What is DLNA?
DLNA stands for the Digital Living Network Alliance. It’s a ubiquitous symbol that has become synonymous with wirelessly connected devices. And what a nifty looking icon it is – but sadly most people don’t take advantage of it to its fullest extent. Why? Because they don’t know what it is and the power it can hold.
DLNA is a standard of media home networking that is supposed to cross platforms and devices and make them share DNA, like making all your wireless devices brothers and sisters.
Just like Wireless-N or USB, it is an attempt to synthesize something important across as many digital platforms as possible. How happy would you be if there were 20 different HDMI variations for different laptop or TV brands? What a cluster – I mean mess that would be. Just another collection of cords to add to the pile of decaying digital dreams.
The Techie Basics of DLNA and UPnP (Universal Plug ‘n Play)
According to Wikipedia, DLNA provides “interoperability guidelines to enable sharing of digital media between consumer devices such as computers, printers, cameras, cell phones, and other multimedia devices”
DLNA is based on the widely used Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) platform for digital media management, file discovery, and control. UPnP defines the types of device that DLNA supports and the methods for accessing the media over a network.
The Connected Home: This is Supposed to Be Easy… Right?
DLNA is an attempt at simplicity and avoiding confusion and making someone feel safe that their devices will be compatible and act as together as they are intended. Let’s call it a gadget safety net.
An array of major gadget manufacturers signed onto DLNA including Motorola, Panasonic, Qualcomm, HTC, Verizon, Cisco, LG, HP, Huawei, Comcast, Microsoft, Nokia, AT&T, and Intel just to name a few.
Personally, I always have misgivings about anything called an “alliance.” It always seems that there is some backroom deal and that your cellphone is plotting with your laptop to overthrow your TV.
According to the lovely DLNA.org description
DLNA makes compatibility challenges a thing of the past. You remember the dark digital days, when trying to send movies, music and photos from one brand-name device to another seemed next to impossible? And although the PC in your office and TV in the den were just a room away, they were miles apart in compatibility. Those days are long gone. Welcome to a new day in digital living.
The Forgotten Centerpiece of a DLNA Network
While many devices work with DLNA, there is one important device that can be left out of the decision-making process, the router of course.
Every device wants to claim the title the media hub of your seamlessly connected home or office network from your Smart TV to a media streaming box to your favorite gaming console. However, the first step to creating this harmony is making sure that the gateway to the Internet and wireless sharing is strong enough to handle it.
Without a proper router to handle the traffic, it doesn’t matter how fast or new your devices are. You can quickly be up a creek, having slowdowns and malfunctioning devices communicating improperly and inefficiently.
Some router models are DLNA and UPnP complaint however they suffer in other areas such as their generally flaw-filled firmware, lack of features such as PPTP or OpenVPN integration or bandwidth management. DD-WRT is a corrective measure that breaks a router out of a manufacturer’s prisons of limitations and restrictions. DD-WRT can add DLNA (or a smaller version called MiniDLNA) and UPnP compatibility to routers that did not have it previously.
Having a fully featured, steady networking device like a Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT FlashRouter as the centerpiece of your home network can allay your worries of possible conflicts between devices and make a setup easier. Once you get the hang of the DD-WRT basics, there are many different advanced features that you can toy around with like Optware, JFFS partitioning, creating virtual wireless interfaces and SSIDs, creating startup and firewall scripts and tons of other uber-nerdy fun.
FlashRouters’ main goal is to provide DD-WRT compliant models with the latest working builds. We can help you avoid the elusive correct build for a router and offer free networking support to make sure your network is fully functioning.
Included in any FlashRouter purchase, we will configure your router and include a customized setup guide before it ships to make its install as smooth as possible. All this for practically the same price or less than you can buy it from your local computer store!
If you have questions or are looking for unique setups or routers configurations, contact us via our support ticket system for the fastest responses. And it’s the best way to sample our excellent support that we are more than proud to showcase.