The Linksys WRT1900AC unveiled
11th January 2014
Linksys (now owned by Belkin) has unveiled the WRT1900AC router, a follow-on to the best-selling wireless router the WRT54G. The WRT54G was a firm favourite because it allowed users to swap out the onboard router firmware and use more powerful open-source firmware such as Tomato, OpenWRT, or DD-WRT. Shortlisted for the CES2014 innovation awards in Home Networking, the newly unveiled WRT1900AC will follow in this tradition with "Open Source support" in the form of SDKs and APIs being provided. Indeed an OpenWRT firmware version is due to become available in the first quarter of 2014 (around the launch of the router). This is a canny move by Linksys as other manufacturers, such as Buffalo, have recently been starting to include open source firmware in their routers.
The hardware in the WRT1900AC looks good too. Powering the router is a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM processor with 256MB DDR3 RAM and 128MB Flash, and connectivity is provided via 4 Gigabit LAN ports, one USB3.0 port, one eSATA/USB2.0 port, and 4 external antennae (of which the best three are used). The 1900 name should give away the wireless speeds of 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
This is a good hardware spec however, Linksys have indicated an MSRP of $299.99 (roughly £181) when this arrives in the spring. This is a premium on equivalently specified routers from other manufacturers, so it will be interesting to see how the street price for this router holds when it arrives in the UK. Below is the introductory video for the full (US) Linksys sales pitch.
UPDATE: This is due to hit UK shelves on April 21st and features the UK-rip-off-tax that means we'll pay an eye-watering £249.99 for it. Pre-order on Amazon if you're feeling minted.