Razer has its hands in a whole bunch of product segments, everything from mice and keyboards, to laptops and even a gaming phone. What's been missing up to this point, however, is a wireless router. That changes today.
The new Sila gives Razer a new product category to play in, and gamers a new option to consider. It's a tri-band 802.11ac router billed as an AC3000 model, broken down as follows:
- 802.11n 2.4GHz: up to 400 Mbps
- 802.11ac 5GHz-1: up to 1,733 Mbps
- 802.11ac 5GHz-2: up to 866 Mbps
Add all those theoretical speeds up and you arrive at 2,999 Mbps, hence the rounded up AC3000 designation. You can't actually combine those bands into a super high-speed connection (drat!), but Razer isn't doing anything that every other router maker does.
The same isn't true of the Sila's mesh support. Mesh networking is a relatively new option in the consumer space. In this case, Razer says users can combine two Sila units for fast Wi-Fi coverage across areas up to 6,000 square feet in a single story dwelling, or three Sila units for the same type of coverage in a multi-story setup.
That's the reason for having two 5GHz bands. One of those bands serves as a dedicated backhaul, allowing for full speeds from secondary and tertiary units. Mesh networking is different from using range extenders, which are typically more difficult to configure and ultimately slower.
We haven't tested Razer's router yet, but its appeal will largely be decided by how well its proprietary "FastTrack" QoS engine works to prioritize gaming packets. That will also determine whether it takes a spot on our best gaming routers list.
"By using deep packet inspection and adaptive learning technology, Razer FasTrack allows users to prioritize traffic based on application and device types, from mobile phones and smart TVs through to laptops, PCs or consoles. With built-in detection for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles, users can easily fine tune their networks for the smoothest gaming or streaming experiences. Razer FasTrack also features a one-touch gaming mode, to automatically reserve bandwidth for online gaming," Razer explains.
Razer also touts a patented "Multi-Channel Zero-Wait DFS" technology that is supposed to enable clean Wi-Fi channels to avoid congested network traffic. These are essentially the same concepts as found in other routers, only Razer is suggesting it does a better job.
As with most routers, the Sila features a built-in switch for wired connections, though it only has three LAN ports (and a WAN port) instead of four. It also has a USB 2.0 port and a USB 3.0 port for connecting external devices, such as printers and storage devices.
The Sila will be available starting October 3 for $249.99 (€299.99 / AU$439.95).