Stories by Michael Brown

D-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug review: Exceedingly basic home control

Plug D-Link's DSP-W215 Wi-Fi Smart Plug into an AC outlet and you can use your smartphone or tablet to monitor and control any device that you plug into it--locally or from wherever you have Internet access. You can also integrate the Smart Plug into D-Link's broader Connected Home Platform. But since it's designed to control anything from a lamp to an oscillating fan, control is limited to turning the device on or off. It can't do other useful things, such as dimming a connected lamp.

Michael Brown | 30 Sep | Read more

Canary promises a sophisticated home-security system for the 47 percent

Contrary to what you might think, higher-income households are actually less likely to be burglarized, according to an analysis by the Department of Justice. So folks of lesser means are not only at greater risk of being ripped off, they're also less able to afford a home-security system. The team at Canary doesn't think that's fair, and they're working on a device that could level the playing field.

Michael Brown | 22 Jul | Read more

Protect Your Assets: A Buying Guide to Office Security Systems

We talk frequently about cybersecurity, discussing how to protect your business's data by using strong passwords, deploying antimalware utilities, and keeping your computers safe with the latest patches and updates. This time, the focus is on premises security, or protecting your business's physical assets from burglary and vandalism.

Michael Brown | 31 Jul | Read more

Trendnet SecurView Pro Outdoor PoE Megapixel IP Camera Review: As Complex as It Is Powerful

Whereas Logitech (with its Alert 750e Outdoor Master System) and Swann (with its DVR-4 2600 4 Channel DVR & Camera Kit) emphasize ease of use, Trendnet focuses on delivering maximum performance and flexibility. Instead of making all of the design decisions for you, Trendnet assumes that you know exactly what you need, and the company provides the building blocks you need in order to realize your vision. The upside of this approach is that you get exactly what you want in a video-surveillance system and can expand it as your needs grow. The downside is that you must know precisely what you want and how to put it all together.

Michael Brown | 14 Jun | Read more

Keeping an Eye Out: We Review Three Video Surveillance Systems

Using strong passwords, the latest antivirus software, robust firewalls, and other software security tools can keep your business safe from hackers and other evildoers intent on stealing data or unleashing mayhem on your computers via the Internet, but such protections are fundamentally useless when it comes to guarding those very computers or your business's other tangible assets from outright theft. They can't tell you that someone has broken a window or jimmied a lock and is now busy prowling inside your office, store, or warehouse, stealing you blind.

Michael Brown | 14 Jun | Read more