TP-Link and Linksys each took advantage of CES to show off impressive new Wi-Fi routers. The routers differ in a few key areas, but both are unapologetically high-end.
The Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router has a name that leaves little room for confusion about its core specifications. There are some details missing from that mouthful, though. For one, the EA9500's eight Gigabit Ethernet ports doubles up on the number of ports you typically get on a home router. It also includes one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port for connecting shared devices like external hard drives and printers. The EA9500 offers speeds up to 2166 Mbps with tri-band Wi-Fi that supports four simultaneous data streams as well as MU-MIMO and beamforming.
The TP-Link Talon AD7200 Multi-band Wi-Fi Router brings something new to the table as the world's first 802.11ad router. IEEE 802.11ad, or "WiGig", operates at a ridiculous 60 GHz and is intended for extremely high speed communiccation over short distances with no obstructions. Under ideal circumstances, that can translate into connection speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. Of course, most homes have walls, so TP-Link thoughtfully incudes a robust 802.11ac solution in the AD7200 as well. That radio includes support for MU-MIMO and beamforming. For wired connectivity, TP-Link equips the AD7200 with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports.