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Circuit Breaker

Linksys is making its first modem-router hybrid

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And a new midrange router

Generally speaking, there are two pieces you need to get internet working in your house or apartment: a cable modem, which is connected to a regular cable jack and outputs a wired Ethernet connection; and a router, which takes the wired connection of the modem and transmits the wireless internet you know and love.

Linksys, a networking company that makes both routers and modems, is now releasing a router / modem hybrid device that combines the two into one. While these kinds of devices aren’t exactly new, it is Linksys’ first shot at making one, and it could be a good option for people looking to avoid rental fees from ISPs or just hoping to cut down on cords in their living room. The AC1900 Cable Modem Router, as it’s called, supports the DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem standard and offers an AC1900 router. So if you’re looking for an all-in-one option, you could certainly do worse.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of hybrid router / modems — it’s much more worthwhile to me to buy the two devices separately, allowing each to be swapped out as needed. But I do understand the appeal, especially for someone who isn’t planning on replacing their router quite as often. And who knows? Maybe Linksys’ take on the idea will be more successful.

Max-Stream EA9300.

Along with the hybrid router / modem, Linksys also announced the Max-Stream EA9300, a new midrange $299 router that offers 802.11ac networking and various other advanced networking technologies, including beamforming, a quad-core processor, and integrated Alexa support for voice controls.