Small but pow­er­ful

HWM (Singapore) - - TEST - By Kenny Yeo

The Por­tal WiFi router comes in a glossy white en­clo­sure with curved edges, no vis­i­bly an­ten­nas and a sim­ple Por­tal logo adorn­ing the top. Be­hind, users will nd a sin­gle Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net WAN, four Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net LAN, and two USB 2.0 ports.

Un­der­neath its un­re­mark­able fa­cade though is some in­ter­est­ing tech­nol­ogy not found on most con­sumer routers such as DFS ca­pa­bil­ity and FastLanes tech­nol­ogy. In a nut­shell, the Por­tal router is able to use Wi-Fi chan­nels nor­mally re­served for radar. Bear in mind that you need client de­vices that also sup­port DFS to take ad­van­tage of this ca­pa­bil­ity; most prod­ucts re­leased in the last two years should sup­port DFS.

The abil­ity to use radar chan­nels aside, the Por­tal WiFi router is also ca­pa­ble of form­ing a mesh net­work with a sec­ond Por­tal WiFi router. This en­ables users to ex­pand their Wi-Fi cov­er­age us­ing a sin­gle SSID. Un­for­tu­nately, this is lim­ited to only one ex­ten­sion - you can­not ex­pand it fur­ther with a third Por­tal router.

Setup-wise, it’s done through an app. Just fol­low the on­screen in­struc­tions and you will have it up and run­ning in min­utes. Tra­di­tion­al­ists, how­ever, can also set up and con­fig­ure the router us­ing a more typ­i­cal web in­ter­face, and the Por­tal has fea­tures such as parental con­trols, QoS, VPN, and Dy­namic DNS.

At its heart, the Por­tal is an AC2400-class router. Max­i­mum data trans­fer rates are 600Mbps and 1,734Mbps on its 2.4GHz and 5GHz net­works re­spec­tively. Thanks to DFS and FastLanes tech­nol­ogy, we were able to use Wi-Fi chan­nels that are un­used by other net­works in the area, al­low­ing us to get some im­pres­sive num­bers and range in our tests.

At closer ranges of up to ve me­ters, the Por­tal recorded speeds of around 384Mbps. Even when we were one oor away, we still man­aged speeds of around 180Mbps. Im­pres­sively, it was the only router that was ca­pa­ble of trans­mit­ting and re­ceiv­ing data with our test client on the sec­ond oor.

At $249, the Por­tal is com­pet­i­tively priced es­pe­cially when you con­sider its per­for­mance, fan­tas­tic range, mesh net­work­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, and sup­port for DFS.

CON­CLU­SION A com­pact router with out­stand­ing per­for­mance, range, and fea­tures.

Be­hind the router is a sin­gle Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net WAN port and four Gi­ga­bit Eth­er­net LAN ports.

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