Linksys’ mesh router motion-tracking system can now work with other smart home gadgets


Linksys Aware — the company’s subscription service that uses its mesh Wi-Fi systems to detect motion in your house — is getting even smarter with a new update that will let the routers utilize the internet to connect to other stationary smart home products to track motion in your house more accurately.

The original Aware motion-sensing system detects how Wi-Fi signals bounce around your house between routers in a mesh system. Movement naturally interferes with those signals, allowing the routers to act as a motion-sensing setup without the need for any additional hardware.

Now, Linksys is adding support to leverage other internet-connected smart home products — like speakers, smart switches, and thermostats — to serve as additional points of communication, allowing the motion-sensing system to work in a larger area and eventually pinpoint more specific locations for where motion is being detected. With the new update, users will be able to see when motion has been detected near a specific device (like the Apple TV in your living room or the smart plug in your hallway).

And since the setup just relies on existing internet connections, it should work with most third-party devices without requiring any software updates (the Linksys app will let you know which devices are compatible).

The Linksys Aware update will be rolling out in the US in March / April, with additional releases coming to the rest of the world in the months following. Pricing will still be set at $2.99 per month or $24.99 per year, with the option of a free 90-day trial.

Alongside the updated features for Linksys Aware, the company also announced its new AXE8400 mesh router system, its first to support Wi-Fi 6E. The AXE8400 is meant for customers with heavy Wi-Fi usage, not entry-level customers, and it’s priced to match: a single router costs $449.99, a two-pack $849.99, and a three-pack $1,199.99.

Those prices get you a whole lot of router, though. Each AXE8400 unit is a tri-band router that supports 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz networks and can cover up to 3,000 square feet. There’s a 5Gbps WAN port — largely for future-proofing at this point — along with an additional four 1Gbps LAN ports and a USB 3.0 port. Linksys says that the AXE8400 should be able to comfortably handle over 65 devices all sharing the same bandwidth at the same time. The AXE8400 is also compatible with other Linksys Intelligent Mesh routers, so you’ll be able to slot them into your existing mesh setup if you’re already a Linksys customer.