"Home network setup" and "easy to use" are two phrase that have never gone together. But the new router models shown at CES by Linksys, NETGEAR, and D-Link, have visual dashboards that show maps and pictures of your connected devices so you can see if everything is running smoothly. With a little instruction, you can adjust your router settings by dragging and dropping icons to be sure you get the best streaming video to your home theater devices. Plus, if pushing a "WPS" automatic connection wasn't easy enough, router manufacturers are offering new, fast ways to connect devices to your home WiFi router.
Connect to Linksys router with NFC Smart Card
Near Field Communication (NFC) that has become a big hit on Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy, allows a user to tap and share photos, data, and create connections between enabled phones. Many 2013 connected TVs, and media streaming devices will have NFC. Linksys is taking advantage of the easy-to-use technology. Each new router will have an NFC Smart Card. Simply tap the Smart Card on an NFC-enabled media player, TV, tablet, or smartphone and the device will automatically be connected to the to your home network and the Internet via the Linksys router. And this begs the question, "when will iPhones and iPads get NFC?"
QR codes to join the network
Those funny little boxy codes that you can scan with your phone have a new purpose. NETGEAR will add a QR code connection feature to router models that use the NETGEAR Genie dashboard control. When a friend comes to your house with their smartphone or tablet, they scan the code on your phone or tablet and will be easily. connected to your wireless home network. The QR code can also be printed and left on your coffee table or refrigerator for guests to easily scan.
Be sure you can stream the best HD quality video
The new D-link DGL5500 router will have a dashboard that displays the streaming speed of the connection to each device. Users will be able to easily see if there is a fast enough stream to watch a high definition movie from Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, or other streaming video service. If it looks like another computer is going faster than the media player, they can drag the player's icon to the top of the list to get top priority (called Quality of Service or QoS) of streaming speed (bandwidth).