Cisco (News - Alert) unveiled three new Smart Wi-Fi routers at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which takes place in Las Vegas now through January 11.
All three of the new routers support 802.11ac and offer similar features and design, with the major difference being the number of devices that are expected to run on the network.
The crown jewel of the Cisco portfolio is the Linksys (News - Alert) Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro, EA6700. The AC1750 is designed for homes with 10 or more connected devices with HD content streaming needs, according to CNET’s CES coverage. It is a true dual-band router with speeds up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
For those who only need five to seven connected devices for HD streaming, there’s the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1600 Video Enthusiast, EA6400. The router supports speeds of up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
The lower tier of the new router line is the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1200 Advanced Multimedia, EA6300. It supports dual-stream setup of the Wi-Fi standards, and it offers up to 867Mbps on the 5GHz band and up to 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. According to Cisco, the AC 1200 is meant for five or less devices streaming HD.
The routers all support Gigabit Ethernet and come with one USB 3.0 port. The top of the line, EA6700, also has another USB 2.0 port that can be used to host an external storage device to create a network attached storage (NAS) solution.
One feature of the new routers that will please customers is their support of Beamforming technology, which brings better Wi-Fi coverage by automatically and precisely adjusting, steering and monitoring the direction and shape of the Wi-Fi signals to transmit and receive data in the most efficient manner.
The routers support the Cisco Connect Cloud platform, which allows third-party apps that extend the routers. They also support SimpleTab, a near-field communications technology that lets clients connect to the router’s Wi-Fi network via a quick tab.
While the routers are simple to set up, it is worth noting that corporate customers who plan to leverage the new Cisco offerings can purchase support either through Cisco’s SMARTnet service or XSi’s third-party support alternative.
SMARTnet gives 24-hour access to Cisco experts, self-help support, hardware replacement options, OS updates and proactive diagnostics.
XSi’s alternative maintenance solution to Cisco SMARTnet additionally offers contract flexibilities such as co-terminus adds and deletes in a prorated manner during POP, simple contract management with all support under a single agreement for multiple OEMs, multiple SLAs and Global Support, payment flexibility, hardware and software support beyond Cisco EOL/EOS, three tiers of support and escalation to OEM if necessary, better response time on popular SMARTnet 24x7x4 and SMARTnet 8x5xnbd support as well as cost savings over Cisco support.
The line of routers should make it to market some time during the first quarter of the year, according to the CNET article.
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Edited by Rachel Ramsey