Linksys announced the refresh of its nostalgically designed WRT1900AC, its Dual-Band Smart Wi-Fi Wireless Router. On the surface, the new rendition, the WRT1900ACS, appears identical to the former WRT1900AC. But Linksys included several major changes that should make the WRT1900ACS more competitive without compromising cost.
Linksys boasted that the WRT1900ACS has speeds of up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. It is also backwards compatible with previous 802.11 b/g/a standards.
The WRT1900ACS comes with the standard features found in a smart router. As a smart router, Linksys enabled the WRT1900ACS to be monitored via their proprietary Smart Wi-Fi app with Network Map. With Smart Wi-Fi, users can set up remote access, guest access, media prioritization and parental controls while monitoring connected devices, router settings and network health.
In a collaborative effort with OpenWrt and Marvell, Linksys also announced that the WRT1900ACS will be open source-ready for those who tinker with community-built firmware and will support services such as BitTorrent, VPN and QoS-related modules.
The major differences distinguishing the WRT1900ACS and its predecessor are the new processor, the added RAM, and the removal of the internal fan. Linksys replaced the 1.2 GHz dual core ARM-based processor with an updated 1.6 GHz version, and the new WRT1900ACS now contains 512 MB of DDR3 RAM.
The WRT1900AC includes four detachable dual-band antennas, high-powered Wi-Fi amplifiers and beamforming technology, which Linksys advertised will provide adequate coverage and signal strength throughout the home. The rear I/O port includes a WPS button, four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, a gigabit Ethernet WAN port, one USB 3.0 port, an eSATA/USB 2.0 port, a rest button, a 12V power jack and an On/Off switch.
The front of the WRT1900ACS has the corresponding LED indicators for power, Internet, 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, LAN ports 1-4, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, eSATA and WPS. Also included with the Linksys WRT1900ACS is a 12V power adapter, a quick start guide, a CD-ROM with documentation and one Ethernet cable.
Both Linksys' routers, the new WRT1900ACS and the older WRT1900AC Smart Wi-Fi, have MSRPs of $229.99, with the newer router being available for online pre-order now, and on store shelves in November.