We got the chance to meet up with some of the folks at Netgear to get a demonstration of their new “Netgear Genie” at CES 2013: a router management device for home or small offices. The wireless router device will deliver the most important network information, such as active connections and potential threats, to its users, and can also enable users to share documents by dragging and dropping files.
See what Netgear had to say to TechnologyGuide about the Genie at CES 2013.
Videographer: Ed Green
Tim Scannell: We are at Netgear Central, which is right across from CES 2013, where every room has something different; in terms of networking and activities. Jonathan’s going to talk to us today about Netgear Genie which is a control and management system for Wi-Fi and all things networked within the home, or small office, home office, and small businesses.
Jonathan: So, what we have showing here is what we call Netgear Genie. It’s really Netgear’s attempt to make an ease of use and make installation really easy for everyday consumers.
Jonathan: So, what we do here is we pull out the most important features and most important information from the router firmware because you know a lot of people don’t know how to 182.68.11.
Tim: Right, it gets so confusing.
Jonathan: So, this is the main page of the Genie. It’s a snapshot that shows you the current connection status. So, over it here it shows that it’s good. So,the laptop is directly connected to the router and then to the internet and, more importantly, you always want to know who is connected to your network.
Jonathan: Is it someone that you authorized? Click on the network map and over here it shows you in a graphical way what’s wirelessly connected to your router and what’s wired.
Tim: And, this is all live because obviously nothing is happening here because these are all faded out and these are the active connections and they’re almost in boldface.
Jonathan: That is correct. You also have the ability to block off access. Just do a right click on the device to disable it and you can see that connection disconnects immediately.
Tim: So, if somebody tried to friend my network from the outside, could I see who is trying to get in?
Jonathan: Yes. There’s an icon here that says “Notify Me When New Device Is Connected to Network.” so, when it happens you can, as an admin of the network you can see a pop up message from a desktop. At that point, you are able to grant access or deny access. More for S&B users, we have a feature called “Air Print”. What it does is, it allows the router to connect to any printer through USB and then through the Genie app from a mobile device, you can wirelessly print a document through the router through the USB printer.
Tim: Okay. The great thing about this, and I know you’re getting into this a little bit further, is document sharing. Everyone brings their tablet into meetings right now. Sometimes it’s annoying. You want them to look you in the eyes and they’re all doing the tablet thing, but they’re sharing documents. They can’t run back to their desk for something if they want to share a document with a group or just one person. They can do that now very easily with this system.
Jonathan: That’s correct. Through the Network Map, you’re able to drag and drop using a very Windows Explorer-friendly way, to drag and drop a file across a network to your destination computer. In this case, I’m going to drop it to that computer over there and as you can see the other computer is already getting a notice and at that point the user can accept or reject the file.
Tim: Okay. Does this keep a record of what’s being transferred so, later on you can say I transferred certain files?
Jonathan: Yes. There’s a separate log file.
Tim: So, it’s good for auditing? A lot of companies are under audit restrictions. This is terrific. If someone comes in your office and you want to give them limited access, walk through how that works.
Jonathan: The first thing is you’ll get notified when a new user tries to connect to your network and, like I said earlier, there’s going to be a pop up message. But, for some reason you want to disable a connection to a current user that’s connecting to your network. So, all you need to do is click on the Network Map and, you first have to turn on the access controls.
Tim: But again, everything is up there. You can do anything you want from that dashboard.
Jonathan: That’s right.
Tim: The real benefit of this is control. Right now when you set up a wireless network it’s not easy. You have to go back and forth, you have to type in numbers. This thing is, you plug it in, you have a visual representation of what’s happening, and after you set it up it’s real time. So, whether you’re a family or a business, you can see what’s happening and, more importantly control what’s happening with that network which is very important today.
Jonathan: That’s right. You summed it up.
Tim: All right, I summed it up. All right Jonathan. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Jonathan: Thank you.
Tim: My pleasure.