Your household wants to play, stream and work online all at once. With this Linksys router, you can do it all without buffering or other interruptions. Use the Smart Wi-Fi app to get started, control, and monitor your home network from anywhere.
Powerful, Simple, & Reliable Wireless Performance
Posted by: ryanmcv from: Phoenix, AZ on
Having used an Apple AirPort Extreme router for the past several years, I've come to expect simplicity and great performance from any router that approaches this price point. I was somewhat apprehensive when I ordered this Linksys router -- I didn't want to end up spending hours trying to setup my wireless network by drudging through some awful web interface. I wanted to just plug it in, set a network name and password, and be done with it. Surprisingly, that's what I got -- along with some killer performance and other great features. Here's my take:
Setup and management:
- The Linksys EA7500 is a breeze to setup. If you're feeling super lazy, you can pretty much plug in the router, connect your cable or DSL modem, and be done with it. The router comes with a pre-set network name and password, which is printed on the bottom of the device. However, most people will want to customize these settings (along with a few others). This can be done easily by navigating to 192.168.1.1 in your web browser or by creating an account at the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi website. Creating this account allows you to manage your router's settings from anywhere in the world.
- The setup/administration interface is somewhat elementary, but it gets the job done. The Network Map feature is great to visualize all of the devices connected to the network. You can also set parental controls to limit the amount of time specific devices can access the Internet. Other options include security settings, guest access, and settings for external storage.
Performance and Features:
- The strength of the EA7500 is really on the 5GHz wireless band. Luckily, all of my devices support 802.11ac and can thus operate on the 5GHz band. When connecting via 5GHz, I consistently max out the speed of my Internet download speed (130 mbps). Transferring files between two 802.11ac-equipped laptops on the network is astonishingly fast: I clocked one of the local transfers at nearly 450 mbps.
- Performance on the 2.4GHz band is acceptable, but pales in comparison to 5GHz. Speeds fluctuate greatly and I struggled to reach more than 100 mbps on most tests. I think this is more a limitation of the 2.4GHz band than it is of the router itself.
- Wireless range is excellent. I only have a 1,200 sq. ft. apartment, but I receive a full signal anywhere I go.
- My favorite feature is the external storage capability. I plugged in a 3 TB external hard drive and stream video files to my Apple TV with zero stuttering or buffering. You can even enable an FTP feature to access an external hard drive from anywhere with an Internet connection.
I was hesitant to leave behind my AirPort Extreme, but I'm so glad I did. The performance and feature set of the EA7500 are top-notch, especially if you have devices equipped with 802.11n or 802.11ac that can take advantage of the strong 5GHz signal. The remote management and external storage features enable you to create your own personal "cloud." To all of the die-hard Apple fans or those who are simply less than tech-savvy: Don't be scared -- you'll be pleasantly surprised, just like I was.
22 out of 22 found this review helpful.
Great Coverage Easy Set Up
Posted by: SoCalPaul from: Los Angeles, CA on
First off compared to some of the monster sized AC MIMO wifi routers available this router is practically petit in size. With only three antennas it doesn't look like some alien bug with eight antennas sticking out of it that could run off down the street at any moment. Wife was happy it wasn't some bright red color you could see from across the room.
Setup was easy, took less than ten minutes total and it was up and running like a champ. Doesn't have a bunch of blinking LED's in front so you can put it pretty much put it anywhere without it looking out of place or distracting.
User interface is easy to use and configure and it also works well with the Linksys app on iOS. Lots of settings are easy to configure without a lot of trouble.
Coverage is great in a two story 2400 sq. ft. house. Router is on the second floor and the signal on both 2.4 and 5 ghz is flawless with a strong signal everywhere with no dead spots anywhere including the ground floor and both front and back yards. No need for WiFi extenders or even powerline adapters.
Most of my wifi clients are AC and I have at least 25 different devices that we use on a regular basis. They include an XBox, Apple iPads, 4K smart TV's, cell phones, 3 Rokus,
Sling box, Android tablets, home security system, Nest thermostat, wifi cameras, blue ray players, you name it. Five of the devices are connected 24/365 and so far not a hiccup or a dropped signal on anything.
Wifi speed is very fast on 5ghz and I've had a number of devices going at the same time streaming movies and an Xbox playing and it doesn't miss a beat everything works great with no lags at all. Streams 4K video through Roku 4 with ease and looks fantastic doing it.
About MIMO, I have a couple of IPad Air 2's that are MIMO enabled and when both connected at the same time on same network there was an increase in throughput speed on both devices. From around 195/20 Mbps to 250/24 on both devices.
All in all a great router with excellent coverage and speed that doesn't get bogged down or crippled with a bunch of devices going at the same time, easy to set up and so far is solid without any issues at all.
16 out of 17 found this review helpful.
More MU-MIMO capable devices needed
Posted by: Alan from: San Antonio, TX on
As it stands, any MU-MIMO router you purchase on the market will currently behave and function the same as any other 802.11ac router and specifically any AC1900 router in it's class. That's because end-user devices require Wi-Fi antennas that specifically take advantage of the MU-MIMO instruction. I had trouble finding a USB 3.0 Wi-Fi card that has MU-MIMO support, and because of that not a single device in my home can currently support such instruction.
Now what's MU-MIMO supposed to do and why is such a touted feature of this product so important? Currently, 802.11n and newer Wi-Fi bands broadcast as a single user-multi input multi output (SU-MIMO) gateway. This means that as the signal is broadcast, it offers full bandwidth potential to one wireless device at a time, particularly the device closest to the router with the best acquired signal. Say for example you're using a high-bandwidth application on your PC computer in your bedroom and are farthest from the router, you are being "de-prioritized" to traffic from a device closest to the router, say a smart TV or a game console. If those devices aren't in use at the time you're using your PC computer, however, your PC takes full advantage of prioritization.
In homes with particularly fast broadband connections (above 50Mbps), we don't see this issue affect many user's wireless bandwidth potential because routers do a pretty good job at dividing bandwidth between devices. But see, that's the problem with SU-MIMO. If 5 devices are connected and are using Internet traffic simultaneously, each device gets 10Mbps of available bandwidth (50/5).
That's the major problem MU-MIMO will solve: the "MU" stands for multi-user; each client device capable of using this tech will take full advantage of your ISP's download speed /and/ will never suffer from de-prioritization if that is such a case as a result of multiple devices requesting packets from the router simultaneously. So all those 5 devices? They can theoretically hit 50Mbps simultaneously and all of them can be downloading music or streaming content and all bandwidth and traffic would be treated equally. How's that for equality?
There's only one major problem about this incredible tech: Nothing sold on the market at the moment supports it! I wish Linksys would at least release alongside this class of product a USB 3.0 Wi-Fi adapter that is able to take advantage of MU-MIMO from the get-go. We also plan to see many manufacturers of Wi-Fi devices (smartphones, game consoles, TVs, etc.) take advantage of MU-MIMO tech in future versions of their hardware so that eventually your home can take advantage of this much-welcomed technology that can help alleviate some of the woes Wi-Fi technology has infamously shared since it first became a reality.
tl;dr: router of the future, no really. nothing out to support it yet though.
10 out of 11 found this review helpful.
Solid Router with Tech that isn't Rewarding
Posted by: DarthNeyehilus from: Spokane, WA on
3.5 out of 5, rounding up.
For starters, everyone needs, at least, an AC capable router in their household, and an AC-1900 is the one (power-wise) that I'd recommend everyone get their hands on.
Now, is the Linksys EA7500 right for you? Read on to find out.
At the 199.99 price point, there is a lot of competition for routers. Specifically, the AC-1900 crop. The newest addition of these routers is the Linksys EA7500. The specs alone top most other routers in its class (processor, RAM, etc, everything outclasses most others'), and as such you might expect it to be the best out there.
I'll start with the PROS: the biggest one is ease of set up. Seriously, this thing was a breeze to set up and run. Also, super simple to change settings once set up. If you like no hassle, I'd say this is the one you're looking for, straight up. Next, the range. It's great. I have a 1200 sq. ft. apartment and it covers the entire thing, while also reaching about 200 feet away while I'm outside. Third, the tech specs underneath the hood. The processor, RAM, etc. all make it willing and able to take on any task you through at it, without a hiccup. This is good. It's a dual-band router, so it has both 2GHz and 5GHz band, to support old and new devices alike.
Now, the bad. This thing is huge. It's probably 16 inches by 8 inches (I honestly didn't measure) and since it has to lay flat (not wall mountable), that is a factor some may need to consider. It only has one 3.0 USB port, which is sup-par what others pack with their technology.
However, the biggest gripe of all was the MU-MIMO (Multiple User - Multiple Input Multiple Output) promise. While this sounds great (and I'm sure it will be in 2-3 years, when devices actually support this), it didn't perform nearly as it should've. I had connection problems galore when I tried to run some stress tests using both computers, phones, or my gaming systems. I even couldn't connect some times with friends online because of the routers filtering settings. And while, yes, you can change all of these settings, you shouldn't HAVE to do that. The router should for you.
Everything considered, it's a great router. 3.5 out of 5 starts, with potential though. I'd recommend it, but I'd definitely consider your options first.
7 out of 7 found this review helpful.
Many Great Features!
Posted by: SillyTurtle from: Charlotte, NC on
This is my first Linksys router in a long time. I've been using a D-Link for about 6 years now and before that I can't even remember. While I do miss a couple of things from my D-Link, this is a great router overall that you will probably use for a long time. It's got loads of useful features.
Beamforming technology: I get coverage over my entire house (have yet to find a dead spot) over both 2.4 ghz and 5 ghz bands. The signal strength seems strong for all our devices no matter where we are. I'm even able to connect strongly to my smart TV downstairs with the 5 ghz band where my older router could not.
Smart Wi-Fi App: I love this feature particularly. Being able to access (most) of you routers setting via an app is extremely convenient. You can see who is on, which devices are connected, set priorities, access controls including parental and guest as well as remotely reset your router. I was troubleshooting a small issue I had with one of my devices and it came in real handy.
External Storage: You can connect a USB storage device to the router and access those files from any device. This will be great for when we have family over and we want to share/trade pictures with everyone without having to email or text. This is also pretty nifty for personal use just among the people of your home in general.
As for other features, I game a lot and the connection has been smooth on my Xbox One, so they are true to their word there. As for the big feature though, MU-MIMO technology, I do not yet have devices that utilize this. But I know when I do in the future, I have faith it will perform as promised. The set-up was extremely easy and the settings menu is just as simple. It utilizes widgets on the side that you can customize to quickly access certain things which is a nice touch. Things are pretty clean and straightforward, however its simplicity is also where my only issue lays.
My D-Link had loads of settings you could change for various things. Even if you're the average user and didn't need a lot of them, they were still there if you did. There didn't seem to be nearly as many settings with the Linksys. Now this is only an issue if you are looking for such things. I suppose all the average person ever needs this router has it. Besides this, they had loads of documentation that explained what each and every little thing did where you would never really need to search the internet for an explanation. This is where this router fails to me. The documentation disc is pretty useless and explains hardly anything and the 'help' menu in the settings leaves a bit to be desired. Some things it explains, others you are expected to either just know or look up to find out if it would even apply to you. My D-Link also gave me a list of individual signal strengths in terms of strength and speed in MBs with all currently connected devices. I really wish I could see that connection information on the Linksys devices page. Initially, I was going to give only 4 stars because of these things but everything else is so great that it really outweighs the bad. This is more of a situational issue for the most part anyway and information can always be found online.
Lastly, although be-it a minor issue, I feel the adapter could be a bit sturdier. It has a bit of heft that makes me fear when plugged into my surge protector it might pull up and come loose. It seems more built to plug directly into an outlet but that's not always feasible. Some people may find something like this worth noting although it isn't a big deal to me so far.
8 out of 9 found this review helpful.
Easy to use dual-band WiFi router
Posted by: BravoMan from: Sacramento, CA on
From unboxing the router to connecting it to my network and getting it online, this router was both easy to setup and easy to use. Took a few minutes to navigate through the web control panel to finalize the installation, but after that, I was connected to the Internet and was able to connect my other devices without any trouble. The only thing that I could consider as a minor inconvenience would be the size. After installing the antennas, you will need a decent sized space to place the router on. Other than that minor inconvenience, I really like using this router and would recommend this to anyone looking to buy a new WiFi router or upgrading their existing one.
6 out of 6 found this review helpful.
The next gen router is much smarter
Posted by: 22yearolddinosaur from: forest hills, new york on
I have a basic internet service and purchasing this router made a big difference in my Wi-Fi experience. Even though I 'downgraded' from an AC3200 to the AC1900, it served it's purpose. $$$ well spent since the connection of all my devices #i.e. PC, tablet, phones# had greatly improved. This router is truly smart since the device will be connected to the right bandwidth. Linksys has done a tremendous job on this router. It's the ONLY WAY to WI-FI, indeed.
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Very fast and easy to set up
Posted by: VilePirate from: on
Our Netgear Nighthawk died after two years. In my experience, routers seem to last about three years. I was a bit disappointed with the life of the Netgear router, and I decided to try Linksys after strong recommendations from all my tech buddies. This one seems to fit our life style the best. We have roughly 10 devices that connect to the Internet, and this router has a very helpful feature. Basically, it creates two separate networks in your home, and one is faster than the other. I use the faster connection for my gaming systems, and everything else draws off the slower connection. This way things don't get bogged down. It seems much faster than the Nighthawk router compared to when we first got that, but I suppose there have been tech improvements since then. This was very simple to set up. There is a hub that lets you set things up just like you want. It's a great router, probably the best one I have ever had.
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Great WiFi, with simple configuration options
Posted by: emiliosic from: Wakefield, MA on
All the configuration was done via a web brower with a modern interface.
There is a well organized network map widget that displays useful information about connected devices.
The router will suggest you go through an assisted setup; or skip it and configure it manually. I tried manually first; and end up resetting and starting again with the assisted setup first; because the assisted setup provides better default options.
- Note that assisted setup; which link sys calls ‘Smart Wi-Fi Setup’ won’t run unless the router is connected to the internet; so it’s best to connect it to the cable modem or an existing network first. Note that some cable modems need to be rebooted when changing routers in front of it. The link sys setup lets you ‘clone’ a MAC address of another device if you cannot reboot the cable modem.
The first thing the setup does is to check for firmware updates.
Then lets you configure both WiFi bands under the same name or select different names for each (i.e. homeNetwork or homeNetwork-5G). My preference is to set up both with the same name. Most AC capable devices will pick up the 5G network first and downgrade to 2.4Ghz as necessary. Linksys setup defaults to different names.
There is no default admin password when using assisted setup (better security); so you’ll need to enter a new password for administering the router. If the assisted setup isn’t used; the default password is ‘admin’.
At the end of the setup; the router will guide you to crearte a link sys account. This account (optional) can be used to access the router remotely (unless is in Access Point mode; see below). This is optional; and it’s in addition to the local user. This is also used by the mobile apps (iOS / Android).
There is one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports that can be used to shared storage (but not for printing).
- Connect an external storage on USB ports and by default if’s open for windows shares with no password.
IPv4 and IPv6 SPI (Stageful Packet Inspection), IPv6 port filters, DMZ settings, IPv4 Port forwarding, triggers.
- WPS is done through a button on the back of the router; or through its web interface; so you don’t need to walk to the router to pair a new device, if you have web access through another computer.
- Firmware updates are not automatic in manual setup; but automatic updated are enabled if assisted setup is selected (Smart Wi-Fi).
- Local management supports http and https but https is disabled by default. There is no way to load https certificates.
- The default WiFi mode is WPA/WPA2 Personal. I can’t find a good reason for having the old WPA mode enabled. WPA2 is mandatory in WiFi devices in the past 10 years or so.
Local network: Allows to define a netmask so there is no pre-set limit of how many DHCP reservations it can handle. By default is only 50 devices when using a /24 mask (255.255.255.0); but can be set up to 155 devices when using this mask. For some reason; it leaves IPs 1-100 reserved. This is way better than other basic routers that don’t allow much flexibility; however the DHCP parameters are not configurable; except for external DNS servers (like Google DNS, OpenDNS or DynDNS). Configurable DHCP parameters are useful in some home offices with IP phones that sometimes need extra help booting.
- Activity lights can be disabled; except for the power / status indicator; which is a bright white ‘Linksys” logo, and by far the brightest on the device.
Advanced Network setup:
Can toggle between NAT routing or RIP (but there is no way to disable RIP if NAT is not checked). It also supports static routes.
QoS settings: Only allows three entries; that can be either a device, a range or ports; or defined applications (like Vonage, certain games, etc). This would give certain applications priority when competing for broadband access. I think it could be more comprehensive without making it more difficult but it’s sufficient for the most basic home applications. It’s ny no means required.
Ethernet ports support VLAN tagging on ethernet WAN port and LAN ports 3 and 4; but it’s confusing on how it’s expected to work. There is nothing on the routing tab to define what to do with VLANs; so it looks like a hardcoded workaround for certain providers. Could not find a way to define different networks between VLANs nor any type of VLAN routing.
- It supports a SIP ALG. It’s either enabled or disabled. It’s disabled by default; which is probably good; since there is no documentation on what it does to SIP signaling, and no way of configuring ALG ports.
- I was excited to test the advertised parental controls; but found them quite lacking:
- It allows time of day settings per device (MAC Address) which is good; within a weekly schedule; in a nice chart interface to select the time ranges.
- Then it allows a list of optional web sites to block; that’s it. It would be very easy for a teen to get around this very simplistic filter.
- If you’re interested in some form of parental controls with this router, your best option would be to set MAC based time restrictions (if each restricted user has their own device), and set up a DNS based filter like OpenDNS for the whole household.
DDN Support: Dyn.com and NO-IP.com
It supports bonjour but its name is hardcoded to ‘myrouter’. It does not match the UPnP / DLNA name; like any other service offered by the router.
If the router is changed to Access Point mode; the hardcoded mDNS (Bonjour) name becomes ‘Linksys’ instead of ‘my router’. This seems like a double oversight.
It supports sharing via SMB (Windows shares) with local user names; and the workgroup advertised is ‘WORKGROUP’; which cannot be changed. It supports FTP but not SFTP nor WebDAV. This limits how data can be accessed; and offers no encrypted access.
It offers a DLNA media server, on the drives configured for network sharing. The only options are which folders are accessible through DLNA and selections on scan intervals.
There is a setting to enable ‘AllJoyn Notifications’; which is disabled by default. There is no documentation on the router. What it is; as simply as possible; it’s a standardized gateway for IoT devices (like WeMo lamps; etc); which provides additional interfaces and security ( https://allseenalliance.org ).
Changing the router into an Access Point mode is an interesting process. It almost feels like a whole different firmware is running when in this mode:
It’s done by changing the mode (Connection Type) on the WAN port; however; this setting is only available when logged in as the local admin user; it’s not possible to change it by using the Linksys account created during the initial setup; and there was no indication on the router’s interface about this.
Once it’s in access point mode; it’s not possible to use any other additional feature; like the network map nor the USB ports; and it’s not possible to log in with mobile apps or remote access.
Remains rather cool; with plenty of ventilation. It has three removable external antennas; so it’s possible to replace them with high gain antennas.
One gigabit WAN port and four gigabit WAN ports. One USB 3.0; one USB 2.0; power plug and a power switch!.
It consumes between 5 and 6 watts.
The power supply is a power brick type that is actually quite large (It takes what it amounts to four plugs on a power strip).
The power supply is rated 100-240V; so it should be good for use in any country; with a plug adapter.
Very flexible configuration options. Allows automatic channel selection on both radios; or manual. Automatic channel selection is a nice feature on some newer routers that selects the least congested channels for each radio. This is the default mode. It has Network mode controls (i.e. which wireless protocols are allowed, like in most routers of this type) and supports Radius for WPA2 Enterprise; has MAC filters, and scheduler with hours and days of the week.
As noted earlier; The security model enabled by default is WPA/WPA2 Personal. It would’ve been preferable to leave only WPA2 enabled by default.
In my few days of using this product; Apple MBPs, iPhones, Amazon tablets, Surface Pro; etc all connected reliably. As a point of comparison, I’m also currently using older Apple routers (5th Gen ’N’) that are over three years old. I set up one Apple router next the Linksys, in a house that is two stories high plus basement; so set them on the basement; using different channels for 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. Computers and tablets right above the router get about -20 dBm more with the Linksys than the older apple devices. Moving to the 2nd floor and on the opposite side of the house; the differences are not as pronounced. On 2.4 Ghz, the Linksys provides between -10 and -5 dBm more than the older devices. The newer radios in the Linksys should perform better when multiple devices are transmitting large amounts of data; yet I had no issues with either device with at least two Netflix streams and several other devices connected.
I didn’t test performance outside the house; but this unit should reasonably be able to serve a medium size house with usable signal reaching outside the house; so I could replace the two 802.11N units at each side of the house with this; centrally located.
Tried to contact Belkin, d/b/a Linksys by email and I was surprised to find out I couldn’t open a support case by web or email. There are community forums, live chat, twitter support ?? or phone support (90 days complimentary); but no way to send them a detailed explanation on my questions.
Phone support is nice; but email or web support would’ve facilitated more technical support exchanges that are simply not possible with current options.
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
A Very Stable Workhorse of a Wireless Router
Posted by: bigbob53 from: on
After receiving the Linksys EA7500 I proceeded to go through what I had anticipated would be the arduous task of setting up my new router. I couldn't have been more wrong. Following the enclosed Quick Start Up Guide I had the EA7500 configured and up and running in less than 10 minutes. I manually entered the network configuration settings from my old Linksys EA6500 so that all of my devices would be able to connect immediately to the new router, alleviating the need to reconfigure any network devices. From a wireless perspective, everything went flawlessly, all wireless devices automatically connecting to the router at their optimum connection speeds ( i.e. - AC capable devices at 5 ghz, legacy devices at 2.4 ghz) however, I did run into a minor hick-up when trying to establish a LAN connection to my Vonage device using DHCP. In this instance it was necessary to establish a Static IP address for my Vonage device as the EA7500 was having difficulty in establishing a connection. This observation has been reported to the Linksys Support Team. Since completing the setup, all wired and wireless network devices have been working flawlessly.
The Linksys "Smart WiFi" interface makes customization of the router a breeze giving the user an easy way to check the health of their wired & wireless network environment. Utilities such as speed test, guest network setup, parental controls, prioritization, network status, etc., are all offered in an easy to understand graphical interface. Additionally, you have the added capability of accessing your router remotely as well.
Our Wireless Devices include:
*4 Computers, 4 Smartphones, 2 Smart TV's, 2 Android Tablets, Linksys WUMC-710 Wireless Media Bridge supporting Sony Blu-ray player, Pioneer Receiver, Samsung Smart TV, wireless printer.
Wired Devices include:
AT&T Microcell, Vonage, WD MyCloud Back-up
We tried our own stress test on this router by running 2 movie streams along with 3 large simultaneous downloads, a couple of instances of web surfing along with my son playing Diablo 3 on maximum settings on an Alienware gaming computer. I know that this not exactly a scientific test but I can say that as good as my previous Linksys EA6500 is, it would never have been able to simultaneously support these operations, ever. Downloads did seem to slow down a bit and web surfing was not quite as brisk but the streaming of the movies and the game play continued without buffering or interruption. As a side note, our connection speed is 55 Mbps and it appeared that we were consuming almost everything that the connection speed would support. Faster connection speeds would undoubtedly result in even better results.
The Linksys EA7500 has been absolutely rock solid over the past 3 weeks with NO instances of broadcast interruption. I appreciate having a device that can easily handle the load that I am asking of it rather than a product that struggles to keep pace. This router has given me confidence in its abilities and has given me no reason to doubt its reliability. We are now out of the "honeymoon" period with the EA7500 so time will ultimately tell how the router performs over the long haul. It certainly seems to be up to the task based on what I have seen so far!
Disclaimer: I received this product “free of charge” from Linksys in exchange for my honest and unbiased feedback and review.