CES - New Netgear products aim to simplify home networking

Netgear introduced at CES three new products that it hopes will simplify wireless home networking.

Netgear is launching three new wireless networking products that aim to address the problem, perennially discussed at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, of complicated home networking setup.

"Our customers in their homes or small offices should be able to utilize high-speed broadband networking for any application, including communications, information gathering or entertainment, from any corner of the house without any interruption," said Patrick Lo, chairman, CEO and founder of Netgear. Like the heating system in a house, a home network should work reliably, without much thought by users, he said.

Using the new devices unveiled at the conference, a Netgear executive demonstrated simultaneous wireless streaming of an HD video, live HD gaming and video downloading -- and then removed a hard drive from the storage device -- all without a glitch.

The new products include the RangeMax Dual Band Wireless N Router, which incorporates new antenna technology developed by Netgear. The router contains eight antennas, which Netgear says ensures quality streaming despite potential interference from other wireless gear including microwave ovens, cordless phones and neighboring Wi-Fi networks.

"It's always better to have many antennas... but densely packing them inside the unit has been historically impossibly to achieve with good performance," said Vivek Pathela, vice president of product marketing for Netgear. Netgear's new technology allows many antennas to operate inside a device, delivering good performance, he said.

The router also includes new technology that lets users push a button to automatically set up a secure connection between the router and any other standard client. Typically, users must work through a software application to set up secure connections.

Netgear also introduced the ReadyNAS Duo, a media server designed to centrally store any digital media including videos, photos and music. In an unusual feature for a consumer device, the ReadyNAS supports hot swapping -- allowing users to remove a drive without interrupting streaming or other use of the device.

The ReadyNAS comes in several configurations, including with 500G bytes of storage for US$500 and 1G byte for $750. An optional second drive in the device automatically mirrors the content of the first to protect against potential loss of data. An even larger version of the ReadyNas can handle 4T bytes of data.

Users can connect PCs, Macs, HD TVs and IP (Internet Protocol) set-top boxes to the server. It also has a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port for connecting digital cameras to upload photos and view them on a TV.

Consumers that want to use the ReadyNas but don't want to upgrade their existing router, can buy the new HD/Gaming 5GHz Wireless-N Networking Kit. The kit comes with two units. Users attach one to their current router, which could comply with the older Wireless B or Wireless G standards. The other device connects to other clients such as a gaming console or HD TV to create a wireless connection. The kit essentially upgrades an existing network to deliver high performance video, Pathela said.

Netgear hopes that these new products, possibly combined with 15 others the company is introducing at CES, will address the challenges that many people face when setting up networks in their homes. For many, the variety of wired and wireless technologies, many of which don't interoperate, have made home networks too challenging to tackle. For the past several years, technology companies at CES have focused on trying to solve this problem.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?