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Portal is a radar-detecting router that can make your Wi-Fi 300x faster

Literally switch to the fast lane

By Jennifer Harrison May 16, 2016

It’s hard to get excited about routers. The most interesting ones are becoming smarter or better equipped for the Internet of Things but that’s about it. The only way you could really capture our attention in a big way with a router would be if it magically made our internet connections much faster. That’s exactly the promise being made by Ignition Design Labs with their Portal router, which delivers flawless video streaming and online gaming without lag. It does this by fixing the problems other routers haven’t been able to. Here’s a cheesy video with a cool grandma to highlight those problems:

Portal can give up to 300 times the performance and 2x the range and coverage of ordinary home routers, even when many people are using Wi-Fi nearby. How? With radar-detection and switching to the fast lane. Our routers operate in the 5 GHz band but only a small proportion of it. Imagine the various Wi-Fi channels split into 6 lanes. Our routers only use lanes 1 and 6. It’s difficult to use the other 4 because they’re used by radar and emergency services. You need special permission to use these lanes, which Ignition Design Labs has attained in the US, Canada, and Europe. This is because Portal can detect radar signals and automatically switch your connection to other channels. This doesn’t get in the way of important radar signals and it doesn’t disrupt your streaming or gaming.

Image: Ignition Design Labs

All of this means that you have the fastest connection possible. When the environment is busy with Wi-Fi signals, Portal automatically switches you to the fastest channels for extra bandwidth. It can also detect when you’re doing certain activities like gaming that would benefit from a dedicated channel and deals with it automatically. The creators have made a video to show the speed difference between Portal and a Netgear router running of the same wired internet connection. Note that the gaming examples are actually being streamed from the console to computers, which is often unplayable with many routers.

A router that’s potentially 300x faster than the one I’m currently using? It turns out you can be excited by a router. To round it off, it even has the advantages that the other new routers are touting such as frustration-free setup and superior security for multiple users including guests. We’re not the only ones excited. The creators recently started a Kickstarter campaign to bring Portal to the masses. It took 2 days to smash its $160,000 target and is close to doubling it with 53 days to go.

The early bird offer for the European model is still available but won’t be for much longer. It gives you the Portal router for $149 (£108.87) plus shipping at $15 (£10.46).


Main image: Ignition Design Labs

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