LAS VEGAS — Watch out, Apple Time Capsule. Networking vendor Netgear unveiled several products today at their CES 2012 press conference, the most interesting of which was the new Media Storage Router (or model WNDR4700 if you prefer its formal name—and a mouthful). This new top-tier router offers backup, storage and DLNA streaming capabilities beyond the usual wireless networking solutions.
Initially, the Media Storage Router comes with 2TB of built-in space, which storage-hungry users can upgrade if that doesn't suit their needs. Featuring two USB 3.0 ports, one in the side and one in the back, the Media Storage Router also makes it easier for users to plug in more peripherals (like an additional USB printer to the network, or to add more storage capacity). The router is fully compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems, and best of all, it has the ability to support Time Machine natively—compared to Apple's Time Capsule, it's faster and offers upgradable storage and USB 3.0. Up to 900 Mbps of combined Wi-Fi speed, the ability to stream HD content stored in its memory, and use apps downloaded from the Netgear App Store round off the WNDR4700's features to make it a very attractive router option.
In addition to the Media Storage Router, Netgear announced their Dual Band WiFi Range Extender ($89.99), which extends dual-band WiFi coverage for your home network; the Powerline 500 Nano ($119.99) and N900 ($79.99) for converting standard wall outlets into high-speed network connections; and the Netgear CGD3700B/CGE3700B, supposedly the industry's first modem to be verified for both DOCSIS 3.0 from CableLabs and EuroDOCSIS 3.0 from Cable Europe Labs.
On the apps side, as mentioned, Netgear revealed their Smart Network Cloud Application Platform which lets consumers download apps from a dedicated app store. But another product we enjoyed seeing was the new Netgear Genie Mobile, an app for iOS and Android which seems pretty useful, even fun—it lets router owners manage their connections by kicking off that annoying neighbor leeching off their network, or their kid up past his bedtime with a few quick taps on their smartphones or tablets. It also lets users find videos, music, and photos on their network and push them to compatible SmartTVs.
Netgear will release these products and services over the next few months, starting from this quarter to this coming summer.