Wi-Fi

Jan 05 2016

News - NETGEAR announces four new products at CES 2016

NETGEAR has added an AC2600 802.11AC router, expanded its cable modem router offering, brought out the first AC2200 Wi-Fi range extender, and a PowerLINE Wi-Fi 1000 adapter kit to its product portfolio as well as annouced that the Arlo Q (hardwired) cameras are now available for purchase.

Nov 13 2015

News - FCC Decides DD-WRT Is OK, But Still Not Really

It came out a few months ago that the FCC was seeking to ban the ability for users to install custom/third-party firmware on their routers, specifically calling out DD-WRT. Now they're back tracking a little; no longer is DD-WRT specifically called out, or that third-party firmware specifically banned, just that it isn't OK unless OEMs can guarentee that these won't do things that are illegal. That's my read anyway, feel free to comment if I missed something important.

Oct 21 2015

News - Amped Wireless Announces AC1750 Touchscreen Wi-Fi Extender

In many larger, or particularly solid, homes one Wi-Fi router can't quite get to the edges, so it is necessary to add an extender or second access point. There are many options about there, but AFAIK this is the first, and only, touch screen model. I'm not sure what the touch screen really adds to the mix after first run besides "Digital Clock Mode", but since it's also a media bridge with five Gigabit ports there is something to justify the $199 MSRP.

Full PR after the click.

Oct 01 2015

News - NETGEAR Announces Tri-band AC5300 X8 R8500 802.11AC Wi-Fi Router

Today NETGEAR announced the latest addition to their high-end consumer 802.11AC Wi-Fi routers; the $400 Nighthawk X8 R8500. Like other “AC5300” routers the X8 is based on a 1.4GHz SoC with tri-band Wave2 sporting one “1000Mbps” 2.4GHz and two “2166Mbps” 5GHz radios. Unlike previous generations of 802.11AC routers the X8 has two features which make it very unique compared to the competition; powered antennas and six Gigabit Ethernet ports. With two of the wired ports supporting link aggregation (including 802.3ad) it pairs nicely with NETGEAR’s other product announcement.

Unfortunately MU-MIMO is not yet enabled on the device, but the hardware is ready -- just waiting on firmware which should ship by end-of-year. While this is interesting, to take full advantage clients will need to be MU-MIMO enabled as well so it isn’t nearly as exciting as the active antennas which take signal amplification away from the noisy mainboard and places it where it can make the most difference to every wireless client, as well as cutting down on the number of physical antennas hanging off the router. According to NETGEAR’s PR, this has incredible benefit (see above), and I’m inclined to agree, but of course it’s something that we’ll want to test out before repeating it too loudly.

Full PR after the click.

Sep 03 2015

News - The FCC Wants To Eliminate Custom Wi-Fi Router Firmware

I was quite a shocked the other day to discover that the FCC wants to ban custom/3rd party firmware for Wi-Fi routers like dd-wrt. The goal, which is understandable from their perspective, is to remove the ability of radio wireless devices to work outside of their allowable parameters. The problem is that this is one of those "use a sledgehammer to crack a nut" solutions - it is inappropriately disproportionate. Fortunately it's not too late to act, and someone has setup a page on what we can do which includes sending feedback to the FCC via their website.

Save WiFi

 

Jul 13 2015

News - NETGEAR Launched R6400 AC1750 Smart Wi-Fi Router

Staying on Wi-Fi's cutting edge has been expensive over the last couple years, with the major improvements in software and features only coming to the top end of the market. Today NETGEAR took steps to reach more budget-minded users with the launch of the $150 R6400 AC1750 802.11AC Wi-Fi router. The R6400 is intended to slot into the R6300's current position, adding external antennas, and updated SoC to features like Beamforming+, NETGEAR Genie, ReadySHARE Vault and AirTime Fairness previously found on their top-end devices.

Full PR after the click.

 

Jun 22 2015

News - NETGEAR Launches AC1900 C7000 Nighthawk 802.11AC Wireless Cable Modem Router

NETGEAR Launches AC1900 C7000 Nighthawk 802.11AC Wireless Cable Modem Router

It seemed absurd to pay a monthly cable modem rental fee when we lived in the US, so I always had my own sitting in between the wall and my router. This was convenient, but if you’re limited for space and want fast 802.11AC NETGEAR just launched a combination 24x8 (fastest DOCSIS channel bonding solution available) wireless router cable modem called the C7000. My first inclination when I heard about the C7000 was that it was a R7000 internally joined with a cable modem that happened to be packaged in a single chassis – this is not the case however as it uses a different SoC to handle all of the functionality, sharing only the same AC1900 Wi-Fi radios as the R7000 which should lead to lower power consumption than the other approach (or two discrete devices), and at $280 certainly lowers the cost compared to cable modem + dedicated similar spec’d Wi-Fi router. As far as I can tell the only downside to this approach is that the firmware upgrade process is managed by the MSO (currently only Comcast is supported, but others will be soon), which is a mixed bag. On one hand you don’t have to keep it up-to-date, on the other hand you can’t swap it for OpenWRT (for e.g.)

Full PR after the click.

Jan 15 2015

News - NETGEAR @ CES 2015

NETGEAR had a lot to show at CES this year besides routers, and we ended up skipping those because with the rapid release schedule (AC3200 & AC2400 launched earlier) there wasn’t anything new. That’s not to say that they’ve been standing still in the networking space with several new product to enable more bandwidth around the house.

Jun 25 2014

News - NETGEAR Announces Nighthawk X6—AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Gigabit Router

NETGEAR Nighthawk X6—AC3200 Tri-Band WiFi Gigabit Router

The pace of improvement in the 802.11AC market has been blistering, and I had a chance to talk to NETGEAR about their newest top-end entrant the $299 Nighthawk X6 (R8000) – AC3200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router yesterday. Before digging into the specifics of the R8000 it is critical to understand what exactly the X6’s AC3200 actually means. Unlike the AC1750 and AC1900 class routers that preceded it the Nighthawk X6 has three discrete radios; one 2.4GHz and two 5GHz. The “3200” is the sum of total bandwidth (600 + 1300 + 1300) available across these radios, but it be made absolutely clear that two 5GHz radios are not bonded so each device that connects (even another X6 media bridge) will only have 1300Mbps (theoretical) available. That is not to say that this isn’t a useful feature, it actually solves a problem that I have experienced, just that it is important to understand what the technology actually offers. Full PR and more from our conversation after the click.

Jun 20 2014

News - D-Link Announces Wi-Fi Motion Sensor and an AC1900 Router

There must be something in the water at D-Link the last few weeks; their product announcements just keep rolling in. I certainly don't mean that as a complaint however. Choice is a good thing Smile. This time it's a $40 Wi-Fi enabled motion sensor which is part of their growing collection of wireless home automation (HA) devices. We have PR for that device (after the click), but strangely none for the "AC1900" wireless router also announced.

I must admit that I'm not a big fan of D-Link's move towards canister shaped routers, so it was pleasantly surprising to see that the DIR-880L 802.11AC returns to to the [more sensible] external antenna design. Which also makes it much easier to wall mount.

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