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Linksys expands MU-MIMO products line with more routers and accessories

At CES 2016, Linksys announces its first AC5400 (also known as AC5300) router, the EA9500 and a few other networking products that support the latest MU-MIMO technology.


The Linksys EA9500 Tri-Band MU-MIMO router.


MU-MIMO -- which stands for Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output -- is a new Wi-Fi technology designed to offer more efficient Wi-Fi and enhance the data connection between clients and a router. (Read more about MU-MIMO and other networking technologies here.) Today at CES 2016, Linksys showcased its commitment to making MU-MIMO popular with a few products.

Among them the most important is company's first AC5400 router (also known as AC5300 by Asus and Netgear), the Linksys AC5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router with MU-MIMO (model EA9500).

Linksys says the EA9500 is outfitted with MU-MIMO and Tri-Band technologies. It has two 5GHz bands, each of which tops out at 2,166Mbps, and one 2.4GHz band that tops out at 1,000Mbps. The router is also the first from Linksys that has nine Gigabit network ports (eight LAN ports and one WAN port) to rival the RT-AC88U from Asus. Unlike the Asus, however, you can't combine two LAN ports of the Linksys into a single super fast connection. The new router has eight external antennas and two USB ports (one USB 3.0).

On the inside, it's powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and Linksys Smart Wi-Fi firmware. This means users will have the option to remotely manage their home networks via a free mobile app.

The new EA9500 router is by far the biggest (both in terms of physical size and Wi-Fi power) from Linksys and it will also be the most expensive with the estimated price of $400. It's slated to be available for purchase in April.

In addition to the EA9500, Linksys also announced today another AC1900 router, the Linksys AC1900 Dual-Band MU-MIMO Gigabit router (model EA7500), a range extender, the Linksys AC1900+ MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE7000) and a USB client adapter, the Linksys AC600 USB MU-MIMO Adapter (WUSB6100M). As their names suggest, all of these products support MU-MIMO.

The Linksys EA7500 is slated to ship in February 2016 for $200. UK and Australian details weren't available, but that's around £135 or AU$285. The RE7000 range extender and the WUSB6100M USB adapter will be available in spring of 2016 and will cost $150 and $50 respectively (£100 and £35, or AU$215 and AU$70).

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