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Linksys Promises Combined 2.53 Gbps Wi-Fi Speeds With Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Router

Looking to update your network to Wireless AC speeds? Linksys launched a networking router that's based on the 802.11ac Wave 2 Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) technology. Called the Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500), this device is available now for preorder at $279.99.

Although it's generally not noticeable, the typical router will send Wi-Fi signals to devices one at a time. In some cases, that's what causes buffering in streaming video, especially if more than one device is streaming. Devices essentially wait in line to receive and transmit data.

However, according to Linksys, that's not the case with MU-MIMO routers. These routers are capable of sending and receiving data from devices simultaneously. There's no more waiting in line.

"MU-MIMO is like having an individual wireless router dedicated to each device on the network so that multiple users can connect at the same time without slowing down the network," Linksys explained (pdf).

Packed with a dual-core processor clocked at 1.4 GHz, the new router promises Wireless AC speeds of up to 1733 Mbps on the 5 GHz band and up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band. The router also provides four Wireless AC streams; Beamforming technology for a better, more defined connection; and four adjustable, removable Wi-Fi antennas.

The AC2600 also includes five gigabit ports (1 WAN, 4 LAN), an eSATA/USB 2.0 combo port and one USB 3.0 port. Customers can use the USB ports to connect an external drive and share documents and media across the network, or use them to share a printer.

All of this can be managed by way of the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app for Apple's iOS and Google's Android platform. Customers can prioritize devices or websites, create a separate guest network, monitor the network's speed and activity, control content that's inappropriate and more. The router can also be managed using a web browser.

Although the price is a bit steep, Linksys indicated that this device would be great for gamers and households that stream a lot of video and music on multiple devices. Keep in mind that these max speeds only apply to devices with Wireless AC connectivity; expect slower speeds on gadgets that only support dual-band Wireless N connectivity and older.

The new Linksys router will ship on May 10 and will be available online and at local retail stores such as Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon and more.

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  • osiris11235
    This would boost the wireless speeds for my gigabit Internet. Go big cities!
    Reply
  • heffeque
    My ISP provides 5MBs download. I need one of these!! Seriously, if these router manufacturers would stop the speed game upmanship and instead make a stable product I think we would all be alot happier
    1 Gbps down / 200 Mbps up in Spain. Not everyone has third world download speeds.
    Reply
  • MarkW
    If you could figure out how to share a chunk of bandwidth with millions of other people, and not have any interference, you too could quickly become a billionaire.
    Reply
  • Calvin Huang
    Even if you don't have gigabit internet access, having access to higher LAN transfer speeds is still very useful to people with multiple computers or network attached storage.
    Reply
  • jacobian
    The article does not seem to mention that you take advantage of MU-MIMO you need to have a MU-MIMO compatible client. At the current moment, the only other device that can be a MU-MIMO client is probably this router itself. There will be supposedly some Acer notebooks coming in the summer with MU-MIMO. Does this sound very exciting? That's what I thought. Save your money and buy an ordinary AC1200-AC1900 router or keep one you already have. MU-MIMO will become interesting maybe at least 2-3 years from now once you upgrade all of your gadgets.
    Reply
  • tarzan2001
    The article does not seem to mention that you take advantage of MU-MIMO you need to have a MU-MIMO compatible client. At the current moment, the only other device that can be a MU-MIMO client is probably this router itself. There will be supposedly some Acer notebooks coming in the summer with MU-MIMO. Does this sound very exciting? That's what I thought. Save your money and buy an ordinary AC1200-AC1900 router or keep one you already have. MU-MIMO will become interesting maybe at least 2-3 years from now once you upgrade all of your gadgets.

    Thanks for the excellent point, jacobian! I am in the market for a new router (and DSL modem) because I will be upgrading my current CenturyLink connection from 12 Mbps to 40 Mbps. I was getting super hyped to spend $200-250 for a router like this Linksys EA8500 or an ASUS RT-AC87U. I think it'll be better to just get a $100 AC router now, and wait a couple of years to upgrade to one that is MU-MIMO capable. :)

    Do you have any suggestions for a good DSL modem? I don't want to use the modem/router combo device that CenturyLink sells for $99. I read some articles recently describing how devices provided by the ISP are generally not good for internet security. :S
    Reply