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Customer Review

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What you want to know, that isn't obvious, about this very cool product, December 7, 2013
This review is from: Skydog Web App and Smart Family Wi-Fi Router with Cloud Service Subscription (Personal Computers)
So, I got to use the Skydog router, which protects internet access and use for an entire network at once. ([...] You can read all about the product on the website and here, here's the things I learned you may care about from a user's point of view that I don't think is obvious:

1. It works as advertised, I could group all the devices on my WiFi by who is using them, and control access times as well as content on ALL of the kids devices. DS, Kindles, Phones, and Computers. You can even block TV and WII browsing I'm sure should you wish too.

2. It works on a device by device basis, so if you share equipment with your kids, it will still be useful but much less so. You can set it up so all users have the settings you want on the kids, and override for the period of time those settings don't work for you I suppose. You could also combine it with NetNanny or similar on the "shared device".

3. Setup was easy, it is through the web and you can access it anywhere. However, it isn't fully "intuitive", at least I didn't think so. When I new device is added you get emails and text messages (based on what you say you want), but knowing WHOS device it is can be tricky. That probably took longer than anything else.

4. Filtering wasn't completely straight forward. You need to make users, assign equipment to users. You then use groups, and assign security to groups. AFTER all of that, you can assign security groups to users. That's a lot of steps. Although, the filter looked pretty robust.

5. You can (as a bonus) utilization charts by device, by time of day. Can be useful for seeing what's going on. It also monitors your ISP, and will keep track of uptime and can do speed testing. Kind of neat, not sure its really "useful" but it does look cool... lol

6. You can have your network be managed by someone else plus you, and its all web based. So, if you made me for example and admin on your network, I could set it up from anywhere, as well as configure it for you. [no, this is NOT an offer, just something nice if you have multiple places you wish to protect, for example]

All in all, it is good and does what I wanted (Protecting ALL the kids device). For around $160, I'd recommend it to anyone. Be sure to either replace or rename/turn off your old WiFi. I actually gave the new one the same WiFi SSID and WAP access code as the old one. This trick means no one had to reconfigure their devices.

What would it take for 5 stars (I'd really give it 4.5 now, but I can't pick that):

1. Easier ways to identify which device is which. Instantaneous use (or last minute use) would be VERY helpful, so you can take a device, browse something like YouTube and see the instantaneous increase so you know who to assign it to.

2. A better interface to see all devices. A tree view would be helpful where you could see users, and devices under them all at once (including unassigned) and move the devices with drag and drop. It's a LOT of clicks to go from one to another right now.

What would make it truly awsome:

1. If, like hotels, it sensed when a MAC hasn't used the internet for a while, and forces a login page that requires a user name and password. With this feature, even on shared devices this could be the one protection appliance needed (as opposed to the discussion in item #2 above)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 7, 2013 1:03:36 PM PST
Thank you for taking the time to review Skydog and for your great feedback.

One of the items you mention as being needed for a 5 star review is actually doable in the product today. You can set a default profile for any new device that connects to the network. When you go to the Users section, you will see a section called "Unassigned". There will be one for each zone that you have turned on. Any new device that connects is automatically grouped under "Unassigned" and follows the rules that you set. For unassigned, you can set content filtering to completely block internet access or restrict it as you see fit. You can also set bandwidth restrictions.

We hope that helps improve your experience with Skydog.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 9, 2013 5:50:06 AM PST
sauralf says:
I did find that after I posted the review, and corrected the review so that it no longer lists that as an area of improvement for 5 stars. I think its a great product, a little bit of polish still needed, but overall I will recommend this to others (and already have!). I suppose if anything I should be upset as I will now no doubt have multiple family members asking me to set up their units (which makes me happy since I won't have a choice but to do it that you have the remote administrator capabilities).
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