I received a free sample of this router from Linksys in exchange for my honest feedback.
I am a very technical home user. I build my own PCs and worked in computer tech support for many years. My home network includes two desktop computers (i7) running Win 7-64, three laptops (1-i5, 2-i7) running Win7-64, and iPad 3, iPad 2 mini, iPad Air 2, iPhone6s (all iOS 9.3.5), Chromecast first gen on an HDTV, Ethernet connected printer and a WiFi garage door opener. My wireless router is at the heart of making this all work together. And it does.
My home and property are not huge - 2000 sq ft home on a 7500 sq ft lot in a suburb. The home is standard brick veneer over wood frame construction with the normal electrical wiring, copper plumbing and HVAC ducting in the walls, ceilings and floors. The longest straight line distance from my router to the farthest corner of my property is about 110'. The router is located on the second floor closer to one end of the house. The router is situated for convenience, not in a location selected for optimum WiFi performance.
The single most important aspect of WiFi for me is to be able to maintain a WiFi call with my iPhone throughout my home and in all parts of my yard. WiFi calling requires a strong WiFi signal. If signal strength dips even momentarily, the WiFi calling feature will disable and the call will drop.
I was happy to see that the EA7300 supported WiFi calling out of the box. I walked the house, all floors and basement, and throughout the yard. When connected to the 2.4GHz signal, I maintained full signal strength and WiFi calling everywhere. When switched to the 5GHz signal, I could not maintain WiFi calling beyond approx the first 1/3 of the radius of my property. In fact, the 5GHz signal completely disappeared beyond about 75' from the router in many parts of my yard.
I use a WiFi network analyzer to read the signal strength and channel assignments of the 2.4GHz networks in my neighborhood. This allows me to select a 2.4GHz channel that does not conflict with a neighbor. I do not have the capability to scan 5GHz networks, so I can't report to what degree overlap from a neighbor's overlapping channel might be a factor.
To test the router's internal processor, I accessed streaming video (Netflix, YouTube) from all my desktops (ethernet), laptops and iOS devices (Wireless), HDTV, plus executed large file transfers over WiFi between one laptop and one desktop. ll devices were connected to the 5GHz signal except the Chromecast.
Everything worked fine, no video hiccups or buffering. The file transfer speed under load was in the 8.3-8.7 MBs range. This is about normal for my WiFi file transfers with my last two routers. Running a speedtest over an ethernet connection, I obtained pings in the low teens, downloads in the 90Mbps range. WiFi speedtest using my phone yielded pings in the low teens and downloads in the 60-70Mbps range. I pay for service up to 75Mbps, so I'm convinced the EA7300 can handle whatever my cable modem can throw at it.
The EA7300 is a nice looking product. I like that it has external adjustable antennas. I like the USB3 port on the back to which I connected a 128GB USB3 flash drive. I can access this storage device from all my computers and iOS devices. The EA7300 also has a small on-off switch not always found on routers. This makes it easy to reboot the router when needed without fishing around to find the right AC plug.
The included AC power supply is just big enough to interfere with the outlets next to it if plugged into a standard power strip. If the AC prongs were turned 90 degrees, it would fit without interference. Not a big deal, but something to note.
The only indicator light on the front of the router is the backlit Linksys logo. It seems to have three modes - slow blinking, fast blinking and solid on. It blinks slow then fast when booting up and establishing internet connection. It glows solid on when ready to go. Throughout all testing, the case was warm enough for you to know that it was on, but never got warmer than that in 75 degree F ambient temps.
Printed documentation included with the EA7300 is minimal - just a quick start guide. I typically bypass the smart/automatic setup features found on newer routers and dive right into the firmware menus. If you're familiar with Linksys firmware, you'll feel right at home. If not, just follow the six steps listed in the quick start guide and you'll be up and running.
I was happy to see that the EA7300 is capable of updating its firmware automatically. This keeps your device current with the latest functional and security updates without having one more thing to worry about.
My overall impression of the EA7300 is that it is a highly competent wireless router for an average size home. It was able to handle the full load of network traffic that eight wired and wireless devices could send it. The 2.4GHz signal will cover my entire home and yard with enough power to maintain WiFi calling. While not reaching as far, its 5GHz performance handled HD streaming video to multiple sources simultaneously. I will be happy to replace my old router with the EA7300.