The past year or so has seen a welcome deluge of Wi-Fi router innovation, and Portal seems to be one of the best newcomers in the space, particularly for smaller dwellings in congested, urban environments.
Portal includes app-based configuration, nine internal antennas, mesh capabilities…table stakes these days for a good router. But while almost all home Wi-Fi routers limit you to public channels over 5GHz, Portal also opens up four so-called DFS channels that are typically reserved for military use and commercial radar.
The law allows home routers to use these DFS channels, but they must shift off of them for a set amount of time whenever they detect active radar to avoid interference. Portal does just this, and moves all of your devices off of the busy channel in the background automatically, and shifts them back on when it’s safe. That means that most of the time, these channels are practically empty, so you won’t have to worry about interference from your neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks operating on public channels. This Digital Trends review has a much thorough explanation of the technology, if you’re curious.
This router retails for $200, and has sold for around $175 on Amazon since it launched late last year, but for a limited time, you can try it out for $149. Mine will be here Friday.