Linksys WRT 32x Gaming Router – PAX AUS Impressions
A router is usually the last thing on a gamer’s mind when setting up their gaming rig. Graphics cards, processors and ram are always the priority. But the effect a good router can have on gaming is profound, especially in this increasingly connected space. Matches of Counter-Strike, Overwatch and Quake have been won and lost because of the router used by the player and it is with that in mind Linksys created the WRT 32x Gaming Router.
While I was at PAX I had a chance to chat with Vince La Duca, global product manager at Linksys and brain behind the WRT 32x. It was clear that this man had a passion for this product. He spoke in excited tones, explaining the differences between his router and the other options available. As a writer, I have done quite a few interviews with people over the years and I like to think I can separate the people that actually care about the product they are talking about and those that are just going through the PR routine. Vince was certainly in the former group, showing me a huge amount of passion for a product that he has clearly sunk a lot of time into.
The key thing for this router is the way it prioritises network traffic. Games are number one on the pecking order and all other network traffic gets shunted to where it belongs, second place. This is achieved through some smart firmware and linking in with what is called the Killer Prioritization Engine, which is used in high-end premade PC’s built by brands such as Alienware and Razer. Linksys has leveraged this technology to ensure that gaming traffic is the router’s focus and everything else gets shunted aside when the games are fired up.
The priority system can also be tweaked with a very easy to use GUI that goes a long way to taking the fear factor out of networking. Most routers are a scary thing to navigate but the team behind the WRT have taken every effort to allay that fear. Simple menus, easy port forwarding, and a logical setup make this one of most well-designed router GUI’s I have seen. The GUI can also be used to prioritise console traffic, so console gamers will get a big boost out of the router as well.
In all this is a great option for the serious gamer out there. It handles gaming really well, something that I had never even considered in my home setup. I haven’t gone into too much technical detail here but if you look below you can see the full list of tech specs for the techies out there. Trust me when I say I never thought I would be impressed by something like a router. I always just thought of them as “another part” of the network. I was wrong.
WRT32X Key Benefits:
- Wi-Fi router built purely for gaming identifies, prioritises gaming network above all else to give users an edge
- Synchronisation with Killer-enabled PCs gives gaming traffic a priority on wired and Wi-Fi connections
- Prioritisation engine powered by Killer Networking delivers up to 77% reduction* in peak ping for faster response time
- Blazing fast 1.8GHz Dual-Core processor for simultaneous high-speed data processing
- Custom-built gaming user interface and firmware specially tuned for online gaming traffic
- Exclusive optimisation for Killer Networking gaming clients found in computers from Alienware, Gigabyte, MSI, Razer and more
Product Technical Specifications:
- Wi-Fi Technology: AC3200 MU-MIMO
- Network Standards: 802.11a/g, 802.11n, 802.11ac
- Wi-Fi Speed: AC3200 (N600 + AC2600) ‡
- Wi-Fi Bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz (simultaneous dual-band)
- DFS certified for operation in the clear DFS channel airspace
- 5-port Pro-grade Gigabit Ethernet ports: 1x Gigabit WAN port, 4x Gigabit LAN ports
- Other: One(1) USB 3.0 port, One(1) Combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port, Power
- Antennas: 4x external, dual-band, detachable antennas
- Processor: 1.8 GHz dual-core
- Memory: 512MB DDR3 RAM / 256MB Flash
- Wireless Encryption: WPA2 Personal
- VPN Support: PPTP IPSec pass‐through
- Storage File System Support: FAT, NTFS, and HFS+
- Browser-based Setup and custom graphical user interface
- Open Source ready for OpenWrt
Pricing and Availability
The new Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Gaming Router is available from Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi for RRP $449.95.