Mobile Companion Helps Create Wifi Network

  • Four modes to assist with wireless setup
  • USB sharing capability
  • Size of a mobile phone charger

D-Link has launched its All-in-one Mobile Companion (DIR-505), a product for travellers and mobile device owners. Providing the features of a standard wireless router, the All-in-one Mobile Companion allows anyone to deploy a wireless network wherever an existing network is available. The Mobile Companion also includes USB sharing capabilities that enable users to share videos, music and photos from an external hard drive or flash drive with any iPad, iPhone or Android device.

Worldwide media tablet sales to end users are expected to total 118.9 million units in 2012, a ninety-eight percent increase from 2011, according to research company Gartner. Tablets and other portable devices are dependent on cloud solutions and rely solely on wireless connections for their Internet access. However, not every home, hotel, or conference hall has a high-speed wireless network and D-Link’s newest device is designed to act as a saviour in these situations. About the size of a mobile phone wall charger, the All-in-one Mobile Companion can create an instant wifi network with a range of features.

SharePort Mobile serves up access to stored personal files and multimedia whenever a hard drive or flash storage drive is connected to the router’s built-in USB port. Music, video, and photos can be streamed or transferred to multiple users with the easy touch-based mobile app for iOS and Android devices, or to users with a compatible web browser. The router’s USB port also doubles as a power source for charging or powering a mobile device.

An Ethernet port allows users to connect to an existing network using a network cable along with a web GUI configuration. The Wifi Protected Setup (WPS) button lets you add wireless devices like tablets and smartphones with the simple touch of a button. The unit also includes four wireless operating modes configurable via a switch: Router, Access Point, Wi-Fi Hotspot, and Repeater.

In Router mode, the unit behaves like a traditional wireless router, taking an existing wired network connection and making it accessible as a high-speed Wireless N signal. This feature is useful for those that need to create a wireless network at home or away. Most hotels and business centres have a fast wired network infrastructure, but may have slow or unreliable wireless internet that is unsuitable for portable devices like tablet PCs. Router mode allows travellers to overcome these limitations by creating their own wireless connections.

In Access Point Mode, the unit connects wireless devices together, but does not facilitate routing. This mode also allows a connected wired device to communicate with other devices wirelessly. It can also be used to create an impromptu private wireless network without Internet access so that networked devices can securely connect to one another without being exposed to the Internet or other computers.

In Wi-Fi Hotspot Mode, it connects to a wireless network and subsequently shares that single network connection with nearby devices. This can be useful at a hotel, airport, or café to share a hotspot connection with multiple devices. Using a wifi connection in this manner helps to defeat mobile roaming charges for devices like smartphones and tablets. Additionally, this configuration can provide a second layer of security when connecting to public hotspots by hiding connected devices from foreign devices on the public network, and keeping them in their own private network.

Repeater Mode can help improve the strength of a wireless network. Simply place the All-in-one Mobile Companion within range of an existing wireless network, and it will retransmit the signal, effectively increasing the wireless network range. Repeater mode is great for large homes and offices that need the signal from the primary access point to extend as far as possible, and to as many devices possible. Additionally, this mode can be used to connect a wired device to the wireless network, which can be useful for some smart TVs, game consoles, DVRs, or other devices that do not have a built-in wireless card.

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