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Linksys' MAX-STREAM Series MU-MIMO Networking Devices Launched

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     January 5, 2016


Linksys has announced a broad range of new wireless products, which support the newest 802.11AC Wave 2 MU-MIMO standard. Among them is an insane-looking gaming router.

In today’s home-use environment with multiple devices demanding a high bandwidth WiFi connection, managing numerous simultaneous spatial streams is a complex problem even on current Wireless AC devices. To mitigate bottlenecks and allow devices with increasingly demanding connectivity needs, a number of new technologies have been rolled out into the so-called Wave 2 of 802.11AC. One of them, called MU-MIMO is supposed to facilitate, filter, and prioritize signals to multiple concurrent connection points but it does require quite a bit of processing overhead.

Throughout 2015, we typically ran into MU-MIMO on relatively expensive routers but due to the evolving needs of home users, this technology is now being brought down to a slightly more affordable level. At CES 2016 Linksys presented a full stable of MU-MIMO networking products under their newly-formed MAX-STREAM product family. There will also be a new Smart WiFi application which will endeavor to bring all of these elements together into one cohesive ecosystem.

Perhaps the most interesting addition here is the new EA9500 which is obviously targeted towards gamers above all else and will be priced at $400.

Below are all of the respective items outlined in Linksys’ press release, many of which will be available in a month or two.


After being first to launch a fully functional MU-MIMO router in May of last year, Linksys expands its MU-MIMO portfolio to include two additional routers, a range extender and a USB adapter. The new Linksys MAX-STREAM line-up leverages the next generation of Wi-Fi - 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) technology, which helps ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices in the home and function as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router. With MU-MIMO, the whole household can play video games; listen to music, check email, shop, stream movies, and more – all at the same time.


MAX-STREAM MU-MIMO Family of New Products

According to a white paper by ABI Research The Importance Of Mu-Mimo In The Wi-Fi Ecosystem more than 84% of all wireless 5GHz chipsets will be MU-MIMO enabled by 2019. To keep up with the speeds and performance of client devices coming to market such as 4K TVs, laptops, smart phones, tablets and game consoles, consumers will want to make sure they have the latest Wi-Fi router that can support all the new devices coming into the home. Sandvine Research has reported that 70% of internet traffic in North America consists entirely of streaming video and audio content from sources like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, iTunes, Pandora and many other sources. It was 30% five years ago.

“Our new line-up of Linksys MU-MIMO solutions provide the networking backbone to allow consumers to enjoy high-performance and simultaneous Wi-Fi, including speed, range, and coverage”, said Justin Doucette, director of product management, Linksys. “With the rise of 4K streaming and the growth of MU-MIMO clients, having the latest MU-MIMO technology is the best way to ensure users get the best Wi-Fi experience possible.”


Linksys MAX-STREAM AC5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router with MU-MIMO (EA9500)


Outfitted with Next Gen AC Wi-Fi technologies such MU-MIMO and Tri-Band that work in concert to deliver powerful Wi-Fi at the same time and same speed to multiple connected devices including 4K TVs, gaming consoles, wireless printers, laptops and other connected devices at home or in the office at combined speeds up to 5.3 Gbps.


As one of the most powerful Wi-Fi routers in the market, the Linksys Max-Stream AC5400 provides business grade functionality to get your home or small office up and running quickly along with exclusive Linksys Smart Wi-Fi software that provides added control of the EA9500 Wi-Fi Router from anywhere, at any time. EA9500 Wi-Fi Router also features a robust set of advanced offerings:

● 1.4 GHz Dual Core Processor
● Tri-Band Wireless AC5400 (1000 Mbps 2.4Ghz + 2166 Mbps 5Ghz + 2166 Mbps 5GHz)
● The Latest Wi-Fi Standard – 802.11ac Wave 2 includes Mu-MIMO
● 9 Gigabit Ethernet ports (8 LAN, 1 WAN) and USB 3.0, 2.0 ports
● 8 external antennas for maximum coverage
● WPA/WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall keep your network safely connected
● Smart Wi-Fi app for remote access, control and troubleshooting

MSRP $399.99 USD
Availability Planned – April 2016


Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900 Dual-Band MU-MIMO GIGABIT ROUTER (EA7500)


The new Linksys AC1900 MU-MIMO router leverages the 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology, which helps ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to multiple devices in the home and function as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router. With MU-MIMO, the whole household can play video games, listen to music, check email, shop, stream movies, and more – all at the same time without buffering or lag. The EA7500 features:

● Qualcomm IPQ 1.4GHz Dual Core Processor
● The Latest Wi-Fi Standard – 802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO
● Dual-band AC1900 Wireless speeds up to* 1300 Mbps 5 GHz + 600 Mbps 2.4Ghz
● 4 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1 Gigabit WAN
● USB 3.0, 2.0 ports
● Smart Wi-Fi app for remote access, control and troubleshooting

MSRP $199.99 USD
Availability planned - February 2016


Linksys MAX-STREAM AC1900+ MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Range Extender (RE7000)


The First range extender with next generation AC Wave 2 technology - MU-MIMO, works with any Wi-Fi router however when paired with a MAX STREAM router it can provide even greater performance to Wi-Fi devices all around the home with seamless roaming. The combination of a MAX STREAM router and range extender creates a single network in the home with a single network name (SSID) so users can roam throughout their home without having to manually connect to the range extender. The Linksys MAX STREAM Range Extender also features Spot Finder Technology (Patent Pending) to show users where to place the range extender using a mobile device for optimal performance. Crossband Technology maximizes the simultaneous use of both bands, while Beamforming focuses and strengthens the Wi-Fi signal. Additional features include:

● Dual Band Wireless AC1900 - AC1733 + N300
● The Latest Wi-Fi Standard – 802.11ac Wave 2 includes MU-MIMO
● Seamless Roaming
● Crossband Technology
● Plug-In Form factor
● Multi-Mode – Repeater, Access Point
● One Gigabit Ethernet Port

MSRP $149.99 USD
Availability Planned – Spring 2016


Linksys MAX-STREAM AC600 USB MU-MIMO Adapter (WUSB6100M)


The Linksys AC600 USB Adapter is the first MU-MIMO enabled adapter on the market. It enables users to connect their laptops and computers to a wireless-AC network as well as a MU-MIMO router for optimal performance, so users can easily stream high-definition video and enjoy high-speed gaming. Additional features include:

● AC Wave 2 - MU-MIMO (AC433 + N150)
● Beamforming
● USB 2.0
● Plug ‘n Play with Simple Pairing
● Works with Any Wi-Fi Router; Optimized with MAX-STREAM

MSRP: $59.99 USD
Availability Planned – Spring 2016
 
 

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