivor ipad 2 We Got Served Loves: The Griffin Survivor Case for iPad

Shipping in a conservative black as well as a range of crazy, customise-your-own colours, you can pick out a case that’ll work for work or for the kids’ bedroom. It’s up to you.

Big love to Griffin for the Survivor. Check the range out over at http://griffintechnology.com/survivor or on Amazon.

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Refreshed Seagate NAS and NAS Pro Range to Offer “Storage Simplicity” for Small Businesses http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/15/refreshed-seagate-nas-nas-pro-range-offer-storage-simplicity-small-businesses/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/15/refreshed-seagate-nas-nas-pro-range-offer-storage-simplicity-small-businesses/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 19:49:52 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69280 New Seagate NAS SOHO and small business lines unveiled today.

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You’ll know them from their hard drives, of course, but Seagate may not be the first brand that springs to mind when you hear the words “network attached storage”.

Still, the company has been plugging away in the category for some time now, and their recent acquisition of LaCie is sure to provide a little panache when it comes to industrial design in the future.

Today sees the company take the wraps off a refreshed line of NAS devices, to be sold under the NAS and NAS Pro labels. The entry-level NAS range includes two and four bay units built around a reasonably humble Marvell dual-core 1.2GHz processor paired with 512 MB RAM. It includes twin Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 sockets for expansion.

The devices are pre-populated with Seagate’s own specialist NAS hard drives, in capacities up to 5TB. These drives ship with NAS-focused firmware (called “NASworks”) which the company claims improves reliability with custom-built error recovery controls, power settings and vibration tolerance. RAID 0, 1 & JBOD supported on the two bay device, whilst the four-bay Seagate NAS supports RAID 0,1, RAID 5, RAID 5 w/hot spare, RAID 6, RAID 10 and JBOD.

However, Seagate’s own hybrid RAID solution, SimplyRAID is the default option, providing a range of features including automatic RAID migration, volume expansion, and hard drive mix and match. Handily, the SimplyRAID array is pre-configured at the factory so you can be up and running quickly with no time needed to initialise the array (unless you want to switch to a standard RAID option). Enhanced storage management features such as volume encryption, a rescue mode for volume recovery and network recycle bin are also supported.

The Seagate NAS’ big brother is the NAS Pro. Available in two, four and six-bay configurations, the Seagate NAS Pro is powered by a faster, 1.7 GHz dual-core Intel Atom C2000 Series processor with 2GB RAM available in support. It’s one of the first NAS devices to support Intel’s latest microserver chip. According to Seagate, it should provide plenty of power to support up to fifty connected users (the standard NAS is capped at 25 users).

Both the NAS and NAS Pro lines ship with Seagate’s NAS OS4 operating system. As is the trend, it’s a web-based management interface allowing easy configuration and control of the server. Features include Seagate Sdrive, a remote access application for PCs and Macs, integrated cloud backup support for Box and Amazon S3, DLNA & iTunes media servers as well as the usual array of business-focused features – Active Directory support, Virtualization support and Network UPS.

An online app store allows the NAS and NAS Pro feature set to be extended. Currently anti-virus and surveillance management apps are available to download as well as WordPress, OwnCloud and the ever-present Bittorrent client. Expect to see more apps added over time.

 

Seagate’s new NAS and NAS Pro lines are now shipping at your favourite online retailers globally. Expect to see the entry-level NAS available at £199 for the two-bay 2TB to £399 for the two-bay 8TB version. The four-bay configuration will range from £379 for 4TB to £749 for 16TB. The NAS Pro  starts at 4TB for £399 through to 30TB capacities for £1,839

We’ll hopefully have a unit on the way to us from Seagate for review, so stay tuned for our thoughts.

More: Seagate NAS and NAS Pro

 

 

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Synology DiskStation DS415play Transcoding NAS Unveiled for Media Hoarders http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/15/synology-diskstation-ds415play-transcoding-nas-unveiled-media-hoarders/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/15/synology-diskstation-ds415play-transcoding-nas-unveiled-media-hoarders/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:06:33 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69271 New Synology DiskStation DS415play NAS comes equipped with hardware-assisted video transcoding to ensure easier media streaming to any device.

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synology-diskstation-ds415play

If you’re the kind of guy or gal who is building up a huge collection of music, video and photos then the latest offering from NAS specialist, Synology, should be right up your alley.

The DiskStation DS415play is a four-bay network attached storage server on to which you can store your media library – up to 24 TB of media, if you take advantage of the latest 6 TB hard drives. Unlike some of the DS415play’s competitors, Synology have added hardware-assisted video transcoding features to the device, ensuring it is able to convert 1080p high definition video on the fly to a network streaming device – so there’s no need to worry about what file formats your devices support. The DiskStation DS415play simply transcodes your media to a common format that works.

The new entrant is built around an Intel Atom 1.6 GHz dual-core processor, supported by 1 GB RAM. Synology’s own tests clock RAID 5 file transfers at an average of 112.45MB/sec reading and 101.21 MB/sec writing which is decent enough – you can be sure that your Blu-ray rips won’t stutter when you stream them to the big screen.

Elsewhere, the DiskStation DS415play offers the standard features you’d expect from a modern NAS. You’ll find Gigabit Ethernet on-board plus twin USB 3.0 ports and three USB 2.0 ports for peripheral connection. The full range of RAID storage configuration options are included to ensure you can balance storage capacity with data protection and the company’s DSM 5.0 operating system does a great job of combining a deep suite of features and configuration options with a simple, intuitive user experience.

However, surprisingly for a NAS that’s being promoted for media enthusiasts, there’s no HDMI out – a reasonably common sight on Intel-based NAS hardware this year. So you’re limited to network streaming as opposed to a direct connection to the TV or AV Receiver, but for those with Ethernet or fast Wi-Fi in the lounge, that won’t be a problem.

The Synology DiskStation DS415play is shipping now priced from around £400 diskless.

More: Synology

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Review: Logitech Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/13/review-logitech-illuminated-living-room-keyboard-k830/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/13/review-logitech-illuminated-living-room-keyboard-k830/#comments Sun, 13 Jul 2014 10:41:16 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69239 An elegant, well-featured keyboard for the AV enthusiast with premium features and a premium price to match.

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Since the development of “Lazy Bones”,  the first TV remote control in 1950, we’ve become well-used to tapping buttons to switch channels, change volume and – if we’re feeling really adventurous – change from Live TV to a Blu-ray Disc.

But then some bright spark decided it would be a great idea to make TV’s “smart”. Sure, let’s put apps on there! Web browsers, video streaming widgets, media servers, games and as the range of services broadened, we started to become increasingly frustrated with our TV remotes. Why? Well, because we wanted our remote controls to serve purposes they simply weren’t designed for – like controlling a mouse, making a furry game character splat a baddie, or typing a sixty-eight character URL into a TV web browser. Heck, an eight character password is enough to drive you to distraction.

Sometimes, you just have to call it – the humble remote control does a great job at the basics but there are times you wish you had a keyboard to hand. That’s where Logitech’s Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 comes in. As you’ve most-likely guessed from its name, it’s a keyboard designed for your living room for those times when there’s no substitute for good old QWERTY.

“Design that blends into your home” boasts the packaging, and it’s fair to say that the K830 looks like the kind of keyboard you’d be happy to leave on show. Sleek lines, silver edging, (reasonably) compact – it looks about as good as you can make a full-sized keyboard with an integrated trackpad, without making the device look too noticeable. And, nestling at the top of Logitech’s keyboard range at a price of £89.99, you’d want it to look the business. Fortunately, strong aesthetics and a considered choice of materials – yes, plastic but with a matte finish that provides at least some resistance to finger prints – deliver a premium, if understated finish.

Building on other keyboards in the Logitech range, the K830 is obviously wireless – utilising Logitech’s Unifying receiver. This is a proprietary dongle which connects physically to your device – a TV, set-top box, games console or media streamer – via USB and connects to the keyboard using a 2.4 Ghz wireless connection. It’s a bit like Bluetooth, but not (in that the receiver looks like Bluetooth, smells like Bluetooth, tastes like Bluetooth… but isn’t compatible with any other Bluetooth devices). You can pair a single receiver with up to six controller devices – but of course, they’ll need to be from Logitech.

In the box, along with the keyboard and receiver, you’ll find a USB Extender cable which is used to position the receiver further away from the host device – that can be handy if you’re experiencing interference from an adjacent device and need to position the receiver further away.

Connection is very simple – slot the receiver into the device you wish to control then flick the keyboard’s power switch (located on the front edge of the device) and you’re done. The wireless range is a little less than ten metres but that’s plenty for all but the most cavernous of living spaces. I tested connections to a PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Windows home theatre PC and a Samsung TV finding them all compatible with the K830 – indeed, the latter allowed trackpad control of the Samsung Smart Hub using the trackpad, which provided a different experience than the regular remote. While Logitech don’t appear to publish a full list of compatible devices, I’d anticipate the major devices and manufacturers are covered.

Of course, when you’re snuggled in for the night, the last thing you want is to be groping around in the dark for your keyboard. Perhaps the signature feature of the K830 is backlit illumination. An on-board sensor detects light levels in the room and can switch the backlight to one of three settings – On, Half-on (or half-off depending on your outlook on life) and Off. A manual brightness key on the keyboard allows you to override the automatic setting if you need to. If the keyboard is idle for a few seconds, then the backlight automatically switches off. For those who have ever had to fumble around in the dark with a keyboard, you’ll wonder how you ever did without a back-lit keyboard.

In use, Logitech’s premium keyboard is comfortable to use. The full sized keys are chiclet-style so they’re reasonably quiet when pressed. They’re grouped together perhaps a little more closely than say, a Mac keyboard, but I had no issues with mis-keying. The trackpad too works well and those of you used to using a laptop trackpad will adopt it straight away. A series of function keys provide short cuts to essential device settings, such as keyboard brightness, but also HTPC features such as window minimisation, search, browser launch, media player launch, track navigation and volume. Those function keys won’t work with every device you may have in the home, but for HTPC use, they’ll come in very handy.

The K830′s battery will take around three hours to charge to full capacity, courtesy of an included USB cable that can attach to a PC, USB power adaptor or other compatible charging device. A full charge is likely to last around ten days, thanks to a standby feature on the device that will reduce power consumption. When the battery is low, you’ll find that the backlighting feature is automatically switched off to eek as much usage as possible from the device. Note that the battery is no replaceable, which is a shame on a premium device.

For the HTPC enthusiast, or AV connoisseur, the Logitech Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 is a fantastic keyboard, delivering all of the features you really need in a great looking package. It’s easy to set up, comfortable to use, and it’s clear that a lot of thought has been put into the keyboard’s design and functionality. It’s a well used phrase, but the K830 just works. However, at £89.99 it’s most definitely a premium package and you should consider carefully whether all of the features included in the K830 – the backlight in particular, which is the standout feature – is worth that premium.

You’ll certainly be able to find cheaper Living Room keyboards available in the market – indeed, the non-illuminated Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 is half the price of the K830 and is a firm favourite here at WGS. But, for those of you happy to pay a premium for top-end features and great aesthetics, the Logitech Illuminated Living Room Keyboard K830 will be a beautiful and functional addition to your connected home.

 

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“Cutting Edge” QNAP Turbo NAS TS-x51 Series Announced http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/10/cutting-edge-qnap-turbo-nas-ts-x51-series-announced/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/10/cutting-edge-qnap-turbo-nas-ts-x51-series-announced/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:13:04 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69257 New QNAP Turbo NAS line launched offering real-time video transcoding for media-hungry homes.

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Powered by humble, low-powered chipsets for years, network attached storage devices are growing up. With an increasing number of  resource-hungry applications to support – media transcoding and  virtualisation to name just two – NAS manufacturers are now loading up their devices with more RAM and beefier processors.

Enter the  QNAP Turbo NAS TS-x51. A “cutting edge” consumer/SOHO NAS device designed for those media-chomping homes and growing small businesses. The new line, available in 2, 4, 6 and 8-bay configurations is powered by a dual-core Intel Celeron 2.41GHz processor with 1GB DDR3L RAM. It’s expandable to 8GB RAM at the upper limit and is designed to support real-time and offline Full HD video transcoding, streaming media with support for DLNA, AirPlay and Plex Media Server.

Transcoding support allows media to be converted “on the fly” and streamed to devices that may not support the file’s native format – opening up all of your media to AV receivers, media streamers, mobile devices and smart TVs. Like a number of Intel-based NAS solutions the QNAP Turbo NAS TS-x51 Series supports a direct HDMI connection to your TV alongside network streaming support, with media played through the popular XBMC app.

Both 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard drives and SSDs are supported with all bays offering hot-swap capabilities. There are twin Gigabit Ethernet ports for network reliability through link aggregation. Twin USB 3.0 ports are fitted to the two and four bay chassis, whilst the larger boxes will ship with three USB 3.0 ports.

Announced alongside the Turbo NAS TS-x51 Series were two expansion enclosures, designed to extend the storage space available on QNAP’s NAS devices. The UX-500P is a five-drive tower unit with is joined by an eight-bay unit, the UX-800P. Again, both units support 3.5″ and 2.5″ hard drives/SSDs which can be hot-swapped. You’ll find an additional USB 3.0 port on board, Kensington security slot and an LCD panel letting you know what’s up.

QNAP’s latest range of NAS products and drive enclosures are now shipping.

More: QNAP

 

 

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QNAP Virtualization Station Hosts Multiple Operating Systems on a NAS http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/10/qnaps-virtualization-station-hosts-multiple-operating-systems-nas/ http://www.wegotserved.com/2014/07/10/qnaps-virtualization-station-hosts-multiple-operating-systems-nas/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 06:32:22 +0000 http://www.wegotserved.com/?p=69253 QNAP Virtualization Station brings Windows, Unix and Linux applications to network attached storage.

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QNAP this week announced an exciting new feature for their network attached storage range that enables users to host virtual machines (VMs) on their devices.

The feature, Virtualization Station, opens the possibility to run VMs with multiple operating systems on a single NAS, each independently running applications that various users may need. Windows, UNIX, Linux and server operating systems are all supported and are managed via a a web-based console within QNAP’s QTS operating system. The virtual machines themselves are accessed using remote desktop sessions – again, in a web browser.

A range of management features are included on QNAP’s hosted hypervisor; snapshots, VM import and export, resource allocation and user account configuration are all available from Virtualization Station’s console.

Educational institutions and businesses will be interested in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) support, which enables multiple independent desktops to be created for users to work on simultaneously – screen sharing technology built into the new feature also allows users to share the same desktop content.

Suggested enterprise uses include utilising a QNAP NAS to run an IIS Web server, ERP/CRM applications, Microsoft Exchange server or a Windows Active Directory server. According to the company, Virtualization Station supports a variety of VM formats and is compatible with virtual appliances from providers such as VMware Marketplace and Bitnami.

As you’d expect for a resource-hungry feature, Virtualization Station is only supported on QNAP’s more powerful systems. They include the TS-ECx80 Pro, TS-ECx80U-RP, TS-ECx79U-RP, TS-x79U-RP, TS-ECx79U-SAS-RP, SS-ECx79U-SAS-RP, TS-x51, and TS/SS-x53 Pro series. A maximum of 8 virtual machines can operate on the most powerful lines, with additional RAM installed.

More: QNAP Virtualization Station

 

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