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Linksys WRT router gains faster SoC, more RAM, OpenWrt

Oct 9, 2015 — by Eric Brown — 4,309 views

Linksys has launched a “WRT1900ACS” router that updates the AC version with a faster dual-core, 1.6GHz SoC, twice the RAM (at 512MB), and OpenWrt support.

In early 2014 when Linksys resurrected the hackable Linksys WRT54G WiFi router in a new WRT1900AC model, the Belkin subsidiary said the the Linux-based router would also support the lightweight, networking-focused OpenWrt Linux distribution. With the new WRT1900ACS, Linksys is making life easier for OpenWrt lovers by providing full, open source OpenWrt support out of the box.

WRT1900ACS, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The company has partnered with the OpenWrt project and Marvell to provide the OpenWrt 15.05 (“Chaos Calmer”) support in OpenWrt’s stable and development branches. Marvell presumably makes the router’s 1.6GHz, dual-core ARM SoC, an upgrade from the dual-core, 1.2GHz SoC on the AC model. The new model also doubles the RAM to 512MB. The $230 pre-sale price for the WRT1900ACS is $70 cheaper than the AC’s launch price, although the latter can now be found for just under $200.

Otherwise, the ACS model appears to be identical to the AC. It provides dual-band 802.11ac, with speeds of up to 1.3Gbps on the 5GHz band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. The router is also equipped with four gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and a gigabit WAN port. Other common features include 128MB of flash, an eSATA port, as well as USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports.

Smart Wi-Fi Network Map
(click image to enlarge)

As before, the device supports the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi setup and management tool, letting users access the router from a browser or from an Android or iOS app on a smartphone or tablet. The management tool lets you tap into your network remotely to check on connection status, provide access to a guest, view a network map (above), or block children from accessing selected sites.

For more details on the AC, as well as a brief history of hacking the WRT, see our earlier WRT1900AC coverage.

Further information

The WRT1900ACS is available for pre-order for $230, with shipments beginning Oct. 11. More information may be found at the Linksys WRT1900ACS product page.

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2 responses to “Linksys WRT router gains faster SoC, more RAM, OpenWrt”

  1. David Smoot says:

    Minor, minor nit. But the esata port can be used as a USB 2.0 port. So it is not esata AND USB 2, it is esata OR USB 2.0. Even their web page is misleading. I’m pretty sure it uses pin multiplexing so only one function at a time can be used.


  2. Max says:

    There’s that other minor nit of the original WRT54GL having a price of about $70 – and that was already way more expensive than a baseline generic router that could do essentially the exact same things minus the OpenWRT part. Compared to that, unless this router can also cook diner or something there’s no way in hell I’d ever pay this kind of money for a router…

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