Review: Boxee D-Link

If you are looking for a decent media player to plug into your network wired or wirelessly then I would recommend the Boxee D-Link. In my opinion there are two kinds of Media Players out there, the dumb and the smart kind. The dumb is usually the type that just plays what ever you point it too or what ever USB you plug into it. A smart player is the on that gets information for you, tracks your history, gets all the information of TV Shows & Movies with the backgrounds and images to make for a very nice user interface. You can build your own smart player like XBMC or Plex Media Server but in both cases it would require some work and finese to put together a system like that but a lot of people don’t have the patience or know how to make something like this and this case I would recommend the Boxee Media Player because it does about 80% of the smart actions without the difficulty of configuring every little detail of the device.

Pros:

  • Lots of Updates for it, and its been around long enough to have fixed most of its kinks
  • Very simple and clean interface
  • Recognized about 90% of the TV Shows that I have, and 9%5 of the Movies
  • Plug & Play no difficulty setting it up
  • Scans materials and updates your shows when you add new episodes every few hours
  • Keeps track of shows that you have watched and those that you haven’t, and if you are half way through a show you can play where you stopped
  • The remote is simple on one side and has a qwerty keyboard on the other, very useful for when you browse online
  • Works very well over a wireless network, and in my case the accesspoint is a far from it so I’m impressed with its wireless capabilites
  • You can use an iPhone or iPad to control it

Cons:

  • Its a bit too dumb on certain parts, I keep having to enter my storage server password everyday which gets annoying, they should give the option to remember
  • If you leave it on all day you have to restart it when you use it because it hangs a bit but overall it doesn’t have a negative effect

Overall:

Honestly, Boxee got off on the wrong foot when they first started in 2010 but the hardware is great. The box is small and silent, the RF remote is fantastic, and the hardware overall is a good value over buying an ATOM/ION nettop and IR remote, and installing Boxee or XBMC. I still think this is a geeky product that is trying to be usable for non-geeks which is a step in the right direction.

Price: $179
Link: Amazon
Rating:


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Raid 0 & 1 Explained With Sandwiches

D-Link takes a very creative way to Explain the different kinds of Raid to people. For techies Raid has been a part of their lives for decades but with more homes using home storage solutions from so many different companies they would be confused as to what is all the different types of configurations for their hard drives. But as for Raid 1 & 0 this is the best explanation yet and you will probably be hungry after the video.

Network Access Points

DLINK_AP

There are a lot of access points out on the market, and I have tried quite a few, been through 2 Netgear, 2 Linksys, 1 Belkin, and 3 D-Link. Out of all them I would avoid Belkin, probably the worst out of all the products, was horrible out of the box, worse support and I would avoid all their products period. Linksys are good but not what it used to be, I still prefer the older models then the new consumer models. Netgear is nice when its working but after a while it would hang, I would have to plug it and unplug it, and one of them just stopped working. Overall the best solid products with little nonsense and high features are D-Link products.

Models

  • D-Link DAP 1160
  • D-Link 2100 AP
  • D-Link 7100 AP

What I like out of them is full security features, MAC Filter, DHCP control, simple setup, and reasonably priced.

ADSL Modem/Router

I have to ISP coming in and I have two different technical setups for them, but both of them are the same idea. An ADSL modem which is a attached to a router which handles the network. For past couple of weeks my internet from Qnet has been acting up, I have done pretty much every possible conceivable solution to try and remedy this but to no avail. I have decided to do some testing with my modem, I have feeling that its life has come to an end after 6 years of good service, its a Thompson ADSL Modem but I can’t really do any configuration on it when I try to access it, so I wanted to replace it. Called my Qnet and all they offer is the Linksys ADSL which was crap from Kems, I asked for a Cisco modem but they said that it is only for corporate customers and they don’t have that in stock.

I’m judging these modems by a few of the points listed below, the main point is stability and no issues then I go on to other testing.

Key Points for successful modem:

  • Faster Connection, with the newer modems surfing is substantially faster due to the better architecture, a Cisco modem is much more stable and faster the a Linksys modem and I have tried that first hand
  • FTP and VPN access without any issues
  • Extra features such a Port Forwarding, VPN configurable, Black or White Listing IPs & MAC addresses, DynDNS, and Wireless options

I have taken the options into my own hands, and after reading up online I decided to do some testing on affordable regular ADSL modems to post it up later. All the below have decent reviews and had their own problems and what they were good at, I’m going to test it to my preferences and see what I come up with as a winner.

  • D-Link ADSL Modem/Router/Wireless
  • D-Link ADSL Modem/Router
  • Actiontech ADSL Modem/Router/Wireless

Two Tier Solution

I had the Belkin ADSL which worked all nice and dandy for only a few days before funky things started happening. I wanted a one box solution which I could use for all my needs instead I got another bunch of headaches. If I left my desktop for more then a day it wouldn’t be able to access the internet, I would have to manually restart the router. If a laptop was put into standby I wouldn’t be able to connect to the wireless connection, again I would have to reboot the router. Another thing which really bothered me was that for some reason the connection was a bit slow whenever I did a traceroute there was always a long delay with a multiple websites, so after going through this hell for a couple of weeks I went back to my old solution.

I brought back the Cisco Modem and D-Link Router, as soon as I plugged it everything was back to normal. Browsing felt very fast and stable, I was downloading and browsing faster then before. Even when I was sharing the connection with the main PC I was having issues with it hanging. Now with this solution its working perfectly, my only gripe is that I can’t really do any configurations with the Cisco Modem, if I try anything from the console I will probably crash it, I can’t even access its web based interface, until I find somebody that can I will leave things as is.

ADSL Modem Switch

I have been thinking about switching my current ADSL modem to something simpler. I had a problem with the ADSL Linksys modem from Zaijil, it kept disconnecting, so I upgraded it to a Cisco ADSL Modem, and used the D-Link Router as the DHCP and main connection of that network.

The one problem I am facing is that I am unable to pass through the public IP Address from the Cisco Modem to the D-Link Modem. I want to access the servers through the DYDNS website, and haven’t been able to due to this hiccup.

I have recently gotten my hands on a Belkin ADSL Modem, with decent reviews. So I am planning on using it as the main connection and DHCP modem for the network, and I can use DYDNS with this modem to access my network. The one thing about the Cisco modem is that it hasn’t had any problem what so ever since installing it, the only problem I have with it is that you have to have a Cisco Certificate to even think of configuring the damn thing.

After plugging the telephone cable in the Belkin ADSL modem, I called KEMS to get the information, turns out they login through PPoA and not PPoE, and I got the VPI/VI numbers needed. As soon as that was done, the router restarted and within a minute it was connected to the internet. Of course during configuration it was wired to the laptop. After that I disconnected the D-Link Router which is performed perfectly, finally removed the Netgear Dual Wan Router which has operated as a heat sink for me and nothing else, then I disconnected the Cisco ADSL modem. One thing for sure is that the Cisco modem is extremely dependable, but difficult to manage for a layman such as myself. I was having a few problems connecting the wireless but after restarting it, the laptop connected fine. I was hoping that I didn’t need to restart the machines, but I knew I would. So I restarted the WHS servers, but first I shut them down, cleaned them out with a dust blow which turned into its out little mini dust storm in the room, connected the main WHS server to the UPS and powered it back up correctly. After going through this whole process which took about two hours to make sure everything is connected, I was satisfied with the results.