Linksys CES 2020

Linksys is at CES 2020 in force, with a collection of new products that take full advantage of two of the year’s hottest networking standards: 5G and Wi-Fi 6. In fact, the company went so far as to announce several new offerings that combine the two, offering both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity in a single router. In addition, Linksys was showing off its new Wellness Pods, which use mesh Wi-Fi for safety features like fall detection.

Linksys CES 20205G for the home

5G is the next big generation of cellular service and it is expected to begin rolling out in Canada this year.

So why would Linksys be involved in 5G? if the new cellular standard lives up to its potential (downloads can be 10 to 20 times faster than LTE), then 5G may become the internet connection method of choice for some homes, rather than broadband. A Linksys 5G modem makes sense in that context. 

Linksys CES 2020
Linksys M9600 captured at CES 2020 by Ted Kritsonis

Wi-Fi 6

If you’re not sure why there’s so much fuss about Wi-Fi 6, check out our primer for all the details. The 30 second version is that the new standard is far superior for connecting multiple devices simultaneously over Wi-Fi, faster, and power-saving. It’s the ultimate upgrade for connected homes.

Linksys showed off a new series of Wi-Fi 6 routers at CES this year, including the M9600 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router and the Velop AX4200, a Wi-Fi 6 enabled mesh Wi-Fi system.

Linksys CES 2020
Rear view of Linksys MR9600 as photographed by Ted Kritsonis

The tri-band Velop mesh router uses Linksys Intelligent Mesh, each node covers up to 3,000 square feet, and the 8-stream Wi-Fi 6 router can deliver speeds of up to 4200 Mbps. The high-powered M9600 sports four external antennas, 8-stream Wi-Fi 6, speeds up to 6000 Mbps, and it can be expanded using Linksys Velop mesh nodes or a Velop mesh router (configured to operate as an access point).

Linksys CES 20205G + Wi-Fi 6

Linksys also announced several networking products that combine 5G and Wi-Fi 6 in a single device.

The Velop 5G Gateway is a future-proof, two-in-one router that supports both 5G and Wi-Fi 6. How would this work? Well, Linksys says you may want to connect your home to the internet using 5G instead of a physical connection. The Velop 5G Gateway would do that. And then it would use Wi-Fi 6 so that all your connected devices have full access to the fast, wireless internet connection. The company also announced a mobile version, a 5G hotspot with Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.

Wellness Pods

Last fall, Linksys began rolling out Linksys Aware, a new technology that leverages its existing Velop mesh Wi-Fi systems to detect motion without the use of cameras or sensors. It’s a pretty cool idea—although it does cost extra, as part of a subscription service. This tech behind this is pretty cool and actually won a CES 2020 Innovation award.

The new Linksys Wellness Pods take it to the next level. They connect to a Velop mesh Wi-Fi system and track more detailed information. They can detect a fall, monitor sleep quality, and even breathing. This makes them ideal for applications like unobtrusively monitoring the health of elderly parents.  

Linksys CES 2020

Cool, when will I be able to buy this new Linksys gear?

A lot of the products shown at CES aren’t yet ready for store shelves and we don’t have Canadian release dates or pricing for any of these. However, I would expect the new Wi-Fi 6 routers (M9600 dual-band Wi-Fi 6 router and the Velop AX4200) to put in an appearance by the summer.

There’s lots more to come out of CES 2020, so be sure to check the Best Buy blog’s full coverage of this year’s biggest consumer showcase event.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.

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