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Official: Portal Router - High Tech router technology, move your WiFi to the Fast Lane

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Old 26-05-2017, 07:15 PM   #16
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1) Where's this Portal guy come from? Singapore, China, Taiwan etc?

American. USA design. Portal team is from US. Most of the founders were working in Broadcom before.

2) Does it collect user's privacy data? NETGEAR, ASUS and LINKSYS are doing that. Don't like their stock firmware.

I asked them this. Their privacy protection is very very strict as you can see from their website. In personal talking to them, they treat privacy very very very strictly.

3) Is it dual channel 2.4/5GHz?

Yes, and their 5GHz channel is fully opened up.


4) Is it MU-MIMO?

Yes, 4x4

5) Can configure to support VPN?

VPN server is not in this version of the firmware.

6) How's its performance compared to ASUS RT-AC5300 like consistency in speed, disconnections, up/down speed etc?

It's a high end router so the routing performance is comparable. The main differentiator is Wifi performance which the portal router excels because of its DFS technology, which switches you over to a uncongested wifi channel once your current channel becomes congested, in real time.

7) Do I need a couple of them in my HDB 4-room flat or one will do since it's a mesh device?

Not likely but depends on design. If you really need, you can add another one effortlessly.

8) Does it comes with any protection against malware and how does it protect IoT devices?

It has intrusion detection and the usual firewalls. The intrusion detection actually alerts your cellphone.

The main point is still - wifi performance. It excels. Possibly the fastest I have ever tried.
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Old 26-05-2017, 08:14 PM   #17
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Re

1) Where's this Portal guy come from? Singapore, China, Taiwan etc?

American. USA design. Portal team is from US. Most of the founders were working in Broadcom before.

2) Does it collect user's privacy data? NETGEAR, ASUS and LINKSYS are doing that. Don't like their stock firmware.

I asked them this. Their privacy protection is very very strict as you can see from their website. In personal talking to them, they treat privacy very very very strictly.

3) Is it dual channel 2.4/5GHz?

Yes, and their 5GHz channel is fully opened up.


4) Is it MU-MIMO?

Yes, 4x4

5) Can configure to support VPN?

VPN server is not in this version of the firmware.

6) How's its performance compared to ASUS RT-AC5300 like consistency in speed, disconnections, up/down speed etc?

It's a high end router so the routing performance is comparable. The main differentiator is Wifi performance which the portal router excels because of its DFS technology, which switches you over to a uncongested wifi channel once your current channel becomes congested, in real time.

7) Do I need a couple of them in my HDB 4-room flat or one will do since it's a mesh device?

Not likely but depends on design. If you really need, you can add another one effortlessly.

8) Does it comes with any protection against malware and how does it protect IoT devices?

It has intrusion detection and the usual firewalls. The intrusion detection actually alerts your cellphone.

The main point is still - wifi performance. It excels. Possibly the fastest I have ever tried.
Hi Michael

Thanks for the replies.

Regarding item 6)

So it's a dual-band instead of a tri-band router? I have the ASUS RT-AC5300 router so I'm comparing to it. What's its maximum throughput in Mbps? Tr-band AC5300 routers max at 5300Mbps.

So does it separates devices intelligently and automatically based on 2.4GHz and 5GHz or all devices are lumped into one channel and then switches you over to a less congested channel when the current one becomes congested as you put it?

BTW, can provide a link to the EULA so that I can read it? And which retailers are carrying it and when it's available?

Thanks

Last edited by Apparatus; 26-05-2017 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 26-05-2017, 11:57 PM   #18
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don't be misled by claims of 5300Mbit/s. Adding together maximum bandwidth of the 3 bands is nonsense. Because no device can connect to all 3. And most of us don't have a 5gbit connection so ...

What's going on is interference and that for the conventional routers like yours, only 30% of the 5GHz spectrum is available and a lot of it is plagued by interference if you live in a congested area. Getting rid of the interference by switching frequencies in real time to clean bands is much more important than adding together 3 fictional numbers.

The true measure of speed is real world connection speed, how fast is the actual wifi connection? Get an Ipad Mini 4, and speedtest your RT-AC5300 with it. What speed do you get on a 1Gbit connection from a normal distance (not too near, about 3 metres, but within line of sight)? This is a test on a 1gbit Starhub connection with the Portal:



Afraid that there's no link to the EULA right now, I'll request for it.
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Old 27-05-2017, 07:01 AM   #19
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don't be misled by claims of 5300Mbit/s. Adding together maximum bandwidth of the 3 bands is nonsense. Because no device can connect to all 3. And most of us don't have a 5gbit connection so ...

What's going on is interference and that for the conventional routers like yours, only 30% of the 5GHz spectrum is available and a lot of it is plagued by interference if you live in a congested area. Getting rid of the interference by switching frequencies in real time to clean bands is much more important than adding together 3 fictional numbers.

The true measure of speed is real world connection speed, how fast is the actual wifi connection? Get an Ipad Mini 4, and speedtest your RT-AC5300 with it. What speed do you get on a 1Gbit connection from a normal distance (not too near, about 3 metres, but within line of sight)? This is a test on a 1gbit Starhub connection with the Portal:



Afraid that there's no link to the EULA right now, I'll request for it.
Ok thanks for the replies again.

From what I know a firewall with IDS cannot prevent against virus/malware attack just like in your PC. Firewall with IDS is to prevent unwanted external network intrusion and not against virus/malware. If you use a PC with firewalll and IDS you should know this.

You'll need an antivirus or antimalware product to do it. And that's why ASUS teams up with Trend Micro to provide protection for IoT devices.

Can you check with Portal on this? Otherwise user will need another device to connect to the Portal router to protect their IoT devices like the Norton Core, BitDefender Box, Bullguard Dojo etc

BTW, what chipset is Portal using ie. Broadcom, Qualcomm etc?


Thanks again

Last edited by Apparatus; 27-05-2017 at 12:00 PM..
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Old 27-05-2017, 08:28 AM   #20
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Hi Michael ,

How is the performance compared to Linksys Velop ?
Is the setting up of multiple nodes complicated ? i.e. through web-based or app etc. ?

Thanks.
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Old 27-05-2017, 08:49 AM   #21
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got any promo in next week's PC show?
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Old 27-05-2017, 07:47 PM   #22
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https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...ortal-reviewed

Cons:

1. Wired router throughput may be iffy for gigabit-grade services
2. Storage sharing is very slow
3. Features still a work in progress

I'm not so concerned with 3 since i am sure more still will come out with firmware updates but can you do a test for 1 and 2? My main devices at home are still wired up so this is a concern.
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Old 27-05-2017, 08:46 PM   #23
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Re

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...ortal-reviewed

Cons:

1. Wired router throughput may be iffy for gigabit-grade services
2. Storage sharing is very slow
3. Features still a work in progress

I'm not so concerned with 3 since i am sure more still will come out with firmware updates but can you do a test for 1 and 2? My main devices at home are still wired up so this is a concern.
Thanks for the link

From the tests it seems the Portal is good for the newer 5GHz devices as it shows poor performance for 2.4GHz devices. Also, this Portal has many issues as reported in their forum/blog. I think I'll wait for the Portal v2 then

Last edited by Apparatus; 27-05-2017 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 27-05-2017, 08:49 PM   #24
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For Asus Trend Micro, they have a anti-virus engine integrated into the router? If so, how do we know how often is the database updated?

Ok thanks for the replies again.

From what I know a firewall with IDS cannot prevent against virus/malware attack just like in your PC. Firewall with IDS is to prevent unwanted external network intrusion and not against virus/malware. If you use a PC with firewalll and IDS you should know this.

You'll need an antivirus or antimalware product to do it. And that's why ASUS teams up with Trend Micro to provide protection for IoT devices.

Can you check with Portal on this? Otherwise user will need another device to connect to the Portal router to protect their IoT devices like the Norton Core, BitDefender Box, Bullguard Dojo etc

BTW, what chipset is Portal using ie. Broadcom, Qualcomm etc?


Thanks again
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Old 27-05-2017, 09:01 PM   #25
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Re

For Asus Trend Micro, they have a anti-virus engine integrated into the router? If so, how do we know how often is the database updated?
I think they are auto updated since the router is always connected to the net unlike say your PC/laptop
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Old 27-05-2017, 10:21 PM   #26
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Refer to here for aiprotection:

https://www.asus.com/support/faq/1012070/

Aiprotection isnt antivirus per say. It doesn't work on the level of scanning your computers as some malicious code can also bypass aiprotection but not antivirus..

For Asus Trend Micro, they have a anti-virus engine integrated into the router? If so, how do we know how often is the database updated?
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Old 27-05-2017, 10:55 PM   #27
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Thanks for the link

From the tests it seems the Portal is good for the newer 5GHz devices as it shows poor performance for 2.4GHz devices. I think I'll wait for the Portal v2 then
Smallnetbuilder's article was criticized for testing the old way and was inaccurate. However, please just take my statement as a placeholder while I get accurate critique on that.

In any case for most people there is no more 2.4GHz. In my home, I have turned off 2.4 for some years already, because there is always a risk that my devices will connect at 2.4 and slow down instead of the better 5Ghz signal. My suggestion to everybody: please turn off 2.4 it is your worst enemy in most cases.

Refer to here for aiprotection:

https://www.asus.com/support/faq/1012070/

Aiprotection isnt antivirus per say. It doesn't work on the level of scanning your computers as some malicious code can also bypass aiprotection but not antivirus..
I find these systems misleading and dangerous, and gives people a false sense of security. Picture the most effective attack vectors today, like the wannacry attack, these systems are totally useless against them. Personal discipline, best practices, and if you are really serious, enterprise grade security equipment, are much more important, and must be practiced, rather than things which claim to automate protection but end up as just a false sense of security. These features are nice on paper but you must take care of yourself, they won't do much to take care of you.

In any case, let me reiterate that, while the Portal router does all it can to protect in ways which are effective, it does address the most problematic parts of Wifi tech, which is congestion and neglect of 60% of the available channels. Refer to this excellent article from IEEE (also mentions the Portal)

http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/wir...-how-to-fix-it
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Old 27-05-2017, 10:55 PM   #28
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Refer to here for aiprotection:

https://www.asus.com/support/faq/1012070/

Aiprotection isnt antivirus per say. It doesn't work on the level of scanning your computers as some malicious code can also bypass aiprotection but not antivirus..


Thanks for the link.

According to the link there's no protection against virus/malware infection although it's designed to protect the router and IoT devices against others as listed in the link.

You'll need a device like Norton Core to do that

https://us.norton.com/core-secure-router-features
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Old 27-05-2017, 11:04 PM   #29
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Smallnetbuilder's article was criticized for testing the old way and was inaccurate. However, please just take my statement as a placeholder while I get accurate critique on that.

In any case for most people there is no more 2.4GHz. In my home, I have turned off 2.4 for some years already, because there is always a risk that my devices will connect at 2.4 and slow down instead of the better 5Ghz signal. My suggestion to everybody: please turn off 2.4 it is your worst enemy in most cases.



I find these systems misleading and dangerous, and gives people a false sense of security. Picture the most effective attack vectors today, like the wannacry attack, these systems are totally useless against them. Personal discipline, best practices, and if you are really serious, enterprise grade security equipment, are much more important, and must be practiced, rather than things which claim to automate protection but end up as just a false sense of security. These features are nice on paper but you must take care of yourself, they won't do much to take care of you.

In any case, let me reiterate that, while the Portal router does all it can to protect in ways which are effective, it does address the most problematic parts of Wifi tech, which is congestion and neglect of 60% of the available channels. Refer to this excellent article from IEEE (also mentions the Portal)

http://spectrum.ieee.org/telecom/wir...-how-to-fix-it
I only like to speak on the 2.4GHz issue.

You are wrong in that 2.4GHz is no longer in use.

Are you aware that wireless video doorbell and its doorbell chimes (which I own) are using 2.4GHz WiFi? Also, smart devices like wireless door locks, window alarms, fire alarms etc are also using the 2.4GHz band and especially for those IoT devices.

FYI, any smart wireless device to be used at long distance or have obstructions in-between will need 2.4GHz for better connection over the 5GHz band.

In fact, almost all devices comes with 2.4/5GHz even in smartphones, laptops etc. You can't always assume you'll have a good 5GHz connection if you use your laptop and sitting at a corner in the library, ok?
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Last edited by Apparatus; 27-05-2017 at 11:13 PM..
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Old 28-05-2017, 08:18 AM   #30
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I only like to speak on the 2.4GHz issue.

You are wrong in that 2.4GHz is no longer in use.

Are you aware that wireless video doorbell and its doorbell chimes (which I own) are using 2.4GHz WiFi? Also, smart devices like wireless door locks, window alarms, fire alarms etc are also using the 2.4GHz band and especially for those IoT devices.

FYI, any smart wireless device to be used at long distance or have obstructions in-between will need 2.4GHz for better connection over the 5GHz band.

In fact, almost all devices comes with 2.4/5GHz even in smartphones, laptops etc. You can't always assume you'll have a good 5GHz connection if you use your laptop and sitting at a corner in the library, ok?
Thanks for pointing that out. I never said 2.4 was not in use. I said turn off 2.4 for better performance. As you pointed out, all the 2.4 devices you mentioned are devices which speed don't really matter. And at the margin of reception, 2.4's speed at peak doesn't really matter, what you want is hopefully reception without interference.

If I had 2.4 devices, I would buy a cheap and good S$35 AP/router to handle them, under totally different SSID than the fast 5ghz AP I want to handle my mobile devices and fast laptops. Why? So that my fast device will NOT be confused and try to connect at 2.4 rather than 5 - I'd rather not depend on band steering to steer my device from 2.4 to 5 even though on the Portal band steering tends to work quite well.

Let me give you a scenario on a normal router, on why i think 2.4 should be disabled for your main AP.

both 2.4 and 5 enabled on normal router

Mobile phone, you are walking home from outside. at 50m away from home your mobile phone connects to home wifi 2.4, when you reach home, still at 2.4! 5 is ready and present but it will take a LOOONG time for band steering to coax your mobile to 5 if you're lucky!

Only 5 enabled - Mobile phone will connect to 5 at 35m away. Stays at 5.

Obviously 2.4 has longer distance than 5 - and that's its weakness because neighbor 2.4 will stray into your signal space and screw up everything with interference. in a library etc where you have NO control, can't help it. But if you're in control of your house wifi, 2.4 is an quite bad and has terrible interference issues unless you're a billionaire staying far away from others with a big house area.

Just having a connection, but without ability to detect and counter inteference issues, results in really bad speed.

Just for interest's sake, the Portal router you can always set your 5GHz bandwidth at VHT80 and interference won't be an issue as it will switch channels if your VHT80 bandwidth has interference.

This is a much better experience than my previous experience with some other solutions, when you set at VHT80 bandwidth neighbor router will screw around with my wifi and distance and speed decreases dramatically. So router vendor actually mentioned to me to set my 5ghz bandwidth to VHT20 or VHT40 to reduce interference, but in doing so reduced speed so much that I wondered why I bought that router which advertises (but doesn't deliver) so high speed at the first place.
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