In May, a hacker perusing vulnerable systems with the Shodan search engine found a Netgear router with a known vulnerability—and came away with the contents of a US Air Force captain’s computer. The purloined files from the captain—the officer in charge (OIC) of the 432d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s MQ-9 Reaper Aircraft Maintenance Unit (AMU)at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada—included export-controlled information regarding Reaper drone maintenance.
The hacker took the documents to a Dark Web marketplace, where he planned on selling them for a few hundred dollars. And it’s there that analysts from Recorded Future, an information security threat intelligence company, discovered them.
Netgear’s Arlo wing has been a surprise hit for the networking company. The line of cameras are relatively new to the market, but they’ve utterly dominated the connected security space, breathing new life into the company in the process.
Back in February, Netgear spun off Arlo, courtesy of unanimous board approval and announced plans to file an IPO in the process. That bit came to fruition this week, as the company filed an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The security camera company has also applied for the “ARLO” ticker symbol with the New York Stock Exchange. Makes sense.
As it notes in a press release tied to the news, neither the number of shares nor price range have not been determined yet. Earlier this year, however, it suggested that it would issue less than 20 percent of common stock, while retaining interest on the rest. As usual, all of this is pending approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
According to the company, “BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank Securities, and Guggenheim Securities are acting as lead book-running managers for the proposed offering. Raymond James, Cowen and Imperial Capital are acting as joint book-running managers for the proposed offering.”
The Arlo line has been highly successful for Netgear, in spite of it playing in a crowded market alongside the likes of Ring, Nest and Canary. The unit effectively doubled revenue between 2016 and 2017, as connected home devices pushed toward mainstream acceptance.
Netgear’s line of connected smart home cameras, called “Arlo,” currently only support HomeKit for the Arlo Baby camera. However, this could be changing in the near future as release notes posted by an Arlo community manager on the company forums suggest that support for HomeKit will be part of a soon-to-launch firmware update for the Arlo Pro camera.
There are a variety of wire-free and AC-powered Arlo devices, including the base Arlo camera, Arlo Pro, Arlo Pro 2, Arlo Go, Arlo Q, and Arlo Q Plus. According to the release notes in the forums, HomeKit would only be coming to the wire-free Arlo Pro camera. Recent release notes for the Arlo Pro 2 lack a mention of HomeKit support, but it’s unclear why the company would limit HomeKit to just the first generation of the Arlo Pro line.
For the Arlo Pro, the update also includes a fix for high pixelation of images, support for new Wi-Fi codes, and more.
Arlo Pro Camera 1.092.0.13_19715
– Fix for high pixilation of images
– Include backwards error correction to minimize ghosting
– Add support for new wifi codes
– Add support for Homekit
– Add support for H15 hardware
– Bug Fixes
Netgear introduced HomeKit into the Arlo Baby camera in February through an update to the Arlo iOS app. When smart home devices support HomeKit, users can then add them into Apple’s Home app, where it’s much easier to connect a variety of products into scenes for a home that can then be controlled with a tap of a button or through Siri.
Yesterday, Netgear launched the Arlo Security Light as a companion product to its cameras. The wire-free LED light illuminates outdoor areas, can detect motion, and mainly touts Amazon Alexa support on its web page.
Apple sells the Arlo Baby camera on Apple.com for $189.95, along with other HomeKit-compatible security cameras like the Logitech Circle 2 ($179.95) and D-Link Omna Cam ($149.95). Arlo Pro cameras are comparatively more expensive because they require a base station. Arlo Pro starts at $249.99 for one camera and a station, and the Arlo Pro 2 starts at $479.99 for two cameras and a station.
Netgear today announced the “Orbi Tri-Band Wi-Fi Cable Modem Router System,” an all-new 2-in-1 device designed to replace an existing cable modem and router setup. The system covers up to 4,000 square feet, and sold-separately Orbi Satellites can expand coverage by an additional 2,000 square feet each.
The new Orbi is compatible with all major cable internet service providers, and Netgear pointed out that it’s designed to work “right out of the box” for Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, and more. This is Orbi’s first product that combines its Wi-Fi mesh networking abilities with a modem.
If users don’t own their modem, many ISPs offer leases with rental costs at around $10/month added on top of the cost of an internet bill. Because of this, Netgear is pitching the new Orbi as a cost-saving measure for users to replace their existing products “and save up to $120 per year.” The new Orbi starts at $299.99.
“We’re excited to be the first retail offering to combine the benefits of Orbi whole-home WiFi mesh networking with an embedded cable modem in a single, space-saving device,” said David Henry, senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR.
“With the Orbi Tri-Band WiFi Cable Modem System, you’ll benefit from incredibly fast cable downloads and blazing-fast WiFi for an uninterrupted data flow to more connected devices, everywhere in your home, plus tons of great Orbi features like voice commands and smart parental controls, which will be added to the offering soon.”
On the modem side of things, the Orbi integrates a DOCSIS 3.0 CableLabs-certified modem with 32×8 channel bonding and download speeds of up to 1.4 Gbps. Netgear said the device’s router supports high-performance Wi-Fi up to 2.2 Gbps; multi-user multiple-input, multiple-output technology; and includes a quad-core processor for better 4K video streaming.
Orbi also has “Smart Connect Technology” that chooses the best Wi-Fi band for each device on a network, avoiding interference and optimizing network performance, while Beamforming+ improves speed and range for 2.4 and 5 GHz devices. The Orbi itself includes four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports so that users can attach wired devices and ensure even faster file transfers and reliable connections.
The system uses a connected iOS app that lets users set up the device, manage their network, update software, and other features. Netgear said that Orbi is compatible with voice commands for Alexa and Google Assistant, but didn’t mention Siri support.
Generations ago, the internet spoke of an old saying that involved a man exhibiting excitement about hearing of a person’s love of an object, so he did favor, and put that something inside of something else. That’s what Netgear did here. Netgear heard people like the internet so much that the company put an internet modem inside a wifi router.
The Orbi WiFi System with Built-in Cable Modem is just that. It’s an Orbi wifi router with a DOCSIS® 3.0 cable modem built in. In theory this setup would make for easier setup and troubleshooting of internet issues while providing the home with great wifi.
I have an Orbi system in my house and it’s wonderful. The system does a far better job at covering my home with wifi than my previous single router setup. Including the cable modem in the setup, though, just makes sense and other networking companies would be smart to follow Netgear’s lead. Naturally, there’s a danger in including a cable modem in a router as one piece could become obsolete before the other but I would argue that most consumers upgrade their equipment every few years anyway.
This convinence comes at a cost. The router with built-in Orbi networking costs $299 and a system with an Orbi extender costs $399.
b8ta, the store founded by Nest alums to sell trendy gadgets, is entering new territory. Today, the startup is launching “Built by b8ta,” which functions as a retail-as-a-service platform for brands that want a physical presence.
Building off the success of its own retail stores, b8ta is confident it can provide an easy, cost-effective solution to brands wanting to launch physical stores of varying sizes. Since launching its first store in December 2015 in Palo Alto, b8ta has built and deployed an additional 78 stores across the country.
“As our business grew, there started being a class of larger companies in apparel and beauty that wanted to bring products to store but the product experience was misaligned with what they wanted to do,” b8ta CEO Vibhu Norby told TechCrunch. “With apparel, you don’t need a separate display for every shirt. So we started imagining creating a number of different brands for other categories.”
Instead of creating those brands itself, b8ta figured it would be more scalable to open up its store building and infrastructure processes to other entrepreneurs looking to open their own stores. That’s how b8ta landed on selling its software and retail services for a flat, monthly fee. The monthly fee, of course, depends on the square footage required as well as the cost of real estate in whichever market the customer decides to open the retail store.
“For most brands we’re working with, the costs are quite reasonable,” Norby said. “I’ll say that it’s at least 50 percent cheaper than doing it yourself.”
b8ta’s flagship store
b8ta’s software solution includes checkout, inventory, point of sale, inventory management, staff scheduling services and more. Netgear will be the first customer to launch a Built by b8ta store this June in Silicon Valley’s Santana Row. b8ta has plans to deploy additional stores for other brands in that area. In fact, Norby said there are a handful of other brands that b8ta will announce soon. This year, b8ta expects anywhere from ten to 15 companies to launch stores built by b8ta across cosmetics, apparel and furniture.
“This is designed for direct-to-consumer brands who have no store space but believe it’s important or they’ve done one or two stores and are having a hard time scaling that up to ten, twenty or thirty,” Norby said.
Some of these built by b8ta stores will exist within some of b8ta’s existing flagship stores. For brands that need more space, b8ta can build out separate medium to large-sized stores.
b8ta’s concept of small store inside a shopping center
b8ta likens its offering to Shopify, in that it provides physical stores for brands while Shopify provides virtual stores for brands. Instead of requiring brands to deal with store build-outs, infrastructure, real estate people and so forth, b8ta can provide all of that for them. On the real estate side, b8ta already has relationships with national real estate owners, architects, contractors and designers.
“We already have tremendous scale,” Norby said, noting how b8ta has a whole supply chain for fixture manufacturing and modular designs. On the staffing side, Norby said, the “big innovation” b8ta has is opening up many stores in the same shopping center, which is what b8ta plans to do with Santana Row. That enables b8ta to cover operations and management for multiple brands.
“In our system, no individual store needs to hire their own management team,” Norby said. “It’s just one team looking over the whole center.”
Starting today, all of Netgear’s existing Arlo Baby smart monitoring cameras are compatible with Apple HomeKit following the release of a HomeKit update for the Arlo app.
To connect the Arlo Baby camera to a HomeKit setup, Arlo Baby owners will need to download the update and then toggle on the HomeKit option in the Settings section of the Arlo app.
With HomeKit compatibility, Arlo Baby cameras can be viewed in the Home app on iOS devices right alongside other HomeKit-compatible cameras.
Using the Home app, parents can also view a live stream, access two-way audio controls, view the most recent screenshot recorded by the Arlo Baby, open up the camera live stream via Siri, and access live video remotely with an iPad, Apple TV, or HomePod as a home hub.
Netgear first announced HomeKit compatibility for Arlo Baby at CES in 2018, launching a new line of HomeKit-compatible Arlo Baby cameras. At the time, Netgear also promised to bring HomeKit to existing cameras, a promise that was fulfilled with today’s update.
The Arlo Baby cameras will also continue to work with the Arlo app, which can be used for specific features like accessing footage stored in the cloud, tweaking settings, controlling the light, and more.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Arlo Baby line, it’s a camera that’s designed to be used in an infant’s room. It offers 1080p video recording and seven days of free cloud storage, along with infrared recording at night, ambient air quality sensors, a music player, and a built-in dimmable night light that can be set to one of several colors.
Netgear sells several Arlo Baby accessories to personalize the camera to fit into a child’s room, such as bunny, kitten, and puppy suits. Arlo Baby can be purchased from Amazon.com for $200.
I’m a big fan of the Netgear Orbi line of mesh access points and now there’s more to love. Netgear is now shipping the RBS50Y, a new satellite that is weatherproof and allows you to add coverage to your back yard or garage without worrying that your access point will short out in the rain. Read More