Linksys launches new router with open source code

Linksys has started shipping a new router, and it’s touting its latest offering as the first consumer-grade Wi-Fi router to provide thorough wireless coverage throughout the home through its four external antennas.

The WRT 1900AC Dual Band Wi-Fi router is based on the original design of the Linksys WRT 54G, a router first released 11 years ago. The new iteration of the WRT has a dual-core 1.2 gigahertz processor, 128 megabytes of flash memory, as well as eSata and USB ports.

Its four external antenna are also adjustable and removable. Unlike a traditional router, which just has three antenna, this model automatically picks the best three of four antennas to transmit and receive data from connected devices.

The router has been certified for 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, and it also collaborates with OpenWrt to ensure there’s an open source alternative, which will be rolled out in the next few weeks.

OpenWrt, originally a project meant to modify the Linksys WRT 54G, is now a Linux distribution allowing users to create new solutions for their routers. The source code is touted as being transparent and secure, giving consumers the ability to choose between using Linksys’ default firmware or the OpenWRT source code.

Plus, the new WRT also comes with a few other handy features. Users now have the option of configuring it as a range extender or wireless bridge, and there is also now support for the No-IP dynamic DNS service. Later on, there are plans to introduce Wi-Fi Scheduling and an open virtual private network (VPN) server to the WRT, which will give users access to a secure remote connection to the router worldwide.

“Since the introduction of the original WRT we have sold more than 50 million units worldwide and are still selling it very successfully, even with wireless technology advancing rapidly,” said Mike Chen, vice president product management for Linksys, in a statement.

“The WRT has a cult status for many because of the open source aspect that made it so immensely popular. We are honoured to have collaborated with OpenWrt to ensure the Open Source readiness of the product and building a WRT worthy successor with cutting edge hardware and iconic design.”

The WRT 1900AC will be available in Canada starting April 11, carried at retailers like Best Buy, Future Shop, Memory Express, Canada Computers, and NCIX, as well as online. Pricing is set around $280.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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