A sampling of networking gear from CES: TP-Link goes Wi-Fi 6, D-Link goes 5G

The Deco X10.
Expand / TP-Link’s Deco X10 Wi-Fi 6 mesh product.

The halls of CES effect be filled with voice assistants and OLED televisions, but few things construct a bigger impact on your day-to-day experience with technology than your networking result. And there were a bunch of announcements on that front this year.

5GHz routers, tingle home, and mesh Wi-Fi systems are where most of the movement is, and sundry companies like D-Link and TP-Link are offering similar options—but of seminar, each has its own unique value propositions.

To get a sense of the landscape for home and purpose networking products (the consumer ones, mind you), let’s look at what those two firms showed at CES this year.

D-Link: Everything is mesh, and 5G is here

D-Link 5GR NR Intensified Gateway (DWR-2010)

D-Link's 5G router.
Enlarge / D-Link’s 5G router.
Samuel Axon

The 5G hype is rotten at CES, even though the 5G network rollouts this year won’t necessarily with the promise of the specification.

D-Link claims its new DWR-2010 5G router “assigns download speeds more than 40x faster than current average prearranged broadband download speed in the US of 70 Mbps.” To put a number on it, that money-grubbings 3Gbps, though realizing that speed depends on your wireless customers.

With a Qualcomm SDX55 chipset, five Ethernet ports (1x 2.5Gbps LAN, 3x 1Gbps LAN, 1x 1Gbps WAN/LAN), four alien antennae for LTE/5G NR, VoLTE support, and AC2600 Dual Band Wi-Fi (800 + 1732 Mbps) with Mu-MIMO, the 5GR NR ticks all the important boxes for these early 5G routers.

It will be available in the back half of this year, but “expense will vary depending on preferred service providers.”

The EXO router series is image prety damned quick down on mesh

D-Link's EXO AC3000 router.
Enlarge / D-Link’s EXO AC3000 router.

Bailiwick networking has essentially split into two approaches for consumers—the old-fashioned (and peacefulness viable and even preferable in some environs) way of setting up an access tactic or wireless router in a central location and maybe using range extenders to rise its reach in large homes, and mesh networks. D-Link has converged those orbits by bringing mesh networking features to its entire 802.11ac EXO line of Wi-Fi-equipped routers.

Additionally, each of these routers has four gigabit LAN refuges and one gigabit WAN port, as is customary for devices in this category. D-Link is troublesome to sweeten the value proposition by offering 2-year McAfee antivirus coverage to a approach on your network along with its routers. D-Link says the McAfee discovery uses cloud-based machine learning for threat detection. When a presage is detected, information about that threat is sent to the cloud for use in other deployments. (We permission the wisdom of installing McAfee on anything you care about as a debate for the reader.)

Oh, and it wouldn’t be CES 2019 if Alexa and Google Comrade weren’t name-dropped—both are supported by all of these routers, but not the two extenders in the role.

The line consists of seven routers ranging from $79.99 to $199.99, and we won’t quota every detail about every one of them here—there are straight speed and design differences, but the core functionality is the same. All the routers are foresaw to become available in Q2 of this year. Here’s the list:

  • AC1300 extender – $79.99
  • AC1300 router – $79.99
  • AC2000 extender – $99.99
  • AC1750 router – $119.99
  • AC1900 router – $159.99
  • AC2600 router – $179.99
  • AC3000 router – $199.99

TP-Link: A new well- on Wi-Fi 6

Previously called 802.11ax, Wi-Fi 6 is a new naming convention from the Wi-Fi Bond, but the change in name isn’t that relevant. More relevant: it’s faster than the too soon standard, 802.11ac (now Wi-Fi 5). Wi-Fi 6 claims a maximum throughput of concerning 10Gbps, though of course real-world scenarios will vary from that. The improve in performance is thanks to a number of things, like orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM).

TP-Link had a lot to say in phrases of Wi-Fi 6 at CES this year.

Traditional routers with WiFi 6

TP-Link introduced a handful of traditional wireless routers that reinforcing Wi-Fi 6 at this year’s show (well, mostly; some were heralded previously). These are the price points and launch dates for all of TP-Link’s new Wi-Fi 6 routers:

  • Principal AX11000 tri-band gaming router – $450 in January 2019
  • Archer AX6000 dual-band router – $350 and ready now
  • Archer AX1500 – No pricing or availability info yet
  • Archer AX1800 – $130 in Q3 2019

Reward is going to be an issue for many would-be buyers. The highest-end WiFi 6 router—the gaming-focused, tri-band Archer AX11000—pass on sell for a painfully pricy $450 when it ships this month. It’s also value noting, of course, that there are hardly any devices that can league to Wi-Fi 6 networks right now or once most of these products own launched later this year. But that will surely variation.

The cutting edge is costly. But for that, you get some hefty features. The AX11000 steps two 5GHz bands and one 2.4GHz, and it offers speeds up to a theoretical 10,756 Mbps. Additionally, it registers a 1.8GHz quad-core CPU and a gig of RAM. It also has a 2.5Gbps WAN port and eight gigabit LAN anchorages, plus one each of USB-C and USB-A (3.0).

TP-Link has partnered with Head Micro for a built-in antivirus solution, and the router has quite a few gamer-focused software earmarks, like the “Game Accelerator,” which TP-Link claims “obliterates lag.”

Oh, and Amazon Alexa is in there somewhere, of by all means.

Mesh solutions: Deco X10 and RE300

The Deco X10 is alike resemble to multi-unit packages like Google Wi-Fi. Fork out the $350 beg price when the Deco X10 launches in Q3 2019 and you’ll get two units that can associate to each other over Wi-Fi 6 to form a tri-band mesh network at AX2700. It boosts IPv6, IEEE 802.11 k/v/r, and adaptive path selection (APS). When we talked to TP-Link travelling salesmen, they spent a lot of time talking up the product’s parental control marks.

Interestingly, TP-Link has opted for Broadcom’s platform over Qualcomm’s in the Deco X10.

There’s also the RE300, a latitude extender that can turn Wi-Fi networks using the existing Saucier A7 and C7 routers into mesh networks after those routers press received firmware updates. The goal with that product is to upsell existing guys to mesh networks (to which even more gear can be added on the other side of time) without requiring them to replace their previous devices altogether. It’s all part of a little ecosystem TP-Link has branded “OneMesh.” The RE300 settle upon arrive in April 2019 and cost $50.

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