Amazon Alexa Skills, Bridge Mode and Parental Controls Scheduler Added For Voice Activation, Better Communication with ISP Gateways and Parent Control over Kids Internet Usage
Rushden, UK – May 2, 2017– Linksys®, a leader in networking solutions for the home and business and the first to ship 100 million routers, today announced it has added three new features to its Linksys App. Linksys added the Amazon Alexa Voice-Activated Experience, Bridge Mode for Velop™ and parental control scheduler to Velop and all Linksys App Enabled Routers (formally known as Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers) from its Max-Stream™ and WRT™ product lines.
“These new software features have been among those most requested by our customers”, said Dan Albertson, senior product manager for Linksys software. “Many Velop customers need the ability to configure Velop in Bridge Mode to allow them to keep their existing router or gateway from their service provider in place for other services such as voice or IPTV while leveraging Velop’s whole home Wi-Fi coverage and performance. Parental controls scheduling has been a feature in the Linksys browser-based interface but our users have told us they need the flexibility to manage internet access schedules for their kids’ devices from the Linksys App. And with Amazon Alexa support, Linksys App Enabled users will have the ability to more easily access their guest and main network credentials simply by asking Alexa. These are just a few features among many we’ll be rolling out in the coming months.”
Amazon Alexa Voice-Activated Experience
Linksys Velop, WRT, and Max-Stream (Mesh Systems and Routers) users with a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi (LSWF) account are supporting the Amazon Alexa voice-activated experience starting today in the UK and Germany. The three new Alexa voice control skills for Linksys products include: (more experiences are planned to come later)
- Turning guest access on and off
- Obtaining the guest Wi-Fi name and password
- Getting the main network credentials, which are commonly forgotten. (this skill can also be turned off)
To enable this skill:
1. Launch the Alexa App on a mobile device
2. Tap to open the menu, and choose “Skills”
3. At the top of the skills screen is a search box. Search for Linksys. Choose Linksys from the search result
4. Tap on the “Enable” button. The screen also includes a description of the skill and examples of utterances used to trigger commands, e.g. “Alexa, ask Linksys to turn on the guest Wi-Fi”
NOTE: Steps 1-4 can also be completed by verbally asking Alexa to “enable the Linksys skill” but still requires opening the app to perform step 5 below.
5. The consumer will then be presented with the OAuth login screen in which they will provide the email and password for their LSWF account to authenticate the two web services to speak with each other. Once authenticated, the skill should be available from their Amazon Alexa within within a minute or so.
Bridge Mode for Velop
Many consumers using Internet Service Provider (ISP) issued hardware (gateways known as consumer premises equipment (CPE) devices or a Modem + Wi-Fi Router) cannot remove or replace as the hardware enables other services such as voice or IPTV. With Velop configured in Bridge Mode and connected to the gateway, wireless devices connected to the ISP gateway network and wireless devices connected to the Velop mesh Wi-Fi network will be able to communicate with each other and eliminate issues, such as Double NAT. For example, if there is a printer on the ISP gateway network and a computer on the Velop network, the computer will be able to access the printer to print. To enable Bridge Mode, consumers can simply go into the Linksys App and change connection type to Bridge.
Other features that will continue to work by enabling Bridge Mode:
- Dynamic Tri-Band selection. Linksys is unique to offer the only true flexible mesh solution that doesn’t dedicate a single, static band to back haul. Velop dynamically selects any of the three bands (one 2.4 GHz or either of two of the 5GHz bands) that provides the best connection for the client. This helps give users 100% of their Internet speed to the edge of the network for better overall performance*
- One guest network. The guest network will work on all the nodes providing better range and performance for the guest network throughout the home
- Amazon Alexa support
- Auto firmware updates. Automatic firmware updates provide consumers automatic updates of new firmware so they don’t have to think about manually updating their routers every time a new firmware issued. This ensures customers have the latest fixes to bugs and access to new features
Parental Controls Scheduler for Linksys App Enabled Routers
The parental controls scheduler feature is now available in the Linksys App for Linksys Velop, Max-Stream, WRT and EA series routers. Parental controls scheduling enables a parent to set and manage a day of the week/hour-by-hour schedule by which to block a child’s device from internet usage. Bringing this feature to the Linksys App provides parents the flexibility to manage internet access from the convenience of their mobile device.
Bridge Mode is available today with a combination of a Velop firmware update and today’s update of the Linksys app. The Parental Controls scheduling feature requires only the app update.
Velop and all Linksys App-Enabled router users have the benefit of Automatic Firmware Updates. If users choose to disable Automatic Firmware Updates, the new firmware can be downloaded and installed manually. Check the Linksys support page for more details. Users can visit the Linksys support site to learn more about Automatic Firmware updates.
The Linksys brand has pioneered wireless connectivity since its inception in 1988 with its leading innovation and engineering strategies, and best-in-class networking technology, design, and customer service. Linksys enables a connected lifestyle for people at home, at work and on the move, and with its award-winning products, simplifies home control, entertainment, security and Internet access through innovative features and a growing application and partner ecosystem. For more information, visit linksys.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or watch us on YouTube.
* Based on the maximum speed that data (Phy rate) can move across a wireless link while alternating between the two 5GHz radios in each node.Each node has three Wi-Fi radios – one 2.4GHz Wi-Fi radio and two 5 GHz Wi-Fi radios. Each 5 Ghz radio has throughput of 867 Mbps. Nodes will alternate between the two 5 GHz radios for each separate connection, providing 100% seamless Wi-Fi to your network.