This project's funding goal was not reached on April 22, 2013.
About this project
What is the Guardian and My Guardian App?
Router Research introduces The Guardian, a wireless router claiming an industry first with it’s one click management app. The Guardian’s features are unmatched with it’s intuitive Parental Control System and ability to scale with it’s Cloud Module. The true innovation here is it’s one click management app. The My Guardian App, soon to be available on Google Play® and the App Store® allows anyone with no prior networking knowledge to manage their network and all of it’s devices. The Cloud Module allows you to drop your cloud subscriptions and host your own files. With music streaming, text editor and picture gallery right out of the box, this may be the last cloud solution you own.
Featuring something no other mainstream vendor has been able to offer since the inception of wireless routers, the Parental Control System. This allows network segmentation and allows different levels of restrictions to be applied without affecting everyone else on the network. You wouldn't have the same type of restrictions applied for a 5 year old as you would a teenager or adult. We took notice of these subtleties and designed our products around user experience. With many one touch features like being able to turn off web access, set timers, block devices or services, block content or categories, even block online gaming. We truly believe we have a superior product that is unmatched on the marketplace.
The My Guardian App will work anywhere, you don't need to be at home to manage your network. The My Guardian App is only compatible with Router Research products. We are confident our wireless router will pass the Parent and Geek test.
- Create separate networks (e.g. One for Kids, One for adults or Guests) with unique QOS, DNS and different levels of filtering applied.
- Create multiple SSID's
- Ability to set timers (e.g. Turn off all internet access after 9:00PM).
- Redirect any web request to a custom web page when you block the internet (e.g. Do your homework, Go to bed etc.).
- Ability to block any device with the click of a button (e.g. XBOX®, Playstation®, Tablets etc.).
- Block addictive online games (Minecraft, WOW etc.).
- Block specific websites (e.g. facebook.com, youtube.com, etc.).
- Ability to filter specific types of web traffic (e.g. Adult Content, Fraudulent Websites, etc.).
- Block app stores which can easily incur charges (e.g. App store® or Google Play®).
- Ability to turn off Wi-Fi completely (e.g. Shut off internet access when you're not home, kick off all mobile devices etc.).
- On the fly quality of service (e.g. Use all the bandwidth for your needs, games, Netflix® or other streaming media).
- Easily prioritize networks or groups (e.g. Give kids or roommate 25% of bandwidth etc.).
A New Way to Manage your Network
Making some of the best enterprise features available to the smartphone wielding consumer, we open up a whole new realm of possibilities. No longer does www mean wild wild west. With the My Guardian App anyone can segment networks (VLAN), prioritize bandwidth (QOS), filter and block websites or services. This can be done on a per user or group level as not to affect everyone else on the network. No longer does your internet connection need to be wide open. Limiting and protecting your loved ones from the endless amount of information flowing to them.
When designing the Guardian we wanted to make sure we also passed the geek test. With OpenWRT and it's abundance of packages (over 2000), this router will be unmatched in the features arena. If you are like us and have been using DD-WRT and OpenWRT for years, you'll feel right at home managing it from the command line or web browser.
Beyond Management; Meet our Cloud Module
Two types of stackable hard drive modules will be available on our website shortly after release of the Guardian. They will be available in 2 sizes, 500GB & 750GB. The Cloud Module (sold separately) will be running ownCloud®, an open source cloud management front-end. ownCloud® apps are already available on the App store® & Google Play®.
Very similar to Google Drive®, box® and Dropbox® the add-on Cloud Module will make your data available wherever you go. When hosting your own files you don't need to be concerned with privacy or targeted marketing. You own the drive which your data resides on and pay $0 monthly fees. ownCloud® comes with the following features out of the box:
- Music streaming (Ampache server)
- File synchronization (webDAV)
- Mobile Apps on the App store® & Google Play®
- Text editor
- Photo gallery
The Router Research Cloud Module will allow additional features to be activated on the Guardian. A complete feature set is not yet available. We are currently looking at:
- ClamAV for detecting and removing trojans, viruses & malware
- A caching proxy server to speed up web browsing
- File replication *Subscription required
- More features to come
Home and Small Business
The Guardian is suitable for all types of households and small business owners can enjoy the benefits as well. For small business owners the peace of mind comes from knowing your employees are not wasting your time on social networks. You can also avoid HR nightmares by blocking all adult content before it ever reaches your systems. According to a recent study from salary.com, 64% of the workforce visit non-work related websites daily.
Having performed many security audits for various companies over the years, the wireless network is our preferred point of entry. By setting timers and having your Wi-Fi shutoff when your business is closed you have just reduced your attack surface by 50%. The Guardian also supports Radius 802.1x authentication for complete security. Rest easy knowing your business and home are well protected.
We want everyone to be 100% satisfied with Router Research products. We have done our very best to make setup as painless as possible with a clear and intuitive instruction manual. We will also be adding online support forums. We understand everyone’s network is different with multiple devices and configurations. With a plethora of internet service providers we will be offering tech support via chat and telephone for anyone with questions related to setup.
Router Research products integrate well with existing home networks. When designing wireless LANs we prefer to mimic enterprise designs where multiple access points are used to provide the best coverage. Our Guardian's are designed to easily expand upon each other to create a mesh network.
Have a wireless router provided by your ISP? No problem, you can still use our equipment.
- Dual Band 5GHz 450Mbps + 2.4GHz 300Mbps Concurrent for 750Mbps of total available bandwidth
- Wireless N MIMO 3X3 Stream on 5GHz & 2X2 on 2.4GHz
- Backwards compatible with 802.11a, b, & g wireless standards
- Linux Kernel 3.3.8
- MIPS 74Kc 600MHz
- 16MB Flash
- 128MB RAM
- 5X Gigabit ethernet 10/100/1000 LAN or WAN ports
- 1X USB 2.0 port
- IPv4 & IPv6
- Open, WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA/WPA2 Enterprise
- VLAN, Port Forwarding, Port Filtering, Firewall, DMZ, QOS
- VPN Client
- Samba Server for use with our Cloud Module
- DSSS (Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum)
- IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g/b, IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.3/3u/ab
- Anodized aluminum chassis
- 195mm x 150mm
- 12V 1.5A
Cloud Module Specifications:
- SATA II 2.5" 5400RPM Scorpio Black Hard drive
- USB 2.0
- Anodized aluminum chassis
- 195mm x 150mm
Ways to Help
Share the Guardian’s story. We know not everyone can pledge, but if you believe in our vision, please "Like" this Kickstarter page, Tweet it and Pin it. Out of all the people we surveyed before moving forward on the project, we had a strong following from Mom’s, Dad’s and teachers. Email this Kickstarter page to all the Mom’s, Dad’s and teachers you know!
Vote in the comments section for the option number. The design with the most votes will be produced when the project ends.
$500,000 - RJ45 Port locks for all pledges (Pair).
$750,000 - AdBlocker enabled on all routers, similar to AdTrap.
History and Evolution
There were a couple of recent events that inspired us to develop the Guardian and My Guardian App. Like most inventions, the Guardian was created as a solution to a problem. The problem being, there was no easy way to protect and manage all the devices on my network.
My personal involvement with the project came to light when I suddenly realized that my daughters both own multiple devices that connect to the internet. Through these devices they were exposed to a world which I had no control over. The real wake up call came when I looked at my 4 year old's tablet and noticed an app labeled “Naughty nurse dress up” and a host of other spyware. With the lure of online games and the ever constant streaming media I wanted a better way to manage and monitor internet usage in my home, even while I was away. I wanted to make sure XBOX or other online games like Minecraft would not get switched on before homework was complete. I wanted to make sure they weren't browsing the web or chatting while they should be sleeping.
I figured with all my years in computers and a background in networking this should be a simple task. I was wrong. It took several tries and a lot of research to figure out the best router and software combinations. After setting up a router with DD-WRT, OpenDNS, creating some VLANS, QOS rules, timers and several ipTable scripts I had something that worked. I setup Dynamic DNS so that I could manage my router from any location and I thought I was set. Then my wife asked me, “How can I manage the network?”. My first reaction was, “Are you interested in getting your CCNA?”.
Maybe I was going about this all wrong, there must be a product on the market that already nailed this. I’ve always been a stickler about using custom firmware like DD-WRT. I was out of touch with the current offerings from Cisco, D-Link and Netgear. I purchased a couple of routers from these well known vendors with “App enabled functionality”. To my amazement, each one was lacking something major, some made you go through their servers to configure my network...huh? Some gave you a mobile version of their website config page. Some would even ban your usage if you violated their terms of service. Look up Cisco cloud connect chaos for more information. I thought, these guys are completely missing the big picture. Wireless routers have been around for some 15 years and the configuration page looks exactly like it did way back then. It then became clear that a product needed to be created that would fill this void. I didn't want to reinvent everything, networking protocols and features have remained largely unchanged in the last 15 years. I wanted to reinvent the way the average consumer managed their network. Even bring some enterprise features to the home. If the GUI was simple enough, why not? Our first task was sifting through all the awful reviews of existing products and apps, learning what consumers really wanted. We then designed the product from the ground up with an emphasis on simplicity. From the language used to icons and gestures, we’re confident anyone can download the app and start managing their Guardian.
The goal for the hardware was first and foremost, we wanted it to be ours. We didn't want it to be tied to a company's server in any way. We didn't want our history tracked for marketing purposes, anonymously or not. Second, we knew we had to use open source software for superior features and reliability. Open source firmware like DD-WRT and OpenWRT are the epitome of reliability and features. Lastly, we wanted to do as much of the coding, assembly, and building of the devices here in the states. We know we can't source all the parts domestically, but we will do our best to get what we can from the United States.
Our real inspiration came when we realized how many lives we could change if such a device was brought to market. How many children we would be protecting by filtering or limiting what they can see on their laptops, iPod's tablets and gaming devices. We also thought about how much easier it would be for parents to enforce rules by either limiting, filtering or blocking the internet entirely. The Guardian combined with the My Guardian App will let you easily group devices into manageable categories like kids, parents, guest or roommate and apply rules accordingly. Set timers, block or filter services and websites, give certain types of web traffic or people priority over others. We truly believe we have a superior product on hand.
Our goal is $358,000 to get volume discounts from our suppliers, get production started and finalize the apps. This is where you come in. With your help we can bring this marvelous duo to market. None of these products would be possible without the hard work and dedication of so many people involved with DD-WRT and OpenWRT. To show our appreciation, 5% of the project proceeds will be given back to the open source community.
Robert Murray - Founder of Router Research
Router Researcher is a sponsored project of Startup America.
We currently have working prototypes of hardware and software that you are backing. See below for a more detailed look at our project timeline.
Risks and challenges
The Guardian AP has been designed and prototyped in Irvine California.
Manufacturing of the PCB will take place via our trusted partner, Eno-Epoch Technology Co Ltd in Shenzhen China. We are actively seeking out additional partners to create a redundant supply chain. HaiYue Electronics Co., Ltd is our current supplier for the intentional radiators.
All assembly, quality control and packaging will be done in Irvine California by our team. We have chosen a powerful and reliable chipset from our partners. We have upgraded the Flash and RAM, added a USB port and 5 gigabit ethernet ports. The case is designed and will be manufactured in the United States out of anodized aluminum. The My Guardian App for Google Play® and the App Store® is designed and tested in-house.
By mid April we hope to be funded and entering several stages of a soft launch.
Prototype units off to FCC for certification.
Mobile apps finalized and enter beta testing.
Various items are in production and entering QC for final assembly (i.e. Aluminum cases, manuals, packaging).
PCB enters mass production, At 3,000-4,000 boards were looking at a 2-3 week delivery time from Eno-Epoch Technology Co.
Firmware finalized, ready to be flashed on routers when they arrive.
PCB's arrive at our facility. Routers are assembled and flashed.
Routers go through a final QC.
Mobile apps exit beta and enter online marketplaces.
Units are packaged and begin to ship out to customers.
Our goal was network management simplicity plain and simple. We wanted to bring as many enterprise features as possible to the average consumer. We wanted to make them so accessible and easy to use that our grandma could manage the network with her iPhone.
No. 802.11ac is not a standard, it is a draft standard. They are currently on draft 4 and plan to complete the standard by late 2013. What does this mean? Similar to 802.11n, there were several drafts before it became ratified, 11 to be exact. History repeats itself yet again, vendors are quick to push out devices before the standard is ratified. Typically this means that you will end up owning several 802.11ac routers, each one slightly faster than it's predecessor. This is good news for Cisco, Netgear and Asus!! We envision the standard being mainstream by 2015 with support from all major vendors.
No, your internet speed is based on whatever you purchase from your ISP. Most home internet speeds average well below 50Mbps. Our router tops out at 750Mbps.
There are many products on the market that act as a controller for these standards (i.e. miCaseVerde, Homeseer & Control4). Some offer API's and most specialize in home automation. The home automation arena is a different animal, we feel dedicated controllers are needed for a number of reasons. We also feel that these wireless standards do not belong in your wireless router. Let the routers route, let the home automation controllers control.
No problem, you can still use your 802.11ac to serve up wireless and use our device as the default gateway to handle the core router duties. Please note that this configuration is not optimal and all advertised features may not function properly.
At this time we had to choose which mobile platforms to support. This was dictated by user base. 3 platforms would be quite an undertaking. This isn't to say that if we raised a certain percentage over our goal this wouldn't change.
Yes. We will include country-specific power adapters for your Guardian. Let us know.
Distribution Partners? Equity Partners? We have nothing set in stone but were open for discussions, lets talk.
- (60 days)