A new router on Kickstarter uses a spectrum once reserved for weather radar systems

router radar portal wireless
Hate the connectivity of your current wireless networking router? Want to stream your favorite shows in high definition despite other members of the household hogging a good chunk of the bandwidth? Then perhaps the Portal router, a new networking device that has appeared on Kickstarter and promises to turbocharge connectivity thanks to proprietary technology and an unused spectrum, may be what you’re looking for.

The problem that we face now is that wireless networks dump data into the same virtual bathtubs. That means you and your neighbor are sharing the same airspace even though you’re on two separate password-protected networks. In neighborhoods and apartment complexes, Internet surfers will see congestion that slows down the stream and reduces the router’s capable range whether users are on the 2.4GHz band or the 5GHz band.

“Think of spectrum like the lanes of highway,” explains Ignition Design Labs. “Most home Wi-Fi routers today operate on just one shared Wi-Fi lane; maybe two if you’re lucky. If you live in a city or apartment, your Wi-Fi network could be competing with 35 or more neighboring Wi-Fi networks. And the problem isn’t just the number of neighboring Wi-Fi networks, it’s also what they’re doing. A single neighbor running a bit torrent, or simply folks all streaming HD video at 8 p.m. every night, can consume most of the spectrum you all share. This is called congestion, and it’s like being stuck in rush-hour traffic all the time.”

That said, what makes the company’s Portal router unique is that it features what’s called FastLanes, an FCC-certified technology that allows the device to utilize a protected portion of the 5GHz radio spectrum that was originally set aside for weather radar systems. On a home networking level, this is a huge, unused frontier free of the traffic that clogs the spectrum that’s currently in use in all other router products.  This new untapped territory is three times larger, too.

In a diagram provided by Ignition Design Labs, the highly used spectrums ranging from 5,170MHz to 5,250MHz and from 5,735MHz to 5,835MHz are shown to move networking traffic rather slow. However, the 5,250MHz to 5,330MHz range and the 5,490MHz to 5,710MHz range, which are presumably the new airwaves supported by the router, show data moving at a high rate.

Related: Need more reliable Wifi? Check out top rated wifi routers here

In another diagram, a w.ireless mobile device running Speedtest shows download speeds reaching 46 megabits per second when connected to the Internet via the Portal router. The same device running Speedtest while connected to a Netgear router shows download speeds reaching almost 5 megabits per second. Both tests are presumed to take place 33 feet away from the routers.

The specs reveal that the router includes nine antennas mounted inside, 10 radios supporting 802.11ac Wave-2, seven operating bands, Bluetooth Smart connectivity, four Ethernet LAN ports, an Ethernet WAN port, and two USB ports. Other features include intrusion detection, parental controls, guest access, dynamic traffic avoidance, and a one-touch setup process.

“We became frustrated that the industry wasn’t solving the real problems that were making Wi-Fi networks slower, less reliable and overly complicated,” the company adds. “With billions of Wi-Fi devices competing for bandwidth, Wi-Fi has slowed to a crawl. So we started our own company to fix this problem—and Portal is our solution.”

The Kickstarter campaign currently has 428 backers pledging $67,477. The company needs $160,000 by July 8 in order to be fully funded. To help investors get excited, the campaign provides nine tiers spanning $139 or more to $639 or more. The estimated delivery dates for early adopters range between July and September, depending on the investor’s location. Those who choose the twin pack may not see their units until December.

Deals

Amazon Fire Deals: Tablets, TVs, and TV controllers in stock and ready to ship

Last-minute shoppers, and anyone seeking good deals on Amazon Fire products, are in luck. There's still time to order Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, and Fire media players, Fire CVRs, and Alexa-voice-compatible Fire remotes for Christmas delivery.
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Computing

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.
News

Listen up! White noise device may make VR motion sickness a thing of the past

A simple device that sends white noise vibrations to the inner ear could be all it takes to fix the long-running problem of nausea in virtual reality. The developers are now seeking FDA approval.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Photography

Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.
Computing

Leaked HP laptop listing reveals entry-level Nvidia MX250 GPU

Alongside powerful graphics cards, Nvidia may have more mobile GPUs to show off at next year's CES show in January. The MX250 has been spotted in a listing for an HP laptop, potentially replacing the entry-level MX150.
Computing

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.
Computing

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?
Computing

ViewSonic’s 1080p gaming monitor lets you experience the action in style

ViewSonic is catering to gamers with its latest monitor, the XG240R. Featuring a 1080p 144Hz panel, RGB lighting, and a fast 1ms response time, you can conquer your opponents and do it in style.
Computing

Here’s why you might still be using Wi-Fi after cellular 5G launches

Cellular 5G might be around the corner and promising to deliver lightning fast speeds, but the folks over at the Wi-Fi Alliance have a few reasons why they think you shouldn't dump Wi-Fi just yet.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.
Web

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.