Portal feature timelines

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    Okami

    I'm wondering if they have a QC issue with them because I've had a lot of the same gear other people mention. Just a little background. My cable modem which is next to the TV is one of the farthest points to my office room. I had gotten by recently with power over ethernet but even that was shaky at times,

    At this point i seem to be lucky as i was able to mess my two portals as soon as that release happened and haven't had to reboot them other than to switch admin phones. Connected to it we have 3 wireless laptops, 2 phones, 1 ipad, 2 Nest, a Smarthigns Hub, Arlo Hub, Abode Hub, Ps4, TV, Wii U, a PC, and 2 printers.

    Again i'm really annoyed about missing features but all the ones I use have worked great for me. The most annoying thing at this point is that I had sold my old phone without decoupling it as the admin. I then had to reset all my settings just to get a new phone as admin.

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    Baivab Mitra

    @Nathan: IPv6 support - not sure why your Comcast demands this however in NY/NJ area where I live I never had issues with legacy. In fact, 80% of consumers still have old routers. I cant imagine a company forcing IPv6 when there's a possibility they'll loose so many consumers or cause them grief.

    Port Triggering - very valid point. I do see this might be critical for some. Also, most routers do provide it. Accepted.

    Access Point Steering - this feature is relatively new and hardly any routers support it. Frankly, it can't be considered BASIC functionality.

    @Francis:

    - Channel hopping - I used Portal in NY Times square and found there are 97 WiFi networks. For 3 days, Portal constantly hopped between channels. There must be some threshold value after which Portal starts channel hopping. I presume in your case, that threshold was not met. Also, I have not seen any router offering basic functionality doing channel hops better. Maybe a +300$ router. 

    - Device name change: AGREED. This is a bad design by Portal along with the stickiness it exhibits, doesn't let go of dropped devices or new devices doesn't show up quickly.

    - Backups and updates: I am actually fine with the current setup and this forum reveals most are.

    - SSID shared - the fact that there are 2 portals in MESH already defeats your logic of this Portal NOT offering basic functionality. Meshed routers are definitely NOT basic. Agreed though - your concern. I hoped beam forming will help but its not yet "live".

    - DNS: That's rather surprising. I use OpenDNS and they are 1st. and then the ISP.

    - Logging: AGREED. Basic functionality missing. However, bandwidth hogs in logs, via reports? That's definitely not basic functionality. 

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    John Paul L

    Baivab,

    A setting to explictly choose the 2.4GHz channel alongside "auto" and a MAC address allow-only list are both very basic and conspicuously missing from the portal config.

    However, before release, they said this was based on OpenWRT, which is an extremely flexible, not at all basic, router platform. It has a basic UI, but then huge customization potential on the command line. Portal's choice of an Apple-style "we know what's best for you and what's best is a small set of sliders" interface with no ability for advanced users to get into the command line and further tweak things continues to be a disappointment.

    The portal team seems to be both smart and friendly, but due to either very limited resources or egotism, their interface and feature set is lacking. In a congested network area, the DFS frequency support still makes the portal totally worth using, but it feels like it could be so much better than it is.

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    Baivab Mitra

    @John - agreed. However, think from THEIR end. A small company, extremely limited resources. So they released an Apple like product. At this point - folks are complaining of features missing but not about Portal itself has bug a, b, c. That would have been more disastrous. I have a strong feeling here, call it gut. This is just a start. As this matures, give it at least +6 to 8 months time I think their team will open up a lot of things. Maybe in fact give a developer channel. I spoke due to initial issues and they all like these ideas however held back due to backlog and resources being low. Stick around and you might be surprised!

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    Marc Abrams

    Moar buttons and knobs does not make it better. Even in the case of an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station, the less you fiddle with the default setup, the better it performs. In the case of the Portal settings, they have done a good job of defaults for the most important things like DFS channel selection, recommending 2.4/5GHz single network, and others.

    I totally agree that port triggering and some better support for things like VPN termination (not the client we have now) and IPv6 will really improve things. But these are advanced features, not basic at all. And the current feature set does work well.

    On the topic of manual updates and firmware loading, there is a good balance now because we don't pay for the management service and they test well before updating so for almost all folks, this is a huge benefit. And since there is no 3rd party firmware for this device, and it's not promised, there is really no good point to having the ability to manually load firmware. 

    However, I would like to see much more detailed release notes and test results. And I would like to see the app updated to make things more usable and customizable. I've given up with it and now just use the web interface. The point of the web interface being turned off by default is very good security but then the app needs to be completely able to handle all configuration tasks and it is not even close.

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    Baivab Mitra

    @Marc - excellent points, especially the last para. Their smart phone is a joke, I agree. Few things I would prefer too, alas not available. For example - turning off WiFi on schedule. Rebooting the router nightly can be accomplished by them as they push the updates anyways and re-start the Portal. 

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    Natejust

    Ok guys! I have seen far too many negative comments here! This is by far one of the best routers on the market! I have had several over the years and NONE of them have performed better than the PORTAL. PERIOD.

    What they have accomplished has pushed the industry forward and caused other mainstream companies to finally follow suit! All of them have their bugs. They all have issues that they need to overcome to be the "perfect" product.

    With reference to this company, IDL, they have accomplished all of this on a shoe string budget with limited support staff! You helped them acheove their dream and now they are doing their best working night and day to help you meet your needs!

    I realize that they have had their pitfalls but they are leaps ahead of their competitors in mesh networking! I have used their mesh networking on three devices from the second official day they rolled it out with NO real issues.

    All I am trying to say is take a deep breath, relax a moment and realize what they have accomplished - with your help- and take some gratitude upon yourselves for helping them to acheive their goal. Everything we want and need that is within the capability of this hardware will come to pass. Give them your support.

    Send in a request. If it is within the ability of the device and the desire is there from the end users they will add it to the calendar.

    Setbacks happen. But with that comes greater things. You are all apart of this process and this change in the industry. Patience is a good thing. If they rush the process you will get a shoddy product and none of us want that!

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    Jerome E

    Why was the Access Point Steering feature moved to July 2017 from April? I have a mesh setup and I really need it.

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    Baivab Mitra

    @Jerome - Information I have is that more and more folks are requesting support for meshing more than 2 portals and access point steering is closely tied to that capability. 

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    Jason Steele

    I bought 3 portals with the assurance that they could be meshed. If you lookup various definitions for mesh they state that a mesh is 3 or more devices, so Portal have not yet delivered Mesh.

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    Baivab Mitra

    @Jason - by mesh technically its when multiple routers function as 1 unit without the use of connecting wires between them. So 2 routers when the communicate with each other over wireless constitute also a mesh. I also possess 3 Portals and unfortunately could not mesh the 3rd. one yet. If you state portal has not delivered mesh, do you mean you're currently connecting all 3 using wired connections?

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    Theron Ross

    I will add another positive voice here. So far, Portal has worked great for me. I cannot comment on the increased speed aspect, because I only have a 15 Mbps plan, but I get full speed and then some (I get a shade above 17) and it does switch channels on both frequencies. I have two Portals meshed and that has improved my range in those formerly dark areas. Once three Portals can be meshed, I may add a third. I go between the two Portals with no issues (which makes me not understand the Adaptive Band Steering, I guess, because I thought that was it). I am using a single SSID for 2.4/5Ghz.

    I realize it is not pefect and we'd all like to see upgrades at a quicker pace. The App interface really needs to be improved and the Attached Device list on a mesh setup is still wrong. And I want to name my devices too.

    But for a person that isn't trying to do much else besides get faster WiFi and better coverage, Portal seems to perform those tasks very well. I am happy with mine and the Portal teams overall.

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    Natejust

    I have THREE Portals meshed with NO issues. Follow the original setup instructions you used for the second one.

    There are others on here with three or more meshed.

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    Jason Steele

    Hi @Natejust. I tried but couldn't get it to work, and asked you for some tips at https://support.portalwifi.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/115000012968-mesh-for-more-than-2-routers-

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    Natejust

    Out of the thousands of users in the community, I am curious to see how many of us has managed to get three or more Portals running. 

     

    If if you have, like myself, been able to mesh three or more devices would you take a moment to let everyone know, please?

     

    i believe this would also be information that IDL would need to know as well so they can refine their mesh networking process and assist others in setting up their 3 or more portal meshed networks. 

     

    I would like to help all of you but my time is limited and I cannot imagine that only two of us have achieved multiple Portal mesh success. 

     

    I followed the instructuins IDL prescribed for meshing my second portal with the first one. Once the light turned green, I unplugged the second portal and put it in its location. I waited until the light turned green so that I knew Portal one and Portal two were meshed and functioning and then I followed the exact same setup for Portal three.  Once the light turned green I unplugged it and placed it in the location that I had chosen for it. 

    I plugged it back in. Waited for the light to turn green. All three work seamlessly together. I do not have any issues going from room to room with my portable devices. I have coverage from the front street to the detached garage which is 300 feet from the closest Meshed Portal.  Speeds are awesome in every room. I range from 250 to 300 mbs in close proximity to the portal and at distances of 20-50 feet From the units I am at 100-200 MBS. This of course also depends on the device and the frequency I am connected to. I tend to use the 5g band for most of my devices.  

    Notes: I have separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 g  and I do not have a guest network setup.

    i have an echo, a tap, two amazon fire tv box's, three Roku, multiple tablets, laptops, desktops, tv's and iot devices  I have never used compatibility mode and my fast lanes are working fine.  Many are running simultaneously watching videos or gaming and I do not have any lag.

    I am extremely happy with the devices. I have used netgear, linksys, almond, etc and I have never had the success I have had with the Portal!  Very satisfied customer!

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    Baivab Mitra

    @All wanting 3rd. portal meshed: the issue here is if that 3rd. portal you're trying to mesh you've tried already before as primary or 2nd. portal then system would have already updated the firm wire. The issue here is even if you press reset this Portal does NOT default to factory firm wire. It just retains the latest firm wire but defaults to default WiFI and password settings. Effectively, when you try putting it as the 3rd. portal, portal attempts to update the firm wire, finds firm wire doesn't need updating and from that point it's just a vanilla router which can't be meshed. That's why many who tries this work around, it doesn't work whereas for some - it does work.

    This is what I think is happening, BTW.

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    Natejust

    @Baivab. I do not think you are correct. My third portal did receive the update and I did reset it and it meshed. 

    As a matter of fact when I wrote my original instructions on how to mesh the third I actually reset ALL of my devices and started over so I could do it step by step like I did it the first time and yes, ALL 3 ARE STILL MESHED and functioning properly!

    I believe you should let IDL respond to them. There is no reason to be a Debbie downer and crowd the community with negativity. 

    Just give them a chance or move on. I'm sick of all the negative comments on here. No major brand company has achieved what they have on a shoestring budget nor does it work as well!

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    Baivab Mitra

    @Natejust - if you read my earlier comments I am vehemently supporting Portal. But I take your point. I'll try it out tomorrow. i.e. complete reset, remove from smart phone and re-try. Point well taken.

    I have tried a drastically different approach today to mesh > 2 routers. I think it worked but then an accident happened. It takes an effort to replicate, so I notified instead Portal team to try this approach and revert back if they are able to simulate > 2 portals mesh. If that works, then I believe it can be made into a permanent approach. Once I hear back, will revert. 

     

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    Natejust (Edited )

    @Baivab. I apologize for being so harsh in my response but this community is full of people who just want to put down the product.  

     

    I know I am not the only one out there with 3 Portals meshed. IDL needs to reach out to the community and find out who they are and determine how they were able to do this and have it work successfully. 

    Even the app is not set up for greater than two but every time I go into the room where the meshed portal is, the secondary portal in the app switches to the one I am closest to. 

    There is a solution. IDL needs to work with their community to find it. 

    I believe there are many here that are technically able to offer assistance and would gladly do so freely to make Portal a better product, IDL just needs to let them. 

    If it is truly based on open source software, outside developers can help them make this the best product on the market. Give them the chance to see that the community wants IDL to succeed and hopefully they will work with them to find the solutions to the problems. 

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    Jeff Jasper

    Tried all night to get my 3rd portal to mesh. I have two working fine, but when I plug in the third into the main portal and the 3rd goes green, then I unplug it and move to its location and power it on it stays red and never goes green again.

    Obviously the functionality is there if some people can do it so IDL should just add it to the app to add more that 2 portals. My 3rd portal has been collecting dust for months and it is really hard watching the success of Orbi and then see portal hamstrung the 2.4Ghz performance by using a weak processor as found by smallnetbuilder. 

    It has me ready to ditch my significant investment. IDL should just say when they are planning on adding this. I was told months ago Q1. We are now in Q2 and people who have payed a lot of money to have more than two have been stuck for a long time.

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    Jeff Jasper

    If meshing more than 2 is going to be tied to access point steering it is now not slated till July 2017! I would be happy just to have the functionality that people with more than two have now just officially supported by IDL.

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    David Tay

    On the ongoing discussions on mesh/wired status, Google just updated their app of their OnHub to show the wired and mesh status of each AP.  http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/04/05/google-wifis-app-update-also-shows-meshed-wired-status-access-point/

    IDL, the ball's in your court. :)

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    Baivab Mitra

    Google happen to have at 100 times more employee and financial resources than IDL. IDL will there eventually. 

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    Baivab Mitra

    I also tried to mesh my 3rd. portal. Followed all instructions by starting from scratch, i.e. resets and new smart phone app, etc. Nada - the 3rd. portal did NOT get meshed.

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    Graison Swaan

    Maybe this should be updated add I assume the May 14 firmware is live?

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    Whit Norris

    This page and thread seems to be going stale.  IDL does not seem to be nearly as active as they once were.  I hope that is not a bad sign for the future of Portal.

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    Karl Bundy

    I agree, not much in the way of updates or news. As it is still a work in progress you can only drive sales if you communicate!

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    Jason Steele

    I love my routers because I get a fast rock solid connection all of time, but I too have been unsuccessful with adding a third, I'm really hoping that this will get addressed in the next release which is still shown as July, so hopefully within the next couple of weeks?

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    Ben Dover

    Currently I was able to get "bridge" mode working by setting up my secondary portal from scratch and putting it into bridge mode. Then unplugging it and  setting up my primary portal form scratch. Finally connecting them via ethernet. While technically this works, they have 2 different SSIDs and there is no auto handoff from one router to the other. Is there any current or future plans for proper bridge/Access Point support?

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    Jason Steele

    So July has come and gone with no release from IDL, and no announcement to say that it would be delayed and why.

    I'm disappointed in the lack of promised features, and the lack of communication.

    It's also a shame that this thread appears to be the only active communication with them as they very rarely respond in the https://support.portalwifi.com/hc/en-us.

    The one saving grace is that they have bothered to update the release date from July to August - woohoo!

     

     

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