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Linksys Starts Shipping the WRT1900AC Router

Discussion in 'News' started by btarunr, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. btarunr

    btarunr Editor & Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Linksys today announced that it has started shipping the new WRT1900AC, which will be available for sale at Best Buy stores throughout the US or at the Linksys.com store. The new WRT features four external antennas for optimal wireless coverage throughout the home and has been certified for the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. The new wireless standard delivers best-in-class performance and includes intelligent technologies such as beamforming to further improve the wireless signal range. The design of the new Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Wi-Fi Router is inspired by the iconic WRT54G that was introduced 11 years ago. The new WRT has been equipped with powerful hardware such as a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 128 MB flash memory, eSATA and USB ports. The new WRT ships with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi setup and management tools, and Linksys has also been collaborating with OpenWrt to make sure that an open source alternative is available in the coming weeks.

    "The WRT is a cornerstone in the history of Wi-Fi and synonymous for many people with going wireless at home since it was their first wireless router. Since the introduction of the original WRT, we have sold more than 50 million units worldwide and are still selling it very successfully even with wireless technology advancing rapidly," said Mike Chen, vice president product management for Linksys. "The WRT has a cult status for many because of the open source aspect that made it so immensely popular. We are honored to have collaborated with OpenWRT to ensure the open source readiness of the product and building a WRT-worthy successor with cutting-edge hardware and iconic design."

    [​IMG]

    OpenWRT Ready
    Over the past months Linksys and the OpenWRT project have been collaborating to ensure open source readiness and continued development for the new WRT.

    "The history of OpenWrt goes back more than a decade when it all began with a project to hack and modify the Linksys WRT54G. A lot has changed since then," said Gregers Petersen, relationship manager at OpenWrt. "Today OpenWrt is a complete embedded Linux distribution that enables users to be innovative and create new solutions and functions. Other key elements of OpenWrt are source code transparency, security and extensive package repositories. We see it as a very positive development to have collaborated directly with the Linksys engineering team on the new WRT1900AC router. As a result of that consumers will have the freedom of choice between the Linksys default firmware and OpenWrt. The OpenWrt developers recognize the potential of the collaboration with Linksys, and the opportunities it brings for more devices and solutions."

    New Features
    Additional features have been added to the new WRT in the development process after the initial announcement at CES. Next to the extremely powerful router functionality, the new WRT now can be configured as a range extender or wireless bridge. Software features have also been added including support for the No-IP dynamic DNS service. Linksys is also planning to add Wi-Fi Scheduling and an OpenVPN-based VPN server to the WRT in a future firmware update to enable users to establish a secure remote connection to the router from anywhere in the world.

    Better Range Through Antenna Diversity
    Like other 802.11ac routers, data is transmitted to wireless clients by the WRT using three spatial streams. Unlike other 802.11ac routers the new WRT is equipped with four adjustable and removable antennas. The router automatically selects and utilizes the best three out of the four antennas to transmit and receive data to connected devices, depending on their location in the home. This antenna diversity technology helps provide greater range and coverage compared to more traditional three-antenna devices, so all connected devices can achieve the best performance wherever they are located.

    Linksys Smart Wi-Fi
    Linksys Smart Wi-Fi is a setup and management software tool that gives users access to their connected devices from a browser or mobile app so they can easily manage their home network. Users can access their home network from anywhere from a browser on a PC or app on their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet to check the connection status of their devices, provide guest access to visitors or prevent kids from accessing social networks.

    With the launch of the new WRT, Linksys has added a new Smart Wi-Fi tool called Network Map in the browser interface of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi. Network Map is a visual representation of the home network displaying the router and its connected devices. The tool enables users to see what devices are using the most bandwidth, how strong the signal is to a device or to which wireless band it is connected. Network Map provides a more intuitive and graphical approach to monitor and manage a home network.

    WRT1900AC Hardware Specifications
    • 802.11ac Wi-Fi (backward-compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n)
    • Speeds up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band
    • Speeds up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band
    • GbE WAN & LAN ports
    • 1 x eSATA/USB 2.0 port
    • 1 x USB 3.0 port
    • 1.20 GHz dual-core ARM processor
    • 128 MB flash memory
    • 256 MB DDR3 RAM
    • Four exchangeable external antennas
    WRT1900AC Software Features
    • Browser-based setup for installation from device PC/Mac, smartphone or tablet
    • Can be configured as: router, range extender (aka repeater) or wireless bridge
    • Ability to hide SSID broadcast
    • Setup wizard sets up two SSIDs, one per radio band
    • Linksys Smart Wi-Fi can be accessed from a browser or the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app for iOS and Android
    • Share printers or storage devices through USB or eSATA
    • Built-in DLNA-certified media server and FTP server to share files
    • Drag-and-drop media prioritization to prioritize bandwidth for devices, applications or games
    • Parental controls to prevent access to websites or block access during certain hours
    • Dynamic DNS services supported: No-IP, DynDNS and TZO
    • Built-in speed test to test broadband upload and download speed
    • OpenWRT ready
    Pricing and Availability
    The new Linksys WRT1900AC Dual Band Wireless-AC Router will be available starting April 13, 2014, at an MSRP of US $279.99.
     
  2. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    "The WRT is a cornerstone in the history of Wi-Fi and synonymous for many people with going wireless at home since it was their first wireless router. Since the introduction of the original WRT, we have sold more than 50 million units worldwide and are still selling it very successfully even with wireless technology advancing rapidly," said Mike Chen, vice president product management for Linksys. "The WRT has a cult status for many because of the open source aspect that made it so immensely popular. We are honored to have collaborated with OpenWRT to ensure the open source readiness of the product and building a WRT-worthy successor with cutting-edge hardware and iconic design"

    Let's hope they aren't resting on their laurels. The WRT54G was awesome.

    I do like these details:
    • 1 x eSATA/USB 2.0 port
    • 1 x USB 3.0 port
     
  3. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    If i can't flash the router with TomatoRAF i don't even bother looking at the device. Linksys E4200 purchase was also entirely based on the fact that it was supported. A bit shame that it is clocked at only 480MHz and overclocking it to 533MHz. So, a dual core 1,2GHz ARM does look promising on this one. I mean, if your router is heavly QOS controlled, high performance CPU is a necessity to quickly process all the packets and route the traffic accordingly. I just wish it would look more like E4200 which is really nicely designed device.
     
  4. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    From what I've heard from aftermarket devs this thing might never get proper DD-WRT support let alone tomato, which lately is pretty dead on major development. That's why I switched to the nighthawk, bleeding edge dd-wrt builds have won me back over from tomato. I clocked mine to 1.2 Ghz to match this linksys but it's kinda pointless right now. Even at stock the nighthawk sets speed records.
     
  5. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    They can put whatever ports on it they want but it's NEVER gonna match up to a dedicated server/desktop. The low CPU speed and the OS limitations prevent this. Never got good USB speeds on any router I used with this. It's ok for casual use but I wouldn't be backing up huge files or doing server backups and imaging over it.
     
  6. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Actually OpenWRT was not the distro that brought cult status to the WRT54G. DD-WRT is responsible for that.
    Pity Linksys didn't pair up with the right group.
     
  7. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    How much CPU power routing actually requires is pretty minimal, even between that and a firewall amongst other things, my gateway/server/nas has a stock phenom ii 960t and it almost never breaks 1% handling network traffic and that higher clock speed doesn't make packets route *that* much faster (if anything, the Intel NIC does,). Even more so when we're talking about your connection to the internet since if you have something like cable, your first hop over coax to the fiber node is going to be anywhere around 5-15ms, where the difference in response time with a router is on the scale of 0.10ms. That difference is so small in retrospect that you can practically dismiss it as chaos and within a reasonable amount of error. Routing and NAT gets harder when you have hundreds of different MACs on your network and might have many different routers on your network like a business would but for home, routing is simple so that added beefiness isn't necessary for that purpose. I think the faster CPU is helpful for the USB 3.0 and eSATA ports. For example, I too have a E4200, I still use it for wi-fi and as a switch for my TV, Xbox, Blu-ray, etc. in the living room, but using it as a NAS is dead slow. It couldn't even saturate USB 2.0 which I knew the drive could despite the fact that it handled everything else just fine.

    You need the extra power if you're doing more than just DHCP and routing. If you're running a NAS, a firewall, a VPN, a local DNS server, and such, more power is needed but more often than not, network services won't need more than the the hardware in a typical modern router and even a lot of older routers. It's important to realize that your needs may not be "typical" for what you do with it, but most people who just use the internet casually and don't know better, it will make little to no difference.
     
  8. iiee

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    No 3G... too bad.

    I do like the eSATA, seems like the only ac router offer this feature atm.
     
  9. HisDivineOrder

    HisDivineOrder

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    I was sure I'd seen this for sale on Newegg already...?
     
  10. RejZoR

    RejZoR

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    You can't compare ARM or a Broadcom CPU to a Phenom II quad core... It's the latency of packet sorting, because i can see a noticeable difference between my 480MHz and overclocked 533MHz.
     
  11. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    I never ran into any issue with my E4200 doing routing. With DD-WRT on it CPU load would barely go over 10% and any changes in latency weren't noticeable.

    I'm comparing it because the two (for residential use,) are practically the same, despite how much faster the Phenom II is, that's what I'm getting at.

    Also you can "see" it? How big is that difference? 0.1ms, maybe 0.2? It's a drop in the ocean if you're touching to the internet and I doubt it makes any real world difference.
     
  12. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I like this router, it definitely has potential. I'm glad they finally went back to external antennas and I really like the nod back to the old school design.

    Supporting OpenWRT is a good sign that they are going in the right direction. It is certainly a heck of a lot better than the closed down crap their other routers have been shipping with.

    No, actually HyperWRT is responsible. It was out a good year before DD-WRT, and was more closely related to the original firmware with additional feature added. The close resemblance to the original firmware made it easy for people to use, while early versions of DD-WRT were rather hard to use by comparison.

    They said the same thing about pretty much every other Linksys router. I think the fact that this is already using an opensource firmware is a good sign that we'll see DD-WRT and hopefully Tomato support. It really comes down to the Dev's williness to do it.
     
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  13. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Kong usually knows what he's talking about. http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=870594
    And again tomato is asking for the moon at this point.
     
  14. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Like I said, and basically what Kong said, it comes down to the Dev's williness to do it. It seems like Kong's big reason for not supporting it comes down to not having a test unit from Belkin and not likely getting one donated by a user.

    I'm not holding my breath for support from either soon, and yes, Tomato support is likely a lot further off than DD-WRT.
     
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  15. slim142

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    Now Im between this, the netgear R7000 (Nighthawk) and the ASUS RT-AC68U.

    Which one should I go for?
     
  16. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    AC68U is good, not as interesting compared to the other two. The R7000 has the huge benefit of having been out for awhile (vs the linksys,) so bugs have been addressed. That's always a concern with these bleeding edge routers. This is a benefit even if you don't want to use open source firmware.
     
    slim142 says thanks.
  17. slim142

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    You are right. I dont really think the 1.2Ghz in the Linksys are worth the chance. I think if I do end up buying a new router, I'll opt for the Netgear. The review at smallnetbuilder also convinced me is the best option.

    After all, I currently have a DGL-4500 from 2007. I think it is time to upgrade :)
     

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