This N600 model uses one frequency band to receive information and a second to transmit, so it doesn't suffer from any decrease in throughput. It plugs directly into an AC outlet, and it has an 1/8-inch audio jack that can drive a pair of stereo speakers. Users can stream music to the range extender directly from their smartphone, tablet, or PC. A 100Mbps ethernet jack enables the RE4100W to also act as a wireless bridge for devices that require hardwired ethernet connections.
The Linksys RE6700 range extender is based on 802.11ac technology, and Linksys says it can increase the range of an existing wireless router by up to 10,000 square feet. It also plugs directly into an AC power outlet, but it includes an electrical pass-through so you don't lose an outlet. Despite its small size, the RE6700 includes a four-port gigabit ethernet switch as well as an 1/8-inch audio jack to support powered speakers.
The Linksys RE4100W will be available soon at a price of $80. The Linksys RE6700 will be available in April at a price of $120.
Smart Wi-Fi enhancements
Finally, Linksys announced that an upcoming release of the Smart Wi-Fi firmware for its Linksys EA- and WRT-series routers will add a number of new features, including an OpenVPN server, a Wi-Fi schedulers, a new network map, and improved device identification. Linksys is playing catch-up with other high-end router manufacturers in this area, so these are welcome improvements. The new firmware is scheduled to roll out sometime in the first quarter.
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