Linksys - AC3200 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router - Black/Blue

Connect your external wireless devices to the internet with this Linksys dual-band router. Two 5Ghz bands support both high-end gaming and low-end applications without compromising speed, and remote management lets you make adjustments from any location. This Linksys dual-band router has a sleek design that integrates easily into most workspaces.

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Overview

What's Included


  • Linksys Wireless-AC3200 Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
92% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (1249 out of 1369)

Features


Compatible with 802.11ac

Backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n networks, so you can easily upgrade.

Up to 3.2 Gbps data transfer speed

For fast, efficient operation.

256MB flash memory

Plus 512MB RAM promotes optimal performance.

MU-MIMO technology

MU-MIMO gives every compatible device its own dedicated full-speed Wi-Fi connection, so that multiple devices can connect at the same time without slowing down the network.

1 USB 2.0 / eSATA and 1 USB 3.0 ports

Allow you to connect a printer and enjoy 3G and 4G file sharing.

Built-in media server

Allows you to play music and video and view photos.

Complies with a variety of standards

Including ICES-003, RSS-210, FCC and LVD.

Gigabit Ethernet connectivity

Offers a high-speed wired network connection.

Auto detecting and auto sensing

To simplify device connectivity.

LED indicators

Make it easy to monitor the status of your network.

Encryption

Includes AES and WPA2 to keep your network secure.

Plug-and-play operation

Makes setup simple.


Customer rating

4.5
92%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Fast Feature rich router

    Posted
    bridaw
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I have been using this router for a week and I am very pleased. Setup was straightforward and it was up and running in minutes. Using the defaults gets the job done fast and then you can customize to suite your needs as you learn more about the many features. The router is being used by my family of three in a small two story condo with 20 devices which I think is average these days. This router is faster than any I have owned. It should be, right? I pay for a 150Mbps download and 10Mbps upload cable internet service and I’m using a reliable DOCSIS 3.0 8x4 channel modem which is well matched with my service. SpeedTest on my desktop with a LAN connection shows connection speeds beyond what I’m paying for, yay. My mobile devices (5GHz) sometimes exceed the service down/upload speeds but are usually in the 140-145 Mbps download range. Tests are from my phone or tablet while most network devices are online and my son is playing internet games using teamspeak on the desktop and Netflix is streaming in the living room during peak hours. Fast enough is fast enough. No stutters or stalls when playing video on any device, web pages load fast and internet dependant apps launch fast. Everything is now running on this one router where my old setup required a 5GHz bridge in the living room to the AC1750 router in my office. The PS4 is now connected using 2.4GHz and performance is great compared to when it used to be plugged into the bridge. The web interface used to configure and monitor the router is the best I have ever used. The home page of the web interface has a main menu of features on the left grouped by Smart Wi-Fi Tools and Router Settings. The rest of the page displays 8 status “widgets”. The user can choose whether or not to display 6 of them and rearrange their display order. You do not need to create the optional Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account to access the router. The web interface provides links to switch back and forth between using the Smart Wi-Fi sign in (email address + password) and local access (router password only). The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app for Android and iOS is also really nice. It remembers login information so you don’t need to enter that every time you launch the app on your phone/tablet. I would prefer the Smart Wi-Fi UI didn’t use dark text (gray) on a dark blue background but most of the important text is white and easy to read. At first I thought I would not have a real world use for this app but I have used it to enable/disable the Guest Access and edit the Media Prioritization features of the router. I have also used it to determine what band (2.4GHz or 5GHz) a particular station/client was using when I first configured the router to use a single SSID name. I’ve since switched back to my long established habit of using two SSIDs (more on that later). The Network Map is a really nice feature in the web interface. It is a graphical representation of the devices connected to your network. At a glance you can see the name, icon, connection type and status for each device. The map will show 16 devices on a page and you can switch pages and/or use a filter to control what is displayed on the map. You can select any combination of device type (computer, mobile, printer, other) and connection type (LAN, 2.4GHz, 5GHz, offline) to filter what devices are displayed. When you click on a device a popup menu lets you choose between Device Info, Parental Controls and Reserve DHCP Address. If you select Device Info you can edit the device icon and name displayed in the map. It also gives you additional detail about the device including IPv4, IPv6 and MAC Addresses for Wireless and/or LAN connections. The Smart Wi-Fi app has a different interface called a Device List that lets you do and see everything the web Network Map does except you can not change the device name (only the icon) and it groups the device list into Connected and Offline status, no filters. Both the web and mobile app interfaces allow you to delete offline devices. Several years ago it became popular for consumer electronics to have super obnoxious bright blue status LEDs that I cover with several layers of tape to dim the lights. I was very pleased to see the status lights on this router are a cool white. They don’t seem too bright in my office and if someone finds they are too bright (bedroom), there is an option to turn off the status lights. The power light will remain on. I use the routers DHCP server on my LAN but I have several devices (desktops, laptop and netbook) that are always assigned static IPs below the DHCP start range. In the past I have encountered routers that didn’t play nicely with these devices. Everything on the LAN had to be within the DHCP range, obviously a firmware bug. That isn’t the case with this router it works just fine -as it should. The router also has the option of reserving the DHCP assigned address which is a useful feature but not the same. I think most people will set this router to use the Automatic Configuration - DHCP on the Internet/WAN connection to use the public IP assigned to the modem by your service provider. The router also supports using a Static IP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Bridge Mode, Wireless Repeater and Wireless Bridge. One SSID name or two? You can configure this router to work either way. It depends on the user but two SSIDs have always worked best for my setup. I live in a small condo with no real yard to speak of so the main difference between the two bands for me is SPEED since 5GHz gives me all the penetration and range I need to cover my condo and even reach outside. Devices that support 5GHz will use it and I never connect them to the 2.4GHz band. Simple. I don’t want my devices hopping around between the two bands. Older devices or low bandwidth devices like my brand new printer that only support 2.4GHz will obviously only use that band so two SSID names is irrelevant for those devices. I tried using one SSID name on this router for a few days but when I return home my android phone tends to see the 2.4GHz band first and connect before I get into my house. Even if I used the Smart Network Switch feature on my phone (which I don’t) it wouldn’t be able to switch itself over to the 5GHz band because of the one SSID name. This must take place on the router side so the easiest solution is two SSID names. You only have to make the connection one time and then your device will automatically connect so it really requires no extra effort using two SSID names and it keeps everything sorted. Users with large houses and/or large yards have different challenges and the solution may not be as simple. Some users want one SSID name. You even have the option of turning off the 2.4 and/or 5GHz network altogether. Another SSID option is whether or not to broadcast the SSID name(s). You can hide either one or both. Years ago I used to think not broadcasting my SSID name somehow made my network more secure. Security through obscurity. It really makes no difference at all from the router perspective. WPA2-AES with a good password is what keeps your network secure. People can still easily “see” your SSID even if your router doesn’t broadcast the name in the beacon. All the network name does is distinguish it from other networks near you -it is NOT a password. SSIDs were never designed to be hidden -it isn’t in the spec. Plenty of information out there to make your own informed choice and this router lets you run either way. You can also assign the channel, channel width and network mode for each band. I’m using Auto for channel and channel width on each band. The 2.4GHz band supports Mixed, 802.11gn, 802.11n Only and 802.11g Only network modes. The 5 GHz band supports Mixed, 802.11ac Only, 802.11a/n Only, 802.11n Only, and 802.11a Only network modes. I’m using Mixed on both. Most information I found suggested Mixed is the best choice for the 5GHz band and it seems to make little difference for the few devices I have on 2.4GHz so I left it on Mixed. There are plenty of features I am not using but I plan to use several like the OpenVPN server and External Storage. The review is already long so no need to cover features I’m not using. Hopefully others can relate to the details I have shared and it will help them determine if this router will fill their needs. I’m very pleased with this router.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great router with intuitive controls & fast speed

    Posted
    optimummind
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 50 ContributorTop 50 Contributor

    There are several things I really like about this new router from Linksys. For one, I find the design to be quite striking with its classic dual-tone black & blue theme and the four antennas that come out of its chiseled and angular body. It is a sleek and futuristic-looking device. Each of the four antennas are easily screwed on and it is a simple matter to adjust the antenna angles while trying to find the best position for optimal signal propagation. The black upper housing is perforated with numerous circular holes (openings) that ventilate the heat out of the router well. I feel very confidant that even during hot days, the router will not have any issues dissipating the heat effectively and protecting the internal circuitry. Having used lower- and mid-level routers before many years ago that had suboptimal thermal design that led to frequent router resets and disconnections, I place high importance on a router's thermal design nowadays. Having said that, if there was one thing I could change about the router design, I would make the footprint of the router to be a bit smaller so that I could save more space on my shelf. Since this router is a flat rectangular design with four legs that is meant to be placed down in one orientation, it takes up more space compared to routers that "stand up" like a book would. Another thing I really liked was its speed and reliability. I have four smartphones, 2 eBooks, a wireless printer, a Chromecast, and two laptops connected to the router (about half the devices are on the 2.4GHz band and the rest are on the 5GHz band). All the devices share the bandwidth very well and there have been no conflicts nor slowdowns. Each device connects to the Internet seamlessly and smoothly. Absolutely no complaints here. And the 5GHz band definitely offer much faster speeds than the 2.4GHz band. Sitting out here on my front porch table where I'm pretty far away from the router, I get 4.57 Mbps download on the 2.4GHz band while I get 25.30 Mbps on the 5GHz band. My max Internet speed from Time Warner is 50 Mbps. Another very important thing that Linksys gets right is the easy-to-use router settings page. The Settings page has a simple and clean design where the router options are sorted logically and at easy-to-find locations on the left side of the screen. Some router companies try to spice up the settings page with wild colors and fancy graphics that often make things harder to find and distracting at times. I appreciate the clean and straightforward design that Linksys chose to use. No need to look gimmicky and tacky. The Network Map section provides a nice visual look at all the devices that are connected to the network (the router occupies the middle of an oval and all the connected devices are located on the orbit around the router). This makes it easy to quickly scan and identify the devices that you're looking for. Other useful features include Guest Access (on both the 2.4GHz & 5GHz bands), Parental Controls (you can block individual devices from accessing the Internet at your specified times), Media Prioritization (for giving higher Internet priority for apps and games of your choice), External Storage (adding your own external hard drive to create your own personal Cloud drive), and an easy-to-use Connectivity options menu for things such as creating a Static IP address, setting up Static DNS's, and creating IP forwarding rules. For the moderate- to experienced users who have dabbled in router settings before, everything is pretty easy to figure out and configure. But for beginners and the everyday person, some setting options might look overwhelming and confusing. I feel Linksys could've done more here by putting a Help or Question Mark icon next to or closer to each setting choices to provide a brief summary of what each option does. To be fair to Linksys, there is a Help link but it is located all the way on top of the router settings page. All on all, I highly enjoy this router and all the features it offers. If you are a power-use type that need the extra features & options this router offers (such as personal Cloud, individual device control, fast device-to-device file sharing) at stable & superb speeds, this router is definitely worth the money. But if all you expect from a router is connecting your phone and laptop to the Internet to perform simple browsing and watching videos, this router is overkill. It is still a good buy but overkill.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Linksys makes Smart WiFi easy to use

    Posted
    nickcal
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    A long time ago, I set up my first WiFi network in my first apartment. It was a bit of a tedious process because the idea of home wireless networking was very new. My brother insisted that I have it though because it would make my life easier. He was of course very correct in that estimation and I’ve never had a residence that didn’t have WiFi. That being said, as our Internet protocols have advanced, so has the equipment for our home networks. I’ve had routers that connect to modems, modem/router combinations, and even just direct connections to switches with a good old ethernet cable. My point is that I’ve had experiences setting up networks. So, when I was presented with the opportunity to review the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM Router, I was a little hesitant because sometimes, it can just be a pain. But, as I was to find out quite quickly, the Linksys WRT 3200 is an impressive piece of hardware with an even more impressive signal output. Before I get into the review at hand, I want to describe our current WiFi network and its settings. We have a Netgear Nighthawk C7000 WiFi Cable Modem Router combo headlining our network. While we can turn off the WiFi network from the Netgear, we have been using it. We also have a mesh network set-up for signal consistency throughout the house via the eero WiFi system. Now, we also have the Linksys set-up as yet another WiFi network signal. I mention all this because all of these systems are pulling the same signal from our Internet Provider (Time Warner) and it makes the speed test results below even more impressive. SET-UP (ROUTER) Set-up was very, very easy. The Linksys comes with a quick start guide that gives you 4 simple steps to get your WiFi network up and running. You connect it to power with the supplied cable, then you connect the router to your modem (in our case, the Netgear Nighthawk). Once the indicator lights on the front of the Linksys show that it is powered and receiving an Internet signal, you connect to the wireless network through your computer (or mobile device) using the default network name (Linksys00505 in our case) and provided password. For me, this part of the set-up process took about 5 minutes. It was that easy. I used a MacBook Pro (mid-2014 model) to connect to the network and it was just as easy as selecting the network name from my WiFi drop-down menu and typing in the password. The last step of the set-up is to launch the Linksys Smart WiFi instructions in an Internet browser. This step includes the Linksys system updating. I would recommend that you give permission to the system to update automatically, but you can always change this later. SET-UP (SMART WIFI) Once you have the initial set-up complete, then you can move into the Smart WiFi aspect of the router. It’s actually quite ingenious the way the Linksys has it set-up. First of all, you can connect to the router’s settings via the web address listed above, or through the mobile app (available for iOS or Android). What’s really cool about this particular system is how easy it is to use. As I mentioned, I’ve set-up and maintained several different WiFi networks throughout my adult life and I’ve always needed assistance getting them set-up (either from a human or additional instructions online) because the admin panel is always written in gibberish (a.k.a. programmer’s speak). The interfaces are just not very friendly. Linksys got this system right with the Smart WiFi option. Anyone can get their network set-up quickly and easily when using this option. SPEEDTEST When it came to speed testing the WiFi signal, I used two sources - speedtest and sourceforge. Both options give the user a clear view of the network speed and what you are truly getting. We were recently upgraded to a 250-meg service when our internet provider was acquired by a new company. But, we’ve never really seen that download speed and assumed it was because we were checking it the speed at times when the provider may have been throttling the network signal (higher traffic times). As it turns out, it was the hardware we were using at home. As you will see below, I have listed the results of the speed tests. I only used sourceforge to test out the accuracy of speedtest and then I used speedtest to test each of the networks against each other. LINKSYS WRT 3200 speedtest: 231.18 Mbps (down) | 19.89 Mbps (up) sourceforge: 228 Mbps (down) | 23 Mbps (up) (only used to test the results of speedtest) NETGEAR NIGHTHAWK C7000 speedtest: 97.66 Mbps (down) | 15.43 Mbps (up) EERO WIFI SYSTEM speedtest: 86.23 Mbps (down) | 19.53 Mbps (up) I ran the test several times - switching back and forth between the networks - and every time, the Linksys router won with the best download speed. We got the same results when we ran the speed test on the iPhone, too. I continue to be very impressed by the speed of the signal provided by the Linksys router. CONCLUSIONS The Linksys WRT 3200 ACM Router is a solid piece of networking hardware. It’s very easy to set-up and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with its performance.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great router for WRT enthusiasts!

    Posted
    xKing
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    This router is a very good choice for an average size home. Nice selection of features and modern radio setup make this device a great deal! Enclosure is quality made and does have key holes on the bottom suitable for wall mounting, bottom feet provide adequate cooling air flow. LEDs on the front panel are easy to read and give you a good idea on the device status. There is also an option to disable activity lights so they won't bother you at night (I wish Linksys made this available for a specific time period). Port selection consists of 1 WAN port, 4 LAN ports, 1 combo USB/eSata port and a USB 3.0 port which could be used to connect an external hard drive or a USB enabled printer. 3G/4G backup modem is not supported by the factory firmware, however - that could be fixed, keep reading :) Initial setup is extremely easy, connect to the modem using the included Ethernet cable and to the power. Initial setup wizard will guide you thru a few screens and that's it! Router can be setup to function in multiple modes: as a regular "main" router, as a repeater to boost your existing WiFi network or as a bridge to connect to the existing WiFi and create a separate WiFi of it's own. Plus an access point (bridge) mode - router will turn into the "dumb" repeater - just adding a WiFi capability to your existing wired network. The primary use case will be as a "main" router of course. If you set it up like that - you have a wide variety of choices for your provider connection - regular DHCP, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP and fixed IP address, it has an ability to change it's ISP facing MAC address if your provider requires that. Once you get your devices to connect to this router - you'll be able to see the network "map" - a detailed look at your network showing all the connected devices, click on any device will give you an ability to look at the details, make a DHCP reservation, or setup a parental controls. Nice touch is the ability to see the traffic used by each client separately. Router also does support VLANs, just in case your provider uses different (tagged) VLANs for Internet and IP TV, ports 3 and 4 of the internal switch could be assigned for the special VLAN in that case. Router is capable of supporting 2 bands - 2.4GHz and 5GHz, you can name them the same or give different names if you like to do so, then point your fast devices to the 5GHz network and slow ones to 2.4GHz. Some more expensive tri-band routers will provide you with a seconds 5GHz network so you could set it up as 802.11ac only for extremely fast WiFi for the fast devices (laptops, for example). This router could only do 2 bands though. This router is also capable of creating a special isolated "guest" network which is not going to be encrypted, your guests will be presented with a web page to enter "guest" password (kinda like at the hotels, airports, also known as a "captive" mode). Radio signal strength is sufficient and I was getting the full speed at the distances around 50ft between the router and device, however at about 75ft and a few walls - speed has dropped from 200Mbit/s down to about 10Mbit/s. Consider a repeater or additional access point if you wish to cover a big home. Parental controls - any device on your network could be limited by the access schedule (so you can make sure your kids don't spend more time online than they allowed to), plus you could setup a list of sites that are not allowed to be accessed from those devices. That web site list has to be setup one by one. Media prioritization - if you have a slow internet access (and starting that download makes your Netflix buffer) - you can give some services a "priority" (little bit more bandwidth) which may be helpful. Router comes with a wide variety of pre-defined services/games or you could define your own range of ports. Security features - this router has a standard packet - DMZ support, port forwarding, port triggering, UPnP support. I would like to mention that your typical home network is always behind the NAT so it's not accessible from the outside Internet unless you setup port forwarding so you don't have to worry about outside attacks. Looking thru the settings on the security panel made me look into the help, for example I would not have guessed that "Filter anonymous Internet requests" flag really makes this router to ignore incoming ping requests, I wish Linksys named it more self-explanatory (like "Ignore incoming Ping requests"). Troubleshooting and logging - router's management interface gives you an ability to send ping probes, use traceroute, backup and restore it's configuration and also e-mail your configuration to Linksys support just in case you are having problems. OpenVPN server - this is really a great feature which would allow you to setup a secure way to your home network for something like viewing your IP cameras, accessing files on the local hard drive, etc. Client is widely available for any platform. However, the best part still to come, being a WRT router - you could install a custom Open Source firmware on it named OpenWRT or DD-WRT. I was able to install OpenWRT absolutely no problem and that opens up a whole new world of possibilities, your router becomes a mini computer you could run almost anything on! Create your own firewall setup, file server, various application servers, about 3000 packages are available! Overall: if you are looking for a great hardware to run OpenWRT or DD-WRT on - this router is for you! It provides plenty of RAM and horsepower, strong WiFi radio and it looks great!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Almost There

    Posted
    YourMainDude
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Presentation The unit arrived packaged in what I would describe as the standard fair Linksys container. And that’s not a ding. I think a lot of thought goes into Linksys packaging, well-constructed, loads of information and balanced. Inside, everything is clearly marked and compartmentalized. The router itself may appear dated to some but I personally find this trademark look to be fantastic. One of the more notable aspects to this updated look is the semi-muted illumination of the indicators on the front panel. They appear softer in light output while still being useful to those that need the dashboard of lights to indicate what’s happening. I do like the ability to shut down the lights in the setup and I’m happy that Linksys maintains this option. With respect to the unit’s size, I would rate it as average – in the middle. There are plenty of routers now that dwarf this thing, in antenna count and foot print. Don’t be persuaded to overlook this model by someone else’s subjective take on things until you see it for yourself, in real life. It’s not huge, relatively light weight and is wall mountable but it performs nearly as good as many a ginormous spider box. Initial Setup To start off, my router came with the latest available to-date firmware … 1.0.5.175944 and for the sake of not injecting variables into my review towards the end, I didn’t allow it to update. I’ve worked with countless routers and this model was a breeze to setup. One of my pet peeves is how awful some mfg’s approach the IPv6 detection. Without mentioning any names, two of the more prominent mfg’s out there have awful IPv6 detection that routinely demonstrates ‘fall-back’ to IPv4 which in my mind is totally unacceptable. I’m happy to report that his new Linksys WRT links up to IPv6 right away - no fuss - and releases/renews perfectly with no apparent fall-backs. In testing this router out for nearly 3 solid weeks, I never observed it losing IPv6 connectivity. You will be offered an opportunity to setup a Linksys Smart WiFi account but I prefer to avoid the cloud angle on devices (initially) and like the option to do things manually, which I did with the 3200ACM. Internal Configuration Inside this beast you’ll find the clean and easily maneuvered GUI where everything is clearly organized. Again, others will complain about the approach Linksys has taken in recent years but I personally commend them for the thought that has gone into the effort. For the ‘plug & play’ type owner, this is where it is at now days. But keep in mind, this is a WRT based unit – so the real geeks will pour over this platform with the full intention of going customization – so in many respects, this unit IS the best of both worlds. The GUI isn't harsh, crammed and tangled like a few other of the router mfg’s out there. You know who they are. I won’t go over all the typical aspects of what you can control, as those features are pretty customary, but I can’t skip mentioning that this unit does have the WiFi Scheduling tab that is sorely missing from even the top of the line model Linksys offers. The combination of Parental Controls and aggregate wireless scheduling is a must have in my mind and I’m glad to see it here. It does need some polish though. On a few occasions I did notice that WiFi stayed asleep after changing the control grid, requiring a soft reboot but it behaved like this randomly and needs further investigation. Setting up the media server, file share and tunneling all worked as intended. Overall, I prefer what Linksys is doing for the configuration controls and GUI on this model. Performance The 3200ACM provided strong, shared connections throughout our ~2000 sq/ft home. The 2.4 GHz channel seemed range bound to no greater than 54 Mbit/sec speeds but the reach was strong through multiple walls and across several rooms. For the record, our home is not “open concept”. I would have liked to have seen speeds closer to 80 Mbit/sec to our capable devices but a solid 2.4 G connection that doesn’t drop at greater distances is nothing to shake a stick at. On the other hand, although the MIMO operation was greatly appreciated and noticeable with the 5 GHz channels, spurious disconnects were observed for no apparent reason, even at short distances. Also, and not too terribly surprising, connection speeds routinely pegged 180 Mbit/sec with speed tests on the 5 GHz channels – matching our Xfin Performance cable limit – but strength & speed rolled off much sooner than I would have preferred compared to other routers I have tested … even at just 12 feet down a line-of-sight hallway from the router. I presume these types of performance gremlins will be rectified in future firmware updates and/or by the open source wiz kids. One last observation worth noting on the WiFi side of the equation is this router’s immunity to nearby channel interference. I found it to be a tad too much susceptible to cross-talk interference even from nearby channels 25 dB down from center. I know, sounds like Greek. But trust me, there’s improvement to be made within the Auto channel control of this router and something to look forward to. I wasn’t able to alleviate much of it with manual channel selection so be forewarned. If you’re in a crowded WiFi environment, or near a high school like we are, you may want to wait for this platform to bake a little more … say 3 to 6 more months. The USB 3.0 port performed up to expectations, never letting me down and serving up music, photos and file sharing at consistently fast speeds with a higher end USB thumb drive. We use network attached storage arrangement like this all the time and have no complaints. Good job Linksys. Another thing worth nothing is the Linksys Smart App (the Android one in my particular case) and what it offers. You can control many of the most important features of the WRT 3200ACM router through this app, including enabling/disabling primary WiFi channels, guest networks, channel assignments (which is handy as heck when you’re trying to optimize your connectivity vs competing nearby signals) and even forcing a reboot. One suggestion though. When playing around with the configuration via the Smart app, which I found myself doing frequently to figure out how to get the most out of the 5 GHz radios, force your phone or tablet to prefer the 2.4 GHz connection. For whatever reason, when you make changes to the router with respect to the 5 GHz side of things, the change/reboot that occurs on the WiFi outputs takes a really long time vs. any changes made to the 2.4 GHz side. And if you are making say – channel reassignments and monitoring surrounding WiFi networks with a separate, surveying app – you’ll be happier in the end. Trust me. Re-initialization of the 2.4 GHz network is far quicker than the other side. Summary For the price, there’s a compelling case to be made for this router. It has all the flexibility any open source Geek could want - married with a truly automatic and pain free, ‘plug & play’ router for the average consumer. You literally can set this thing up and get connected in less than 15 minutes – less than 10 if you’re a total Geek. You can control the heck out of it, right down to shutting off all but one light indicator and you can control it from anywhere in your home with a well-designed & easy to use app. It has the features most mid-range to higher end routers are offering these days – most notably MIMO - and that makes it worth the price of admission alone … and it’s backed by Belkin/Linksys who have been doing this stuff for a very long time. I would personally recommend that anyone looking to upgrade their aging router or wanting expanded features, that they should at least try the WRT 3200ACM out and see if it works in their home or office. Since it is new, needs a bit more polish and I wasn’t able to dive into the WRT side of this router with any reliable open source baseline – I’ve giving it a confident rating of 4 out of 5.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Linksys Staff

      Hi, YourMainDude,

      We appreciate your taking the time to share your detailed product review. It is good to know that the WRT3200ACM router is providing you strong shared connections throughout your 2000 sqr/ft home. We're just curious about your feedback that on a few occasions you did notice that Wi-Fi stayed asleep randomly after changing the control grid, and it's requiring you a soft reboot. Please reach out to us and we'll have one of our Escalation Engineers look into this matter. Shoot us an email at LinksysCares@linksys.com with your contact details and the link to this review for reference.


      Regards,

      Jay
      Linksys Support Linksys

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Exceeded my very high expectations!!

    Posted
    byctrainer
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Long review for a great product (mostly because this is a very new product)... So I was shopping around for a new router to replace my fully functional and satisfactory current router (Linksys E2500 N600 Dual-band Router). The main reason I was looking for a new router was mainly due to the increasing number of devices that are being connected simultaneously in my household. My price range was $200 and I was not really looking to exceed that. While in Best Buy, I was looking on Linksys' website to see what products they had available (and to price-match obviously) and saw some new products that really caught my eye. There were a few terms that caught my eye since I had never heard of or seen them before...MU-MIMO and tri-band. I am fairly tech savvy and also do my own home networking so these terms definitely piqued my interest. Doing some quick mobile research, I was convinced that these new advances in technology (dual-band to tri-band capacity, increased speed, and MU-MIMO [technology that greatly enhances the routers ability to handle multiple devices very efficiently at once]) were worth some money! It just so happened Linksys had this product at a small markdown to $250. Best part was, it wasn't even available on Amazon yet which was shocking to me. Now on to performance. All those terms I mentioned above showed their performance, more so than I could have ever imagined! As mentioned before, my household has a lot of devices connected at the same time, and many of these devices are streaming devices. Some causes for my urge to buy a new router were noticeable increased latency when too many (2-3+) streaming devices were running at the same time. Another problem I had that always bugged me was my Chromecast and the lag time I experienced when casting my device (PC related only, mobile to Cast was always fine). After installing the Linksys WRT3200ACM, I quickly had it put to the test. My parents were downstairs streaming a show on Roku, which alone used to slow down the network. I noticed no slow-down at all. Then while they were streaming, I decided to start streaming Netflix through my PS4. Still no decrease in WiFi performance. Then I loaded up Youtube on my PC and cast my SCREEN (which is significantly more heavy in network usage than just a tab) to my TV. WIth all this running at the same time, I noticed an almost unnoticeable lag from real-time to cast-time! Taking into account that I had 16 devices connected to the router at the time (knowledge I gained after installing the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi App <--awesome), I would definitely say this router goes above and beyond and I don't know if I could put it through any reasonably realistic amount of stress that would cause this router to falter. P.S. I also stream video games live via online services (Twitch, Youtube, etc.) which always uses a large amount of bandwidth. I was able to increase my streaming bitrate and also noticed a large decrease in broadcast lag time (about 2 seconds compared to a previous 12 seconds), while having 2 other streaming devices running at once. THIS ROUTER HAS 10 THUMBS UP FROM ME! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED AND WORTH EVERY PENNY!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Compact and Powerful

    Posted
    Cupra
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    It's always nice to unbox a Linksys product. They have very tactile packaging, similar to Apple products. When I opened the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM, you are greeted by a little welcome note from Linksys. Under the note, the new router was sitting on a well protected foam bed. Under the router was a 'quick start' guide and 4 antennas. Under the foam bed was a CD of information, a power cord, which surprisingly in this day and age seemed to be rather large, and an Ethernet cord, which I am concerned about the longevity of, as it is more of a ribbon cable, rather than a traditional Ethernet cable. On to the set up, it was a breeze setting up the actual product. Screw in the 4 antennas, plug in the power cord, and then connect the Ethernet cable from your modem to the 'yellow' Ethernet port on the back of the router. Turn the power on. A nice light blue power light blinks at you. Then an amber 'Internet' light and the 2.4GHz and 5GHz 'Wifi' emblems. When the Internet light turns to light blue, you are good to go. I connected initially via my phone. Got connected and went to LinksysSmartWiFi.com to set up the router. The connection failed and timed out the router. I tried to connect with my PC to no avail, it kept showing 'no internet'. So looking at the troubleshooting guide, it suggested resetting the router. To do this, hold down the little red button on the back for 10 seconds. I did this, the router went blank, then powered back on, then internet came back up and the WiFi emblems. This time I was able to connect on both my phone and on my PC and get the router configured. Not sure what happened first time round that warranted me having to reboot the router, but second time was a charm. I validated everything, set up the router passwords, and here I am, writing my review via the new router. Speeds seem to be fine, and evenly balance between my phone and my laptop. Videos have streamed with no lag, but as a caveat, I do have AT&T GigaPower fiber optic at my home, so speed typically isn't an issue. I haven't taxed the router as of yet, but once I transition over my home automation products (Hue Lights, NetGear Cameras, LiftMaster Garage Opener etc) that will start taxing the router a little more. Overall, the router has been fairly simple to set up, apart from my teething issue causing me to have to reboot (hence the 4 stars). It has a relatively small footprint, so isn't too obtrusive on my desk, and the balancing of the signal between my phone and PC is working well.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best router in its class, hands down!

    Posted
    MemphisTechieRN
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    So you think you already "maxed out" the connection from your provider? You may be surprised, as I was. It must be made clear at this point though, if you have a starter package from your ISP (5-10mbps) you are already most likely "maxed out" and won't see benefits from upgrading. But you could STILL benefit. More on that in a little while, Prior to this product, I was pulling, on average 42Mbps down, and 12Mbps up. I just thought "well, that's the limitation of the ISP. Nobody probably gets the advertised speed". How wrong I was! Packaging/Build: The WRT AC3200 arrived safely to my humble abode very well packaged (as can be expected from best buy). Upon opening the external box, waiting inside was the product box for the WRT AC3200. Inside the attention grabbing and well designed outer retail display box - the hardware was well protected. The unit and the 4 antennas (antenni?) both are seated in a recessed foam layer, to protect from any drops/rough handling that may occur in transit. Below the foam is a box that contains the ac adapter, and the CD with documentation. Unless godzilla steps on it - I don't see any way that the product could arrive damaged. So, no worries there. Aesthetics: It is obvious that when designing the WRT AC3200, Linksys decided to pay homage to their router-line of yesterday. At least with the color scheme. However, linksys upgraded the design to bring it to the 21st century. The sharp lines and angles would make the WRT AC3200 feel at home in a stealth fighter - at area 51 !! There are your standard indicator lights on the front, which are less intrusive/annoying than most competing brands. My personal setup has the router in the bedroom. The wife and I are VERY light sleepers, and the indicator lights do not bother us. Therefore, they most likely won't bother you. But if they do, guess what? You can completely disable them if you want to! No more do you have to utilise the "duct-tape method!!!" Anyway... The setup is very simple and straight-forward. I could totally see your "average joe" setting it up with no problems. But, in case you do run into a roadblock, the WRT AC3200 comes with very easy to follow documentation. And even then, there is a telephone support line offered just in case one is totally lost. The support provided is what one can always expect from Linksys. My personal setup: Prior to the WRT AC3200 coming into my life, I had a router/modem combo from an ISP that (without mentioning any names) rhymes with palm-last. At one time the 802.11 N speeds where totally acceptable. But like any other techie, I wanted MORE POWER! To connect the WRT AC3200, I simply used the included (nicely sized) ethernet cable to go from the ISP provided router/modem gateway to the WRT AC3200. After a few seconds, the indicator light showing an internet connection became steady - indicating that the WRT AC3200 is now "ready to go" - to begin configuration. Easy-Peezy. Setting up: Before going any further in the (very easy) setup process, you will need to acquire the pre-configured wifi network name and password (which you will be able to later customize). This information is located in two places. Under the device on a sticker, as well as on a sticker in the included "easy setup guide" card. Once you have this info, you are ready to begin the setup process. You are going to want to connect to one of the two (2.4ghz or 5ghz) pre-configured networks. Or you can connect your laptop to the device via ethernet using one of the included LAN ports. Once this is done, you simply open a web browser; and you will be redirected to the very user-friendly linksys setup wizard. You will be given the opportunity to change the names and passwords of both of the networks, set a security/encryption type, and set a password for the router itself (highly recommended to keep your nosey neighbor out of your router settings). Once done with the easy setup wizard, and you have no need for an advanced setup ----- you are done! For those than want to tinker a bit more, all of your usual features are included (mac filtering, DMZ, port forwarding/triggering, dyndns etc). And for those (like myself) who are known around the office as "The guy to go to when you break your computer", something very special about the WRT AC3200 is that it supports open-source firmware (OpenwWRT and DD-WRT) right out of the box! Normally, one would have to wait months for a new device to support these open firmwares. Not with the linksys WRT AC3200! Performance: On the local wifi network - my devices now communicate with each-other at the maximum bandwidth that my devices support (867Mbps). Some newer devices support even faster local/LAN speeds. And the linksys WRT AC3200 will support those too! This blazing fast local speed comes in handy if you like to transfer very large files between local devices. This is especially great if you utilize the included USB 3.0 port or esata port with a SSD. Pretty much turning the AC 3200 into a NAS in its own right. To give an example, it literally took two seconds to transfer a 4gb media file from my laptop to my media server! One of the reasons that the WRT AC3200 is able to do this, is because it implements something called "tri-stream 160". Basically, doubling the bandwidth on the 5ghz range. To better describe this feature, think of your old router as having 5ghz data channels with the width of a drinking straw. Such a small "width" greatly inhibits data bandwidth and speed. With the WRT AC3200, and with "Tri-Stream 160" those data channels are now the width of a fire-hose: TIMES 3! Very impressive, I know. You are only restricted by what your devices support (some may not have wireless AC capabilities, etc). But how about internet speeds? As mentioned above, I was averaging 42mbps down with my standard run of the mill ISP setup in which I pay for 100Mbps down/20Mbps Up with the "company that rhymes with palm-last". Now? That is increased to a steady and stable 130Mbps down and 25Mbps up! You must be thinking "I bet he has to sit in the same room as the router to get those blazing speeds?!?!? Nope. Actually, I am currently on my patio, on the other side of the house! With my old equipment, the 5ghz network wouldn't even extend onto the patio. Now I have a full and strong signal anywhere in my house, and parts of my yard (Don't ask ha ha)!!! My old router would get a bit "wonky" and unstable after being on a week or so. Apparently, it would overheat and spazz-out, randomly dropping connections. This would mean that I would either have to reboot it, or in extreme cases, unplug it and let it cool down for awhile. There are NO such problems with the WRT AC3200! In fact, I have stress-tested it with everything I can throw at it, and it keeps on trucking! The included 1.8ghz dual-core processor handles any task effortlessly. To me, that is the most impressive thing about the device. At any one-time, with my usage, there are 12-15 devices connected simultaneously. Which brings us to the next point. How many of us have been in a situation where we are, for example, trying to download a large file for work - but "little johnny" is also downloading a large media file? Our once rather snappy connection is now crippled because little johnny is using all of the bandwidth. Traditional routers generally assign one datastream for all devices to compete for. In bandwidth intensive environments, or even with the scenario above, that can be VERY bad. Linksys has thought of that exact scenerio when developing the WRT AC3200. The device sports a technology called "MU-MIMO" (Multi-User MIMO) which basically gives each connected device its very own dedicated data-stream. Why is that important? Now little johnny, little suzy, and even your dog spot (if he's so technologically inclined) can all be downloading large media files - and you can happily download your work file with no degredation in speed or performance!! Like I said above, I have tried everything I could think of to try and "outsmart" the MU-MIMO feature - to have it degrade the performance even 1% - and I was unable to do so! If you have devices that you want to permenantly give top priority to like a voip system, media server, or other device - you can do so in the control panel. But, I personally don't see a reason to do so, since the device automagically does this right out of the gate for you. Connectivity: The WRT AC3200 has many connectivity options. Included are 4 (four) gigabit ethernet LAN ports. Those ports will allow you to "hardwire" selected devices directly to the WRT AC3200, giving you an up to 10x faster ethernet connection than with your previous router. However, with the WRT AC3200 basically giving you the same connection speed via WIFI as you would get via ethernet, I really only see the LAN ports getting limited use. Some scenarios where I could see using a hardwired LAN port would be if you are running a web-server, or if your device (desktop PC for instance) didn't have a wireless card. Other than that, I really see no benefit of forgoing the wireless connection. Also included are 2 USB ports. One USB 2.0 port, and one USB 3.0 which also doubles as an esata. I simply have a thumb-drive connected to the 3.0 port to act as a cloud backup for my device(s). You can setup an FTP server or web-dav directly from within the linksys control panel if you so desire. All in all, the WRT AC3200 is your best bet in its price range. The WRT AC3200 is hands down the ABSOLUTE BEST wireless router I have literally EVER owned.

    I would recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Linksys Staff

      Hi, MemphisTechieRN,

      Thanks for sharing your detailed product review and we're glad to hear that the WRT3200ACM router is doing an excellent job! Allow us to share your wonderful experience with our Development Team. If you have questions about the product, feel free to email us at LinksysCares@linksys.com, anytime.


      Regards,

      Jay
      Linksys Support Linksys




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