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

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Old 28-05-2017, 10:05 AM   #31
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Hi MichaelTan

Wrt your aforementioned explanation can you explain why Portal puts a lousy 2.4GHz band into their device? Why not remove it and just have a single band 5GHz will do? And you expect me to turn off the 2.4GHz band and use only the 5GHz band in the Portal?

I know you want to promote the strength of Portal's 5GHz but, as a user, if the device comes with dual bands then we'll need to use them, right?

Also, I noticed from the forum/blog at Portal website that this model is also having many issues ah

Do you have a unit with you? If yes, I believe the EULA should be inside. Can attach a copy here?
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Old 28-05-2017, 10:48 AM   #32
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Hi MichaelTan

Wrt your aforementioned explanation can you explain why Portal puts a lousy 2.4GHz band into their device? Why not remove it and just have a single band 5GHz will do? And you expect me to turn off the 2.4GHz band and use only the 5GHz band in the Portal?

I know you want to promote the strength of Portal's 5GHz but, as a user, if the device comes with dual bands then we'll need to use them, right?

Also, I noticed from the forum/blog at Portal website that this model is also having many issues ah

Do you have a unit with you? If yes, I believe the EULA should be inside. Can attach a copy here?
Most router have dual bands, whats wrong with that ?
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Old 28-05-2017, 11:18 AM   #33
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Most router have dual bands, whats wrong with that ?
What's wrong with what?

If the Portal has a lousy 2.4GHz then it should not be there in the 1st place. Just designed and sell with only a 5GHz will do. Did you read the report of the Portal's performance in the 1st place?

And, like Michael Tan said, add a cheap 2.4GHz router for the 2.4GHz devices
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Old 28-05-2017, 05:10 PM   #34
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haiz. no need to pick a fight over this. Don't be offended.

I was just giving a friendly suggestion. Nothing to do with Portal. I'm not really alone in saying avoid 2.4. Here's something: http://www.networkcomputing.com/wire...lan/1583544862

I don't have a unit with me right now, will post tomorrow. As mentioned my house still using ubnt. Here's a pic of the dedicated 5ghz APs. There's one spare AP I had which is giving free 20mbit to neighbouring foreign workers and maids using 2.4 for distance.

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Old 28-05-2017, 05:29 PM   #35
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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.
Why buy an AP? A simple solution to avoid this is not to add the 2.4Ghz SSID to the list of network in the client.
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Old 29-05-2017, 08:26 AM   #36
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Why buy an AP? A simple solution to avoid this is not to add the 2.4Ghz SSID to the list of network in the client.
Duh. You're right. In my (personal) quest of purity and not wanting my main APs to be corrupted by 2.4 I forgot you could just set the 2.4 as another ssid and don't connect your fast devices to it.

You see what happens when zealotry comes into play? Lol my bad and thank you for your suggestion.
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Old 29-05-2017, 08:57 AM   #37
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What's wrong with what?

If the Portal has a lousy 2.4GHz then it should not be there in the 1st place. Just designed and sell with only a 5GHz will do. Did you read the report of the Portal's performance in the 1st place?

And, like Michael Tan said, add a cheap 2.4GHz router for the 2.4GHz devices
With this kind of poor logics, than you might as well tell ASUS, hey your 5Ghz suck, all your $400+ routers should design with the 5Ghz disable. Haha..............
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:26 PM   #38
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Got my hands on a review unit and finally had some time to play around with it and test it out with my MioTv/SingTel Tv.

Just some quick images of the packaging and the device itself.

The Portal Router's packaging with 3 Year warranty by Convergent.



Included in the package:
A Quick Start user guide, Portal Router, Ethernet cable, Power Plug and FCC specifications sheet.



3 Pin and 2 Pin adaptors included to use with the provided plug.



View of the Portal Router's IO:
DC In Power, WAN Port, 4x Ethernet Ports, 2x USB Ports and Reset Button.



Will do more tests and slightly detailed review over this weekend.

Just some quick impressions -- it's extremely easy and user-friendly to set up.
5Ghz WiFi performance has been outstanding.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:47 AM   #39
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Question: Can handle how many session???
Sorry for the delayed response but we wanted a confirmed. one.

Maximum connections supported: Portal supports up-to 16K NAT sessions. QA team has tested the Portal with 15K concurrent NAT sessions with UDP connections.
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Old 08-06-2017, 10:52 AM   #40
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Hi

5) Can configure to support VPN?
OK this answer has been changed.

It now supports VPN client for secure and anonymous Internet access - supports PPTP and OpenVPN
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #41
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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.
I've worked on puzzling out the smallnetbuilder article with Portal engineers and discussions have led to the following points:

1) The 5G testing was done on a 6-7 year old qualcomm USB stick, one of the first available, which didn't support some of the latest strategies available on the latest chipsets. It might not reflect real world scenarios where your devices are actually less than 2 years old.

2) The Wi-Fi landscape has shifted significantly since SNB's Wi-Fi test process was last changed only a year ago. Portal is one of the parties who worked with SNB to change some testing procedures to reflect new trends which cutting edge router/ap like Portal Wifi have epitomized. Therefore, SNB will debut a new revision to their testbed and retest the Portal wifi router this month, and it's expected to improve in most areas.

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...ed-revision-10

3) Although SNB's testing has changed, some points still have to be noted - which will affect SNB's test results in the real world. Chamber testing is SNB's method, but real world testing is ... uhh... more reflective of real world usage.

First, SNB's test procedure allows for 40Mhz wide channels at 2.4GHz - this allows for great performance increase in a chamber, but in the real world this is unrealistic. It's difficult to find a use case where HT20 didn't supply enough bandwidth for the application to work flawlessly. Even with proper high quality video streaming uses HT20. But on the downside, HT40 2.4GHz will be highly affected by interference, including but not limited to 2.4GHz bluetooth interference which has been affecting many devices, which drop when bluetooth comes on. Other interference is from your neighbours' tons of wifi. Result is your HT40 WIFI will drop in the real world or not even carry data properly. To be optimal today, 2.4GHz wifi, if you do use it, should be HT20 and the testing should reflect as such.

Secondly, SNB still refuses (until now) to introduce interference testing. With wifi traffic signal generators easily available and controllable, interference testing should be now (ironically) uniformly applied to all tested products, to make it more in sync with the real world situation but until now they have resisted that kind of testing. More importantly, now that Mesh networks are becoming popular in homes, it becomes even more important to introduce interference testing since more mesh APs mean more potential for interference, and there is such thing as BAD mesh if your router/ap is not capable of avoiding interference from nearby mesh installations, or even from your own units. The Portal router's main trick is to give you the fastest WiFi possible using a variety of interference avoiding strategies, like using DFS, and also real time channel interference scanning with uninterrupted channel switching without a disconnect (which most channel switching competitors have to do).

Portal believes that testing to find the max performance possible from a router is valuable. However, it is more valuable to test how the router's performance degrades with loading, distance, and interference - which is `real world'.

Hence, until then, take SNB's testing procedures with a pinch of salt. What you should really consider, is how properly configured Portal routers perform in the real world, standalone or with Mesh.

What I personally look forward to in SNB's new testing procedures is a proper testing of mesh networks, and finally it will reveal the difference between Portal's mesh networks and its ability to sustain bandwidth over multiple hops, vs some of the other mesh solutions which degrade when more hops are added.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:04 PM   #42
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2) Does it collect user's privacy data? NETGEAR, ASUS and LINKSYS are doing that. Don't like their stock firmware.
I haven't forgotten your request and working on it. Shortly, Portal will publish with a complete document on this. Within days. For now, let's get some bullet points from their web:

IDL will:
- never collect data regarding the specific websites that you visit
- never collect personally identifiable information while using your Portal device
- never require you to provide personally identifiable information to setup and use your Portal device
- never sell your personal information

IDL with your express consent may:
- collect your mobile geo-location to optimize performance for your WiFi environment
- access your diagnostic status information to resolve any support requests
- automatically upgrade your firmware to the latest firmware

If TL;DR, to me this looks like a tight privacy policy which will never reveal any relevant privacy information.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:35 PM   #43
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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.
Firstly the Velop is more expensive by itself. 2 pcs it's comparable price online.

The Velop does not have DFS in the version I tested. They say they are working on it but it is doubtful (from the radio structure) that they can do realtime radio monitoring. Meaning, if they ever do switch out of a bad congested channel they will have to disconnect all devices, scan, then reconnect. Disconnect time from what we see from other enterprise devices, is a minute or more. This takes a lot of decisions and development if you didn't build your device to do real time DFS from the ground up, what I say you should just consider and do your own read up on it.

The Velop strangely seems to bandsteer older devices from 5 to 2.4 instead of keeping them at 5, while the Portal keeps those same devices at 5. From what I understand, a shortcut most manufacturers use would be to prioritize signal strength over signal noise ratio or speed - this is the simplest. However, at the edges, between 2.4 to 5 definitely 2.4 would have higher signal strength rather than 5, though lower speed. A human controller would not do a bandsteer in that situation, but a shortcut algorithm will.

If you take a look at the charts in the article, you'd see that the Portal performs very well across all devices, not only Qualcomm devices like the Google Pixel phone. For Pixel phone, Portal and Velop are head to head.

If you're truly geeky, you would notice that in the same article, it mentions that the Velop enforces airtime fairness where it determines which devices go on 2.4 and which goes on 5. In my own testing across many brands, I always HAD to disable airtime fairness (when I could, sometimes you can't) because it kept putting my devices to 2.4 instead of 5 and it was clearly a WRONG decision. The Portal does no such thing. If 5 gives you a great speed, it will put you on 5.

When I was playing with the Velop some months back I could only use the app. No web UI. Portal has the web UI as well as app to set up. The set up is easy peasy for mesh, the app is like a wizard and guides you through setup seamlessly. Every new iteration of the app, the setup gets easier and easier. Reports on web say it's not so simple but trying the new app out, it is really a walk in the park.

What's important to take away from any Portal vs xxx battle: We live in Singapore where we have 30 neighbouring powerful wifi AP blasting and competing with you and interfering with your signal. You don't live in a chamber. DFS and real time DFS scanning of the Portal, and seamless zero wait switching of channel, intelligent channel selection and the approval of a whole 60% more bandwidth in the 5ghz channel are unique to Portal. In real world SG, Portal gives you much better engineered Wifi for the home.
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:12 PM   #44
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OK this answer has been changed.

It now supports VPN client for secure and anonymous Internet access - supports PPTP and OpenVPN
Thanks. Is this due to a new firmware update recently?
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Old 08-06-2017, 04:36 PM   #45
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I haven't forgotten your request and working on it. Shortly, Portal will publish with a complete document on this. Within days. For now, let's get some bullet points from their web:

IDL will:
- never collect data regarding the specific websites that you visit
- never collect personally identifiable information while using your Portal device
- never require you to provide personally identifiable information to setup and use your Portal device
- never sell your personal information

IDL with your express consent may:
- collect your mobile geo-location to optimize performance for your WiFi environment
- access your diagnostic status information to resolve any support requests
- automatically upgrade your firmware to the latest firmware

If TL;DR, to me this looks like a tight privacy policy which will never reveal any relevant privacy information.
Hi

Thanks for the replies.

Q1) So, it comes with laptop/PC software and Android software as well? I have the ASUS software for both the laptop and Android. Very informative and advanced

Q2) So I set another SSID for my 2.4Hz-only devices so as not to mix with the 5GHz traffic, right?

Q3) You said Portal uses the entire 5GHz spectrum. But current 5GHz devices uses a few of the 5GHz frequencies only. I can't see how the current devices can take advantage of the entire 5GHz spectrum and not content with one another in the few frequencies just like in the current routers.

Q4) Since Portal does NOT come with built-in protection for IoT devices against malware infection how do you propose users to do it? FYI, BitDefender Box V2, Norton Core etc are not on sale here and not supported outside the USA if I'm not wrong. That's to say no support here as well.

Currently, my ASUS router comes with TrendMicro built-in protection against malware infection. I believe other top-of-line routers also have such a feature. Yes, I don't like its privacy data collection....that's no doubt.....but it gives real-time protection which I want.

Buying Portal is without protection. Can Portal advise users how to protect themselves?

Q4) How is IDL "with my express consent" may collect data? During my setup of the router or can I turn off these requirements in the router software itself? I believe you already have one set up. Did you see such during the set up or ability to untick such clauses in the software?

Q5) What personal identifiable information like you mentioned websites I visited, start/stop and duration of surfing etc. How about hardware information? It's a known fact that NVIDIA GPU and CyberGhost VPN collect users PC/laptop hardware information. For what reasons nobody can tell. You can turn off NVIDIA's data collection but unable to stop CyberGhost VPN from doing so.

Thanks again

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