LAS VEGAS - Apple Time Capsule, Netgear is about to open a can of "so yester-year" on you!
The networking vendor announced today at CES 2012 its totally new Media Storage Router (model WNDR4700), a major upgrade to the previous version, the WNDR4500, which was the company's top-tier home router for 2010.
At a glance, the new WNDR4700's features seem similar enough to its predecessor. The new router integrates storage functionality that offers consumers backup, storage, streaming and wireless networking solution in a single package.
However, Netgear's WNDR4700 is now an entirely different beast. It's the first from Netgear that comes with a built-in 2TB of storage space, which is consumer-upgradable at any time, in case you want to swap in a higher-capacity hard drive. On top of that it includes two USB 3.0 ports--one of the first among all consumer routers to date--to host more storage or printers. The router works with both PCs and Macs, supports Time Machine natively, and Netgear says that it's equipped with a fast processor to offer better performance than other routers.
This high capacity and flexibility allows the WNDR4700 to easily dwarf Apple's Time Capsule which, among other things, has fairly slow network storage performance and doesn't offer users the option to upgrade its storage or support USB 3.0.
And there's more. Uniquely, the WNDR4700 is also the first router that offers the capability to run downloadable applications from the Netgear App Store, opening up many more potential for home networking services going forward.
As a networking device, the Media Storage Router is a Gigabit, true dual-band router that supports the three-stream N standard (450Mbps) on both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. Other than that, some of the router's main features also include:
- ReadyShare Vault: The router serves as the destination for continuous backups from any Windows or Mac computer (Time Machine supported).
- ReadyShare Cloud: This is a feature currently available in the WNDR3800 router that enables easy VPN-like remote access to the router's internal hard drive, which allows consumers to retrieve or edit files from any Internet-connected device.
- ReadyShare Printer: The router can host any USB printer and share it with other connected computers in the networks.
- Netgear Genie: This is a free utility, which was announced a while back, for PCs and Macs, which enables home users to control, monitor, repair, and manage their home networks. Currently the software is available for PC with the Mac version in beta state.
- Media Server: The Media Storage Router is DLNA-certified and can stream digital content from its built-in or USB-connected storage to any other DLNA-compatible device.
- Broadband usage meter: This feature enables people to monitor their Internet data consumption and sends customized alerts when usage is close to monthly bandwidth limits.
- Netgear Live Parental Controls: The router offers a centralized, flexible, and reliable parental control solution for all the devices on the network, including Macs, Windows PCs, smartphones, and tablets, for a safe online environment for children and teenagers.
Netgear says the Media Storage Router (WNDR4700) will be available in summer 2012 with the pricing to be announced then. With all the potential, let's hope it will be worth the wait.