Netgear Inc. was founded in 1996 in not the most typical fashion. Patrick Lo, the man responsible for creation of the company was not your run-of-the-mill entrepreneur, yet an electrical engineer who worked at Bay Networks, Inc. He didn’t try to go all out on his own with starting the company, yet he discussed his ideas with his superiors at Bay Networks. He found his inspiration in his own home, where there was an issue with determining who gets to have some Internet after dinner, since, at that time, most people had dial-up connections. This was somewhat of a “first world problem”, but it sparked some ideas in Patrick Lo’s mind.

Patrick Lo – Chairman and CEO of Netgear Inc.

Bay Networks provided networking equipment which basically allowed office and business users to connect to the Internet simultaneously, which was something home users at that time didn’t even think was possible. Patrick Lo basically invented the home networking market and defined home based Internet as we know of it today.

First sales commenced in 1996, however it was pretty rough since a tiny new company looking into grabbing onto customers from a seemingly non-existing market was quite a difficult of a task. Germany and United States were provided with ten products by Netgear: ISDN router, two ethernet switches and ethernet hubs as well as five 10BaseT hub devices. If you were looking into purchasing the ethernet hub you would need to dish out US$1650, which translates to almost US$2800 in today’s money. Obviously, these hubs weren’t selling like hotcakes.

Right about this time, high speed broadband Internet connection was edging its way out to the general public, which was crucial for Netgear’s future at this point. Competitors start popping out and a new concern appeared, since routers, hubs and other networking equipment started to become almost a commodity, with really tight profit margins.

Patrick Lo kept a close eye on the inventory and profits and Netgear maintaned a slow but steady growth. In 1998 Bay Networks sold Netgear to Nortel Networks Corporation, with Patrick Lo keeping his role as CEO. Netgear stayed with the new management up to 2000, when plans to get out on the stock market started brewing. At this point, Netgear has vastly increased the range of products on sale and there were some pretty innovative solutions as well, such as clip-on network routers that could be placed right behind dial-up modems.

Connect with Innovation

In 2003 Netgear Inc went public, despite the ongoing dotcom crisis at the time. The company had a solid production line, a newly developed market and was one of a kind in terms of innovation and quality. At this point, Netgear held the third spot in networking equipment competition line, with Linksys and D-Link being more potent.

Modern and Distinctive Design of Netgear Nighthawk Router Series

Today, Netgear counts more than 1000 employees all around the world and has invested into development and sales of home security systems, networking cameras, smart hubs etc. in addition to the vast selection of routers, range extenders and network switches.

Editor’s note: This is an informative historical article, for any troubleshooting for your Netgear product kindly refer to your model’s Netgear user manual or check out our Netgear modem troubleshooting category.