Orbi Outdoor Satellite adds Wi-Fi coverage to your back yard


I’m a big fan of the Netgear Orbi line of mesh access points and now there’s more to love. Netgear is now shipping the RBS50Y, a new satellite that is weatherproof and allows you to add coverage to your back yard or garage without worrying that your access point will short out in the rain.

The new device requires an Orbi Router – the RBR50, RBR40, RBR20 or SRR60, specifically – and connects to your home network via an easy-to-use app. The outdoor router adds up to 2,500 square feet of extra coverage and it increased my Wi-Fi coverage in the back of my house from about -80 dBm to -51 dBm, a marked improvement. This means we have better access to the Sonos indoors as well as to the camera in the back yard.

Overall the Orbi is an excellent hardware solution for whole-home Wi-Fi and I’m pleased to note that the app has been improved since my first foray into the product. Now the app supports granular device control – you can kick folks off the network – and it now supports Disney’s Circle for parental controls. This lets you filter the Internet automatically and even pause the Internet to keep the kids from browsing for a few hours.

The outdoor Satellite costs $329 while a router and two satellites costs $291. This is a bit pricey for a home router setup but it did improve my Wi-Fi speed considerably throughout my old brick Brooklyn home and it it now lets me switch songs and keep an eye on things from the back yard. It’s a small price to pay for complete and total wireless domination of your domain.

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Orbi Outdoor Satellite adds Wi-Fi coverage to your back yard


I’m a big fan of the Netgear Orbi line of mesh access points and now there’s more to love. Netgear is now shipping the RBS50Y, a new satellite that is weatherproof and allows you to add coverage to your back yard or garage without worrying that your access point will short out in the rain.

The new device requires an Orbi Router – the RBR50, RBR40, RBR20 or SRR60, specifically – and connects to your home network via an easy-to-use app. The outdoor router adds up to 2,500 square feet of extra coverage and it increased my Wi-Fi coverage in the back of my house from about -80 dBm to -51 dBm, a marked improvement. This means we have better access to the Sonos indoors as well as to the camera in the back yard.

Overall the Orbi is an excellent hardware solution for whole-home Wi-Fi and I’m pleased to note that the app has been improved since my first foray into the product. Now the app supports granular device control – you can kick folks off the network – and it now supports Disney’s Circle for parental controls. This lets you filter the Internet automatically and even pause the Internet to keep the kids from browsing for a few hours.

The outdoor Satellite costs $329 while a router and two satellites costs $291. This is a bit pricey for a home router setup but it did improve my Wi-Fi speed considerably throughout my old brick Brooklyn home and it it now lets me switch songs and keep an eye on things from the back yard. It’s a small price to pay for complete and total wireless domination of your domain.

  1. IMG_0455

  2. IMG_0456

  3. IMG_0457

Wi-fi startup Eero lays off 30 employees


Eero, the mesh Wi-Fi router startup, has laid off 20 percent of its workforce (about 30 employees), TechCrunch has learned. Eero confirmed about 30 employees were let go but declined to comment on its total workforce size.

“Our goal is to provide perfect WiFi in every home,” an Eero spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “Over the past year we explored several related projects, and we’ve now made the tough decision to eliminate one new project in favor of greater focus on our core business. We do not take this lightly, and unfortunately this shift means about 30 colleagues will no longer be working at eero. We will continue our work to make eero the most reliable, secure, and easiest home WiFi solution.”

Eero, which first launched in 2015, aims to change the way we think about wireless routers. Last year, Eero unveiled two new hardware products, a next-generation Eero with triband WiFi and the Eero Beacon, which plugs directly into wall sockets in places where it’s inconvenient to have a corded product.

In July, Eero acqui-hired startup Thington, a home management app founded by Dopplr founder Mitt Biddulph and former Yahoo Brickhouse Head of Product Tom Coates.

Eero has raised $90 million from First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Initialized Capital, Homebrew Ventures and others. Its most recent round came in May 2016 with $50 million in funding.

WICASTR brings data to the edge


Content distribution is hard. You want to keep enough of it close enough to favorite customers so they don’t have to wait and reduce latency for new data. That’s why WICASTR created the SMART Edge Platform, a system for sending content to the very edges of the network, including compatible local routers and access points.

“WICASTR is an ‘all in one solution’ for edge computing,” said founder Armine Saidi. “We are like Android ecosystem but for access points, routers and other edge devices: we have hardware, operating system and app store solutions to develop or deploy applications at the extreme edge with a simple 1-click solution.”

The company raised $1 million and went through TechStars. Their edge platform was inspired by the events of the Arab Spring. The founders wanted to create a system that would sustain damage caused by governments trying to shut down networks.

“The team embarked on a mission to create technology to facilitate seamless and uninterrupted communications and content distribution via all smart devices in the event of deliberate mobile network shutdown by governments,” said Saidi. This means devices on the network can act as content providers, thereby ensuring data can’t go down during an attack.

The team has been together for seven years and they have “deep domain expertise in IoT, wireless, software, hardware development, manufacturing and distribution.” They’ve launched with over 20 paying clients and work with Intel, Cisco, and Deutsche Telekom to build out powerful edge delivery.