This article is sponsored by NETGEAR.
The majority of home routers today are managed via web browser. So why does NETGEAR keep encouraging its router buyers to use its genie app? The answer is that genie is designed to enhance, not replace the router's web GUI.
Genie makes some commonly-used features easier to access and adds functions more suited to running on devices connected to the router vs. the router itself. Here are six features genie brings to the table that you don't get using the router GUI.
1) Easier Remote Access
Face it, accessing your router remotely is a hassle. Who wants to deal with setting up dynamic DNS? Or opening potential security holes by forwarding commonly used ports or relying on UPnP to open ports automatically and "forget" to close them when not in use?
genie connects securely via HTTPS, whether it's connected directly on your network or remotely while you're out and about. After you register a free account, all you do is select the connection method, register your device, then log in to access all genie functions. A cloud icon overlaid on genie buttons indicates functions working via remote connection.
NETGEAR genie remote access
2) WiFi Analytics
genie has a built-in WiFi Analytics app that checks router signal level to the device genie is running on. It also shows other in-range wireless network names and channels used.
NETGEAR WiFi Analytics
Signal levels for surrounding networks can be viewed over time or clustered by channel and there's also a view showing number of networks on a channel. A handy Home Testing feature lets you record signal level and link rate for multiple locations and compare readings over time.
If you don't own a NETGEAR router (and why not?),WiFi Analytics is also available as a standalone app for Android.
NETGEAR WiFi Analytics - more
3) Turbo File Transfer
Turbo Transfer enables faster and easier data transfer between devices on your network. Since genie is available for MacOS, Windows, iOS (iPhone & iPad) and Android, it really simplifies moving files between devices running different OSes.
NETGEAR genie Turbo Transfer
4) My Media
My Media plays media from UPnP / DLNA and Chromecast devices on your home network. Files can be played on the device running My Media, or sent to any networked UPnP / DLNA player, including other devices running genie!
NETGEAR genie My Media
You can also play media that is on your phone or iPad on other devices in your home network. For the genie mobile app to find the network devices, each device must use Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).
NETGEAR genie My Media player selection and options
genie's AirPrint feature turns any printer into an AirPrint-enabled printer for iOS devices. The printer can be connected to a Windows or MacOS machine running the genie desktop app. Or it can be connected to a NETGEAR gear router that includes ReadySHARE printer support.
NETGEAR genie AirPrint setup
Once the printer is set up, just select Print from the menu option of Mail, Safari, Photos, Notes or other apps with print capability.
NETGEAR genie AirPrint in action
6) Enhanced Parental Controls
genie is the gateway to managing NETGEAR's OpenDNS-based Enhanced Parental Controls.
NETGEAR genie Parental Controls
A recent genie enhancement is the ability to associate a profile to each device in the network. Just select a device via the Network Map and click the Modify button to select a Parental Control stored profile or the Block button to deny all network access.
Setting Device Parental Control via genie Network Map
So the question isn't whether your router needs an app. It's really why aren't you getting the most from your NETGEAR router by using genie? Go download it now!