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Linksys WRT1200AC: A fast, full-featured, open-source-friendly router

Serdar Yegulalp | May 4, 2015
Sometimes, less is truly more. When it comes to the Linksys WRT1200AC, the little brother to the WRT1900AC router introduced last year, it might be best to say less is just enough.

The rest of the hardware in the 1200AC is identical to its predecessor: four gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB 2/3 port, and a SATA port. Connect a storage device to the USB or SATA ports, and you can share the contents via a password-controlled folder access, FTP services, or a DLNA-compatible media server. The Web interface for file sharing (by way of the Twonky server) isn't terribly polished, but it gets the job done.

One of the original selling points of the 1900AC, and now the 1200AC, was that it could accept open firmware such as OpenWRT. Unfortunately, the 1900AC couldn't do that when first released, due to the lack of a proper open source driver for the Marvell 88W8864 chip set in the router. The required driver finally came out last December. It was revised early in April 2015 to fix several problems, and now the 1200AC and 1900AC alike have OpenWRT images available. Flashing the router with OpenWRT was easy enough, although you'll want to download and keep handy a copy of the original Linksys firmware in case you find OpenWRT's array of options too dizzying.

When the 1900AC debuted, Linksys touted (among other features) the apps available for managing the router — that is, a way for parents to enforce website restrictions. The same apps are available for the 1200AC. I liked the app that remotely configures the router from a smartphone, but no new apps have been added since the 1900AC's release, so this seems unlikely to be a major selling point. The 1200AC by itself is more than appealing enough.

InfoWorld Scorecard

Features (25%)

Management (25%)

Performance (25%)

Setup (15%)

Value (10%)

Overall Score (100%)

Linksys WRT1200AC

9

9

9

10

10

9.2

             

 

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