skydog

Using PowerCloud’s Skydog network router is like having a surveillance tool in the house. Parents now have an easy way to monitor network traffic, to make sure the kiddies aren’t playing Guild Wars 2 when they’re supposed to be studying, or that your good-for-nothing brother-in-law isn’t hitting up a load of porn. And it lets users do all of that from their smartphone, thanks to the companion app.

The design is very easy to use and requires no technical know-how, which is perfect for its intended audience — moms and dads. Skydog can show you who’s online and with which devices, what websites they’re visiting, and how much bandwidth they’re using. And if a stranger tries to access your network, Skydog texts to let you know and throws the guest out past the firewall, to keep your network protected.

One of the most interesting use-cases for this product-plus-app combo is that you can tell if your Internet connection goes down even when you’re away. A loose cable is one thing — you can deal with that when you get home. But if you have to schedule an appointment with your ISP for a service call, at least you can hop on that ASAP. And you can reboot remotely, as well as schedule bandwidth priorities on demand, create a block list and set usage limits per person. This is particularly handy for households with multiple simultaneous users. [Edited for clarity.]

The startup just opened its Kickstarter page, and it’s already nearly a third of the way to its $75,000 goal, with over a month still to go.

  • Dual-band Concurrent N Wireless (5 & 2.4 GHz 802.11n)
  • Speeds up to 600 Mbps (300 Mbps on each band)
  • Robust WPA2-PSK Wi-Fi Security
  • Gigabit Ethernet Wired Ports
  • Compact design (17cm x 11cm x 2.5cm)
  • 100 ~ 240V Switching Power Adapter
  • HTML5 app works on any tablet, Windows PC, Mac, or smartphone

Although it would’ve been neat to see 802.11ac, this one relies on dual-band 802.11n. That may not be an issue for most home-based users, but if you want blazing fast connectivity, this is something you’ll want to bear in mind.

The minimum Kickstarter pledge is $79 for the super early bird special, with the first products set to ship at the end of May or early June 2013. If you miss the special, the next tier up is $99. Those are very reasonable prices given the product category and what this product can do.

Interested? Then head over to the Kickstarter page for more details.