Sitecom has added an interesting new feature to its router range, but its fast-and-loose approach to the HTTP stream might irritate some users.
Dubbed "Automatic Firmware Update," for reasons which will become clear very shortly, the feature allows users of the company's Pure E-motion X-series routers to instantly update to the latest firmware release as soon as it's available.
While new firmware often adds improved performance and enhanced security, it has always been a pain to update. Many routers require you to visit the manufacturer's home page and compare version numbers, and even those that offer 'automatic' updating usually require you to log in to the administrative control panel to check for updates.
Sitecom's new system looks to change all that. Rather than requiring users to manually check for updates from the control panel, the company's routers will periodically check for updates themselves. If a new firmware is found, a pop-up will appear in the user's browser to alert them, providing a link to download and install the update - a procedure which Sitecom claims can be completed in a mere two clicks of a mouse.
While the feature offers users an easy way to stay up to date, the fact that the router fiddles with the HTTP data stream and injects its contents into the site you're trying to view is likely to irk many users, despite the presence of a 'Cancel' button which should prevent the router from prompting you again.
Despite this possible flaw, it's likely to be a feature that home and small office users, Sitecom's target market for the X-series, will find useful - at least until is applies an update that removes functionality or contains a show-stopping bug.