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Customer Ratings & Reviews

Linksys - AC1900 Dual-Band WiFi 5 Router - Black-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars with 2437 reviews

94%
would recommend to a friend

Pros

Cons

Customer ratings & reviews

Page 1, showing1-11 of 11 Reviews mentioning:
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  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Can't get external drives to work, returned

    Posted
    quicken2013reviewer1
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The setup was reasonable but I had to use wifi to do it, not just ethernet/wired connection. OK. I tried every combination of disk drives, cables and the two USB ports. I know about Windows not supporting SMBv1, but this NEVER recognized any disk in any port. Disgusted. Returned for a Netgear, which worked immediately. The networking worked fine and had good range, so some might not notice this deficiency for a while.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Linksys Staff

      Hello, quicken2013reviewer1,

      We understand that you no longer have the device and we appreciate that you're letting us know about the challenges that you've encountered with the Linksys router. In case you need our assistance in the future, please feel free to email us at LinksysCares@linksys.com so we can get you over to our Escalation Engineers for further assistance.

      Regards,

      Princes
      Linksys Support Linksys

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Easy to setup and works very well.

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

    I up graded to this router from a Netgear wrt3700 router. So far the only thing I was annoyed about was for gaming, I had to put my ps4 pro in the DMZ zone because the router does not automatically open ports and makes the NAT setting set to moderate due to the strong firewall. A strong firewall is good for everything but gaming. Just wanted to share this in case you where a gamer and was looking to buy this. Overall it works as advertised! The family loves the speed the network and I love the app and built in parental controls! I would highly recommend this router!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Stay Away

    Posted
    DesertApollo
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I have had Linksys routers for years with no issues and was excited to upgrade my 4 year old router that could not keep up with the new 4K setup and multiple devices. I choose this model and for the most part the setup is smooth and all of my devices connected, except my Ring video Doorbell. I spent almost 2 hours with tech support, setting up a DMZ, opening ports etc. and nothing worked. I said that's fine, as long as it rings like a regular doorbell I can live without the video and the network is good to go. Then I went to launch Battlefield 1 multiplayer. Was not able to connect to any servers?!! To troubleshoot, I hooked up my 4 year old router and I was online within minutes and the Ring Video Doorbell was linked back up again to the network. As such, I am convinced there is an issue with this model - MAX STREAM AC1900 and I do not recommend this product especially if you game online or have a Ring Doorbell.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Linksys Staff

      Hi, DesertApollo,

      The EA7500 Router is just a passthrough device so it should allow all your devices to connect to the network with no issues. Please email us your phone number at LinksysCares@linksys.com so we can tap one of our Escalation Engineers to further investigate why your Ring video Doorbell won't connect. Indicate the link to this review for reference.


      Regards,

      Jay
      Linksys Support Linksys

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great Router

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

    This is an excellent router! Its very fast and has a lot of great features like prioritization, USB 3.0 for external storage, and an app used to access the settings and monitor the router. Prioritization allows you to select 3 devices or services like xbox live, PSN, or a chromecast and the router will automatically make more bandwidth available for them so there's no lag (a great feature for gamers especially). There is a USB 3.0 and a USB 2.0 port on the back. This can be used for mass networked storage which can be controlled through the app. The app is free and useful. Its easy to use but it can definitely use an update. You can see and control what devices are connected, control guest access and parental controls, choose what to prioritize, troubleshoot issues, update firmware and passwords, set up port forwarding, and much more. Set up wasn't 1-2-3, it was more like 1-2-3-4. There was a minor hiccup when I tried to use my computer to link the router to the Linksys account that I made but it was resolved very easily by using the app instead. Last but not least is the size. While its definitely not the biggest router I've seen, its not the smallest either. It looks great though so I wouldn't mind putting it on display if necessary. The size is about what you would expect from a router with this many features.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A step forward in WiFi performance

    Posted
    rockhunter
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

    A year ago the flow of data on our home Wifi network was largely from the Internet via cable modem to the WiFi router to a Wifi device in the form of streaming video, only a very small amount of the total data was not streaming media from the Internet to a Wifi device or from one WiFi device to another WiFi device on the network and only a few Wifi devices needed bandwidth at any time. The early configuration solution was to think out the data flow and locate some WiFi devices to the 2.4GH band of the dual band router and place others devices on the 5 GB band. In the last few months we added a new Wifi enabled DVR that can stream video via WiFi to other TVs and computers (tablets and laptops) in other rooms and the early solution began to break down with a small amount of annoying jumpy video and sound and buffering. I decided to upgrade to one of the new MU-MIMO (multiuser MIMO) router the model selected was the Linksys EA7500 which can support several simultaneous WiFi streams at the same speed to geometrically dispersed Wifi devices. This seems to have solved the jumpy video and buffering issues with the new DVR and it's WiFi video clients and reached an area of the house the workshop in the garage which didn't have WiFi coverage before as a bonus. Physically the Linksys EA7500 is larger but looks very similar to the dual-band N900 Gigabit router it replaces, 1 Ethernet connector to the cable or DSL modem, 4 connectors for Gigabit LAN , 3 dual-band detachable antennas, 2 USB ports (1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0), Power port for AC power adapter, on/off switch, reset switch. The status LEDs on the Linksys EA7500 are at the back next to the corresponding port instead of on the top or front of the router which is a bit inconvenient if you want to refer to them. Configuration of the router is fairly straight forward. I removed the LAN Ethernet cables from the dual-band N900 Gigabit router and plugged them into the corresponding ports on the Linksys EA7500. Connected the AC power, launched a web browser on a computer on the router's LAN and open the Linksys EA7500 default base URL. This brings up the routers configuration application in the Browser and allows the administrator to set such network parameters as the SSID's for the 2.4 Gh and 5 Gh Wifi bands, select encryption and network passwords for each SSID, turn on/off the Guest Access, Parental Controls, Media Prioritization, options to enable access to devices on the home network from the Internet, along with many other options. So far I am very happy with the choice of the Linksys EA7500 to up grade our home Wifi network, there have been no instances with jumpy video since it was installed. The installation was smooth only one PC needing an update to its network drivers out of over 20 Wifi devices. Until MIMO and MU-MIMO Wifi adapters become more common the full throughput won't be realized for the network but it's a step forward even with legacy Wifi adapters. I would recommend the Linksys EA7500 to my friends needing high throughput WiFi.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great router, but MU-MIMO feature yet to be tested

    Posted
    Drj5j
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I was quite curious and excited to try out the Linksys EA7500 AC1900 MU-MIMO gigabit router just days after it was available for sale. The news from the International Consumer Electronics Show in January was that 2016 is to be the year of MU-MINO (Multi-User Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology, wherein data can be sent to and received from different devices simultaneously. Prior to MU-MINO technology, wireless routers could communicate with several devices "simultaneously" only by switching connections among devices extremely rapidly. Although the older technology allows the use of multiple devices on a wireless network, there is still a bottleneck at the router because it must continuously alternate communications between different devices. Because at any point in time our household might be accessing our wireless network with two cell phones, a laptop, one or two tablets, and a TV, I wanted to know whether the performance of this new MU-MIMO router would surpass our current router (the Linksys WRT1900AC), considered by many to be one of the best routers on the market one year ago. My excitement waned fairly quickly when I learned that the MU-MINO technology would not provide benefits unless the connecting devices are MU-MINO compatible. And none of mine are. So I cannot review the advantages of MU-MINO based on actual use for some time. Although it is possible to buy an add-on MU-MINO USB wireless adapter, the Linksys WUSB6100M , for a laptop, it cannot be used for a phone or tablet. Nonetheless, the Linksys EA7500 is one of the most recently-released routers, and I still wanted to compare its performance to the Linksys WRT1900AC that I bought last year. In particular, I wanted to see how well the EA7500 connected to a Samsung Nook tablet we use, because this tablet never did connect reliability to our current router. Also, I wanted to see if the EA7500 provided a more reliable connection to our cell phones in one particular room in our house where our phones kept disconnecting and reconnecting from our current router. When I pulled the EA7500 from the box and began to attach the three antennae, I was startled to see the two USB ports in the back labeled USB1 and USB2, given that the product was advertised to have one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 port, and nobody makes USB 1 products anymore. The puzzle was solved by an image on the side of the box indicating that USB1 was the USB 3.0 port and USB2, the 2.0 port. I suppose that there might be some compelling reason to label these ports USB1 and USB2, but I think it would have been more helpful to indicate which one was the 3.0 and which was the 2.0 port. The router did come with a quick-start guide that basically said to connect the router to your cable modem, connect to the network, and launch the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi router setup instructions. I would have used these instructions if I wanted to simply replace my old router with this one. Last year, the similar quick-start guide for my previous Linksys router had my router up and running in minutes. However, now I was planning to do an installation that left my old router on the network while adding the new router, and I wanted to do it correctly. So I next loaded the CD containing the documentation into my laptop's CD drive to find more detailed instructions on using two routers. What I found on the CD was simply a PDF file. When I opened the file, I was surprised to find the instructions were in a mixture of Arabic and English. More specifically, it was mostly in Arabic, with a few English words such as Illuminated Linksys Logo, Internet Port, and Reset Button that pointed to features within diagrams of the router. Obviously, this was a multi-language user guide, but, unlike printed guides written in many languages where one can quickly find the instructions in one's native language, this PDF file had no quick way to jump to the English instructions. So, I scrolled through instructions in Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German, and Greek before I found the English instructions on pages 126-146 of the 737-page PDF file. It would have been nice if Linksys had included a Table of Contents at the beginning of the file to allow users to jump to their native language instructions. The "How to install your router" portion of the instructions began with "If replacing an existing router, disconnect that router first," and then continued with instructions identical to those in the quick start guide. Like I said, those instructions are great for simple installations, but there were no instructions for adding the router while keeping your existing router. The remainder of the user guide simply described how to use features of the router such as changing the router's name and password, setting up guest access, configuring parental controls, testing Internet connection speed, and setting up Linksys Smart Wi-Fi (which allows you to configure your router from anywhere in the world over the Internet. I set up Smart Wi-Fi a year ago for my previous router and never had a reason to use it). But there were no instructions on using two routers on the network. Fortunately, Linksys has an excellent article, "Cascading or Connecting a Linksys router to another router" on the Internet, and I found setting up the EA7500 as a second router an absolute breeze. And the really good news was that the reliability of its signal to our cell phones is much better than our older Linksys router, and the Nook tablet that never connected well to the old router now has a great, solid connection to the EA7500. Although it may be some time before I acquire new MU-MIMO-compatible devices to enjoy the advanced features of the EA7500, it is already outperforming what was the best Linksys router on the market last year.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    As usual great solid Wifi Router from Linksys

    Posted
    RobC
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Have been using and enjoying LInksys routers for the last 13 years and familiar with the set-up, so wanted to continue with a Linksys router when upgrading. Did some research and decided that the EA7500 (AC1900) would probably be a good upgrade for my needs and the reviews were positive. The set-up interface was easy to access and use, similar to the prior Linksys routers I've owned. I called LInksys customer support when setting up since I had some problems getting an internet connection, but most of it seemed to be due to the set-up having occurred late at night when their servers happened to be down temporarily for maintenance. Once I went through the set-up program/software and updated the firmware, it was easy. I set up my network name, password and security same as my old router and everything connected easily and maintained a strong connection. This was a big improvement over my prior wifi router, maybe due to the stronger signal? I've an old TIVO that used to not hold a connection consistently to the old wifi router, but the new EA7500 router seems to connect consistently and maintain a connection. The only problem I had in set-up was with my network printer (connected via ethernet cable to the LAN port in the back of the router). It would not maintain a consistent connection and would drop-off after 30 seconds and remain offline. I kept turning it on and off, but could not really access the device. I called customer service about the problem and they worked with me to troubleshoot. Nothing seemed to work, and they eventually escalated it to an engineer who contacted me to schedule a time to help out. I've to say I'm really impressed with the quality of their customer service. They really tried to help, were responsive, and were pretty knowledgeable. I figured out the problem after much research on-line before I had a chance to schedule a time with the engineer. HP printer support has a Print and Scan doctor which didn't fix the issue, but had suggestions in case there were still problems. I tried to reload the drivers, but it didn't help. I eventually had to turn off the new router, connect to the old router again, use it to connect to the Embedded Web Server of the printer (using the printer's IP address assigned and connected to the old router) and enter the Network configuration system to disable IPv6 on the printer which solved the problem and allowed me to maintain a stable connection to new router's LAN. I'm not sure why my network printer worked easily (more or less plug and play) on the old LInksys E1200, but not the new router, but this fixed the problem and hope it helps others in a similar situation. I'm very happy with the new EA7500 router and the only functionality I wish they had kept was to be able to disable the SSID broadcast on the guest network. This was available on my old Linksys router, but doesn't appear to be available on the new router. Also, wish the guest network had the WPA/WPA2 security protocols that the primary network does. Would recommend the router to anyone looking for a reliable solid Wifi router.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good Entry-level Dual-band MU-MIMO Router

    Posted
    FlyingC
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    This EA7500 "Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router" just started shipping from Linksys in February 2016. I'm using it to replace a 5-year-old Linksys EA3200 which was performing well for me, but missing a few newer features that I'd like to have in my network. I'm a network engineer with 25+ years of experience working in the industry and I've to admit a lot of the terms and acronyms thrown around in the wireless area can be confusing. Trying to figure out Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) vs. Single-User MIMO, beam forming, 802.11n, and 802.11ac wave 2 can be very frustrating when you JUST want all the devices on your network to connect and do what they're supposed to do. I think the bottom line is if you have a growing number of wireless devices in your house and multiple ones streaming video, it's probably worth a little more money to get the newest router with MU-MIMO. Even if you don't have the newest devices yet to take advantage of it, it's likely you will in the next few years. Setting up the EA7500 was a breeze. I went with the automatic setup and everything went smoothly. You'll want to create a Linksys account when prompted so you can manage it via "the cloud." This was one of the features that most interested me in upgrading. Having the Smart Wi-Fi app on my phone where I can enable/disable guest access, configure a new port forward, or easily see what's connected on my network are features I missed on my older router. There's also the ability to prioritize some devices of your choosing with "media prioritization" though I've not found a lot of details about what exactly that does. I've put my Roku, Fire Stick, and PC media server in that group but have not noticed any difference in performance. Other improvements with this model are two USB ports (one each of 2.0 and 3.0) so you can add a USB device for shared network storage and also a shared network printer. I'm using a simple 16GB flash drive and access to the drive is super easy from my Windows machines. I've not set up a printer yet. One minor issue I encountered during the installation and setup was finding the recommended orientation for the three antennas. Most of the pictures showed them all straight up, but it wasn't until I went to the full Linksys support page that I found that's only the recommended position for a single-story home. For multi-story homes, it recommends the center one straight up and the other two angled outwards 30-45 degrees. However, no documentation I found mentioned anything about wall mounting the router which is how I'm using it. There are holes on the bottom designed for doing that, so it would have been nice to have a recommendation for the antenna positions in that case. One disappointment for me, though, was in the management capability. While I like the Smart Wi-Fi interface, particularly the map it creates for you of your home network devices (picture attached), it lacked one of the more obvious features I was hoping to get. Most useful to me is being able to see which devices are using the network in real time. I live in a rural setting and have pretty limited bandwidth by city standards (3 Mbps up/down). The most common problem is having the link fill up and become slow when I'm trying to stream a TV show, for example. If I could open the app and see the top talkers on the network, then, at a glance, I could see who was filling up the link, stop it, and go on with my streaming show. I've a Cisco/Meraki access point with cloud management and it has exactly that capability. It's possible Linksys could add this later as they send out automatic updates, and I've read rumors they plan to revamp their Smart Wi-Fi app later this year. Hopefully network utilization will be a feature they add. Other than that, I'm quite pleased with the new router and feel like I should easily be able to get 5 years of use out of it just like my old router. Oh, and one added bonus is it runs a lot cooler than the old EA3200 model.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great router for home usage

    Posted
    BillFromKC
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    Disclaimer - I received this router from Best Buy in exchange for an honest review. The TL;DR synopsis: The Linksys EA7500 is definitely worth its price for what you get. On top of being a great dual-band wireless router with terrific range in both the 2.4 GHz (B, G, and N) and 5 GHz (A, N, and AC) bands, it's also functional as a network file server, network printer server, and DLNA media server - just attach an external USB storage device and your USB printer that doesn't support WiFi connectivity and you're ready to go. There are a couple of features that advanced users and those looking to put one (or many) in a small office may miss, and there could be a couple other features added to make life easier, but overall it's a great router for the home. And the rest of the review: In terms of setup, it couldn't be easier. The router walks you through the initial configuration, which includes setting a router hardware password. After the basic configuration is done and internet connection is verified, it does ask you to setup a Linksys Cloud account, which allows you to configure your router from anywhere, including disabling wifi (you're welcome, parents; sorry kids). Keep in mind this cloud account is optional and only used for remote access to the router. From this point on, you can change advanced settings using either software provided from Linksys on your mobile devices, or the web interface on your computers. In terms of settings, you can change almost everything in the router that you'd want or need to - enable and disable file and media servers, security settings, IP ranges and connectivity modes to your internet provider, and more. The only setting I'd want to be able to change but I'm not able to is wifi signal output; the reason for this isn't to turn up the strength of the signal, but to turn it down so not every one of my neighbors sees my wireless network. When it came to testing wifi, it covered the entirety of my lawn (200'x200') from just about anywhere in my house with the 2.4 GHz signal. The 5 GHz signal was nearly as good while located in my office but not as strong in my side yard (west side of the home) from the kitchen (east side of my home). In terms of receiving that signal, I was able to walk around 250' away from my house before the 2.4 GHz connection between my iPhone and the router became unstable. Compared to my current router (Apple Time Capsule 3rd Gen), this triples the 5 GHz coverage and nearly doubles my 2.4 GHz coverage. With that wireless connectivity comes speed. It connects to Wireless AC devices at up to 1300 Mbits per second, Wireless N devices (2.4 and 5 GHz) at up to 600 Mbits per second, and is compatible to legacy A, B, and G devices; unlike some older routers, connecting a legacy device doesn't slow down the connection speed of newer devices. This is a great thing, especially for those with ultra high-speed connections (fiber and >250 Mbit cable internet) or that do a lot of streaming from a media server, especially with 4k resolution media. It's also very stable. Testing while connected to Google Fiber didn't cause this router to become warm. Considering that most routers I've owned or used over the years tended to become warm with heavy use, this is very reassuring. Transfer rates are also great - I was getting regular wired speed test results over 900 mbps and transferring large files over the internet at speeds close to what you'd see on a local network with Google Fiber. Being that the only wireless AC devices I had to test with were limited to the devices' own top wireless speeds, I can tell you that both phones pegged out their speed tests at 180 mbps each while running those tests simultaneously (Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6s). For connectivity on the router itself, it marks off the important checkboxes - USB 3 connection for a hard drive or flash drive, USB 2 for a printer or another flash or hard drive that doesn't need to transfer data as fast, a gigabit ethernet connection to whatever your internet connection is brought into your home with, and a 4 port gigabit ethernet switch. The second USB port not being USB 3 is a little bit of a detriment if network printing is something you don't want to use this router for. It also doesn't have an eSATA port like some higher-end routers do, but as fast as USB 3 is, you won't miss that connection at all. Keep in mind this router supports hard drives and flash drives formatted as either FAT, NTFS (Windows), or HFS+ (Macintosh). exFAT and Linux file systems aren't supported by this device. Network printing requires either Windows or Mac OS X (Lion 10.7 or later). Linux isn't supported and I didn't get a chance to see if the print server emulated established network printing standards. This router also won't act as an AirPrint server, so you won't be able to use your USB printer with your iOS device or Android device without either AirPrint server software on your computer or a printing solution for Android. One thing this router really has going for it's style. It's something that will look good sitting out in the open, with sleek, smooth lines, and the Linksys logo being the only light on the front of the unit, glowing in white. While ultimately not as stylish as Apple AirPort or Google OnHub, it's still a step above everything else on the market right now, including Linksys' own WRT line, in terms of style, and it easily outperforms both the AirPort and OnHub. I do have to knock the firmware for the router for not supporting exFAT with external storage devices, the reason being that households with both Mac and Windows computers are more likely to have external hard drives and flash drives in this format due to larger file support and universal compatibility between the two OSes; exFAT is also a common file system for SD cards larger than 64 GB, used by Android phones. I also have to knock this router on the configuration pages; many advanced settings are buried. For those of you used to looking at Linksys configuration pages like what's included in the WRT54G among others (what looks like a web page from the late 1990s or early 2000s), you'll be disappointed, not because it's easier on the eyes, but because the settings you're used to seeing are two, sometimes 3 clicks deeper than they were in the older firmwares or just not there at all (such as the ability to set signal strength). For beginners or those looking for an easy to use router, however, you'll be pleased that its basic settings are the only things shown and the interface is actually pretty easy to navigate in that regard. Overall, this really is a great router for home usage. It supports connectivity to a lot of things at once, it has incredible transfer rates, and it's a quality product. Advanced users who want more control over their router may want to look at the step up from the model (the Linksys WRT series), but for 90% of everyone out there, this is a router that you'll probably never outgrow.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Solid Router

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

    Overview: The device itself is quite quick. Linksys's smart wifi software runs quite well, and the interface is snappy. I've found performance to be quite good, with some of the best speeds I've seen at short range (87MB/sec over SMB2 on my Mac). More on that later. Firmware wise, you'll find the standard Smart WiFi interface. This interface is a far cry from the WRT-54G days of yesteryear. The last Linksys device I purchased was the E2000 back in the Cisco days, which sported an interface that was a slight update over the old 54G's interface. Here we have a modern single page web app, with JQuery, Ajax, and -gasp- HTML5. The user experience is much better than other brands of consumer routers I've used. Hardware: Hardware wise, we have the 1.4GHz IPQ8064 from Qualcomm (sporting CPUs fit for a smartphone), 256MB of RAM with both 2.4 and 5GHz radios in a 3x3 antenna configuration (so N600Mbps, AC-1300Mbps respectively). Around back there are 5 gigabit ports (1 WAN, 4 LAN), 1 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0, a WPS button, reset button, power switch, 12V power in, and 3 external antennas. Around front the glowing Linksys logo is the only status you get. It pulsates when booting, and is on pretty much all the time otherwise. One minor compliant is that the antennas don't seem to tighten down easily, leaving them a bit floppy if you adjust them much. No real concern here once you get them positioned like you should. Features: I was pleasantly surprised to see lots of features, including a network map, guest network access, static DHCP reservations, VLAN setup, wireless schedules, external storage access via SMB (windows share), FTP, and DLNA. QoS appears to work well if that's a need. Basic parental controls that allow blocking sites/internet access (including internet during certain hours - to keep that pre-teen from browsing the web on their tablet all night). These controls impressed me quite a bit with the granularity possible. IPV6 was front and center too, with decent support and firewall controls. I was disappointed that there was no VPN functionality. OpenVPN is becoming more and more common in enthusiast class routers, including Linksys's own WRT series. Perhaps that feature is reserved for that series, but at this price point it would have been the icing on the cake. Performance: Quick note before going deeper in this section. I tested almost exclusively the 5GHz AC wireless. Honestly if you're spending the money on this router, chances are you have devices that connect wirelessly through AC. If you're primary use case is 2.4GHz this router is overkill. That said, I'm more interested in the AC performance because that's what this router is all about and consequently that's what I've tested. When I went to test performance, I used the Broadcom based wireless in my MacBook Pro 15". I saw great pings and throughput at almost any distance in my home (including through 2 walls and a floor). I'd peak my Comcast connection at 170 Mbps down/10up. Remember, this is the range limited 5GHz network I'm testing, in a 3200sqft home. Expect that this router can cover most homes sufficiently. This is great to see, and maxing out the Internet speed is most people's concern. But of course, theoretically this router can deliver much more. To push the performance, I tested copying files to my home server (a Windows Home Server based NAS). I generally max out gigabit around 110MB/sec wired, so I was curious what sort of throughput I'd get wireless. Below are my results (taken about 10 ft near line of sight): Down: SMB2: 86.6MB/sec (693Mbps) down peak (around 60MB/sec avg) Up SMB2: 67.4MB/sec (540Mbps) up peak (around 50 MB/sec avg) At 30ft through 1 floor and 3 walls. Down: SMB2: 52.2 MB/sec (417Mbps) down avg Up: SMB2: 30.4 MB/sec (245Mbps) up avg Not to shabby real world performance. Sure AC should give us 'gigabit' wireless, but seeing about 700Mbps is exciting to see. AC Wireless is the true promise of high throughput at range and the EA7500 delivers. I also test the USB function using both SMB and FTP. FTP provided the best performance by far reaching near the maximum of the connection. Writing is slower me to believe that while reading/writing to a disk the device is CPU limited. SMB takes a lot more CPU which is why it's slower. This might seem a bit unfortunate, but in the realm of embedded devices, even dedicated NAS hardware can be slower than this router when reading/writing to a USB drive. Seeing 75MB/sec over WiFi for a router's NAS function for read is pretty impressive. Local Read/Write (USB 3.0 HDD direct to computer) 120 MB/sec / 85-120 MB/sec Network Read/Write (SMB) 21-30 MB/sec / 14-22 MB/sec Network Read/Write (FTP) 67-75MB/sec / 35MB/sec Support Linksys responded quite quickly to my request for the GPL source code. The firmware is available at http://www.linksys.com/us/support-article? articleNum=114663. I reached out to Linksys over various channels, and they got right back to me. It definitely seems like they are attune to their customers. Conclusion The EA7500 is a fast router, probably the fastest I've had the chance to use. It packs some pretty impressive hardware with great software to match. Almost every function has a nice polish to it, and the interface is snappy. WiFi performance is excellent even without MU-MIMO clients, and there's a promise of even better performance with supported clients. The NAS function works wonderfully well for reading files over FTP, and sufficient for normal SMB/Windows share. This router does lack VPN, and does lack the promise of open source support like WRT models, but if those things don't matter to you, this router is a sweet piece of equipment.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great router for the regular home use

    Posted
    xKing
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
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    It's a great little router for the average home use, it has a lot of features that normally found in the higher grade devices. Setup was extremely easy, basically you don't even need to set it up - plug it into the cable modem, power it on and connect to pre-defined wifi network! You'll need to access it's management interface to uncover it's full potential, there is a quick run thru it's features: Overall appearance - it's very well built, does not look or feel cheap - nice black plastic, adequate number of vents, enclosure does have a keyholes on the bottom for the wall mounting. There is a Linksys logo on the front panel that glows steady when everything is ok and flashes otherwise. All ports are on the back and there is an option in the menu to suppress all activity lights on the back so they won't bother you at night (it would be a nice touch if it would be possible to disable lights on schedule, put I guess I'm asking too much). Linksys logo will still glow though even activity lights are disabled. Included documentation - you'll get a printed quick start guide and a documentation CD with the very brief manual, I did not find it very useful, however online help in the management interface is very good, I'd recommend looking at the online help if in doubt (it has a few quirks though and gives an impression like - don't touch anything unless you absolutely sure and called your ISP to verify :)). 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. 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. WiFi coverage - I'd say it's great for the small to average house, I had no problem at all in my small 2600 sq ft two story house and even in the backyard. My internet connection speed is 300/20 Mbit/s and devices on the second story had no problems getting the full 300Mbit/s bandwidth. Devices downstairs were showing about 200Mbit/s available to them which is more than enough. 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. Both networks support WPA2-Personal and WPA2-Enterprise (which was surprising to find on this router, I was actually able to test it with my FreeRADIUS server and it worked flawlessly, normally WPA2-Enterprise is a feature on the higher grade devices). 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). 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 and I could not get it to recognize wildcards like let's say if I enter abcxyz.com - that website will get blocked no problem, but if I put something like abc*. com - that does not work. I wish Linksys gives that wildcarding capability and describes it in help better. Overall - not too bad, but could have done better (for example: setup a whitelist instead of the black list, OR setup a whitelist which is always allowed, graylist which is allowed only on certain times and blacklist which won't be allowed at all, just giving Linksys some ideas here :)). 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. On-board USB ports, this router features one USB 2.0 port and one USB 3.0 port, so you could plug in your non-networked USB printer and/or a hard drive and share them for your network. USB ports can NOT be used for the 3G/4G/LTE dongle as a backup Internet line. Security features - this router has a standard packet - DMZ support, port forwarding, port triggering, UPnP support. I'd 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'd 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. Logging is where it falls short a little bit in my opinion. All I was able to get was the list of IP addresses my devices accessed and service name. Like 10.0.1.10 accesses 1.2.3.4 for www. Plus some DHCP packet states. Router was not able to inform me about the failed WiFi access attempts (like invalid WiFi password used or invalid WiFi guest network password used, or parental control triggered). I want to see if my kids are trying to get to something they are not supposed to! There were also nothing on router's internal health, nothing like send logs to syslog, etc. I feel like all possible logs should be accessible to the end user for troubleshooting purposes. IPv6 - this router does support it, however it's a little bit raw, for example there is an ability to setup an IPv6 firewall rule to allow some traffic to your internal IPv6 network from the outside (for example to access your IP camera without setting up port forwarding), however there is no way of making sure that specific device will always be assigned with the specific IPv6 address (like DHCPv6 reservation). This technology is still pretty new so I'm hoping it will be improved/implemented in the future firmware updates. Other features - even though this router does not have VPN server on board - there is an app that lets you control your home network while you are away. It could be useful to see what is going on if someone at home complains about the internet access or stop your kid from going online :) My biggest problem with this router - is that in the "Bridge" mode it does not show any logs OR even network map. If I set it up as a simple WiFi bridge - I still would like to see my connected devices! It sounds like "Bridge" mode turns it into the pretty dumb access point. Conclusion: It's a great router for the average home user, strong WiFi performance, very fast processor and many features, yet simple setup makes it an ideal application. Remote access app (called Linksys Smart Wi-Fi) will definitely help in case you set this router up for your not so technology advanced friend or family member - you'll have an ability to help them remotely. During the whole time I've tested this router - it never hung up on me or otherwise prompted for a reboot which is great. I don't tolerate unreliable network devices in my home. However - lack of the 2nd 5GHz band, on-board VPN server, backup Internet access via USB 3G dongle, poor logging capabilities - makes it not that attractive for the real tech person. Inability to show a network map in the bridge mode is kinda odd as well.

    I would recommend this to a friend