Rivet Networks, the company that owns the Killer brand, has announced a new capability rolling out to their Killer AC 1550 modules — and it’s a rather cool feature at that. It’s an expansion of the Killer xTend technology that the company has previously offered, which allows a machine with multiple Ethernet ports to provide local internet access to other devices. Killer Wireless xTend, as the name implies, extends this technology into Wi-Fi — and expands its usefulness in the process.
Here’s how Rivet describes the feature:
Killer Wireless xTend introduces powerful MESH network capabilities to your computer by leveraging the Killer Wireless-AC 1550 WiFi module to seamlessly clone and extend your home network. Simply turn on this feature with a click of the button, and your computer will extend its network access to other nearby wireless devices via Killer’s strong and powerful WiFi network connection. Nearby devices will automatically connect to Killer Wireless xTend when it provides a stronger signal than your access point.
If you’ve ever tried to position a router inside a multi-story home of any size, you’ve probably played some iteration of the “Where does the router go?” game. Stick it in the basement near the actual cable pull, and nobody on the second floor will have a Wi-Fi signal. Routing it up to the main floor may mean an unobtrusive Ethernet cable run and a partner who doesn’t mind you boring holes through the floor or closet. Slapping down a system and configuring it as a mesh network to handle traffic without needing to bother with wireless range extenders, powerline networking, or running conventional cable into multiple rooms is a major potential time-saver.
Rivet accomplishes this using the AC 1550 by using time-slicing multiplexing to give incoming and outgoing signals 50 percent of its overall time while maintaining both connections. While doing this, Killer still uses its prioritization traffic management software to keep critical packets moving to the necessary location(s). The Killer optimization software has six different settings it uses to prioritize traffic, with gaming at #1, VoIP at #2, local system video at #3, and traffic like torrents or other downloads down at #6. The goal is to ensure that gamers always have the lowest latency connection possible.
Extending Killer’s wired xTend technology from desktops to laptops outfitted with the Killer AC 1550 means expanding the number of machines that can theoretically take advantage of the capability. Company partners include Dell, MSI, Acer, Clevo, and Zotac. The feature will also be enabled for users who have slightly older AC 1535 modules in addition to the AC 1550, Anandtech reports, so you may get access to this capability even if you don’t have the latest and greatest wireless solution.
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