Netgear Ups Wireless-N Ante At CES


The company at the Las Vegas CES conference also beefed up its storage line with the unveiling of new consumer-focused NAS devices.

The new Netgear RangeMax products promise to deliver faster wireless networking speeds at longer ranges. They combine three technologies: the Draft 2.0 version of the 802.11n wireless protocol, simultaneous support for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies and new "metamaterial" antennas, which are smaller and can be placed closer together without causing signal confusion, said David Henry, director of product marketing for Netgear, Santa Clara, Calif.

"We're able to get much higher performance in a smaller or the same footprint," Henry said.

Netgear's new products include the RangeMax Dual Band Wireless-N Router WNDR3300, which offers simultaneous support for legacy 2.4-GHz 802.11g clients and 5-GHz 802.11n clients. It also features an integrated array of eight internal antennas. It also includes automatic quality of service features for traffic prioritization, a built-in four-port 10/100 switch and a "Push 'N' Connect" function that uses the Wi-Fi Protected Setup standard and eliminates the need to input security password keys. It's available now at a retail price is $129.99.

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The Netgear RangeMax Wireless-N Gigabit Router WNR3500 offers similar features but adds a 10/100/1000 switch with one Gigabit Ethernet WAN port and four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. It's available now at aretail price is $159.99.

The vendor also introduced the 5GHz Wireless-N HD Access Point/Bridge WNHDE111, which can be used as a standalone bridge or as a 5-GHz 802.11n access point when connected to an existing router or gateway. For high-performance network gaming and high-definition video-streaming, Netgear also rolled out an HD/Gaming 5 GHz Wireless-N Networking Kit that includes two WNHDE111 units to provide wireless connectivity between the home network and consumer devices such as gaming consoles and set-top boxes. Available now, the access point is priced at 129.99 and the kit is priced at $229.99.

Netgear also launched several new consumer storage devices in its ReadyNAS Duo family, a group of products that support up two SATA hard drives. The new units include the 500GB Gigait Desktop Network Storage RND2150, 750GB Gigabit Desktop Network Storage RND2175 and 1T Gigabit Desktop Network Storage RND 2110. The new devices are scheduled for availability in the first quarter. Pricing was not disclosed.