At CES this week, Linksys revealed they would be bringing back an old favorite with a fresh coat of paint and a whole new list of features we can look forward to in the new year.
Throughout my childhood the infamous blue and black WRT54G router powered all my high-bandwidth hijinks, supplying a steady stream of bits and bytes to the dozens of desktops, latptops, tablets, and cell phones I would eventually own over the years. A staple of home networking, the WRT54G still holds the illustrious record of “most popular router of all time”, and hasn’t even come close to being usurped by any of the other contenders from Cisco, Netgear, or D-Link.
Linksys is calling the sleeker, sexier upgrade to the chunky 54G the WRT1900AC, and it comes with an impressive set of specs that definitely set it apart from the rest of the pack. Powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core ARM processor with a collective 384MB of RAM between the flash module and DDR3, the router will sport two dual-band 802.11ac wireless attenaes, along with all other 802.11 protocols on the Wi-Fi spectrum.
In a stock statement, VP of Linksys Mike Chen told the press:
“We have brought back the WRT because our customers have asked for a router that had the reliability, functionality and open-source capabilities but with today’s AC wireless technology.”
What made the WRT54G so enticing to developers in the first place was its nearly limitless hackability and customization options, built on the backbone of the open-source Linux kernel at its core. Capable of supporting a litany of custom firmwares including OpenWRT, Tomato, and DD-WRT, the 54G spent years slowly worming its way into the hearts and minds of consumers and IT-departments alike. Linksys has promised us this new model will uphold all those same standards, coming out of the box with several different ways to start building your own firewall from the ground up.
You can expect the WRT1900AC to hit shelves this spring for $299.99, and don’t forget to check out our extensive tutorials that teach you how to customize your very own Linksys router with any of the firmwares listed above.