Cisco Linksys joins the AC generation with faster WiFi

One of the surprises from 2012 was that network gear manufacturers began to release new routers featuring the still draft high-speed 802.11ac technology, providing faster wireless speeds than ever before. While we’re still waiting on mass adoption of the chip inside devices, at least one other company is making routers, too.

Hinted at last year and now confirmed, Cisco’s Linksys brand is now getting a boost from the faster 802.11ac technology, making a range of Smart WiFi routers to support the new speeds.

More than just being faster and supporting the increased range of 802.11ac, the routers aim to be better for consumers who are sick of complicated installations, while also offering mobile apps to help customers control their networked files – photos, videos, music, etc – more easily.

“Today’s smart homes and smart devices deserve a smart home network,” said Brett Wingo, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco Linksys Home Networking.

“As the router becomes the hub of the smart home, these products allow for simple control of kids’ screen time, delivery of top-quality video, and easy ways to centrally store and serve up music and video, all controlled from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are.”

The top-of-the-line EA6700, heading to stores later this year.

Three routers will be coming, with the EA6300 offering up to 867Mbps speeds to around three to five devices, the EA6400 offering up to 1.3Gbps to up to seven devices, and the high speed EA6700 supporting even more devices over two bands.

Each router will support Gigabit Ethernet, as well as USB 3.0 ports, perfect if you plan on plugging in hard drives with music, photos, or videos on them.

Meanwhile, an 802.11ac wireless adaptor will also be made available – the AC580 – which isn’t much longer than a paperclip and will let any computer take advantage of the high speeds that 802.11ac offers.

Consumers will have to wait a little bit until these head to store shelves, however, with Cisco suggesting that the new 802.11ac gear won’t ship until at least April or May.