Not content with slick gaming laptops and now even its own smartphone in the Razer Phone, the green-clad hardware maker has just unveiled its first-ever wireless router. However, it’s technically not solely Razer’s creation, but rather a collaboration with a hardware partner.
Ignition Labs, the networking hardware maker behind the Portal series of wireless mesh routers a la Google Wifi or Eero, has put its Portal mesh system in the hands of Razer for it to give the device the gamer-centric treatment. The result is the Portal by Razer.
The only visible difference between it and the original Portal router is that the “O” in the Portal logo is now a deeper green, natch. But, on the inside, there are quite a few enhancements that Razer promises will improve online experiences for gamers.
Wireless mesh that puts games first
The Portal by Razer is a dual-band 802.11ac wireless mesh system with an AC2400 rating (i.e. up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band), like all the others, but Razer claims to have introduced “patented congestion-busting technologies” designed to enable the fastest speeds and lower latency when in games.
For starters, Razer worked with Ignition Labs to introduce two new bits of networking tech: FastLanes and SmartLanes.
FastLanes employs simultaneous, multi-channel DFS technology to allow connected devices to operate in radar-protected wireless channels that are exclusive to this device, helping users avoid unreliable or slow Wi-Fi during peak hours should the system be set up in Wi-Fi-dense areas, like apartment buildings or row homes.
SmartLanes, on the other hand, serves up proprietary Intelligent Active Traffic and Interference Avoidance technologies to steer connected devices to uncrowded, clean and fast channels.
It’s unclear which of these two technologies will be in play when and how during a typical session, given that they sound rather similar in how they work. Either way, know that the router is working on the double to deliver you uninterrupted Wi-Fi.
Beyond that, much of the existing Portal technologies remain, like Wave 2 MU-MIMO that allows the system to manage several concurrent device connections at once. Not to mention QoS technology that allows the system to prioritize gaming traffic over other sources.
Couple that with a wireless mesh range of up to 6,000 square feet using two Portal by Razer units – paired with Portal’s Wi-Fi AutoPilot that automatically links a connected device to the nearest mesh unit – and your gaming systems should get the same strong signal everywhere in your home.
For these improvements upon the basic Portal package, Razer is charging $149 or €169 for a single Portal by Razer unit, available now on its own online store. That’s the same price as the basic Portal unit. Expect wider availability come the beginning of 2018.