PowerCloud Systems, a pioneer in cloud networking for the connected home, today announced that Skydog™, a combination smart Wi-Fi router and Web application, is now available to the general public. Skydog gives families coping with an overload of devices and Internet applications unprecedented visibility into, and management over, their home network so that they can take control of their connected lives. Skydog had a successful Kickstarter campaign in Spring 2013 and now has more than 1,000 users and glowing reviews. Skydog is available via www.Skydog.com and on Amazon (http://amzn.to/HhYpkj).
“The proliferation of devices, coupled with an insatiable demand for connectivity from each member of the family, has created new challenges in managing the home network,” said Jeff Abramowitz, founder and CEO of PowerCloud Systems. “Skydog is the only home networking solution that gives parents the tools to manage Internet use based on the individual needs of each user, making it easier for them to help their kids make smart choices online.”
Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents monitor and manage their children’s media consumption – including the Internet (http://bit.ly/1g74CxV). However, even well-intentioned parents find it extremely difficult to stay on top of what their kids are doing online. A recent study from security vendor McAfee (http://bit.ly/15DQdlg) portrays parents as feeling increasingly out of control regarding their kids’ Internet use, with results revealing that:
- Kids spend an average of six hours online per day
- Two out of three parents describe their kids as being much more tech-savvy than they are
- Four out of five parents do not know how to find out what their children are doing online
Compounding these parenting challenges are performance problems associated with bandwidth-intensive applications like gaming and streaming media, as well as a constant influx of new connected devices and Internet security threats. Taken together, these issues present multi-faceted demands on the home network that didn’t exist in the past.
Skydog represents an entirely new way of managing the home network that is powerful, simple, and affordable. By leveraging the cloud and patented technologies, Skydog provides a level of visibility and control that goes far beyond any other router-based solution. For example, typical router solutions address parental control by enforcing a single, common set of policies across every device in the house. In comparison, Skydog allows for a unique set of policies for each individual user across all of their devices.
Skydog delivers five key benefits to dramatically improve the entire family’s Internet experience:
- Know What is Happening on the Network
Skydog provides unparalleled visibility into how the Internet is being used at home. With its unique ability to group devices by user, Skydog makes it easy to keep a watchful eye across all kids’ devices and help them manage work and play by keeping their Internet usage balanced. Skydog lets you see what websites are being visited, and create a watchlist of key sites for each user.
- Protect Kids and Empower Smart Choices
Skydog includes robust filters that allow you to easily choose how much access to the Internet is appropriate for each user, including the ability to set weekly schedules for each user, allowing parents to specify when kids can be online and their level of Web access during those periods. With Skydog, time spent on gaming and social networking sites can be limited during school days, and the Internet turned off at bedtime.
Skydog makes it easy to help kids develop good habits about their time spent online by sending them real-time notifications when they are about to hit their time limits.
- Stay Connected Anytime, Anywhere
The Skydog Web App is managed through the cloud and accessible from any connected device, so parents can stay connected to their home network in real time, no matter where they are.
Skydog can send notifications via text message or email when broadband service is down, an unexpected guest logs into the home network or even when time limits for Internet use have been exceeded.
- Protect the Network and its Users
Skydog contains powerful and continually updated filters to block malware to keep every device on the network safe from the outside.
Skydog also protects from the inside, with firewalled zones that let separate users within the home network. With Skydog, a home office can be in one zone, family devices in another, and guest access in a third, ensuring that private data stays private.
- Optimize Performance for Each Family
Skydog makes it easy to allocate bandwidth between zones, or among users and devices according to a schedule or on the fly. With Skydog, you can decide if a Skype call takes priority over a child’s streaming music, or ensure that a family-night streaming movie doesn’t stutter because of a high-bandwidth game being played in another room.
Pricing and Availability
The new Skydog version 1.1 being announced today incorporates feedback from Kickstarter users, adding new functionality, including more granular parental controls and an improved user interface for mobile devices.
Skydog is available to the general public today at www.Skydog.com and at Amazon.com for $149.00. This price includes a one-year cloud service subscription. For a limited time, Skydog will include two additional years of subscription free with every purchase. PowerCloud will also offer a Skydog range extender in late Q4.
PowerCloud® Systems is a leader and industry pioneer in cloud-powered wireless networking. The technology underpinning Skydog and the company’s award-winning CloudCommand™ platform was invented at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) and makes deploying and monitoring Wi-Fi networks and services easy for consumers and businesses with mobile customers. PowerCloud Systems products are deployed worldwide in homes, hotels, schools, retail chains 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.