With the Consumer Electronic’s Show kicking off in only a few days, many companies will be gearing up to showcase new and innovative technologies. Among these creators is Linksys who seem to be taking Wi-Fi technology to the next level.
Announced via press release, though they will be present on the CES showfloor, Linksys announced three new products in their strong line of Wi-Fi routers. The first is the “Velop,” a modular mesh Wi-Fi system which Linksys calls “the first true whole home Wi-Fi.” The Velop is the first Tri-Band modular Wi-Fi system that can be installed in various mesh configurations providing fast and reliable Wi-Fi to the edge of a home network. Each node is a powerful Tri-Band AC2200 that can serve as a router, range extender, access point and bridge.
Founder and CEO of Belkin International, Chet Pipkin is incredibly confident in the Velop saying, “This is why I purchased Linksys in 2013. I had a vision of solving a huge problem in almost everyone’s life- slow and unreliable Wi-Fi. Linksys has always been pioneers in home networking and I knew this was the team that could innovate and deliver the ultimate Wi-Fi experience,” adding, “Linksys has set the bar for true mesh networking systems.”
The Velop uses a highly integrated System on a Chip from Qualcomm, the first of its kind that incorporates a 716 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor, three Wi-Fi radios (one 2.4 GHz and two 5.0 GHz) and two auto sensing LAN/WAN Gigabit ports. This is complemented by 4 GB of flash memory, 512MB DDR3 memory and a Bluetooth 4.0/LE radio.
The next offering from Linksys is the Killer Prioritization Engine in the new Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router. Through a partnership with Rivet Networks, makers of the Killer Networking products, The WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router will allow gaming PCs to have fast and smooth gaming experiences, even when there is network contention on the home network, as the devices in the home compete for bandwidth.
Internet traffic from the Killer PC is managed to ensure game play is top priority with audio and video from the Killer PC as second and third priority while bulk download, such as large game patches are set to a lower priority so they don’t negatively impact other devices in the home.
According to Linksys WRT Series Product Manager Vince La Duca, “We looked at the router options available to gamers in the market and realized that ‘gaming’ routers were just standard routers with flashy industrial design or packaging provided as ‘gamer bait’, but offered no real technical substance or innovation. We knew we already had the best and top of the line hardware for gaming on the market with the WRT series; we just needed the right solution to give gamers the competitive advantage in regards to network optimization, That’s when we started talking with Rivet Networks, makers of Killer networking products.”
The WRT32X will feature a 1.8GHz Dual-Core ARM CPU, Dual-Band 3×3 with Tri-Stream 160 technology that delivers a 2.6Gbps 5GHz band. It also features 256 MB Flash and 512 MB of DDR3 Memory, eSATA, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, and MU-MIMO technology for airtime efficiency, and the QoS engine powered by Killer Networking.
Lastly, Linksys announced two new Tri-Band MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Routers to join its Max Stream product line: the Linksys EA8300 and the Linksys EA9300. Senior Director of Product Management at Linksys, Justin Doucette said, “The introduction of two additional Tri-Band MU-MIMO routers and an adapter to our Max Stream line- up signifies our commitment to the latest 802.11ac specification. With the rise of bandwidth intensive activities, such as 4K streaming and movie downloads, the importance of an efficient and optimized Wi-Fi network is more critical than ever. Tri-Band and MU-MIMO enables multiple devices to communicate with the router and/or range extender simultaneously, so the result is a faster and more reliable Wi-Fi.”
The Linksys EA8300 is an AC2200 Tri-Band MU-MIMO router and the Linksys EA9300 is an AC4000 Tri-Band MU-MIMO router giving users even faster speeds for downloading, streaming, gaming and surfing. Planned for availability in the spring, both routers will offer working MU-MIMO, and Wi-Fi 802.11ac Wave 2 technology which helps improve overall performance and efficiency of a Wi-Fi network while providing dedicated bandwidth to MU-MIMO capable client devices as if they have their own dedicated router.
Those of you familiar with my work know I have a soft spot for Linksys, spawned by a torrid love affair with their WRT 1900 ACS router. As someone who is almost always connected to the internet at all times, I am beyond excited to see what Linksys has to offer next.