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Linksys WRT54G is Making a Return with New Hardware

By - Source: Linksys Press Release | B 19 comments

What's old is new again, just like Hollywood "reboots."

As we've seen in Hollywood, the latest trend is to take something old and make it new again. Linksys is the latest to fall prey to the hype, taking its very popular WRT54G router and cramming it with the latest Wireless AC technology. The result? You be the judge when the Linksys WRT1900AC arrives this Spring.

What Linksys has done is build a new router from the ground up, but retained the look and feel of the company's popular WRT54G, keeping the "iconic" blue/black stackable form factor intact. The router also packs a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, four removable antennas, and ships with the company's Smart Wi-Fi setup and management tools. The device will even be the first to feature Linksys' Network Map feature.

"Our new Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router will be the most powerful router in its class on the market. We have spared no technology expense to make this router a prosumers' dream," said Mike Chen, vice president product management for Linksys.

According to the specs, the router provides one eSATA/USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port, four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port. There's also 128 MB of internal storage, 256 MB of DDR3 RAM, open source support and loads more. Linksys states that this router will be the first open source compatible router solution to feature this combination of hardware.

"Open Source is a vehicle for other communities, such as DD-WRT, Open WRT, and Tomato, to create their own custom versions of open source firmware for the product. OpenWRT developers will be provided hardware and SDKs/APIs to begin creating custom firmware for the WRT1900AC," reads the press release. "An OpenWRT custom firmware for WRT1900AC is planned to be available for download online at availability in the spring 2014."

The new Linksys router provides speeds of up to 1300 Mbps for Wireless AC devices on the 5 GHz band, and up to 600 Mbps for Wireless N devices on the 5 GHz band. Linksys explains that the router will use the three best signals out of the four antennas to transmit and receive data. This "diversity technology" helps provide a greater range and coverage compared to solutions currently on the market that only have three antennas.

The upcoming Linksys WRT19900AC dual-band router will be made available this spring for $299.99 USD.

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  • 7 Hide
    gladosiri , January 7, 2014 5:14 PM
    I have and still use WRT54G(L) and I was excited to see this coming up...till I saw $299.99 price tag.I guess I'll be sticking with WRT54G for little bit more now.
  • 0 Hide
    Yuka , January 7, 2014 5:17 PM
    Don't mock what I think it's the best moddable Router of all times!

    I replaced it only because of 1Gbps networking and dual band (Netgear WNDR3700), so I lent mine to a friend who fried his cheap d-link out of nowhere.

  • 1 Hide
    Darkk , January 7, 2014 5:19 PM
    Wait a few months after the release as the price will come down. I think $249 this year will be a sweet spot and then $199 next year when they revamp the hardware to reduce cost.
  • Display all 19 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    hotroderx , January 7, 2014 5:45 PM
    I was all set to say hurry up and take my money then I noticed the 299 buy in and cant help but laugh. The spec's look nice and the design is classic but that does not justify the price. Darkk I dont ever see there being a very big market for this. Maybe there just trying to go for limited retro classic type deal.. I figured by mid year AC will be far more common and we will see most the 199 routers priced in the 125-150 range. While the 150 routers will be in the 99 dollar range. We will also get some sub 100 dollar AC Solutions.
  • 0 Hide
    10tacle , January 7, 2014 6:10 PM
    Cool! I've had the WRT54GS since 2006. It's now 2014 and I'm finally ready to upgrade to a more current WiFi technology. But $300...OUCH! Well, I've waited this long, I can wait another year for this thing to drop below $200.
  • 0 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , January 7, 2014 6:44 PM
    AC is nice but everything I own is N, so I really don't have any use for AC but if they made this in an N config and sell it for 50 bucks I'd def consider it.
  • 0 Hide
    thundervore , January 7, 2014 6:45 PM
    Ive had a WRT54GL for years, flashed it with DDWRT on day one and it never failed.I only retired it for a Netgear 3500L because I wanted Gigabit ports and Wireless N all through out my home network. I was excited to see it back but not for $300.My 3500L is still going strong with DDWRT and I have no Wireless AC devices that will benefit from the speeds so I can wait until media settop boxes have wireless AC
  • 0 Hide
    pills161 , January 7, 2014 6:53 PM
    Definitely like the looks but that price tag ouch! I've been using the WRT54G for many years now and it does exactly what I need it for, however signal strength can get very low when I'm in bed, reading news articles of course. Will have to wait for prices to come down, my current WRT54G was $50 brand new.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , January 7, 2014 6:59 PM
    But the real question is does Linksys understand why people loved this router. Was it for the looks or was it because you could put DD-WRT on it. Will they support DD-WRT on this new device and if it is just because of DD-WRT then their are a bazillion other options out there as well.
  • 1 Hide
    phatboe , January 7, 2014 7:10 PM
    for $300 i could build my own linux based router
  • 0 Hide
    itsnotmeitsyou , January 7, 2014 7:20 PM
    I like the removable antenna option. I like the full Gigabit. Legitimate processing power. opensource support. Seriously, this is not that bad of a deal for $299, especially if they are going to include VLAN tagging/routing, or it is made available via DD-WRT. Plug in an external for a makeshift NAS with esata speed... too cool. Its nice to see a real response to the loss of the modding community to more open companies like Buffalo in recent years. Some of us enjoy networking, and having the hardware available to do it right.
  • 0 Hide
    Hunt4Epic , January 7, 2014 8:24 PM
    The older models were designed to be stackable, which greatly influenced their shape. This one appears to not be, so it is really just going for the nostalgia.
  • 0 Hide
    HideOut , January 8, 2014 12:34 AM
    There was some holiday specials with AC for <$100. This price better be a joke. I realize it has some premium features but unless it comes with a kegarator it's not that special
  • 0 Hide
    teodoreh , January 8, 2014 1:18 AM
    Linksys worst after sales support company ever. After 2+ years they still haven't released firmware for the wireless security flaw of WAG320N. Screw them...
  • 0 Hide
    eriko , January 8, 2014 1:37 AM
    I love the way the $299 was saved until the end!Nearly wet myself. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ah ah aha hahah ahah aha ha...
  • 0 Hide
    bjaminnyc , January 8, 2014 4:49 AM
    Old WRT54G's make great inexpensive access points to add to the corners of your LAN. $299 does seem a bit steep but the NAS & opensource options are attractive. Hopefully the build quality is on par with the WRT54G.
  • 0 Hide
    gggplaya , January 8, 2014 5:56 AM
    I'll wait to see how good the NAS on this unit is. If the dual core processor allows it to do things like video surveillance recording or media server type stuff. Then the $300 price tag is a real steal.
  • 1 Hide
    COLGeek , January 8, 2014 9:44 AM
    My WRT54GL has been chugging along nicely for years (via Tomato firmware). If the "updated" version is half as solid a device, then it will be a winner once the price adjusts to market conditions. Don't let the initial MSRP be the deciding factor (or a distraction at this point), lets evaluate the performance when it actually comes available. It's "open-ness" and how configurable it really is will be key factors as well.
  • 0 Hide
    atminside , January 20, 2014 10:13 PM
    I have had my WRT54GL since 2007 and still going strong. never had a reboot or disconnect. This thing is amazing. The only down side to it is that, on LAN, I can't achieve anything faster than 40Mb/s. On wifi 28mb/s. I get a 50+ mb/s connection from comcast but still 40 mb/s is not bad. A straight connection to the modem gives me 60 mb/s. I have been considering getting a new router but I all i hear is that there is no really good reliable one out for sell. With my router being so good I really don't see a need to get a new one. I guess this is why manufactures don't like building reliable products...people wont buy any more after lol.