The past few days were intense at IFA 2018 in Berlin, Germany. There were tons of interesting products to look at (and try!), and after checking out everything we could, here are what we think where the most impressive products at IFA, sorted in no p…More...
Mesh routers are a great way to help ensure that your entire home is blanketed in WiFi. Netgear’s Orbi is one of the available mesh router systems available in the market today, and at IFA 2018 the company has since taken the wraps off the Netgear Orb…More...
The XR500 NightHawk is Netgear’s first official Gaming router as the company wants to take some share of the juicy PC Gaming market. Netgear has taken notice that a large share of PC gamers play first-person-shooter (FPS) games that can be extremely sensitive to network conditions. As you have guessed, this is not something that the average router will excel at, hence this XR500 NightHawk design.
There are several ways of managing latency, and Netgear is providing many forms and layers of management. First, you can define a geo-filter which won’t allow low-latency IPs to join your game. When it comes to latency, “distance” is one of the most important factors because despite going at the speed of light, data packets may have to go through many network hops before arriving at their destination. The shorter the distance, the higher the odds of low latency.
Of course, this work with games where you are the server, and there are plenty of them. For games in which a centralized server matches players based on different criteria (experience…), it won’t really work.
Secondly, there’s Quality of Service (QoS) within your own network. This means that gaming network packets should have priority over things such as video or file transfers which are not urgent and can be buffered for many seconds. At 60FPS or more, the game’s latency requirement is orders of magnitude higher, and it makes sense to use QoS.
The QoS also lets you set bandwidth limits for each time of applications, so that there is always a little bit of overhead to avoid packet queuing to the ISP. If there’s a peak of traffic, all packets might start getting placed in a queue, including the gaming packets. By leaving some headroom, the whole queuing situation might be avoided.
The Netgear router supports VPN in case you want to securely stream games from outside your home (or just watch Netflix from abroad). It also has excellent specifications for WiFi, including Multi-Mimo which ensures that internal traffic can flow quickly, even if there are many devices connected to the router.
This is a very competitive market, and Netgear makes a late entry into it, but since the company is a major player in the router space, this is a move worth noticing.More...
[CES 2108] Netgear has just announced that it will feature the new Orbi Outdoor Satellite at CES 2018. As you can guess by its name, this is a product designed to be located outdoors, and it extends the home WiFi network to up to 2,500 square feet, says Netgear.
Of course, actual performance depends on the positioning of the devices relative to the Orbi Outdoor Satellite, but with a perfect line of sight, this should be achievable.
If you are unfamiliar with Netgear’s Orbi, it is a WiFi Mesh Networking kit that comes with several satellites. It works in a similar manner to the Samsung Connect Home mesh network we reviewed in November. Mesh networks act as a single network with one password, and devices hop onto the best connection dynamically. With old WiFi repeaters, this was just not possible or extremely unreliable. In some ways, Mesh WiFi work similarly to cellphone networks.
Orbi, like other mesh networks, has a private wireless network for the nodes or Satellites to communicate. That way, the regular WiFi traffic isn’t overcrowded by the inter-node data exchange. In fact, the private node-to-node speed can reach 1.733 Gbps, thanks to four 433 Mbps channels that can be used simultaneously. Communications with your WiFi devices can reach 400 Mbps for 2.5GHz WiFi and 866 Mbps for 5 GHz WiFi.
The Orbi Outdoor Satellite will act like a regular Orbi node, except that it is designed to be outside. Its resistance to the elements include an IP56 rating which means that
- IP5x: Prevents moderate amount of dust from entering but is not Dust tight
- IPx6: Strong water jets (~12.5mm nozzle) won’t harm the device. 3mn test, 100L/mn at 100 kPa, 3 meters away. No water immersion.
You can check what other IP ratings there are, but IP56, it should be protected from rain, but not from immersion. That is the bottom-line. This device can also operate at -20C to 50C (-4F to 122F).
It has an ambient light control function, so if you place it strategically, it can serve as a night light for an entrance.
The Netgear Orbi Outdoor Satellite power source will need to be connected to a wall outlet. These WiFi routers are high-powered devices that can churn a lot of data, so you apparently can’t really power them with a 12V current which used for garden light.More...
Netgear has a series of outdoor cameras for home security purposes, like the Arlo, Arlo Pro, and the Arlo Go. Unfortunately it seems that the power adapter that is used for these cameras is having issue, so much so that the company has issued a recall for them over the potential of a fire hazard.
According to the CPSC, “This recall involves all model VMA4700 NETGEAR Arlo outdoor power adapters that were sold separately as aftermarket accessories for the Arlo, Arlo Pro and Arlo Go wire-free outdoor cameras.. This recall only involves the VMA4700 aftermarket model sold separately.”
The report also adds that so far Netgear has received about seven reports of the power adapter cord overheating, with one incident resulting in a fire, but luckily there have been no injuries so far. “The firm has received seven reports of the power adapter cord melting and overheating, resulting in one fire. No injuries have been reported.”
Apparently it seems that despite the power adapter’s connector being weatherproof, it was discovered that a defect has allowed water to leak in, which in turn can cause it to short circuit, melt, and catch on fire. Customers who do own the power adapter should send it in ASAP and get it replaced.
When it comes to smart home security systems, there are many options to choose from. This ranges from smart home security cameras, motion sensors, doorbells, alarm systems, and more, and Netgear has recently announced a new addition to the already-growing list in the form of a smart home security light for outdoors.
Dubbed the Arlo Outdoor Smart Home Security Light, the name pretty much tells you what it does. This is a spotlight that you would place outside your home where you would typically place such a device. However it is smarter than your regular spotlight because it is motion-activated, can be scheduled, and will work with digital assistants like Amazon Alexa and also IFTTT. There is even a red light mode which should hopefully scare away any unwanted visitors.
Unfortunately the light does not come with a built-in camera, which means that if you wanted visuals you will have to supplement it with a separate camera, such as Netgear’s Arlo security cameras. As for pricing, Netgear has chosen to remain mum on how much the light will cost for now, except that it will be released in the first half of 2018. There will also be a solar panel accessory that will be sold separately if you’d rather not have to change the batteries every now and then.