Razer is on a mission. Its goal is to put the word “gaming” in front of every product it can think of. This has brought us to the Wi-Fi router, as we all knew it inevitably would. The Razer Sila is a router that the company built in partnership with wireless-technology company Ignition Design Labs.
The Razer Sila is $250, and it is launching worldwide on October 3. It uses a tri-band AC3000 radio capable of up to 1,734 Mbps on its fastest 5Ghz band. It also includes nine antennas and a suite of Razer features and apps to make it easy to manage.
“We are constantly achieving new performance heights with our hardware and software,” Razer boss Min-Liang Tan said. “But high precision and low latency can be rendered useless if the Wi-Fi drops. So we took the next step to develop a strong foundation for our ecosystem — with Wi-Fi that just works no matter where you are.”
This product is in line with Razer’s strategy of working with partners to rebrand products. It has done this successfully with a wide variety of consumer electronics like its Razer Ripsaw capture card. It sets these devices apart by ensuring they have quality software and the familiar Razer design.
The Sila is no different.
“Razer demands the very best in engineering, design and performance,” Ignition chief executive Terry Ngo said. “We are thrilled to be Razer’s design partner, applying our engineering expertise and patented technologies to build a uniquely powerful pro-grade router for the world’s foremost gaming and entertainment ecosystem.”
Does anyone need a gaming router?
No. The answer to the question above is no. But maybe you’ll get some benefits from the tuning and software. What are those features? Well, they’re a lot of buzz words, but I’ll try to break some of them down.
The Sila comes with Razer’s FasTrack built in. This is the company’s proprietary quality-of-service (QoS) management program. If you don’t have the fastest possible internet, you want a router that uses QoS to prioritize certain kinds of data. For example, you don’t want someone loading up their bank’s webpage to cause a delay for your Rainbow Six: Siege match. The FasTrack QoS can identify and prioritize gaming and streaming, according to Razer.
You can also set up protected radio channels for certain devices so they don’t experience lag while trying to avoid interference. The router will also handle much of this on its own with its Intelligent Active Steering functionality.
Finally, Razer has made its own app to control the features of the Sila from a mobile device.
The whole point of a router like the Sila is to handle crowded networks. If you have a house with a lot of people all streaming video and playing games, a device like this theoretically avoids annoying traffic jams. This way you can stop yelling at your roommate for downloading terrabytes of pornographic films.
But the Sila is not the first router to do this. Netgear’s excellent R7900 Nighthawk has similar specs and features, and it also sells for $250. Although, maybe Razer and Ignition will match Netgear’s performance and create some competition in that space, which could lead to good things. People will have to get it in their hands for us to know for sure.