As first introduced during CES 2017 in January, the external view of the new WRT32X looks like a modernized version of the company’s classic WRT54GL router, ditching the black and blue theme for a futuristic space gray aesthetic. Inside, you will find “enterprise-grade” hardware such as a dual-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz, 512MB of DDR3 system memory, and 256MB of local storage for the custom-built firmware.
According to Linksys, the firmware is based on the latest stable release of the Linux kernel. It was custom-designed for this specific router, as was the graphical user interface (GUI). This combo is “wrapped in a design that appeals to gamers,” providing all the settings you need for the optimum gaming performance. There are also network usage statistics that provide you full insight into what is going on with your local network.
The real kicker seems to be the Killer Networking aspect. The router uses the Killer Prioritization Engine (KPE), which can detect all connected products that include Killer Networking hardware. Working together, the router will prioritize important traffic related to gaming and video over the standard traffic used by other devices. If you’re not gaming, then your Killer-based client device will tell the router it is performing a less important activity so you are not always hogging the bandwidth.
“Since network priorities are fully customizable on Killer-Enabled PCs, the KPE on the WRT32X is able to honor those priorities,” Linksys says. “So if the user configures the Killer Control Center to make streaming videos their top priority, the WRT32X will treat those packets like gold and ensure nothing in the home slows down those streaming video networking packets.”
Killer Networking hardware can be found on gaming motherboards, PCs, and laptops manufactured by Acer, Alienware (Dell), Asus, Gigabyte, Lenovo, MSI, Razer, and more. PC gamers who have a Killer-based device will see a new “router” tab in the Killer Control Center when the WRT32X router is detected on the local network. Here you can make changes to the KPE without having to access the router’s firmware.
Here is a more detailed list of specifications:
|Processor:||ARM-based dual-core chip at 1.8GHz|
|System memory:||512MB DDR3|
|Ports:||1x Gigabit WAN
4x Gigabit LAN
1x USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A
1x eSATA/USB 2.0 port
|Physical antennas:||4 (detachable)|
|Wireless technology:||Wireless AC Wave 2 MU-MIMO|
|Maximum Wireless AC speed:||2,340Mbps (3 x 780Mbps)|
|Maximum Wireless N Speed:||600Mbps (3 x 200Mbps)|
|Wireless encryption:||WPA2 Personal|
|VPN support:||PPTP IPSec pass-through|
|Storage file system support:||FAT, NTFS, and HFS+|
The Linksys WRT32X router is available to pre-purchase now online for $300 on Amazon, Best Buy, and Linksys. It won’t ship until September 21, which is when it will be made available through Target, Newegg, Micro Center, and other outlets.