Q&A with Rob Wells
Tell us about NETGEAR and the products it provides.
NETGEAR is a global company that delivers high performance, dependable and easy home networking, storage and digital media products to connect people with the Internet. NETGEAR products are built on a variety of technologies such as wireless, Ethernet and Powerline, with a focus on reliability and ease-of-use.
Why do consumers need these today? What problems do they solve?
The Internet has changed the way we live, work, learn and play. Technological advances are being made every day as more people become connected. From smart phones and tablets to gaming devices and smart TVs, it is no longer just laptops and computers using the home Internet connection.
Many people talk about the ‘digital age’ we now live in, and as we buy more and more exciting technological devices for our homes, our digital lifestyle expands. However, you will not benefit from all of the features of your high-tech investments if you are unable to achieve ultimate connectivity between devices. Generally, the more devices connected to the Internet within the home, the slower the speeds which, in turn, affects the performance of the device. NETGEAR’s technology removes this problem and allows you to maximise your current Internet experience. For example, you can use a powerful, dual band router, which will boost connection speeds, use a range extender for larger properties or install a Powerline adapter, which can utilise the existing wiring in your house to create a better connection.
There is a growing demand from consumers wanting to use multiple devices simultaneously, while still getting the maximum speed and bandwidth out of them. NETGEAR helps them to do this.
What has this got to do with the gaming experience?
As the popularity of online gaming continues to grow, ever-greater demand is placed on connectivity. No-one wants to have their gaming interrupted by lag time and stuttered play – without the right networking devices to boost and maximise connectivity between devices, this is exactly what can happen. The latest wireless technology means that these problems are a thing of the past and gamers can enjoy an entirely seamless experience.
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
What is 802.11ac and how it is different from the previous standard?
The 802.11ac wireless standard is the world’s fastest WiFi, providing gigabit speeds allowing for web content to download faster, large video or music files to synch quickly and seamlessly and for multi-player online gaming.
It is not only three times the speed of the current 802.11n standard, but it delivers better bandwidth at any given range and is more reliable (for example, it allows you to stream HD videos without buffering and jitters). It is also ideal for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets – delivering three times improved performance for the same battery power usage.
Is NETGEAR the first to deliver this technology?
In April 2012, we announced the availability of the NETGEAR R6300; one of the first 802.11ac dual band gigabit WiFi routers. You can watch a video about the product below. This is just another example of NETGEAR’s leadership and being one of the first to market with a product that delivers. We are extremely proud of this accomplishment.
To continue to meet growing customer needs for better and faster wireless on Internet-enabled WiFi devices in the home, we have since launched a wider range of 802.11ac products. The products – two further wireless routers (the D6300 DSL WiFi Modem Router and R6200 WiFi Router) and one wireless USB adapter (A6200 WiFi Adapter) – make 802.11ac WiFi available to laptops and PCs, even before this capability has been built into these systems.
Why is this an important development? Why do people need it? What factors are driving consumers to need something that’s faster?
In a world that is becoming ever more fast-paced, technology must keep up. There are three key factors driving demand for this technology development: There are more connected devices than ever (meaning higher capacity is required), more mobile devices (meaning a need for greater coverage and better battery efficiency) and the explosion in content consumption (which leads to a need for higher speed). All of these things demand better and faster wireless on Internet-enabled WiFi devices in the home – a promise that 802.11ac delivers.
Can you prove it’s faster?
We have done a great deal of testing to prove exactly this. Take a look at this video to see for yourself.
What do you anticipate adoption levels to look like?
In line with the growth of the ‘connected home’, people have been quick to adopt this new technology. We expect this adoption to continue to only continue as more clients become available.
What product segments will 802.11ac penetrate?
This standard will penetrate all product segments – not just routers, but will also break into the portable PC / tablet, smart phone and wider consumer electronic markets.
What is your role at NETGEAR?
My title is Senior Director, Northern Europe. As part of this role, I have responsibility for the business in the UK, Benelux and Nordics.
What is your favourite part of the job?
It has to be a mix of working with innovative technology and the great team we have here at NETGEAR.
What would you be doing if you didn’t work at NETGEAR?
It’s a world away from NETGEAR, but the dream job would have to be a sports agent!
What is your favourite film and album?
This is always a tough one – and one that can leave you open to scrutiny! – but hopefully my choices are pretty safe. Top album would be Hysteria by Def Leppard (though I like anything they do), film is much more tricky. I will go with Apocalypse Now…hopefully a change from the predictable film titles usually mentioned.
Heaven Media would like to thank Rob and his team for their time today. Remember to check out our recent NETGEAR reviews here…