CES 2017: Linksys unveils its first gaming router and multi-unit mesh Wi-Fi system
Linksys has kicked off CES 2017 with a couple of firsts for the company. It unveiled the WRT32X, its first ever gaming router with built-in Killer networking features, and the Velop mesh Wi-Fi system.
The WRT32X also happens to be the first router to include Killer networking technology, the latter of which is more commonly found in the form of network adapters for gaming PCs and motherboards.
However, while Killer network adapters on motherboards let you prioritize gaming traffic over things like downloads, you were still limited to your own internet traffic. In comparison, the WRT32X router will now give you control over device connections in the entire household, allowing you to prioritize game data over traffic from other systems on the same network.
This means that game traffic is the top priority, followed by voice calls for in-game communication, and video for live streamers. Regular web traffic and large file downloads take the backseat to everything else.
The WRT32X is a tri-band AC3200 MU-MIMO router powered by a 1.8GHz dual-core processor and 512MB of DDR3 memory, which is pretty much on par with other routers around the US$300 price point (it costs US$329, approx. RM1,478). It offers a maximum theoretical data transfer rate of 3,200Mbps, and the two 5GHz and single 2.4GHz networks make it a good choice for homes with a ton of connected devices.
The highlight feature is something called Killer Mode, which automatically detects a Killer-enabled PC and syncs its Killer engine to the PC’s Killer Network Manager. This lets the router easily manage your PC’s network traffic, in addition to that of other devices.
On the other hand, the Velop mesh routers are designed to provide the best Wi-Fi coverage in your home. A three-unit bundle costs a whopping US$499 (approx. RM2,241), and you’re supposed to place the units strategically throughout your home for maximum coverage.
Like Netgear’s Orbi, the Velop is a tri-band system with a single band continuously dedicated to communication between router units, thus preventing some speed drops seen in two-band models like Google Wifi.
Velop is also supposed to be really easy to setup, and everything can be done through a mobile app. There is integration with Amazon’s Alexa as well, although all you can do now is ask for the guest network to be turned on or off and have Alexa read aloud your Wi-Fi password.
Velop is available for pre-order now on Linksys’ US website.