Speed demons and mini UFOs: The routers of CES 2016
These are the routers, modems and extenders that will increase your home network's speed in 2016.
D-Link DIR-879 AC1900 Wi-Fi router
The DIR-879 is the first in D-Link's new EXO line of Wi-Fi routers that strike a balance between performance and cost. This is an AC1900 router, giving 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. The router features Gigabit Ethernet for fast wired connections, a high-power amplifier for better Wi-Fi range, SmartConnect (blending two Wi-Fi bands into a single network) and Intelligent QoS traffic optimization for Internet applications. It will be available soon after CES and will cost $150 (around £100 or AU$215).
The D-Link Unified Home Wi-Fi Network Kit is an interesting concept that consists of a Wi-Fi router and a range extender -- specifically the AC4200 Tri-Band MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Router (model DIR-891L) and the AC1300 Gigabit Wi-Fi Extender (DAP-1655). The kit will be available in the second quarter of 2016 with an estimated price of $400 (around £275 or AU$570).
The Linksys CM3008 DOCSIS 3.0 8X4 Cable Modem is a compact modem with download speeds of up to 343 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 120 Mbps. It will be compatible with all cable Internet providers in the US. The modem will be available this spring and will cost $70 (around £50 or AU$100).
The Linksys AC1900 Cable Modem Router includes a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and a Wireless AC1900 Router all-in-one. This gateway unit can connect to the Internet at more than 100Mbps speed and, for the local network, delivers up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It will be available this summer 2016 for $250 (around £170 or AU$355).
The RE7000 is the first range extender with next-generation AC Wave 2 technology -- MU-MIMO. It works with any Wi-Fi router but when paired with a MU-MIMO router, it can provide even greater performance with a top speed of 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It will be available this spring for $150 (around £100 or AU$215).
Netgear's PowerLine WiFi 1000 Adapter Kit (PLW1000) is a combination of a power line kit and an access point. It allows you to extend your wired and wireless network to the far corner of a home by turning the electrical wiring of the house into network cable. After that, the far-end adapter of the kit will broadcast a new Wi-Fi network. The kit supports the power line speed of up to 500Mbps and features the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. It's available now for $120 (around £80 or AU$170).
The Netgear R7800 is the new quad-stream router from Netgear, the upgrade to the R7500. It has a top speed of 1,733Mbps on the 5GHz band and 800Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It also supports MU-MIMO and has a powerful dual-core 1.7GHz processor. It's available now for $270 (around £185 or AU$385).
The SR20 Smart Home Router is the first AC1900 router from TP-Link that can also work as a hub for home automation by supporting ZigBee and Z-Wave wireless standards. This means the router can connect not only networking devices, but also Internet of Things (LoT)-ready appliances. The SR20 also features a large touchscreen and includes a mobile app. It'll be out in the second quarter of the year.