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Cisco unveils new Linksys AC 1750 HD 'Smart Wi-Fi' router with new 802.11ac standard

Most of the major router vendors now have their 802.11ac - draft 11ac, that is - routers on the market. Linksys is now joining the party with the release of the its Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro EA6500.

The move follows the release of other 11ac routers from Linksys competitors, such as the Netgear R6300 WiFi Router 802.11ac Dual Band Gigabit, Belkin's AC 1200 DB Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC+ Gigabit Router, the Buffalo AirStation AC1300/N900 Gigabit Dual Band WZR-D1800H, and D-Link's Amplifi Cloud Router 5700 (DIR-865L).

The EA6500 offers theoretical speeds of up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1.3Gbps on 5GHz. According to Linksys, the router also delivers better range and reliability and helps to improve power consumption of mobile devices.

Linksys also unveiled its new Smart Wi-Fi platform. This is a revamp and renaming of Cisco Connect Cloud — an app-based cloud-based platform Cisco Linksys introduced this summer to give users the ability to remotely manage their Connect Cloud-enabled routers and download apps to extend the routers capabilities. The launch turned into a PR nightmare for Cisco Linksys after users were forced to upgrade their firmware and encountered problems creating cloud accounts.

The new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi allows customers to remotely access their Smart Wi-Fi router-based networks and devices using Smart Wi-Fi Tools and Apps.

In addition, the new SimpleTap feature lets customers connect devices to their Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers with a tap of a button or quick swipe or scan of a device or tag. The device also includes new packaging with a customer capacity chart that helps simplify the process of selecting the appropriate router. Linksys also offers a handy wizard to help users choose the right wireless router.

The EA6500 is compatible with Linksys's just-shipped AC Universal Media Connector. This device is used to connect other devices such as Smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles wirelessly.

Linksys also announced a partnership with LG Electronics to deliver what LG describes as easier and enhanced streaming from LG's slim-profile Cinema 3D Smart TVs. Linksys and LG's combined solution allows customers opt-in prioritisation to maximize high definition without impacting the performance of other devices on the network.

The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro (EA6500) is available for $219.99 (£136). The Linksys AC Universal Media Connector, also now available, lists for $159.99 (£100). UK pricing and roll out has yet to be confirmed.

For more on the latest Wi-Fi routers, see check ITProPortal's review of the Buffalo Airstation 1750.