November 27, 2016. I have seen the future. And it doesn’t stop to buffer.
The Portal WiFi Router actually cranks up the speed of your home WiFi network by a factor of three or more. Seriously, 3X faster downloads, uploads and video streams. With a radar detector that lets you stay safely in the fast lane. I know, you always thought the problem was your Internet Service Provider. I did, too. But your ISP isn’t the only problem. Stick with me for a minute while I explain.
How your high-speed internet connection becomes slow-speed WiFi
The Past: If you got a new WiFi router during the last decade or so, it operates in two radio frequency ranges (2.4 GHZ and 5 GHZ). Your neighbors’ routers work exactly the same way. Their WiFi signals, like yours, travel a few hundred feet. So not only do your neighbors share your ISP’s connection capacity – they share your airspace. They share the same two lanes of the internet highway – so you and all your neighbors are always stuck in the same traffic jam. Some kid around the corner starts playing Welcome to the Dungeon on his phone and your cousin’s vacation video chokes on Facebook.
Leave thy neighbor
The Future, beginning now: The Portal opens up four new wireless lanes that your Portal-less neighbors can’t use. Because their WiFi routers aren’t licensed to use those frequencies. Because until now, the only licensed users have been government radar users: military and weather doppler stuff.
To get approval to use these lanes, the folks at Portal put a radar scanner in their WiFi router. If it detects a priority government user coming onto your fast lane, it bounces you to another fast lane that’s available. Portal calls this Dynamic Frequency Selection.
Life in the fast lanes
If you live in an urban environment with dozens, maybe even hundreds, of other WiFi users within range of what you thought was your personal airspace, well, Portal’s fast lanes may be literally dozens of times faster than your traffic-jammed WiFi is right now. Portal lets you reclaim your personal airspace.
After I completed the 15-minute, app-guided installation, I took a test drive. I downloaded a 30-minute HD video to my iPhone from Treadmill Trails. In the past this 1 GB file would take about four minutes. Now: 90 seconds. Then the big test.
Take me to the river
Time to stream Netflix from my Apple TV. An episode of House of Cards. Instant play; no buffer time. An episode of Breaking Bad. Instant play; no spinning wheel wait time. Zootopia: instant animation. Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child: rock on. Each and every HD video stream was there in a flash. When I watched The Big Short in its entirety, there wasn’t a single instance of buffering or stuttering. No periodic resolution loss. No slow streaming. Just a fast-flowing river of video.
Tell your friends, not your neighbors
I think this is big. Because every day many of us get more and more of our video from sources other than cable TV. Right on our WiFi-connected phones and tablets. Or sent from these devices to big video screens. We have Apple TV, Chromecast and so many other options. Devices that deliver great program variety at costs Way lower than cable TV. That let you pay only for what you actually play, not for the 800 channels you never look at.
The Portal WiFi Router. $169 now. Back up to $199 soon.
The Fast Lane Details for interested geeks:
Most traffic in the 5-gig band jams into just one or two lanes. The other lanes have been reserved for government radar signals. Portal can now use those lanes because it uses Dynamic Frequency Selection to detect those signals and get out of the way when necessary.
3X Faster WiFi. It even looks faster. Because the antennas are cleverly “folded” inside the box. Not just for better looks. For better performance.
Portal uses nine antennas arranged in arrays to support the latest radio techniques and “beam forming” for longer distance coverage. No dropouts, no dead zones in your newly reclaimed personal airspace.
Smart Steering at High Speed
Portal’s “SmartLanes” technology directs traffic from all your WiFi devices to avoid congestion and interference. To keep things moving at the highest possible speeds.
Security and Privacy
Portal combines the security and privacy capabilities of iOS and Android devices with WiFi’s own capabilities. So your WiFi network is much better defended from hacks. Their router also protects privacy with things like continual intrusion detection, geo-fencing and ID obfuscation.
Portal gave me their WiFi router to test and review; I didn’t buy it. Full truth: If I didn’t already have it, I’d go buy it. It really is amazing to see something you rely on get so much better.