Small but powerful
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.