Setting up your own home network can seem a bit daunting at first. Relax -- it’s far simpler than you think. It’s really a very basic concept: you want to quickly find, perform and share things that reside on your computer with your family -- such as files, photos, music, games, videos chats, and more. You also want everyone to be able to use the same printer without having to carry thumb drives around, or laboriously reassign printer anytime you want to use a different computer or device. A home network also enables you to connect other devices to each other and to the Internet such as an Xbox for live gaming or a internet camera for web chatting or even a wireless home audio device such as a Linksys by Cisco Director that allows you to play all your music and access Internet music services such as Rhapsody. Simply put, a home network can help you hook up and share all of your ‘stuff’ without even thinking about it. Cisco Network Magic, makes setting up your home network quite simple, even for those who wouldn’t consider themselves technically savvy. But some of you are wondering, why do I need a home network and how does a home network work?First, let’s start with the most basic configuration: a couple of computers sharing a printer and a connection to the Internet. That connection to the Internet happens in a device called a router or even a wireless router, which also acts as the hub of the home network itself. Everything inside your home is connected to this hub, either physically -- ‘wired’ -- via coaxial cable, or remotely, via wireless adapters that reside on or connect to every peripheral like a printer or a game console. Read More »
Visual Networking websites, those combining video and social networking, are embracing the chit chat we love to share about our favorite TV shows by creating networks in which TV fans can enjoy broadcast media and easily engage with like-minded fans. Boxee, Sling.com and Netflix are a few examples, but I’ve recently started playing around on TVLoop, which allows you to engage with fellow TV fans across 5 social networking sites: Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and Bebo.TVLoop.com, a visual networking site that originated as a social application on Facebook and other social networking sites; it has accumulated over 15 million registered fans. The TVLoop site allows fans to discuss, enjoy photos, partake in trivia and quizzes, play with widgets, shop the merchandise store, and play a recruiting game for each of the 200 or so TV shows in the network. Each TV show community will also let you watch full episodes and clips to watch and share.According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, professional or traditional broadcast video content will drive Internet video growth (i.e., video to PCs/laptops), with traffic of this type quintupling from 2008 and 2012. The added value in user experience that comes from sharing a laugh or question about a favorite TV show, I think will only increase the use of online video, whether enjoyed on PC or TV. Here is TVLoop widget for “The Office”
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Today Cisco and Trend Micro announced the integration of Trend Micro’s internet security software embedded directly on select Linksys by Cisco wireless-N home routers. The integrated software service has been dubbed: Home Network Defender. This is a huge advancement in home network security because Home Network Defender is a multi-layered security service that provides network protection for family PCs and other home-network devices, such as online game consoles, Wi-Fi enabled phones, and personal media players all at the router level.Hosting Home Network Defender on the router level eliminates the need for different security systems physically located on every networked device in your home; with Home Network Defender you can determine the appropriate setting for each device in one place. Parental controls and Safe Web Surfing capabilities are key features of Home Network Defender as it lets you monitor network devices and activities, prompting instant detection and prevention of intruding devices on the home or small-business network, as well as reports of parental control violations by users. Screen Shot of Set Up Page of Home Network Defender Software Read More »
The winners of Cisco’s most recent Digital Cribs video contest, in partnership with New York University’s ProMotion Pictures and the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, have been announced. Two brand winners and two viewers’ choice winners were selected from each university. Brand winning videos have been determined by Cisco judges based on the film makers’ adherence to a creative brief, the quality of casting, storytelling and originality. Viewers’ choice winning videos were determined by the number of views the video received on digitalcribs.comCisco partnered with NYU and USC to tap into the talents of aspiring film makers to show the experience of living a connected life. In all of the videos, the film makers’ show that a ‘digital crib’ signifies an entire digital lifestyle that provides connectivity and enables creativity, no matter the individual’s passion or profession. Check out the winning videos below to see different individuals from all over the world using consumer technology and their home network in very interesting ways.Brand Winners:NYU: Jacob Robinson, Ryan Heller, Heather Jack, Claire Harlam, Benedetta Arese Lucini, Anne Becker, Jessica Shain: “David Malan: Coolest Geek at Harvard”USC: Michael Koerbel: “David and Amy Wenzel“Viewers’ Choice Winners: NYU: “Digital Architect” by Ryan Silbert and Matt Greenbaum received 31 percent of NYU video submission votes to win $3,100. USC: “Tim Ferriss’s Digital Lifestyle” by Ross and Jeremy Cohen received 23 percent of USC video submission votes to win $2,300. Enjoy Digital Cribs? Follow @DigitalCribs on TwitterCatch excerpts of Digital Cribs on You TubeBecome a fan of Digital Cribs on Facebook.
The human network is a powerful concept and it’s hard not to come across examples of its effect in action. The social networking site BlackCardCircle.com (currently in private beta) is one such example. I first learned about Black Card Circle on Twitter where the founder, Lotay Yang is extremely active and influential. Black Card Circle is essentially creating a human network of what they affectionately call “CIAs: Connectors, Influencers and Alphas.” One’s qualifications as a “CIA” depend on an individual’s financial capital and/or social influence. The Black Circle Foundation is the philanthropic leg of the community. They put the human network ‘effect’ in action by bringing together positive social change and business execution to benefit society. While attending CES in early January of this year, I met up with Mr. Yang to learn more about what differentiates BlackCardCircle.com from other social networks. This video includes excerpts from that conversation: What do you most enjoy about the social networks you belong to? Do you have any suggestions for them? Let us know in the comment section :cheese: Follow @DigitalCribs on Twitter for more Cisco and consumer conversations. Click here to visit the Cisco consumer site.