Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source Wi-Fi Wireless Router Review
The Linksys WRT1900ACS is an updated version of Linksys flagship router Linksys WRT1900AC. The new router comes equipped with significantly more powerful hardware and eliminates the internal fan allowing it to run quietly with potentially less maintenance. It is much faster as compared to its predecessor both as network storage server and as a Wi-Fi router. Without question, it is the most ambitious consumer wireless router available.
Design and hardware:
On the outside, the WRT1900ACS shares the same dimensions and retro design like the WRT1900AC. It sports a practical chunky, classic blue and black look whose only embellishment is blue plastic of its one third. It is a large router measuring 295 × 205 × 123 mm and weighing 886g. The router sits firm and flat on its four rubber bottomed feet.
As well as sitting flat it can also be mounted on a wall. You can move its four removable external antennas to best optimize positioning and signal strength. One big difference in design as compared to previous version is that it no longer includes an internal fan. Fans are the parts that are prone to break and they also make noise, so removing fans means one less thing to worry about.
The Linksys WRT1900ACS outdoes the most powerful 1.2GHz dual core processor and 256MB of DDR3 system memory significantly by introducing 1.6GHz dual-core processor. Also it doubled the amount of system memory to 512MB of DDR3 RAM. The Linksys WRT1900ACS blows other routers away because generally more powerful hardware specs translate into better overall performance.
As a Wi-Fi router, the WRT1900ACS is a three-stream (3 × 3) 802.11ac AC1900 router. Theoretically this means that it offers a top speed of up to 1,300 megabits per second on 5GHz frequency band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.
While there are higher tier routers on the market such as AC3200 or AC2600, the AC1900 tier is the sweet top of Wi-Fi currently because the fastest clients such as tablets, smartphones or laptops support the 3 × 3 setup at most. Getting a higher tier router than AC1900 is not going to return real-world performance because a network connection can be as fast as the speed of slowest device involved.
Similar to its predecessor, on the back, the WRT1900ACS features one gigabit WAN (internet) port and four gigabit LAN ports. It also houses one USB 3.0 port and another port that can work either as an eSATA connection or a USB 2.0 port. These ports can be used to host up to two external storage devices at a time.
The Linksys WRT1900ACS features on the front an array of fancy LED status lights that display the condition of the router. If the flashing lights bother you at night, you can turn these off via the router’s Web interface.
Like its predecessor, the WRT1900ACS shares the same setup process but you can also use it without setting it up at all. The router comes with default network settings and with information on the Wi-Fi networks that are printed on its underside. You just have to plug the router into power and connect its WAN internet port to an internet source such as a broadband modem and you are ready to go.
If you want to further customize the router, you will have to access its web interface. For this, point the browser to router’s default IP address from a connected computer. The default IP address is 192.168.1.1, log in with the default password which is admin.
Via a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account, you can manage the router remotely. It takes about a few seconds to associate the router with an account and then you will be able to get to its Web interface by going to linksyssmartwifi.com instead of router’s IP address, which means that you can now manage the router from anywhere in the world.
When you use a computer, the router’s web interface is exactly the same locally or remotely. When the remote management feature is turned on, you can manage the router via a free Linksys Smart Wi-Fi mobile app for iOS and Android. In this case, you will have access to the main features and settings of the router only, not all of them.
The WRT1900ACS is the first in the family of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers that supports OpenVPN and allows remote users to connect securely. Another major improvement is that the interface now offers higher level of customization. For example you can set Wi-Fi networks to work in mixed mode, A-only, AC-only or N-only on the 5GHz band.
And instead of having to use the Auto setting, you can also pick the channel width you want. This new flexibility in customization would be great news for savvy users. The WRT1900ACS also features Media Prioritization which enables you to drag and drop connected clients between Normal priority and High priority lists.
There is also effective and simple Parental Control feature that offers you to block specific connected client’s access to internet or just certain websites. The WRT1900ACS supports guest network for only one band, 2.4GHZ. It enables you to customize the network’s password and amount of guest users up to 50.
The interface also offers a handy internet speed test that shows the speed of broadband connection and is available only when you locally access the interface. However the coolest feature of WRT1900ACS is its live Network Map which displays connected devices by connection types (wired or wireless) or device types (printers, computers, mobile devices and unknown).
- Excellent Wi-Fi performance
- Functional and robust chassis design
- Powerful UI
- Doesn’t support MU-MIMO
- Doesn’t support Time Machine Backup
The Linksys WRT1900ACS replaces its predecessor WRT1900AC and is the Linksys best router to date. It is best in a number of categories which include range, Wi-Fi speed, network storage performance and signal stability. It delivers excellent throughput with current generation wireless clients. In short it is the fastest and may be the most expensive router as well.
Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Open Source WiFi Wireless Router (WRT1900ACS)
8 used from $ 114.99
- Wireless-AC, up to 4.3x faster than N technology: Simultaneous dual-band speed up to 600 Mbps (2.4 GHz) + 1300 Mbps (5 GHz) for media - intensive applications
- 4 high-performance antennas: Engineered to enhance dual-band communication, four external, adjustable antennas ensure supreme Wi-Fi signal strength in multilevel homes and small offices
- Dual Core 1.6 GHz CPU: Powerful CPU promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing allowing multiple users to simultaneously game online, stream movies, and transfer files without lagging
- Share content via an external storage device with ultra-fast data transfer speeds. USB 3.0 delivers enhanced performance over USB 2.0; eSATA delivers optimal data transfer speeds from external SATA drives and accommodates USB 2.0
- Users can prioritize devices or websites, gain parental control over content, monitor network activity, turn Wi-Fi access on or off and create select password - protected guest networks. Network Map offers a visual map of the home network
The Linksys WRT1900ACS is an updated version of Linksys flagship router Linksys WRT1900AC.