CES 2013: Linksys targets 'smart' homes with new router series

CES 2013: Linksys targets 'smart' homes with new router series

Summary: The latest wireless routers from Linksys aim to be "smarter" as well as faster in connecting consumers with their devices at home.


LAS VEGAS -- Linksys is jumping onboard with the all-around smarter home configuration with the introduction of its new wireless router series for consumers.

Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday, the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi portfolio is being expanded with three new 802.11ac powered Smart Wi-Fi Routers and a compact 802.11ac USB adapter alongside some new features and apps.

Based on the way Linksys has designed and framed these routers, the Cisco-owned company's idea of a smarter home appears to center around making multimedia content transferable and accessible as near instantly as possible while being manageable from desktop and mobile interfaces.

Here's a rundown on the three new wireless routers:

  • Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro, EA6700: Designed for "power users" with 10 or more connected devices while support HD streaming on anything from smart TVs to smartphones. The dual-band AC1750 is supposed to deliver Wi-Fi speeds up to 1,300Mbps on a 5GHz band and up to 450 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
  • Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1600 Video Enthusiast, EA6400: Designed for homes with five to seven connected devices.  This dual-band router is intended to offer Wi-Fi speeds up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
  • Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1200 Advanced Multimedia, EA6300: Intended for smaller homes with three to five connected devices such as smartphones, desktops and even smart TVs, the AC 1200 offers up to 867Mbps on 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on 2.4GHz band.

Beyond the 802.11ac technology, these routers do share some more common traits that focus on simplifying content transfer. For starters, all of them sport Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0 ports for connecting USB flash drives, hard drives, and other devices for providing another medium to transfer files among connected devices such as smartphones and laptops.

Additionally, Linksys integrated beamforming technology to speed up the transfer speeds while boosting the network's range.

Linksys is also planning to tie in some new apps that take advantage of the Smart Wi-Fi platform's ability to remotely access storage connected to the router.

One dubbed FileFinch might be of most interest for business purposes being that it sets up a personal, secure cloud solution using the owner's own hardware. Users connect a USB flash drive or hard disk to a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router and click to link their accounts. At that point, they should be able to access files from anywhere.

The new Linksys 802.11ac powered Smart Wi-Fi Routers, the Linksys AC 580 USB Wi-Fi Adapter, software features and Smart Wi-Fi mobile apps will begin rolling out this spring.

While these releases provide some coloring about the future of the company on the product side, the business side is a bit more cloudy. As a reminder, it was reported in December that Cisco was planning to jettison Linksys, a company it purchased for $500 million in 2003. However, there hasn't been much of an update on this front since then.

Image via Linksys

Topics: CES, Cisco, Hardware, Networking, Unified Comms

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  • all these .11ac devices we need to be gearing up for apparently

    and yet so many of mine of not too much decrepitude aren't even 11n, like my iPod Touch 3G (http://support.apple.com/kb/SP570) or my Blackberry 9700.
  • Buying Tires for Tech

    I have had my current Linksys router for what seems to be eternity. Only recently with all my new gadgets like iPads, Apple TV, Netflix and plethora of other devices has is appeared to be slowing due to bandwidth issues. This is mainly for streaming movies & shows for the kids (Damn Apple marketing worked all too well).

    Is it safe to assume the new "smart routers" are going to increase speed & experience less lag? I must admit I buy alot of gadgets but buying a new router hasn't been high on the priority list.

    It's about as appealing as buying tires for technology. Maybe their new sexy line of products will change my mind?
    • I made an upgrade when Comcast introduced DOCSIS 3.

      My problem was that I had more bandwidth out of the cable modem than my old router could handle through it's wired ports. Moving from an old WRT54G (version 2 hardware) to an Apple Time Capsule gave me similar speeds on wireless N connections as a direct to the modem wired connection, but more importantly made the connection between devices at home explosively fast thanks to gig-E ports and the (out of date but still fast enough for my needs) 300Mbps 5GHz wireless-N.

      I'm thinking that wireless-AC is going to be useful as my son gets older, especially if the wife and I cut the cord in a month or two and just ride the Internet.