Unless you've upgraded to a whole home Wi-Fi solution like Linksys' recently announced Velop, you're probably finding your wireless network struggling to keep up these days. If you're a gamer, the last thing you want is lag and dropped frames during online multiplayer matches because someone in another room is watching The Crown on Netflix. So Linksys has created a wireless router that puts gamers first.
There are already quite a few wireless routers on the market that the gaming community has embraced, including Linksys' own WRT1900AC; a revival of the much loved, and easily upgraded, Linksys WRT54G. What's most important to gamers is easy access to QoS (Quality of Service) settings that allows them to prioritise network traffic for video games. Those occasional buffering pauses you experience while streaming a video are a minor inconvenience, but they can mean game over during a multiplayer first person shooter match.
What Linksys has done with the new WRT32X is to automate the prioritisation of gaming network traffic. The router is also open source, supporting OpenWrt and DD-WRT for players who want to further tweak their network's performance. But for gamers who aren't savvy enough to dive into complex router settings, Linksys now lets the router handle those performance tweaks.
Powered by a 1.8GHz dual-core processor, the stealth-styled Linksys WRT32X is an AC3200 wireless router with optimised MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) performance that uses custom firmware tuned for "gaming traffic." Linksys hasn't shared what exactly's in that secret sauce, but it has revealed that the WRT32X is designed to automatically detect computers using the Killer-line of network adapters, indicating it's probably a gaming-focused PC from a company like Alienware, MSI, or Razer that requires priority access to the home's internet. It does the same thing for an Xbox as well, if console gaming is more your thing.
That being said, the WRT32X can actually benefit non-gamers in your household too. In an effort to appease those who would rather spend the night watching Netflix or streaming a movie from iTunes, the WRT32X will actually throttle download speeds and reduce the priority of a gaming PC or console on a network when they're downloading large updates or game patches. For $US300 ($415) when it's available this Spring, the Linksys WRT32X might finally bring some peace to your home.