On Wednesday, NETGEAR announced several new networking products at CES 2011. The devices are designed to accommodate the rising tide of Internet-connected devices in the home and give people access to their content wherever they are. Four of the most interesting devices were the ReadyNAS Ultra 2, N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit router, a new mobile Broadband router, and Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender.
ReadyNAS Ultra 2
Although the ReadyNAS Ultra 2 was released in Q4 2010, it won a CES Innovation award and was featured during the company's Wednesday press event. The Ultra 2 is an updated version of NEATGER's exiting ReadyNAS line. It supports 3.5" SATA drives (up to 2GB) and comes in two-, four-, and six-bay versions. The Ultra 2 uses X-RAID2 auto expansion technology, is DLNA and TiVo compatible, and can stream content to mobile devices over Wi-Fi or 3G/4G using Orb.
NETGEAR pitched the Ultra 2 as a home media server, but it works equally well in a small/home office environment. We actually use one as a backup storage device for our TechRepublic videos files.
N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit router - Premium Edition
The new N600 wireless router (WNDR3800) can transmit data up to 300Mbps and supports 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 GHz and 802.11 a/n 5.0 GHz. It has five Gigabit Ethernet ports (1 WAN and 4 LAN). According to the company, the device is designed with a new "Clear Channel Selector" technology that lets it automatically detect and use the least-busy Wi-Fi channel within an area. Also, using NETGEAR's software ReadySHARE, it also allows you to access data from an attached USB storage device on a mobile device when you're away from your network.
3G/4G + 10/100 Dual WAN mobile Broadband router
The new mobile Broadband router (MBR1000) offers either 4G (LTE) or 3G (CDMA/HSPA/HSPA+) connectivity. It supports 802.11n up to 270 Mbps and has five 10/100 Ethernet ports (1 WAN and 4 LAN). This could be extremely use full for remote locations that can't get wired Internet connectivity, for temporary locations such as construction sites, or mobile deployments.
Universal WiFi Range Extender
The Universal WiFi Range Extender (WN3000RP) can be used as a range extender or wireless bridge. When used as an extender, the device repeats 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 Ghz Wi-Fi signals. It works with devices from NETGEAR and other manufacturers. It also includes an Ethernet port that you can use to connect to devices that lack built-in Wi-Fi.
Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. He was most recently Managing Editor for TechRepublic Pro. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.