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Portal Wi-Fi Router

Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Hardware
Developer: Ignition Design Labs
Release Date: Nov. 2016


Hardware Review - 'Portal Wi-Fi Router'

by Duke Ferris on Dec. 9, 2016 @ 12:00 a.m. PST

Portal is designed for homes with lots of devices and many neighbors. It uses patented technologies that steer your devices to fast channels that avoid speed-sucking, range-crushing congestion.

I've been reviewing games for 20 years now, and whether it's a winner or a stinker, games always give me plenty of creative inspiration for my words. There's the story, there are the graphics, the music, the voice acting, and many more aspects to help tickle my muse. So how do you review a router?

I mean, it just routs, right? Where's the fun in that? Where are the muscle-bound dudes, big f'ing guns, heroic babes, spaceships and fast cars? Well, here's the thing. The Portal routs better, and if you're a gamer, it makes all those other things just a little bit better.

I'm going to have to resort to numbers here in a second, but first a little exposition. The Portal router is designed for crowded network neighborhoods. If you live in a densely populated area, and you do a search for available networks, you'll see dozens of them, sometimes with amusing names like "I'm stealing your thoughts" or "Unmarked FBI Van."

On the other hand, I live in the woods. I mean, it's actually right there in the name of my town: Forestville, California. I brought the portal to my office in Santa Rosa, where it could compete bunch of other routers, wireless printers, phones, the Starbucks on the corner, and the network inexplicably called "Gehzah."

Now, my personal office happens to be on the exact opposite end of the building from the Wi-Fi router, making it hard sometimes for me to play VainGlory on my tablet when the boss isn't looking. I used the venerable app to do some benchmarks with the old router and then with the Portal's "Fastlane" network. The results were more dramatic than I would have thought.

 Old RouterPortal Router


22.2 Mbps60.11 Mbps


11.03 Mbps11.81 Mbps


17 ms13 ms

The Portal almost tripled the downstream speed, and for us gamers, it also reduced the ping, AKA the lag, AKA "WTF!? laaaaagg. i only die by lag. you cheaterz!!"

That's really the key, the crux, the lynchpin — dare I say, the cynosure of the Portal Wi-Fi router. It's all you really need to know. If you're having Wi-Fi issues, and you live in the city, get one of these. Don't get it because it's white and sleek or because the setup was really easy. Get it because it routs better. Words end now.

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