Netgear has a couple of interesting additions to its product line-up at CES 2019, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas. The products include the Orbi Whole Home WiFi System with a built-in cable modem and the Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot, which was unveiled in October and arrived in late December. The latter is the kind of 5G product that I need to survive overcrowded shows like CES.
Orbi gets a cable modem
The Orbi is a two-in-one product that allows you to replace your existing cable modem and router with a single device, and it will give you a step up in ultra-fast mesh Wi-Fi coverage in your home.
Compatible with all major cable internet service providers, the Orbi Tri-band WiFi Cable Modem System is designed to work right out of the box with Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, and more. Those three cable providers have 85 percent of the market, according to Netgear.
This new modem router will soon pay for itself with the money you save by eliminating equipment leasing fees from your internet provider, said Amit Rele, senior product line manager for home networking at Netgear, in an interview.
“The number of devices in the house is dramatically increasing,” said Rele. “The service providers are stepping up and providing faster and faster speeds. Cable broadband is getting about ten times faster.”
The network will now be able to deliver bandwidth speeds greater than one gigabit a second.
Orbi Mesh WiFi networks will also get Netgear Armor, powered by Bitdefender, as a multi-layer cyber security service that will be available via software update to existing Orbi customers in coming months. Netgear Armor actively detects and protects all devices from cyber threats such as viruses, malware, spyware, ransomware, phishing, and botnets, by blocking any attempts to access websites, URLs, or IP addresses that could steal your information or identity.
With the Orbi app, you will receive instant notifications when malicious threats are detected and blocked. The Orbi Whole Home WiFi System utilizes patented Fastlane technology, and it will soon be available using sixth generation Wi-Fi, 802.11ax, or Wi-Fi 6.
Separately, the Orbi Mesh WiFi system will be updated for Wi-Fi 6, which will give it access to higher bandwidth speeds over wireless networks. It will be ideal for interactive virtual reality games or 4K live sports broadcasts, and it will also support all legacy Wi-Fi devices.
Other products, including 5G
The Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot is based on 5G, the cellular standard that can deliver gigabit-speed data networking, along with voice, on upcoming smartphones. It will be available exclusively on the AT&T Mobile 5G Network, which is rolling out across the country. The device uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem, the world’s first commercial 5G NR modem featuring millimeter wave.
We’ve been stuck with 4G networks (with data rates of megabits a second) since 2009. Now we’ll get data coming at ten times that speed or more, if 5G networks live up to their promise. That will bring new competition to the last mile or the last foot of connectivity, as 5G wireless providers compete with the wired phone and cable companies, said Jim Kirkpatrick, engineering fellow for 5G at Netgear, in an interview.
In other news, Netgear unveiled the Nighthawk Cable Telephony modem for Xfinity Voice. The CM1150V is the world’s first-to-market retail DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem with telephone jacks. It supports all of today’s internet service plans and is designed to support Multi-Gig high-performance internet plans, now and in the future.
The CM1150V includes two telephone ports that automatically prioritize voice over internet protocol (VoIP), for clear and uninterrupted telephone calls.
Updated at 11:15 p.m. Pacific: The Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot did not debut at CES 2019. We’ve corrected the article to reflect this.