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ZyXEL Releases New 802.11ac Wave 2 Router

ZyXEL Releases New 802.11ac Wave 2 Router

ZyXEL Releases New 802.11ac Wave 2 RouterZyXEL Communications has announced the release of a new wireless solution: the 802.11ac Wave 2 AC2350 Router, dubbed the ARMOR Z1.

The Armor Z1 has a number of new features to improve performance and reliability.

Here are the core features from the press release:

  • Fast data rates of 1733 Mbps for 5 GHz, 600 Mbps for 2.4 GHz
  • StreamBoost Smart QoS for optimal bandwidth allocation
  • MU-MIMO Ready for fast Wi-Fi to multiple devices simultaneously
  • Band Steering Ready to direct clients to the appropriate Wi-Fi band
  • Four external antennas with beamforming for high range wireless coverage
  • 1.4 GHz dual core processor for network-intensive processing
  • USB 3.0 support for flexible storage and connectivity
  • Gigabit WAN / 4 LAN

To highlight several of the key, performance-enhancing features, the press release has some descriptions on what some of the above word salad means.

The description of the MU-MIMO feature:

MU-MIMO, Beamforming and Band Steering. MU-MIMO delivers multiple data streams to multiple devices simultaneously. It differs from single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO) which delivers data streams to one client at a time. MU-MIMO increases network efficiency to ensure a better wireless experience for all users on the network.

Here’s Beamforming:

Beamforming technology amplifies and focuses Wi-Fi signals directly to wireless clients. Four external antennas with amplified Beamforming increases the ARMOR Z1’s Wi-Fi range for large homes, eliminating wireless dead zones.

And here’s Band Steering:

Band Steering gives more control to the gateway to determine which client devices support dual-band and helps direct them to use the appropriate radio.  Traditionally, dual-band devices tend to favor the 2.4 GHz band, even when it is overcrowded.  Band Steering helps to free up congestion on the 2.4 GHz band and creates a superior multimedia streaming experience when paired with MU-MIMO.

The press release does not describe what ZyXEL means by Smart QoS, or Quality of Service, but I’m here to fill in that gap. QoS technology is used to make sure one device or service does not hog all the available bandwidth, and instead shares the road with all other services and devices that need it. The “smart” part refers to the QoS tech being automatic, rather than painstakingly configured manually.

The Armor Z1 will be available starting in June 2015 and will be priced at $299 a pop.

wireless guide coverFor information on the top 802.11ac solutions, check out our latest Buyer’s Guide:

  • Easy, side-by-side comparison of the top 802.11ac wireless vendors
  • Descriptions of each solution and their strengths
  • Important questions to ask yourself and potential vendors when considering a solution
  • Market overview of the current 802.11ac wireless space
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