Portal Turbocharged Router Promises To Fix Your Wi-Fi Problems


Using what it calls a "spectrum turbocharger technology," a startup is building a wireless router that it promises will cut through the congestion caused by neighboring networks to speed up Wi-Fi connections.

It's called Portal, and it's on Kickstarter now. Ignition Design Labs, its parents, are seeking $160,000 in funding to help in the development of the wireless router — and the campaign has received most of that already, just two days into the launch.

All of those wallets and purses that are being tossed at the feet of Ignition Design Labs likely have a lot to do with the company's boost that Portal will claim three times the amount of available spectrum. That broader band connection eliminates issues with buffering and improves the online experience overall, according to Terry Ngo, CEO and Co-founder of Ignition Design Labs.

"Ninety-eight percent of Wi-Fi routers on the market today use less than 35 percent of the available spectrum," said Ngo. "Our engineers created Portal to fundamentally redefine the consumer Wi-Fi experience."

The secret behind Portal's ability to grab three times the bandwidth is the wireless router's use of 5G spectrum, a slice of which it has claimed and dubbed "FastLanes." These FastLanes are certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and they aren't the type of fast lanes regulators have been trying to shut down.

"This is a huge swathe of spectrum, about 3x wider than the spectrum conventional Wi-Fi uses today, and it's relatively uncrowded which enables your Wi-Fi data to speed past your neighbor's Wi-Fi data that is stuck in congested traffic," the campaign says. "FastLanes is like having your own private highway to the internet!"

Monitoring the flow of those high-speed lanes are what Ignition Design Labs calls SmartLanes. It's an algorithm that monitors FastLanes for congestion and, like Google Maps or Siri, sends that data along alternative routes on the fly.

Pre-production runs of Portal begin in June and then production starts in July, with the first batch being shipped out later in the month. Ignition Design Labs hopes to ramp up production in September and then begin fulfilling the bulk of its early orders in October.

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