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Linksys' WRT32X is a gaming router that prioritizes gaming traffic above all else

By Ng Chong Seng - on 11 Nov 2017, 1:11pm

Linksys' WRT32X is a gaming router that prioritizes gaming traffic above all else

Linksys has today launched the WRT32X, a AC3200-class dual-band Wi-Fi gaming router with Rivet Networks’ Killer Prioritization Engine built in.

Sporting the iconic Linksys WRT router series design but fully dressed in black, the WRT32X is a high-end consumer router equipped with a 1.8GHz dual-core ARM CPU, a 3 x 3 radio design with four high-performance antennas, and simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi (one 2.4GHz, one 5GHz) for up to AC3200 speeds (N600 + AC2600). It also has a feature called Tri-Stream 160, which basically makes use of the 160MHz channel bandwidth in the 5GHz band to achieve 2.6Gbps peak speeds (i.e., three simultaneous 867Mbps streams). On the router’s back you’ll find one gigabit WAN port and four gigabit LAN ports, as well as a USB 3.0 port and an eSATA (USB 2.0) port for hooking up to external storage devices.

All that said, the WRT32X’s main story is its Killer Prioritization Engine, which in a nutshell is a highly optimized QoS system that can recognize network traffic - be it video streaming, online gaming, huge file downloads, or just system updates - and prioritize them automatically to ensure a lag-free gaming performance. Gamers who have Killer Networking-branded Wi-Fi or NICs on their notebooks or desktops (brands that use Killer solutions include Alienware, Gigabyte, MSI, and Razer) will know all too well what this gaming-focused QoS engine is capable of. What’s different this time round is that Linksys is bringing the QoS engine into the WRT32X router, along with a custom-built firmware and UI for controlling gaming traffic. For example, the Killer Control Center software that users of Killer-equipped notebooks and desktops use to adjust their system’s performance will additionally sport an extra router tab when it detects the presence of the WRT32X on the network. Through it, you can quickly adjust common router settings (e.g. set bandwidth limits) without the need to fire up the router’s web interface.

And in case you’re still wondering why there’s a need to bring the Killer engine to the router level, the idea is that since the router is able to communicate with Killer-equipped endpoints and know the types of packets that are passing through the entire network, it can now more effectively prioritize gaming traffic without adversely impacting other traffic and the experience of other users on the network who may or may not be playing games.

How the Killer Prioritization Engine prioritizes traffic: game packets on Killer PCs first, followed by voice on Killer PCs and video on Killer PCs.

Pricing and promos

The Linksys WRT32X gaming router will go on sale starting December 1, 2017, and has a recommended retail price of S$449. It comes with 3 years of warranty and 24/7 customer support.

And since latency within the LAN is just half the equation, Linksys is also partnering with M1; so customers can get the M1 GamePro 1Gbps fiber broadband plan and the WRT32X at a bundle price of S$52/month. Registration of interest for this bundle will begin November 10. Additionally, the first 100 customers who sign up for this bundle will receive a Razer Basilisk gaming mouse (worth S$109.90).

The WRT32X will also be available exclusively at Challenger stores and Hachi.tech from December 1. Challenger and Hachi.tech members will be able to purchase the router at S$419.

And finally, you can pre-order the router from Challenger at this coming Sitex show, which is happening from November 23 to 26. The first 100 customers who pre-order the router will additionally get a free Razer Electra V2 headset (worth S$89.90) and a S$50 NETS FlashPay card.

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