Over the last few years there have been many products that have come to market that have had the ability to grab our attention for one reason or another. In some instances this has been due to the new technologies and levels of performance that they bring or in other instances it may have been a radical design that changes the way in which we look at type of product. The product that we’re looking at today though has me buzzing in a completely different way and one which I doubt will happen again any time soon.
Linksys’ WRT1900AC is a router that, as anyone into their networking would know, is built on the legacy of the WRT54G, which came to market back in December 2003 and it’s range of substrates that followed, including the WRT54GS. Of all the features that made the original WRT so unique and legendary, the Open-source platform and performance for the time were the two biggest selling points. To show how successful this router was and believe it or not, still is, the WRT54G and GS have been used for so many applications aside residential network applications, with open-source firmware playing a major part in these unique applications.
As the years have moved on and the world of networking advanced considerably, the WRT range has slowly started to drop in numbers as 802.11n and more recently 802.11ac wireless connectivity and also the 5GHz band have become the new industry standard along with Gigabit LAN on the wired side of the network. Following their acquisition by Belkin, Linksys have been looking at ways in which they can bring the brand back into the front line, alongside the likes of Netgear who are one of today’s industry leaders, and the choice was made last year to rekindle the essence of what was then their most iconic product – the result of months of work sees us looking at what could quite possibly be another iconic product and for anyone who is into their networking, this is a very exciting product to see launched.
Keeping some of the bold lines and colours and translating them into a 2014 design, the WRT1900AC retains the blue and black plastic body and the desktop orientation what the original WRT featured and inside Linksys have packed in a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM processor, 256MB of RAM and 128MB flash memory, dual-band wireless with speeds of up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300Mbps on the 5GHz band on offer, with a unique 4×4 external antenna array, which work with the latest beamforming technology to deliver fast and precisely directed wireless connections to any part of the home, with the aim to deliver faster and stronger wireless connections than any other router on the market. It’s certainly a tall order and an ambitious claim to make, but if Linksys have done their homework right and kept hold of the WRT magic that we saw years ago, this could quite possibly be one of the greatest routers that we have seen to date; so the pressure really is on.
The front of the box is very simple and to the point with a bold image of the router laid out across it and a line of feature highlights set below. Around the rest of the box we get more information on the router with detailed specifications, insights into the wireless coverage and what the WRT has to offer over all else.
Opening up the box, the essence of quality is instantly apparent with the router set into a foam lined interior and each of the bundled accessories having its own dedicated compartment to protect it from damage during shipping.