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Linksys WRT1900AC Wi-Fi router: Faster than anything we've tested

Michael Brown | April 17, 2014
When Linksys first showed me a WRT1900AC prototype last year, I thought to myself, wow: I hope its performance lives up to its audacious looks. The good news is that it does--for the most part. In fact, it's the fastest router I've ever tested. The bad news is that its $280 MSRP marks it as the most expensive router I've ever tested (Linksys launched the router with a $250 sale price).

Parental controls are even more basic, although that feature is much less important in my book. You can block specified network clients from accessing the Internet (your choices are "never," "always," or according to day/time calendar), or you can block named network clients from accessing specified sites (good luck knowing every site on the web you don't want your kids to visit). If you consider parental controls a critical feature in the router you buy, take a look at the Skydog Wi-Fi router).

Final thoughts

It could be said that criticizing such a hot-rod router for not having all the latest bells and whistles in firmware is like calling out a drag racer for not having air conditioning. I'm just saying that the WRT1900AC has the horsepower to support those other features without compromising its speed. Linksys might add more features as time goes on, or third-party developer might Smart Wi-Fi apps, but you shouldn't buy one assuming those events will come to pass.

For many users, speed trumps features you might never need anyway. I use a Sonos system for listening to music, for instance, so I couldn't care less if my router has an iTunes server. I crave speed, and the WRT1900AC delivers that in spades. And its performance with network-attached storage blows the doors off the competition.

If speed is your most important consideration when shopping for a router, the WRT1900AC is the router to buy. If features are more important, and you're willing to give up a little speed to get them, consider the Asus RT-AC68U or Netgear's R7000 Nighthawk. The WRT1900AC isn't the most feature-laden router you can buy, but it is the fastest.

 

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