Linksys WRT32X router packs Killer features

Linksys is letting loose the WRT32X router with Killer Networking features onboard, courtesy of a partnership with Rivet Networks. A quick perusal of the spec sheet suggests the companies might have started with the recently-released WRT3200ACM before giving it a matte-black-and-blue getup and Killer's traffic prioritization scheme.

Like the WRT3200ACM, the WRT32X boasts up to 600Mbps for 802.11n devices and up to 2600Mbps for 802.11ac-enabled hardware. The router's body houses a WAN port, four switched Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, and four stubby plastic antennas.

The WRT32X can also serve as a not-so-poor-man's NAS, thanks to the built-in USB 3.0 connectors and combo USB 2.0 and eSATA ports. The device gets its brains from an unnamed 1.8 GHz dual-core processor. The WRT3200ACM has a dual-core ARM SoC and 512MB of memory, so we wouldn't be surprised if the WRT32X had the same internals.

Linksys says the built-in "Killer Mode" automatically synchronizes with PCs with Killer Networking adapters using the Killer Prioritization Engine, and should ensure higher routing priority for time-sensitive game data. The company claims that "lag-free gaming," 4K streaming, and other data-intensive applications are possible thanks to the device's fast and steady wireless signal.

The device can serve as a router, access point, wired bridge, wireless bridge, or wireless repeater, so buyers can re-purpose it after its useful life as primary router has ended. It's also compatible with OpenWRT and DD-WRT open-source router software, though we wonder if forgoing the factory firmware might mean kissing the Killer-enhanced features goodbye.

Linksys' page for the WRT32X lists the price as $330, but TechHive says to expect a price tag right around $300 when the WRT32X goes on sale in the Spring.

Comments closed
    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    Routers live and die on firmware and “smoothness” for gaming. As someone who had to game off of wireless for 9 months, I couldn’t care about total bandwidth or whiz-bang features as long as the unit kept a stable connection. Thankfully, I’m back on Ethernet, now.

    • Krogoth
    • 3 years ago

    This guy is DOA.

    It costs as much as a “real” low-end router cartered towards SMB market which offer far superior networking features (overkill for a home network though).

    • WaltC
    • 3 years ago

    Nice…but too expensive. Like to see a strictly wired version @ $~60…;)

    • ozzuneoj
    • 3 years ago

    All the fancy naming and Stealth Bomber styling can’t change the fact that its still a Belkin product.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 years ago

      I read your comment and had to Google. How did I not [url=http://www.belkin.com/us/pressreleases/8802834973756/<]already know this[/url<]?

        • ozzuneoj
        • 3 years ago

        I work retail and I noticed a few years ago that all of the Linksys boxes changed their styling suddenly. References to Cisco were gone and the fine print said it was a Belkin product. I’m not saying they’re junk, but Belkin is the cheapest brand we carry at our store, with Linksys, Netgear and Asus being the more expensive products.

        I’ve used a couple Belkin routers in the past and they were irritating to use and really lacking in basic configuration options that every router has had for 10+ years. Its possible that Linksys itself hasn’t really changed how they make routers (I don’t know how independent they have been of Cisco or Belkin), but just knowing that Belkin has the final say in how these products are designed makes it hard for me to recommend them over a Netgear or Asus.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 3 years ago

          I’ve only owned four wireless routers in my lifetime – one each of D-Link (802.11g), Belkin (802.11n), Asus (802.11n) and Apple (Time Capsule with 802.11ac). The Belkin lasted the shortest amount of time and had the most issues, and it wasn’t close. As you said, it was the cheapest thing the store had on its shelves, and maybe that’s just something that works against it.

    • Vasilyfav
    • 3 years ago

    A router that costs as much as a NUC, and it doesn’t even offer 5Gbit Ethernet ports in 2017?

    Who buys these things aside people with too much disposable income?

    > The device can serve as a router, access point, wired bridge, wireless bridge, or wireless repeater, so buyers can re-purpose it after its useful life as primary router has ended.

    So can every router made since about…what, 2008? And already planning for obsolescence, eh?

    This is such blatant native advertising for not even a good product, makes me sad.

      • leor
      • 3 years ago

      Are there any 2.5 or 5Gbit routers even on sale yet?

        • Krogoth
        • 3 years ago

        There shouldn’t be any units yet until Q2 2017. The 802.11bz spec was just finalized back in late Q4 2016.

      • dyrdak
      • 3 years ago

      300$ is a bargain;) compared to 499$ for a “smart” router I’ve recently seen at local BB (I was not shopping for routers primarily, but the trip was eye opening experience and I’ve decided to “suffer” with my current hardware).

    • EndlessWaves
    • 3 years ago

    A high end router only of interest to those who make heavily local usage of networking doesn’t seem like the obvious choice for integrating the technology into.

    I suppose if they had to pick an off the shelf platform the more mainstream router wouldn’t have had a sufficiently powerful CPU to run it.

    Hopefully it does take off sufficiently that we see it in a successor to the XAC1900 or similar model.

      • shank15217
      • 3 years ago

      The best router right now for home is the Ubiquiti Edge Router-X which would run circles around this router. It also happens to be one of the cheapest routers you can buy. Packed with features, it also has some nice wizards for home use.

        • not@home
        • 3 years ago

        The only problem with the Edge Router X is finding the right wireless equipment to go with it. If Ubiquity sold a package deal that included the router along with all the appropriate wireless gear and a setup guide, the mainstream user would be much more likely to buy it.

          • Anton Kochubey
          • 3 years ago

          UniFi AP AC Lite’s are perfect paired with the ER-X. 😛

        • Vaughn
        • 3 years ago

        As it should be Ubiquiti is basically entry level enterprise gear. It should smoke anything in the consumer space.

        • curtisb
        • 3 years ago

        And the EdgeRouter Lite and PoE models will run circles around the X models. The X models have about 1/8th the packet passing capabilities (130K vs. 1M packets/second). The 5-port X model is around $50US while the ER PoE is around $150US…three times the price for something that’s much more than three times as capable. If you don’t need PoE right on the device then the ER Lite is around $90.

        Will the X model be fine for most? Sure, given most home internet connection speeds. But those seem to be increasing at faster rates these days in an effort to keep up with all the YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, etc. media services, not to mention the plethora of other cloud-based services that spring up on a daily basis.

        One thing to be aware of with Ubiquiti PoE is that it’s 24V out of the box. Fortunately, their branded PoE devices also operate on 24V. But it’s something you need to be aware of if you intend on running non-Ubiquiti PoE devices because most run on 48V PoE (or higher if it’s a PoE+ device). You can replace the power adapter with a 48V adapter for other devices.

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