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DM HARDWARE Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:19:08 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 WiFi Router Review (my addendum version of the review) Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 WiFi Router Review (my addendum version of the review)

Below (at the VERY bottom of this article) is a link to a review of the latest "Super Router" from Netgear called the Netgear Nighthawk X10. This router is so "super" it comes with a, now get this...a Fiber Channel port on the back of the router. It also has a built in Plex Media Server for all you video junkies who just LOVE to watch videos and see pictures of yourself.

All that bitchen stuff said, the router DOES NOT WORK WITH A NAS when it comes to the Plex Media Server. So, if you are like yours truly, and you have a NAS cause you simply are out of space and have all your precious photos and videos stored on a RAID 5 system well...your screwed. You will need to copy them to a USB external stick or a "compatible" USB drive in order to take advantage of the built-in Plex Media Server. $500.00 bucks and no NAS support with the Media Server...huh.

I truly only believe you should consider this router IF: 

1 - You're a super Nerd (that would be me).

2 - You own a Small Business - Why? Well, one you can load-up a USB stick with all your Marketing Campaign stuff you have worked so hard on and just stream it to the CONF rooms or the lobby where your customers are. Also, believe it or not, it has a Fibre Channel port on the back of the router. Hook that baby up to your switch (you will need an SFP switch port on your switch to make this work) and "feel the speed". It's a 10Gb port (pretty fast). That said, a Fibre Channel port requires TWO pieces to work: the port itself AND the SFP adaptor to go INTO the port. The Netgear switch does not come with a SFP adaptor that I can see and trust me, I looked! You will need to purchase one. That will set you back eh....anywhere from 60.00 to 120.00 PER. So...if you are thinking of taking advantage of that make sure you build the cost in.

3 - You are a home user sitting there just chumming in your pants about the possibility of having fibre connected to your desktop. If that's you, make sure you add in the cost. You will need: 1xFibre Card for your PC. 2xSFP's (one for your new fibre card and one for the router). So...about...300.00 ADDITIONAL dollars. But come on...10GB from the router to your PC...god...please drop $300.00 dollars my way. Please?

**Note about the SFP's** - What's compatible? That was the one thing I could not find on the Netgear site. What SFP's are "certified" or "compatible" to work with the router? Dear Netgear: Really? No FAQ? No nothing?

Another interesting titbit I ran across is the range of this router. I was reading some of the reviews on Amazon (check them out for yourself here) and found some folks are having issues in larger environments. This is nothing new. When you purchase ANY router you need to make SURE you take into account things like:

- Walls (Cement? Wood? Drywall? Thickness? Wire-mesh?)

- Proximity to other routers. This is more for the folks who live in apartments and Condo's. You have to remember that MOST wireless routers come with a default channel set. NO ONE changes those channels. Basically, the "bandwidth highway" becomes congested. Oh, and by the way, in MOST routers you CAN change the channel. Just run WiFiInfo from NearSoft (free), find the channel NOT being used the most and change your router to that channel. Some of you will have to change two channels (2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz). It's really not rocket science. Grab the manual from your manufactures website and you should be good to go. You will have to reboot the router what. The kids will only scream for like...30 seconds. 

wi fi info nearsoft 1

- Pure Size - This is a LARGE ROUTER! I would not recommnend you stick in the living room where your wife will just stare at it and then you and then the router and then you and finally go "do we REALLY need that RIGHT THERE?" 

As far as the distance complaints go, here's my take: If you can afford a 4K square foot house, get an extender (which Netgear does sell for the X10 for like...128.00 bucks.). Put it on the...what 12th floor... of your home and you should be fine. If you can afford a 500 dollar router, you can afford the extender. 

Look, from what I can tell, this is a very good router. If you own a SMB or just have a s****load of stuff you connect to your router this might be the answer to your prayers. If you have, say...less than 10 devices that connect over the wireless look elsewhere. This is so over the top even I have a hard time justifying the expense. want to me to recommend a different router for those who have only about 10 or less devices? Sure I will! Get two tin cans and some kidding. 

Actually, I use two routers at home (not for this article) but my primary router (which I love and reviewed and have answered a TON of questions about) is the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000) with Open Source support. What? Did I just hear all the Open Source folks stir from the couch a little? YES! Open Source support which means you can run...wait for it...wait....okay...dd-wrt! Holy garden hose! Mind BLOWN! YES! You can run it! It's AMAZING and the router is only 175.00 at Amazon. So...enjoy...and clean up that mess you just made. That's nasty. 

Read the entire review here - Netgear Nighthawk X10 AD7200 WiFi Router Review

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Thu, 29 Dec 2016 04:02:12 +0000
DDR DRAM FAQs And Troubleshooting Guide This is one of those guides that you never really think of reading. The only time you actually think of reading one of these types of guides is when you're trying to troubleshoot your system and you've checked everything, and I mean everything, and then it's kind of dawns on you that "hey, maybe it's my memory."

DRAM is probably one of the least understood computer components. Questions, arguments and debates abound, as do myths and misrepresentations. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to address the most commonly asked questions we hear, and to debunk some of the myths. Granted, parts of this are subjective and open to debate, which I welcome. I will quantify assertions where I can. Some of the items will also include suggestions and how-to information.

This started as a straightforward piece and has continued to grow, so we are breaking it into two pieces. The first will touch on frequently asked questions. The second will look primarily at myths that are often presented as facts. Most of these are based on topics that can get you into trouble, both in trying to set up a rig as well as financially.

We expect that readers will skip around, so some of the information might get repeated. If there are subjects you think we missed, or other answers you think would be helpful, let me know in the forums or the comments below. We will update this document periodically to keep the answers fresh.

In putting this together, I approached members of the forums, my clients, DRAM and motherboard manufacturers, IT folks with whom I network and other builders, and I also received input from those who read my “DDR3 Memory: What Makes Performance Better?”

Read all about it...

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Mon, 08 Jun 2015 04:29:53 +0000
Small Business- New Social Network Is a Lot Like LinkedIn, Only Actually Useful If you are a small (and I mean small) business and need what a medium business has in-house or need to just be with others like yourself, this might be for you. I'm seriously considering joining as I have been thinking about getting my business off the ground myself but I need people around me who I can learn from.  Seriously, this is pretty cool. 

WeWork is red hot. Offering co-working spaces where startups and freelancers can feel like they’re part of something larger, it’s valued at $1.5 billion, and it’s on track to triple membership within the next 12 months.

But it wants more. On Monday, the four-year-old company expanded its large and growing footprint even further with a new social network. It’s called WeWork Commons, and it could rival LinkedIn—except it might actually be useful.

The goal is to bring the experience of working in WeWork’s physical offices to anyone, anywhere. It’s an online service where members—many of them entrepreneurs and tech workers—can trade stories and advice with other members, find local events, rent workspace, and get access to discounted business services. This is the kind of stuff WeWork’s more than 15,000 tenants have had access to all along. Now, the company is opening it up to thousands, if not millions more. 

Read the rest of the article. 

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Mon, 17 Nov 2014 14:41:33 +0000
Review - Surface Pro 2 - Good for you? Boy... I tell ya... I'm not sure MS has done enough to get people to buy this. BUT, I can say with confidence if you are a 'worker' and not a 'player or gamer' this platform might be exactly what you need. When Microsoft introduced its first Surface devices last year, it did so in a staggered fashion. Surface RT showed up first, then four months later Surface Pro went on sale. Despite sharing a lot of the same DNA, the response to Surface Pro was much better than what we saw with Surface RT. While Surface RT suffered a…
Instead, Surface Pro offered the promise of a tablet that could potentially replace your notebook and desktop as well. Microsoft’s strategy with Surface Pro mimicked the market transition we saw years earlier. The notebooks that replaced desktops over the 2000s did so by being able to work as both notebooks or desktops. Similarly, Microsoft hoped that Surface Pro could act as both a tablet and a notebook for those users who didn’t want to carry two devices.

By and large, Microsoft was successful in achieving that vision. Although as with all devices that attempt to fulfill multiple roles, Surface Pro presented a set of tradeoffs. It wasn’t as portable and didn’t last as long on a single charge as a conventional ARM based tablet. It also didn’t have the same keyboard or in-lap experience as a PC notebook. You got a compromised experience on both sides of the fence. Just as with Surface 2, Microsoft is committed to a more aggressive update cadence to its Surface Pro hardware as well. Here we are, almost 9 months since availability of the original Surface Pro, reviewing its successor.

Unlike Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 shows almost no signs of change on the outside. It reminds me of the pre-iPhone/iPad era where expecting a dramatic chassis redesign a year after introduction was considered ludicrous. Surface Pro 2 keeps the exact same finish, dimensions and weight as the original Surface Pro.

Read the rest of the review.

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Mon, 21 Oct 2013 08:42:01 +0000
NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Gigabit Router (my Amazon Review) My Experience: 19 years in the IT industry as a Systems Administrator. I have worked for the largest companies on the planet (IBM, HP, Intel) and then did 10 years in the start-up world. I know how to put a network together. I know what works and I know when it doesn't. Like a lot of the reviewers here, most of us seem to be coming from either older routers or replacing Asus routers (at an alarming rate I might add from what I have been reading.) Like a lot of you, I am ALSO replacing an ASUS Router I…
I live on the East Coast and I have a tri-tiered house and getting a signal to the basement has been a challenge. I ended up having to put in a powerline Network (el-sucko when it comes to speed) and wanted to improve that throughput several times over. I also have, at times 3 kids who LOVE (and I mean LOVE) videos and online gaming over a wireless connection. I needed a router that could keep up and going from a single core CPU router to a dual core with TWICE the throughput sounded like what I needed as my house has the following (all talking to my router):

- 4 Roku's (HD)
- 4-6 phones
- 6 tablets
- 4 DVR's
- 4 TV's (wireless and LAN)
- 4 Blu Ray players (firmware updates)
- 2 Surround Sound systems (firmware updates)
- 2 gaming systems (if you have teenagers, you have gaming systems): 1 - XBOX 360 and One PS3. Both wirless connections.
- 3-4 laptops (depends on which kids happen to be home)
- 1 Desktop machine (mine, multiple NIC's and active connections)
... and I believe a Partridge in a pear tree (up in the attic!)

Bottom line... I have a hell of a lot of things that have to talk to the router who are constantly chewing data. I needed more and I needed more fast!

For me to purchase a new Netgear router took A LOT! I have been VERY disappointed with Netgears offerings as of late as prior to my Asus router purchase I had Netgears 'other' TOTL router, the R6250 Smart WiFi Router. That router was so bad, I had to take it back to the store once AND had to return the router to Netgear once (so x2 total) because it kept dropping connections and rebooting... all on its own. I had (up until that point) never had a router perform that bad. It blew...

That said, it looks like Netgear has FINALLY listened to me! I wanted router that had a dual core processor and could cover my ENTIRE house or at least "talk" to my access point consistently without 'losing the connection' every time the wind blew.

I do want to say upfront, I did look at the new Asus "super router" which also sports a dual core processor but I read a few reviews over on Newegg and it just doesn't seem like it's as good as what Netgear is offering (I know... mind blown also!) - [...] - so I decided to give this spaceship a try.

I bought this from my local Best Buy store as if it sucked I wanted to be able to take it back and not have to mess with the shipping.

Like a lot of people state here this router is twice the size of any router out there (but looks really cool!). I honestly like it better since the cooling of the router seems to be much better especially when we're cranking multiple video streams to multiple devices throughout my house. I can also tell you that after getting it hooked up and set up on the 'inter-tubes' I've noticed that even my wired LAN speed seems to be much smoother (not necessarily faster but smoother) than it was on my top-tier Asus router.

Setup of this device was ridiculously easy. Actually easier than most other routers that I've set up over the years. I changed a IP addressing range and subnet, change the password, plug it in, and off I went.

So far this has been an absolute pleasure to work with! That said I'll see how it is in a couple of weeks but the smoothness of this router and the wireless speed I now get throughout the house is better than anything I'd had before.

I'm not getting rid of my Asus router just yet. What I'm going to do is actually use it as an AP point in the basement after purchasing some very large antenna extenders so that I can get rid of the powerline adapter that I have down there. I believe any kind of wireless connection is going to be 10 times faster than the powerline adapter that I have down there right now.

The only word of caution I have for Netgear is don't screw up the firmware updates! Netgear has a tendency of putting out updates that actually cause the router to become unstable over a period of time. I just want any Netgear folks who happen to be reading this review to 'take note' of that. You put out a really nice product, probably the best product you have put out in several years... Don't screw it up!

Again, if you're looking for a router that can handle all the devices that you have in your house especially when it comes to mobile and video you need to pull out your Visa and get this baby in your home. Going to Best Buy and purchasing a $30 router and then hooking up 20 to 30 devices to it just doesn't cut it.

So far... A pleasure.

If you're in the market for a new router or you just need more than your current router can provide, so far, I have to recommend this router. I'm actually stunned it's this good.


]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Sat, 19 Oct 2013 02:08:44 +0000
How Dual Band Routers Can Solve Your Wireless Woes! (SMB's pay attention!) I cannot tell you how many SMB's complain about this exact problem! Read!    The majority of problems experienced with WiFi network connectivity arises from the wireless router. Most of the time, the problem can be traced back to the cheap modem-router combinations that telecommunications companies like AT&T and Comcast foist off on their customers. While these units provide cheap Internet connectivity, they often don’t provide better connection speeds than 802.11g, colloquially referred to as “wireless g”. Since the release of 802.11g in 2003, wireless standards rocketed past even wireless-G’s successor, 802.11n.

The newest standard today is 802.11ac, which adds not just increased transfer speeds but also better connectivity. To get the most out of the latest wireless standards, however, you need a wireless adapter with the 802.11n or 802.11ac technology in addition to a router capable of providing such speeds.


Another issue complicating the various wireless standards is that of channel saturation. For those living in apartments, you may frequently experience Internet disconnections. That’s because the 2.4 GHz spectrum remains the most popular bandwidth for modern devices. A very recent trend among device manufacturers has been to include 5 GHz, along with the older 2.4 GHz band. These routers are known as “dual-band” and can connect to either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless adapters.

Read the rest of the problem.


]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Tue, 08 Oct 2013 11:51:29 +0000
The Router we ALL have been waiting for! - Revolutionary Skydog Ships on Time to More than 1,000 Kickstarter Backers The last time I came across a Technology this cool, the site adopted the company. That company was Connectify and I still believe that software should win best product for 2013. I freaking LOVE that product! But, what about hardware? Sure we have the mobile phone makers, but that's a phone. A dime a dozen as far as I'm concerned. We have iPads, and iPhones. Super fast Intel and AMD Chips. Motherboards and video cards so fast we can play and visualize things on our monitors like never before. But... after we have them all setup and working... what do…

True, even if I was asked that I'd probably want to wash my hands first (seriously... some of you are FREAKS!) but, again, even if I did you would see something like this:router log 1

 well... what if you could see something like...THIS! SD 1Well folks... it's almost here!

SkyDog was a Kickstarter program announced about a year ago, and I was just informed from the company they are currently shipping over 1K of Kickstarter units to backers this Friday!

I want you to read the companies announcement and then watch the video below. I'm telling ya... this is the router every mom and dad with kids wants! Period! Oh, and you streaming movie and video junkies, watch the video and see how, with the touch of a button on your PHONE or TABLET how you can 'fix' stuttering connections with a single tap of the screen.

SD 2Folks, simply put: if my kids were still at home this would be router both my wife and I would have had installed in about 2 seconds in our house!

SD 3Seriously, check out the video below after you have read the announcement.

 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 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:
    • Monitors the network, including who is online, which devices are being used, usage tracking of specific sites and how much bandwidth is being used.
    • 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.
    • 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:
    • 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.
    • Enables time limits for specific website access by user, covering all devices, based on a calendaring system, such as school days versus weekends.
    • Provides firewalled guest access, granting an extra layer of security to the family network.
    • 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:
    • Installs quickly and easily using the Skydog app.
    • Organizes attached devices by primary user to simplify and unify actions like setting policies on applications or Internet use.
    • Easily piggybacks on existing routers or broadband gateways, to provide the additional functionality only available with Skydog.
    • 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.

For more information, please follow Skydog on Twitter and Facebook.

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

Now, watch the video below!


]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Wed, 28 Aug 2013 23:59:30 +0000
Chromecast for the road warrior! Hmmm... a pretty good idea using this device for presentations.  Aside from its consumer appeal, however, might Chromecast also have value for business uses inside enterprises? Or, at least, could it catch on with tech-savvy individual sales personnel or BYOD-friendly executives who might need a mobile gadget to project a slide show or video presentation to a larger HD monitor while on a client visit?
The 2-in. Chromecast device would be easy enough to carry along on a business trip: Just open a Chrome browser to a tab with a sales presentation or other document on just about any fast laptop running Mac or Windows. Then, plug the Chromecast dongle into the HDMI port of an HD display, and plug in power from the USB-ready cord provided with Chromecast. A Wi-Fi connection is also needed.

With its initial release, Chromecast supports streaming content from Netflix, YouTube, Google Play Movies and Google Play Music from an iOS or Android device. Also, now in beta, users with a fast laptop running Windows, Mac or Chrome OS with the Chrome browser can use the Chromecast to show content inside of a Chrome tab to the HD display. Google also seems on course in future rollouts to make the content in a Chrome browser tab stream to an HD display from any Android or iOS device as well. 

Read the rest of the article. 

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:52:37 +0000
Essential networking tips for small business! While this article is very lite on the 'How To' aspect of the SMB network, it does offer some decent advise on how you can keep your network up and running meeting your customers needs.  So you’ve seen the light and turned your sluggish PC into a productivity powerhouse with better, faster gear. That’s a great first step. But putting together a state-of-the-art PC workstation without having a fast, reliable network to help it run at its best is like leaving your souped-up new ride on blocks in your garage.

Check out the tips below for ways to upgrade your network and storage, and take your productivity to the next level. 


Embrace the flexibility of wireless - Though its speed and reliability make ethernet a must-have for optimal PC performance, Wi-Fi has its place, too. Without it, you’d never enjoy the work-anywhere flexibility of your laptop or mobile devices.

Read the rest of the article. 

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Wed, 24 Jul 2013 05:12:40 +0000
Miercom SMB Managed Switch Comparison Report (Cisco,D-Link,HP,Netgear) Every small business needs a switch but finding the right one, hell even SELECTING the correct one with all the hype a company can throw at a product is a challenge. Enter the Miercom SMB Managed Switch Comparison Report. This report look at SMB switches from Cisco, D-Link, HP, and Netgear.
The report is sponsored by Cisco, but do not let that put you off. I happen to use 2 SMB switches in my home network setup which has allowed me to really 'tweak' my home network so I can get the most out of my new FIOS setup.

With most home networks having AT LEAST 10 concurrent connected devices (Router, Laptops, console systems, DVR's, phones, etc...) having all that traffic managed by a cheap 20-30 dollar switch can be the main reason your speed has slowed to a crawl.

Check out the report and see if you agree with the conclusions by Miercom.

P.S. Even though Cisco sponsored this report, the fact remains this was an independent lab conclusion and not one influenced by Cisco.

You can check out the report here (PDF)

]]> (Digital Dave) Hardware Sat, 15 Jun 2013 23:38:14 +0000