Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless AC Router
|Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless AC Router|
|Features and Settings|
|Router Web Interface and Setup|
|Testing and Final Thoughts|
When it comes to wired networking, nothing has changed much for years in terms of performance for the mainstream consumer. While 10GbE is now starting to make the rounds, it is still far too expensive and no practical for home or even small business users. Wireless networking on the other hand has gradually been getting faster and gone are the days of the 802.11b+ networks. These days many laptops, tablets and even high-end wireless phones have 802.11ac networking capability baked in. 802.11ac is currently the fastest commercially available wireless network and they achieve this by combining both 802.11n's 2.4GHz band with a 5GHz band and then streaming on both simultaneously. The speed of the connection really depends on the amount of antennae inside the client and host devices so speeds can range from 533Mbps rated all the way to the current flagship at 1300Mpbs.
The WRT1900AC router from Linksys claims that it offers up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 802.11ac band for a total of the blister 1900Mbps. According to the marketing speak, the wireless performance of this router should exceed the wired performance as we are limited to 1000Mbps over the wire and at least 1300Mbps over the air thanks to the 5GHz band. As we continue on through this review, we'll take a quick look through the setup and they show the actual performance in the real world. Before we being all of that however, let's take a look at this beast.
We first saw a mock-up of the WRT1900AC in Las Vegas at CES earlier this year and it was huge. It was about the size of a car and it market the entrance to the Linksys booth. Thankfully the actual sample we received is a little bit smaller - but only a little bit. In truth, this is the biggest router I've ever seen and it dwarfs many other 802.11ac routers on the market. In fact, it is almost the size of a laptop and with the integrated fan, I'm a bit concerned that it will make more noise than I want or need.
The bundle includes a total of four antennae, a power adapter and cord as well as a quick start guide. There are no other extras such as network cables or an NFC-enabled card for quick connection. That part of the router package is fairly standard.
With the router bare, it's pretty nondescript looking and the style of the router is certainly reminiscent of the old WRT-Series routers from days gone by. I do like the traditional look to it and I was a big fan of the WRT-Series a few years back.
The back of the router is a little more interesting as it has a few upgrades over my old trust WRT54G. From left to right we find an antennae connector, followed closely by a WPS button. Moving right we find four 10/100/1000 Duplex Ethernet ports and immediately to the right of that is the WAN port. Moving on to storage we find a USB 3.0 port as well as a port that does double duty as an additional USB 3.0 port as well as an eSATA port. Next to those is a reset button, followed by the power connector, switch and lastly the other rear antennae connector.
On the next page we'll cover the features and specifications of the router from Linksys before we carry on through setup and performance testing.
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