Introduction to Cisco Connect Cloud
For those interested in gaining additional access to their home networks from an external location Cisco has developed the Cisco Connect Cloud. This article takes a look at the different options that are made available with this feature and how it can be used to control home network appliances from afar.
With a population that must be connected 24/7 it is simply part of the evolution to gain further control over the home network when traveling (whether to work or on vacation). The Cisco Connect Cloud offers customers the ability to control a number of different functions on their home networks remotely; that is if they own one of three Cisco Connect Cloud devices. As of this writing the only devices that support Cisco Connect Cloud are the EA2700, ES3500 and EA4500 Smart Wi-Fi routers.
Each of these devices has built-in capabilities that can be activated by creating a Cisco Connect Cloud account and connecting them. These built-in capabilities include the following applications:
- Parental Control: This application provides parents with the ability to control the content that is available through the Cisco device remotely, so if a parent believes that their child is accessing unwanted content they have the ability to control it.
- Guest Access: This application provides the ability to set up and control access to a home guest network
- See and Add Devices: This application provides the ability to see the currently connected devices on the home network and control access to new devices onto the network.
- Speed Test: This application gives the ability to remotely test the speed of the home network connection.
- Media Prioritization: This application provides the ability to control the priority of media on the home network; if a specific device requires a higher amount of priority it can be controlled.
- USB Storage: This application provides the ability to manage any USB storage devices that are connected to the home router.
The other interesting capability of the Cisco Connect Cloud is that it is expandable with additional applications available from both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store; these applications can be written to give additional access to the home network.
There are some interesting capabilities that can be introduced when giving secure remote capabilities to a home router. Cisco is certainly headed in the right direction when introducing these abilities in their new routers, and hopefully support will be included in all future iterations of their home router lines. If this happens, their current applications will have enough time to mature and also give time for additional applications to be developed to increase the usefulness of their offering.