Computers & Electronics

Disappointed in my Razer Portal Mesh Router

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  • Dec 20th, 2019 1:53 pm
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
5873 posts
1255 upvotes
Montreal

Disappointed in my Razer Portal Mesh Router

I bought 2 of these during the BB $49 sale. Previously, I had my ISP's router and 2 wifi extenders. The idea was to eliminate the extenders and also a switch as each Razer has 4 LAN ports. Also, I could easily connect the Razers by an ethernet cable rather than rely on a wireless backhaul.

The problem I had since the start was that although I had an ideal spot for one of the Razers, because of my UPS and VOIP adapter there was a limit as to where I could place the other one. Additionally, for compatibility reasons I had to turn off the fastlanes feature to get everything connected and haven't turned them back on again.

The problem that created is that although my old router allowed me to choose the least-travelled channel I wanted, the Razer handles it automatically and chooses channels I was avoiding.

Yesterday, I decided to put one of my extenders back in service because I was losing connections in the area not well covered by the Razer. I chose to use the same SSIDs as the Razer so it would be a transparent setup. That seems to have cleared up the connections issue but in reviewing which devices chose the extender rather than the router, I found that even my Harmony Hub chose the extender 2 rooms down rather than the router that was maybe 2 feet away from it. The Harmony hub connects at 2.4 GHz so Fastlanes would not be a help in this case.

I'd be interested in knowing how others are doing with these units and any ideas that might help.
Phils
8 replies
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 19, 2010
1615 posts
357 upvotes
Vancouver
Phils wrote: I bought 2 of these during the BB $49 sale. Previously, I had my ISP's router and 2 wifi extenders. The idea was to eliminate the extenders and also a switch as each Razer has 4 LAN ports. Also, I could easily connect the Razers by an ethernet cable rather than rely on a wireless backhaul.

The problem I had since the start was that although I had an ideal spot for one of the Razers, because of my UPS and VOIP adapter there was a limit as to where I could place the other one. Additionally, for compatibility reasons I had to turn off the fastlanes feature to get everything connected and haven't turned them back on again.

The problem that created is that although my old router allowed me to choose the least-travelled channel I wanted, the Razer handles it automatically and chooses channels I was avoiding.

Yesterday, I decided to put one of my extenders back in service because I was losing connections in the area not well covered by the Razer. I chose to use the same SSIDs as the Razer so it would be a transparent setup. That seems to have cleared up the connections issue but in reviewing which devices chose the extender rather than the router, I found that even my Harmony Hub chose the extender 2 rooms down rather than the router that was maybe 2 feet away from it. The Harmony hub connects at 2.4 GHz so Fastlanes would not be a help in this case.

I'd be interested in knowing how others are doing with these units and any ideas that might help.
Your whole setup is garbage really (you got what you paid for) and you need to rethink it.. If you're already wired for ethernet, why even use extenders?!

Get a couple of good access points and your problems will be solved.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
5873 posts
1255 upvotes
Montreal
Yes - probably.

The reason why I posted is because a lot of RFDers took advantage of the sale and I was wondering if they encountered and overcame similar issues. One thing I could do is to setup my old ISP supplied router and set these up as access points.

At least, I think I can.
Phils
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 6, 2001
15032 posts
2963 upvotes
Stuck in a Box
You get what you pay for when it comes to routers these days.
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
5873 posts
1255 upvotes
Montreal
I suppose but these came very well reviewed and probably would be great with Fastlanes turned on. The problem is that would mean a number of my devices would only connect at 2.4GHz. The compatible devices should fly though.
Phils
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Mar 25, 2012
1858 posts
1039 upvotes
Kelowna
I don't see the point in expensive routers. Maybe in large houses, but in our 1,100 sq. ft. house with 900 sq. ft. finished basement, our $20-60 D-Link routers have been perfect.

Cheers,
Doug
Deal Fanatic
Nov 1, 2006
8149 posts
1877 upvotes
Toronto
Phils wrote: I suppose but these came very well reviewed and probably would be great with Fastlanes turned on. The problem is that would mean a number of my devices would only connect at 2.4GHz. The compatible devices should fly though.
I'm puzzled by this and it makes me wonder if you undersatnd how wi-fi works (I'm also open to possibility of some feature set unknown to me!). Why do you say "only connect at 2.4GHz"?
[OP]
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
5873 posts
1255 upvotes
Montreal
The value-added feature of the Razer Portal is the ability to use what they call FastLanes - 5.0 GHz channels that are supposedly used by the military and are not commonly supported. The problem is that this feature becomes useless if the devices don't also support them.

When I first installed my router, I found that my Firestick and also my WiFi extenders didn't support FastLanes. Therefore, none of my 5.0GHz connections off the extenders were working so those devices would connect to 2.4GHz. My intention was to get rid of the extenders so it was a temporary measure. So far, I haven't turned them back on so I don't know which other devices don't support FastLanes.

The problem I have is one of placement. My ISP's modem is right in the center of my condo. My second mesh connection covers one side of my condo perfectly but the primary connection to the modem is in the center of the condo. It needs to cover my home office, dining room, living room, den, and kitchen. I have a lot of smart-home devices in that area so I'm finding I'm getting more disconnects than I should. I returned one Wi-Fi Extender into service in a prime spot and improved that situation dramatically. The downside is the handoff between access points is not as smooth, it doesn't have a dedicated backhaul, and FastLanes is an impossibility again.

Little by little, I'm moving the primary router to a better location but the improvement will never be more than marginal as I'll still need to cover that large area from that router.
Phils
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2013
1796 posts
977 upvotes
Durham
For $50 I bought two and it solved my wifi issues. Though I don't have a big house, there is a lot of interference. I took off fast lanes and get great service upstairs. Only issue I had was when I bridged, my gigabit speeds dropped to 300 hardwired. SO I just removed the bridge. But for what I needed at $100, these work perfect. A full brand name mesh would have cost a lot more. I just set the 2 in bridge, turn off fastlanes and upstairs wifi issues are a thing of the past. I'm happy with my purchase.

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