With Wi-Fi overcrowding on the rise, Linksys ahead of CES 2016 has announced two new routers and an adapter at CES 2016 that utilise Multi-User MIMO for dedicated communication and faster data speeds. The routers will be showcased at CES 2016.
The Linksys EA9500 and EA7500 join the only other MU-MIMO routers part of Linksys' lineup: the EA8500 which launched in May last year. Being the (more) premium one, the EA9500 is a tri-band router - with one band on 2.4GHz and two on 5GHz - equipped with 802.11ac and eight adjustable antennae to make sure it adequately covers "very large households".
In addition, it provides eight gigabit LAN ports powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, if you would rather rely on wired technology. It's also fitted with two USB ports - one USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 - and supports access to NTFS, FAT and HFS+ hard-drive file systems.
The lower-priced EA7500 built for "medium households" enjoys a similar USB configuration, but has fewer antennae - three - and wired LAN ports - four. Despite its now standard dual-band configuration, Linksys says the MU-MIMO technology will help it deliver "2x the speed" of other such routers.
MU-MIMO - Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output - is relatively new and has yet to see mass adoption. It differs in the aspect of communicating with attached devices, as it delivers data at the same time and same speed to multiple devices. Standard routers work on a time-sharing principle, talking to your phone, your laptop and your TV, and then back to your phone.
The requirement for MU-MIMO, as you can expect, requires both the router and the device to be future-ready. If you're stuck with a non-MIMO device for the time being, you can plug-in the new networking adapter from Linksys - the WUSB6100M - into the USB port for a dedicated channel with your new router. It will cost $59.99 (approximately Rs. 4,000) at the time of launch.
The two new routers meanwhile, are positioned either side of the existing one in terms of pricing: $199.99 (approximately Rs. 13,300) for the EA7500 and $399.99 (approximately Rs. 26,600) for the EA9500.