It's been a long time since Razer was solely focused on gaming mice. Since those humble beginnings, Razer has expanded into several other product categories, more recently adding a smartphone to its product lineup. Now it's getting into the Wi-Fi router business.
Razer is now selling a version of the Portal Wi-Fi mesh router designed by Ignition Design Labs, that has been optimized specifically for gaming.
"While evolving its ecosystem of hardware and software for gaming and entertainment, Razer identified device connectivity as a major area needing improvement. A sub-par router is often the cause of lag, screen tearing and buffering, three issues that commonly plague gamers. Mesh-capable Portal Wi-Fi routers help prevent these glitches. With key technologies, Portal successfully addresses the demands of high bandwidth gaming and streaming applications," Razer said.
The "Portal by Razer" is a quad-stream, dual-band 802.11ac wireless router with Wave-2 MU-MIMO. Routers that support MU-MIMO can communicate with multiple supported devices at the same time, rather than having to rapidly switch between them like SU-MIMO routers do.
Razer's customized Portal is advertised as an AC2400 model, which translates to speeds of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and up to 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band. While you can't combine the two bands into some sort of super connection, router makers typically add the speeds of all available channels together, and oftentimes round up—in this case, to an AC2400 designation.
In collaborating with Ignition Design Labs, the model Razer is selling boasts a couple of "patented congestion-busting technologies." One of those is FastLanes simultaneous multi-channel DFS. This gives users access to radar-protected channels to avoid interference from other devices. There are four DFS FastLanes on this model.
The Portal by Razer also steers devices to uncrowded, fast channels. This is not uncommon among today's routers, though Razer seems to think it can do it better.
This is also a mesh router. Razer's claim is that it can blanket homes up to 6,000 square feet in fast, reliable Wi-Fi coverage with just two Portal units, versus three or more if going with another company's mesh router.
Razer is selling the customized Portal router now in its web store for $150 (€170). It will be more widely available in the first quarter of next year.