Linksys WRT32X Wi-Fi Review: Hates Lag, Loves Gamers

The Linksys WRT32X is undeniably built with hard-core gamers with high sensitivity to network latency. After all, ping jumping up and down, even for a split second, could be fatal in competitive FPS and MOBA.

Say Goodbye to Latency Induced Deaths

Will your router give you a better shot at Apex Legends? I highly doubt it, but what the Linksys WRT32X will give you is an edge against opponents who are lagging because of their potato routers.

Lag is something every gamer dreads – whether they be a novice or a veteran. That is why the Killer Prioritization Engine (KPE) of the Linksys WRT32X captured my attention right away. This router is true to its word by keeping latency at bay even when somebody is streaming Netflix. Read on to learn how I discovered lag-free gaming!

Linksys WRT32X AC3200 Dual-Band WiFi Gaming Router
  • The Killer Prioritization Engine identifies, prioritizes and accelerates gaming network traffic above all else, to reduce peak ping by upto 77 percent
  • Synchronizes with Killer enabled PCs from brands such as Alienware, Gigabyte, MSI and Razer
  • The WRT32X gives you dominating Next Gen AC Wi Fi speeds up to 3.2 Gbps that keep you at the top of your game
  • Each connected client device receives its own dedicated data stream, so multiple users won't have to compete with 1 another for bandwidth
  • The WRT32X gaming router also features a pro grade Gigabit Ethernet switch with 4 ports, making it ideal for connecting multiple gaming rigs or consoles at your next LAN party

Specifications

WiFi SpecAC3200
Number of Antennas/Removable4/Yes 
Ports1 WAN/4LAN gigabit per second, USB 3.0, Combo USB 2.0/ eSATA
Processor/Memory/
Storage
1.8GHz Marvell dual core/512 MB/256 MB 
WiFi chipMarvell 88W8964
Peak 802.11 ac performance544.5 Mbps (at 15 feet)
Range95 feet
Size9.7- x 7.6- x 2.0 inches

Design 

Although the Linksys WRT32X looks like something that has just landed from space, it has a basic design. It sports four adjustable antennas, which you can tweak for better signal. And connectivity and traffic are displayed by a set of cool blue lights on the front side.

There are USB and eSATA ports on the back for fast and convenient network-attached storage, as well as a standard five-port switch setup. The Linksys WRT32X has under its hood a 1.8GHz processor, 256MB flash memory, and a 512MB RAM. Basically, a pretty solid core.

Setup 

Setting up the Linksys WRT32X is easy as a walk in the park. Just make sure that the unit is securely attached to the broadband cable modem before turning it on. You can use the Linksys phone and tablet app for monitoring. The app, however,  is compatible with Android and iOS.

Software 

The router’s system interface and software are straightforward, and adjusting the Killer Prioritization Engine can also be done via this software. More details on this engine in the performance section.

On the Dashboard of the Linksys WRT32X, you can see the devices that are connected, the network’s name, and port forwarding details. You can see the downloading and uploading speeds as well.

Of course, you can customize the router settings – for example, you can set up the DHCP address reservations, change the type of internet connection, and install external storage. Sadly, you can’t tweak the router’s details; for example, you can’t adjust the router’s transmission level.

The system uses WPA2 encryption, plus it can only receive encrypted firmware updates. Though it has a Stateful Packet Inspection firewall, it doesn’t have a deep packet inspection and heuristic analysis.

Lastly, the WRT32X has a one-year warranty, and in case you need more help with setting up, there are plenty of videos and tips on the internet. Plus, Linksys provides 24×7 tech support for the router.

Performance 

There are some factors to consider when buying a gaming router, and this router satisfies all of them. But what actually caught my attention and set the Linksys WRT32X apart was the Rivet Network’s Killer Prioritization Engine. Dubbed as the “Killer Mode,” this engine automatically detects PCs with Killer networking cards and, in turn, prioritizes gaming network traffic.

Your gaming rig will have a brand-new tab in the Killer Control Center software, where you can update router settings, set bandwidth limits, launch the router UI, and turn the KPE on and off. However, remember that the Killer hardware must be installed on your gaming devices, or else the WRT32X will work just like your everyday router.

You will love the beamforming feature that basically focuses your Wi-Fi signal on individual devices and the MU-MIMO (Multi-user, Multiple-input, Multiple-output) feature. This technology allows a Wi-Fi router to communicate with multiple devices simultaneously, which dramatically speeds up the network because it decreases the time each device has to wait for a signal. And by the way, not only PC gamers hate lag, best gaming routers for Xbox, and best router and powerline adapters for PS4 are also well-coveted gear.

The WRT32X also supports Tri-Stream 160, which enables three spatial streams on 160MHz-wide channels on the 5GHz band. It is DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) certified by the FCC, which means that it can use more channels to find a better signal. Note that your device needs to be DFS-certified too to use this feature.

Theoretically, the WRT32X can have a maximum speed of 2,600Mbps (3×867) on the 5GHz band. Still, most devices will max out at 1300Mbps because they can only utilize 80MHz-wide channels, so this might not be as usable. The 2.4GHz band offers 600Mbps, creating the AC3200 rating (600+867+867+867).

The Linksys WRT32X is a dual-band router – a 2.4GHz band, and a 5GHz band. Though this might sound inferior to other gaming routers on the market, the Killer Prioritization Engine will still give you the highest priority, and latency issues will be prevented.

Overall the WRT32X delivers, but only if you have a PC with Killer hardware. It is common on MSI, Dell (Alienware and XPS models), Razer, and Gigabyte.

Final Verdict 

The Linksys WRT32X is undeniably built with hard-core gamers with high sensitivity to network latency. After all, ping jumping up and down, even for a split second, could be fatal in competitive FPS and MOBA. A major downside to this router is that not everyone has a Killer PC. The price point could also be discouraging, especially with gaming routers under $100 on the market. So it all goes down to how immune you are to lag rage and how deep you can dig into your pocket.

Linksys WRT32X AC3200 Dual-Band WiFi Gaming Router
  • The Killer Prioritization Engine identifies, prioritizes and accelerates gaming network traffic above all else, to reduce peak ping by upto 77 percent
  • Synchronizes with Killer enabled PCs from brands such as Alienware, Gigabyte, MSI and Razer
  • The WRT32X gives you dominating Next Gen AC Wi Fi speeds up to 3.2 Gbps that keep you at the top of your game
  • Each connected client device receives its own dedicated data stream, so multiple users won't have to compete with 1 another for bandwidth
  • The WRT32X gaming router also features a pro grade Gigabit Ethernet switch with 4 ports, making it ideal for connecting multiple gaming rigs or consoles at your next LAN party
Ed has fond memories of the times when he played games on an 8-bit console. If you want to make him talk for hours on end, just ask him about Valla from Heroes of the Storm. Eddie despises hackers and gamers who do not take the game seriously. He sees RealGear as a place where he has the freedom to express his viewpoint regarding PC and console games and put his journalism skills into practice.

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