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Linksys Expands the WRT Product Family with a New 2x2 Wireless AC Router, Network Storage Bay and High-Gain Antennas

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Linksys highlights new MU-MIMO Router and Range Extenders at CES 2015 

Rushden, UK & Las Vegas, USA - January 6, 2015 - Linksys®, a leader in networking solutions for the home and business, today announced its line-up of new networking solutions at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.  Following up on the award-winning WRT1900AC Dual Band router from CES last year, Linksys is expanding its WRT line to include a 2x2 Dual Band Wireless AC Router, the WRT1200AC, a WRT Network Storage Bay and Dual Band High-Gain Custom Antennas.  In addition, Linksys is also introducing the new 4x4 AC MU-MIMO AC2600 Router and two new range extenders, including the RE4100W and the RE6700 with AC power pass-thru. New Smart Wi-Fi software enhancements will also be rolling out, including OpenVPN support.  All these new solutions will be on display at the Belkin International booth at CES - South Hall, 30551.

WRT Family of New Products

Since the launch of Linksys' first WRT router - the WRT54G on November 18th, 2002 - there have been more than 50 million WRT54G routers shipped.  Last year, Linksys celebrated that heritage with the launch of the WRT1900AC.  This year, at CES 2015, the company is launching a new product family of solutions to build on what customers expect from the Performance Perfected line, including high-performance routing, the best hardware and software features, design and open source capabilities.  

The new WRT1200AC is a 2x2 wireless dual band AC1200 router featuring a Dual-Core Processor, wireless speeds up to 1.3 Gbps*, eSATA/USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, four Gigabit Ethernet ports and one Gigabit WAN port. Also included are high-powered Wi-Fi power amplifiers, beamforming technology and 2 removable antennas.   Availability is planned for spring 2015. 

The new Linksys WRT Network Storage Bay holds two external SATA hard drives and features RAID-1 drive mirroring for seamless back-up and improved read speed vs. eSATA/USB.  The Storage Bay also features an eSATA and USB 3.0 port for connecting additional external drives.  The WRT Network Storage Bay is built with the iconic blue/black design and stacks perfectly underneath a WRT1900AC or WRT1200AC router, helping to de-clutter desktops or closets.  Availability is planned for spring 2015. 

The new four-pack of High-Gain Dual Band antennas features 7dBi on 5Ghz and 3dBi on 2.4Ghz band as well as being omni-directional for range enhancement where it's needed in a home or office.  Other features include a standard RP-SMA mount antenna connector for use with any router that uses this connector, high quality substrates which retain pass-through energy, higher radiation efficiency than stock antennas and radiation patterns that are optimised across multiple frequencies providing for up to a 30% increase in coverage. 

  • Open WRT Support

In collaboration with Marvell, the open-source Wi-Fi driver for the WRT1900AC has been released to OpenWRT. This driver has been incorporated into the latest open source firmware image snapshot, available here: https://downloads.openwrt.org/snapshots/trunk/mvebu/openwrt-mvebu-armada-xp-mamba-squashfs-factory.img

This is an initial release, with plans to send the driver upstream after refinement. Full open source firmware will also be available for the WRT1200AC router at time of availability this spring.

"Linksys is all about quality and performance.  We wanted to expand on our WRT line to provide customers a whole home networking solution that extends the WRT networking experience throughout the entire home or office via storage solutions or additional range," said Mike Chen, vice president product management, Linksys. "The new WRT1200AC router enables us to cater to an audience that want all the benefits of a WRT router but at a more friendly price point."

In the EA8500, Linksys has built a new Wireless Dual Band router equipped with MU-MIMO technology. The new router includes the quality and performance users can expect from a Linksys wireless router, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.4GHz Dual-Core Processor, wireless speeds up to AC1733 + N800*, four Gigabit ports, One Gigabit WAN port and an eSATA, and USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports.  The MU-MIMO capability means multiple devices - such as laptops, tablets, phones, and music players - can all be streaming at the same time with the best wireless connection possible for the best home wireless experience. 

Smart Wi-Fi Enhancements

Smart Wi-Fi is a software-based management tool that helps users set up their router and manage and control their home network via a dashboard on a PC, tablet or smart phone while at home or away.  Smart Wi-Fi also provides a host of features including guest access, parental controls, remote access to other family or friends' networks as well as easy references to passwords and network controls. Linksys is announcing the latest new features to be included on Smart Wi-Fi that are planned to roll out in Q1 2015 via a firmware update: 

  • OpenVPN Server
  • New Network Map features
  • Wireless Widget
  • Wi-Fi Scheduler
  • Improved device identification

Smart Wi-Fi is available on all Linksys EA and WRT series routers. 

Range Extension

Range Extension in homes is the fastest growing networking solution on the market; Linksys has experienced more than 96% growth in range extender sales since June 2014 as people add more devices to their home networks and the need for wireless bandwidth is at an all-time high. Customers are purchasing range extenders to help get their Wi-Fi signal in their basements, out to their porch or even in a back bedroom. To help customers get Wi-Fi throughout their home, Linksys is introducing two new Range Extenders: the N600 Dual Band Range Extender and the Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Range Extender. Both new range extenders also come equipped with the new Spot Finder Technology to help customers place their range extender in the optimal spot for maximum performance.  

The Linksys RE4100W helps eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots throughout the home by increasing the wireless signal of an existing router up to 7,500 square feet. RE4100W extends the wireless coverage and features Cross-Band technology, allowing the Wi-Fi signal to receive information on one band and transmit on another. The result is a stronger, more consistent signal throughout the home. Also featuring audio streaming with a 3.5mm audio jack, users can connect their RE4100W to speakers to wirelessly stream music from a smartphone, tablet or other music equipped device. A Fast Ethernet port provides hardwire connectivity for digital devices, allowing users to experience faster streaming and gaming. The RE4100W Wi-Fi Range Extender can be plugged directly into a wall outlet and setup is simple and fast.

The Linksys AC1200 Range Extender helps eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots throughout the home by increasing the wireless signal from an existing Wireless-AC router. With up to 10,000 square feet of coverage, the RE6700W also comes equipped with Cross-Band technology, which enables the Wi-Fi signal to simultaneously receive data on one band and transmit on another. The result is a stronger, more consistent signal throughout the home. Designed for AC power pass-through (so you won't lose a plug for other devices) and four Gigabit Ethernet ports, users can hardwire their devices for faster streaming and gaming. Music fans can connect a stereo system or audio speaker to the RE6700W and stream music from a smart device or computer. The Wi-Fi range extender is designed for flexible placement options so users can enjoy all their devices, from anywhere in their home. 

Pricing and Availability

  • Linksys WRT1200AC Router planned for availability this spring for an MSRP of €179.99
  • Linksys WRT Storage Bay is planned for availability this spring for an MSRP of €149.99
  • Linksys WRT 4-Pack of Custom Antennas are planned for availability this spring for an MSRP of €129.99
  • Open Source Support for WRT1900AC Router is planned for January 2015 and support for the WRT1200AC is planned for availability at time of purchase this spring.
  • Linksys EA8500 MU-MIMO Router is planned for spring for an MRSP of €279.99
  • Linksys N600 Range Extender, RE4100W is planned for January 2015 for an MSRP of €59.99
  • Linksys AC1200 Range Extender, RE6700W is planned for April for an MSRP of €99.99

About Linksys

The Linksys brand has pioneered wireless connectivity since its inception in 1988 with its leading innovation and engineering strategies and best-in-class technology, design, and customer service. Linksys enables a connected lifestyle for people at home, at work and on the move, and with its award-winning products, simplifies home control, entertainment, security and Internet access through innovative features and a growing application and partner ecosystem. For more information, visit linksys.com, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or watch us on YouTube.

*Maximum performance derived from IEEE Standard 802.11 specifications. Actual performance may vary, including lower wireless network capacity, data throughput rate, range and coverage. Performance depends upon many factors, conditions and variables, including products used, interference and other adverse conditions. Specifications are subject to change without notice.  An active, customer-purchased Internet Service Provider broadband account is required for connection of these routers and other connected computers and devices to the Internet.  Some devices may require additional wireless adapters or an Ethernet cable to connect to these routers.

‡May require a software/firmware update available for download at linksys.com/support.