The original Linksys WRT1900AC launched in 2014. At the time it was Linksys’s most powerful router, and had a few tasty features up its sleeve.
Not only was it fast & powerful, it had the classic blue design from the old WRT54G, that so many people still regard as what a router should actually look like… in the generic sense. Ok, we are talking about some maybe less technical people, but you get our drift!
Anyway, Linksys have decided to give the modern classic a facelift and have named it the WRT1900ACS (also known as the WRT1900ACv2). Ok, so they haven’t exactly been that inventive with the model number, and just bolted on a letter at the end…ho-hum.
The router has exactly the same outer shell and antennas, so to look at – it’s exactly the same.
Technically however, Linksys have beefed things up a bit. The main CPU, radio processors & RAM have been upgraded. OpenVPN support has also been included, although this feature was made available by Linksys in a firmware update earlier in the year for the original AC router.
Oh, and the fan has been removed, but we’ll come to that later…
Linksys WRT1900ACS Dual Band Router Features
As well as being a 1.9Gbps dual band wireless ac router, Linksys has given the WRT1900ACS some enhanced features.
8 Features of the WRT1900ACS
1.6GHz Dual Core CPU
Having a solid CPU is definitely more important in homes with several devices. Of course, in this day and age, almost everything electrical has a wifi connection! It’s important to make sure that the router in the middle, which is managing all the data transfers, is ‘fit for purpose’.
To help ensure things keep speeding along, Linksys have added a 1.6GHz dual core processor to take on all the hard work.
Of course, if you have the grunty CPU, you also need memory to back it up.
The WRT1900ACS has 512MB on board to compliment all that awesome processing power. It helps keep transfers between wifi devices, wired devices and storage at a high level.
USB 3.0 & eSATA Ports
Why don’t you create your own NAS style storage network? Plug in a flash drive into either of the available USB ports to share out files, video or music around all your home users (and you can share externally via OpenVPN too, we’ll come to that later).
There’s a single USB 3.0 port and the second port (2.0) doubles up as an eSATA port for those of you with that kind of hard drive.
There are the usual 4x 1Gbps Ethernet ports for your wired devices too…
OpenVPN / OpenWRT
The Linksys WRT1900ACS is the first Linksys Smart series router to support OpenVPN.
For those of you who don’t know, this enables remote connectivity to your network.
Why would you want to do this? Well, it is especially useful for those with a small business. Workers can use OpenVPN to connect into the local network to access files, email etc, while ‘on the road’ or working from home.
Open VPN can be used by installing a client on the laptop/tablet. Once set up, the user can securely use the VPN to access the relevant files.
Like the 1900AC, the ACS also supports OpenWRT so you can really get into the intricate details of configuring the router with this advanced Linux OS, should you wish to install and use.
4 External Hi-Gain Antennas
There are four antennas which can be adjusted to the direction that suits the aesthetics of your home or office. They can also be replaced with other antennas should you which, like the WRT004ANT antennas.
Beamforming is a technology that optimizes wifi beamwidth coverage (where wifi is directed) to your clients when they need it. This is more efficient than sending out in all directions at all times, meaning that your wireless clients can get a signal further away from the antennas than before.
Use the Smart Wi-Fi app to control and manage your network. It provides a convenient way to manage your network and have a bird’s eye view of what’s actually going on. You can do this from your phone or tablet
It contains the Network Map feature, which displays a visual overview of all your network devices and what their status is.
Extend Your Network
Use the WRT1900ACS as a Repeater or a Wireless Bridge with a second 1900ACS. The 2 different modes explained:
Wireless Repeater – Place it at the edge of the existing wireless network and ‘repeat’ (extend) the network further in the direction the second rouiter is placed. This works across both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
Wireless Bridge – Connect 2x WRT1900ACS’s together on either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz (use 5GHz for higher throughput, but potentially less distance), then use either the other non-used band for the clients, and the wired ports of course, to connect distant clients to the main network.
You can learn more about these modes in our free guide available here.
- Dual Band – 2.4GHz & 5GHz
- 1.6GHz Dual Core CPU
- 512MB RAM
- 4 Adjustable Antennas
- Supports OpenWRT
Linksys WRT1900ACS vs WRT1900AC
So what’s the difference between the original WRT1900AC and the WRT1900ACS? They are identical in looks, but Linksys have made some differences underneath the cover…
Processor – The 1900AC had a 1.2GHz processor. The v2 has been given an upgrade to 1.6GHz.
RAM – The memory has been given a boost…actually it’s been doubled. The 1900ACS has 512MB DDR3 memory, compared to 256MB.
The Fan – There is no fan in the new WRT1900ACS, due to the fact the new router can keep itself cooler much better and just doesn’t need the cooling fan. The advantage of this is that it’s one less thing to break.
You can read the full details for the original WRT1900AC right here.
Do you agree/disagree? Why not comment below and let us know what you think…