Cisco adds three more routers to its 802.11ac portfolio

Cisco announces at CES 2013 three Smart Wi-Fi routers that all support the latest 802.11ac standards

The three new 802.11ac routers and the tiny 802.11ac USB adapter at CES 2013.
The three new 802.11ac routers and the tiny 802.11ac USB adapter at CES 2013. Dong Ngo

LAS VEGAS--If you're not so happy with Cisco's first 802.11ac router, the Linksys EA6500, there are now more options.

The networking vendors announced today at CES 2013 three more routers that all support 802.11ac. All of them belong to the same Linksys Smart Wi-Fi router series and share similar features as well as physical design as the Linksys EA6500. These new routers include:

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro, EA6700: This is now the new top-notch Smart Wi-Fi Router in the Linksys portfolio. The AC1750 is designed for homes with 10 or more connected devices with HD content streaming needs. The true dual-band AC1750 delivers Wi-Fi speeds up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1600 Video Enthusiast, EA6400: Very similar to the EA6700 but the EA6400 belongs to the lower tier and is designed for home with five or seven connected devices for HD streaming. This router 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: This is the lowest-tier router among the three. Support on the the dual-stream setup of the Wi-Fi standards, the EA6300 offers up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. Cisco says it makes a good fit for homes with five or fewer HD streaming Wi-Fi connected devices.

All three of the new routers support Gigabit Ethernet and one USB 3.0 port -- the EA6700 also has another USB 2.0 port -- that can be used to host an external storage device to create a network attached storage (NAS) solution.

The EA6700 comes with two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0.
The EA6700 comes with two USB ports, one of which is USB 3.0. Cisco

Cisco says the new Smart Wi-Fi Routers provide great Wi-Fi coverage thanks to the support for Beamforming technology, which is designed to precisely adjust, steer, and monitor the direction and shape of the Wi-Fi signals to send data back and forth over the optimal path.

Similar to the rest in the EA family, they are easy to set up and offer new tools for home network management, both locally and on the go via a mobile app. They can also run third-party apps developed for the Cisco Connect Cloud platform. And finally these routers also support SimpleTab, a near-field communication (NFC) technology that allows for supported clients to connect to the routers' Wi-Fi network via a quick tab.

In addition to these routers, Cisco also announced its first USB 802.11ac adapter, the Linksys AC 580 USB Wi-Fi, that allows consumers to easily upgrade any existing computer to support the latest 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard.

Cisco's new Smart Wi-Fi Routers and the Linksys AC 580 USB Wi-Fi are set to be available during the first quarter of the year with pricing being available then.

About the author

CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews networking and storage products, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.

 

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