I hear a lot about the ever-increasing speed of wireless routers, but what I really need on my network is better range. That’s what caught my attention about Netgear’s new dual-band router announced today at CES: The company says that its unique antenna technology will boost range by up to 20 percent.
The RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router (WNDR3300) is based on the IEEE 802.11n Draft 2.0 spec and includes eight antennas tucked inside its sleek black chassis. Netgear’s patented metamaterial technology allows for antennas that are much smaller than those traditionally found on routers, which enables Netgear to pack more inside. What’s more, the company says it can position the antennas in close proximity and direct signal energies to targeted wireless devices while avoiding signal interference. “We consistently beat our competitors by 10 to 30 percent” in range tests, says Netgear’s David Henry.
Better yet, he says that Netgear was able to hit the “router sweet spot” of $129.99 for the new RangeMax WNDR3300 router. Like most Draft N devices, the new RangeMax targets users who stream video and gaming files around the home, as well as VoIP phone fans. It does so by using the less-crowded 5GHz band for demanding tasks like streaming video or network gaming. It also includes Quality of Service (QoS) technology that can automatically prioritize apps like gaming and video streaming. If you like to tweak, you can prioritize certain activities by LAN port or MAC address.
The RangeMax WNDR3300 router also sets up WPS security with the touch of a button. And that’s a feature that could protect your router from attack by viruses, which has been proved possible by researchers at Indiana University.