Linksys announced the immediate availability of its Wireless-N Broadband Router (WRT300N) and Wireless-N Notebook Adapter (WPC300N), the first in a line of Wireless-N products available from Linksys that will be built to the 802.11n Draft Specification.
With up to four times the range and up to 12 times the throughput of Wireless-G, the WRT300N and WPC300N deliver wireless networks with the capacity to surf the web, enjoy multiple streams of high definition video, listen to digital music collections and make Internet phone calls - all at the same time.
"The emergence of high-definition video, along with the growing use of Voice over IP, online gaming, and other applications by consumers requires network bandwidth that greatly exceeds what is available from 802.11g," said Mike Wolf, principal analyst, ABI Research. "With these products based on the IEEE 802.11n draft specification, Linksys is enabling users to transform their home networks into media distribution platforms and access premium content around the home over a wireless network."
Expected to become the next standard for wireless networks, the 802.11n draft specification includes a number of mandatory features that help improve the overall user experience. These features include enhancements to both the speed and range of wireless networks and calls for mixed mode operation and backward compatibility.
Speed and Range Improvements Provide the Freedom to Do It All
Significant speed and range improvements compared to 802.11g are realized primarily through the use of MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology, which Linksys has employed in three generations of its award-winning SRX product family.
Like the SRX family, Linksys Wireless-N products utilize multiple radios to simultaneously transmit two streams of data over multiple channels, maximizing network performance. Using multiple spatial streams allows each 20 MHz channel to contain more than one stream of data, greatly increasing its capacity.
The 802.11n draft specification also allows Linksys Wireless-N products to transmit over two available channels at the same time, effectively creating a 40MHz channel that doubles the capacity for applications such as high definition video, audio streaming, online gaming and Voice over IP.
Mixed Mode Operation and Backward Compatibility
Two additional key pieces of the 802.11n Draft Specification are the requirements that products provide both mixed mode operation and backward compatibility with 802.11g and 802.11b. Mixed mode operation designates that, unlike previous proprietary networking technologies, 802.11n networks must maintain optimum speeds when operating with legacy products. Backward compatibility ensures that existing standards-based wireless products are able to work at their respective highest performance levels for that environment.
As with all current Linksys routers, the WRT300N router can encode wireless transmissions with industrial-strength WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) encryption to help protect data and privacy. It can serve as a network DHCP server, supports VPN pass-through, and has a powerful SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection) firewall to protect against intruders and most known Internet attacks. Enabling these security features is easy with the Linksys Web browser-based configuration utility.
Pricing and Availability
The WRT300N and WPC300N are available immediately through BestBuy.com at estimated street prices of $149.99 and $119.99 respectively. The products will soon also be available from other Linksys e-commerce retailers, retail stores, direct response, and VAR partners. Additional products from the Linksys Wireless-N family designed for both the home networking and small business will be launched in the second half of 2006.