updated 09:45 am EST, Tue January 7, 2014
Company promises same open-source support
Linksys has announced the WRT1900AC, a Wi-Fi router the company is marketing as the spiritual successor to its most famous product, the WRT54G. On a basic level, the 1900AC copies the same blue-and-black look. More significantly however Linksys says it has been working with the OpenWRT community to make open-source firmware available, allowing for the same sort of customization that kept the WRT54G in service for years.
Otherwise, however, the 1900AC is a major upgrade. Its name stems from the use of 802.11ac, and the unit supports simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless. It includes a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, four removable antennas, 256MB of RAM, and 128MB of flash memory. It also features four LAN ports, a USB 3.0 port, and a hybrid eSATA/USB 2.0 connection. Linksys is promising bandwidth up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band.
Bundled with the router is Linksys' Smart Wi-Fi configuration tool, which also allows management via the web or mobile apps for iOS and Android. One addition is Network Map, which like some other routers presents a visual layout of connected devices. From this view people can do things like target parental controls, select Wi-Fi bands, or remove devices from a network entirely.
The WRT1900AC is scheduled to ship sometime this spring for $300. The OpenWRT firmware should be available at the same time.