Linksys introduced the EA9200 and the E8350, two new Wireless AC networking routers. The latter device is ideal for gamers who want a super-fast stream, whereas the former router is ideal for families with multiple devices, as it offers three Wireless AC bands. The E8350 is available today for $249.99, and the EA9200 is scheduled to arrive this weekend for $299.99.
The EA9200, better known as the Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router, is comprised of three radios instead of the standard two: one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands. This alone should be good news to families who have multiple members streaming and gaming at the same time. The typical gadgets like tablets and smartphones would be better off on the 2.4 GHz band, while consoles and media streamers could reside on the two 5 GHz bands.
The 2.4 GHz band provides speeds of up to 600 Mbps, whereas the two 5 GHz bands offer up to 1.3 Gbps. There are also six total antennas, three that can be removed and three that are embedded inside the device. There's also a dual-core processor clocked at 1 GHz, four gigabit Ethernet ports, one gigabit WAN port, one USB 3.0 port, and one eSATA/USB 2.0 port.
The spec list also shows that the router is Smart Wi-Fi enabled, providing a network map, parental controls, remote troubleshooting and more. There's an integrated DHCP server for static and dynamic IP address assignment and support for DNLA home media management. The router is also capable of Beamforming, which locks onto a specific device to provide better throughput.
As for the E8350, Linksys calls it the AC2400 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi Router. The device only has two bands, with speeds reaching up to 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1.733 Gbps on the 5 GHz channel. Remember, you can't reach those Gigabit speeds using a device based on Wireless N technology. Desktop and laptop customers with Wireless N connectivity will need to purchase a device that's capable of Wireless AC, such as LAN cards and USB dongles.
This router is ideal for gamers because they can hit the 5 GHz band with speeds up to 1.733 Gbps. Granted that the overall online connection is based on what the Internet service provider dishes out, but at least there's plenty of speed on the user side of the modem. This router also includes four gigabit Ethernet ports, a gigabit port for WAN, and a dual-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz so the router can keep up with all the traffic.
The specs show that the MU-MIMO router is capable of four data streams instead of two or three, creating a more robust connection. There are also four external antennas, a USB 3.0 port, an eSATA/USB 2.0 port, an integrated DHCP server with static and dynamic IP address assignment, virtual USB support, DLNA support, Beamforming and more.
You can purchase the E8350 now at Linksys.com, Amazon.com, and other retailers. The EA9200 will be available this weekend at Linksys.com, Best Buy stores, and other outlets.