Linksys router boasts better range with four antennas

If two heads are better one, Linksys says four antennas are better than two.

The WRT 1900AC dual band wireless-AC routers is the first consumer-grade Wi-Fi router released by the networking hardware maker to feature four external antennas.

The device, which is certified for the new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, achieves better range through antenna diversity. The router which was announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Showcase in Las Vegas, is now available at Best Buy, Future Shop, Memory Express, Canada Computers, NCIX and at the store at an MSRP of $279.99.

Like other 802.11ac routers, data is transmitted to wireless clients by the WRT using three spatial streams, however, unlike other 802.11ac routers, the new WRT is equipped with four adjustable and removable antennas.

“The router automatically selects and utilizes the best three out of the four antennas to transmit and receive data to connected devices, depending on their location in the home,” according to Linksys material on the router. “This antenna diversity technology helps provide greater range and coverage compared to more traditional three antenna devices, so all connected devices can achieve the best performance wherever they are located.”

Here are the specs:

• 80211ac Wi-Fi (backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n)
– Speeds of up to 1300Mbps* on the 5 GHz band
– Speeds of up to 600Mbps* on the 2.4 GHz band
• Gigabit WAN & LAN ports
• 1 x eSata/USB 2.0 port
• 1 x USB 3.0 port
• 1.2GHz dual-core ARM-based processor
• 128MB Flash Memory
• 256MB DDR3 RAM
• 4 exchangeable external antennas

The company also released Linksys Smart Wi-Fi, a setup and management software tool that gives users access to their connected devices from a browser or mobile app so they can easily manage their home network. Users can access their home network anywhere from a browser on a PC or app on their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet to check the connection status of their devices, provide guest access to visitors or prevent kids from accessing social networks.

The software also includes a tool called Network Map in the browser interface of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi. Network Map is a visual representation of the home network displaying the router and its connected devices. The tool enables users to see which devices are using the most bandwidth, how strong the signal is to a device or which wireless band it is connected to.

WRT1900AC software features include:

• Browser-based setup for installation from a PC/Mac, smartphone or tablet
• Can be configured as: Router, Range Extender (aka Repeater) or Wireless Bridge
• Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account at no cost
• Linksys Smart Wi-Fi can be accessed from a browser or the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app for iOS and Android
• Share printers or storage devices through USB or eSata
• Built in DLNA certified media server and FTP server to share files
• Drag and drop media prioritization to prioritize bandwidth for devices, applications or games
• Parental controls to prevent access to websites or block access during certain hours.
• Dynamic DNS services supported: No-IP, DynDNS and TZO
• Built-in speed test to test broadband upload and download speed
• Open source ready

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Nestor Arellano
Nestor Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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