Linksys WRT 1900AC is coming and most people who have had WiFi in their home in the last decade probably knows what a Linksys 54g looks like. This is because they were the go to cheap wireless router for most people. It is the black and blue box with flashing lights and antennas sticking out of it.
Linksys WRT 1900AC is coming in early 2014.
The Linksys 54G was very popular not just because of its low-cost, but also that it was very hackable. You could very easily load open-source router firmware onto most versions of the 54G. This open-source firmware is basically a Linux-based operating system that is configured to be a highly-functioning router.
Linksys has not endorsed the use of these alternate firmwares and has always voided your warranty when loading these firmwares onto your router. Many people would still choose to load open-source firmware because it gives you more options and the ability to diagnose issues on a granular-level.
Linksys was always a dominant player in home networking and continued to do so after 2003 when they were purchased by Cisco. Linksys got put on the back burner for a while and kept putting out cheap equipment and less-reliable products. They also made it more difficult to load open-source firmware as time went on. Linksys started making headway before being purchased at a $25 million loss for Cisco by Belkin International.
Linksys has announced the release of the WRT1900AC which will look striking similar to the nostalgic WRT 54G but will perform significantly greater. This new router will not be the cheap router we all grew to love. Instead this router will be about $299, and will have a dual-core 1.2 GHz Atom Processor with 256 MB of RAM, 4 removable anntenas for increased range, a Gigabit WAN, 4 Gigabit LAN ports and USB 3.0 and eSATA for external storage. The best part is the 128MB flash and the support for open-source firmware.
Hopefully this will be the future of routing and networking, I would like to see more tech companies support open-source software to allow people to create the world that they want.
(Image source: iCLIPART)