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Linksys adds two multi-stream MU-MIMO routers to its lineup

Each of your devices gets its own WiFi stream.
Roberto Baldwin, @strngwys
January 4, 2016
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It's router season here at CES 2016, and Linksys has dropped two new MU-MIMO (multiuser, multiple input, multiple output) network gatekeepers. They take their place above and below the current AC2600 router in the company's lineup. If you're interested in these routers but your computer doesn't MU-MIMO, the company also announced a USB dongle that'll make it compatible.

The high-end AC5400 is a tri-band (1000 Mbps at 2.4 Ghz, 2166 Mbps at 5 Ghz and 2166 Mbps at 5 GHz) 802.11ac router that has eight antennas and nine Gigabit Ethernet ports. It can share data at speeds up to 5.3 Gbps. It'll be available in April for $399.99.

The entry-level AC1900 is an 802.11ac router with dual bands at 1300 Mbps at 5 GHz and 600 Mbps at 2.4 Ghz. It has four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports. It should be ready for your home in February for $199.99.

Both routers use MU-MIMO, which creates dedicated data streams to supported hardware. Traditional streams act like a Vegas dealer, with every device getting cards (data, in this case) but not at the exact same time. Your phone gets some packets, then your console gets some packets, then back to your phone or on to your computer. It just happens superfast so you don't notice it.

Of course, the networking standard needs to be supported by the router and the device it's connecting to. If your computer doesn't support MU-MIMO, Linksys also has the AC1900 MU-MIMO adapter USB dongle coming this spring for $59.99.

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