The WRT1900ACS (Rs18,999) is the successor to Linksys’ WRT1900AC router. It retains the heavy and industrial design, and doesn’t get pushed around when you insert or remove cables from the ports. It has a 1.6 GHz dual-core processor and 512 MB of RAM compared with its predecessor’s 1.2 GHz processor and 256 MB RAM. The maximum Wi-Fi speeds are 1,900 Mbps, with the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands combined.

The Smart Wi-Fi app (Android, iOS and Web) is used to set this up. The interface is easy to understand. You don’t have the option of switching between basic and advanced modes. The router is, admittedly, meant for advanced users who would know their way around the settings.

The Linksys WRT1900ACS works with dual-bands (N600 Mbps+AC1300 Mbps) and has four external antennas. The signal range is as wide as the Netgear Nighthawk X6 (Rs14,999), which has six external antennas. However, the Nighthawk X6 and the TP-Link Archer C3200 (Rs17,800) are tri-band routers (600 Mbps+1300 Mbps+1300 Mbps bands), which lessens congestion when many devices are connected. The WRT1900ACS manages a healthy 79 Mbps internet speed on a 90 Mbps connection at 5m from the router, with one brick wall in the way. At the same location, the Nighthawk X6 clocks 82 Mbps speed—an extra band perhaps makes the slight difference.

The Linksys WRT1900ACS’ highlight is that it can run the open-source DD-WRT firmware. Not many routers support this. With this, you will get extra features such as the Kai Console gaming network, wireless distribution standards (WDS) for network expansion and advanced quality service controls.

There is no doubt that the Linksys WRT1900ACS is a robust router, with great wireless performance. However, unless the DD-WRT firmware is something you really need, it is hard to ignore that the Netgear Nighthawk X6 and TP-Link Archer C3200 cost significantly less while matching performance every step of the way.

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