Netgear Genie to help manage home networks

Netgear announces a free application that helps ease the pain of setting up and managing home networking devices.

Netgear's Genie application is designed to help consumers set up and manage their home networks with ease.
Netgear's Genie application is designed to help consumers set up and manage their home networks with ease. Screenshot by Dong Ngo/CNET

LAS VEGAS--If you have one of the new wireless routers from Cisco, such as the Valet Plus, the Linksys E3000, or the Linksys E2000, you'll need the desktop software called Cisco Connect that makes setting up and managing the network a no-brainer, even for novice users.

Today, Netgear announced a similar application called Netgear Genie that the company says can do the same thing and a lot more.

The application itself is still in the final beta stage. However, according to Netgear, Genie is a "home network dashboard that enables consumers to monitor, connect, and control their home networks and also diagnose and automatically fix network connectivity issues."

The preliminary functions of the application include:

  • Fixes common network issues

  • Wi-Fi connection assistant helps with hooking up clients to the wireless networks

  • Easy configuration and control, including guest networks, parental control features, and security

  • Network map that identifies clients that are connected

  • Education and how-to sections provide help and educate users on networking

The software will be available during the first quarter of the year, when Netgear's recently announced products, the N600 Wireless Dual-Band Gigabit Router and the N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, begin shipping.

Like Cisco Connect, Netgear Genie will be provided for free with the purchase of the router.

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