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Great WiFi, with simple configuration optionsPosted
Interface: All the configuration was done via a web brower with a modern interface. There is a well organized network map widget that displays useful information about connected devices. The router will suggest you go through an assisted setup; or skip it and configure it manually. I tried manually first; and end up resetting and starting again with the assisted setup first; because the assisted setup provides better default options. Assisted Setup: - Note that assisted setup; which link sys calls ‘Smart Wi-Fi Setup’ won’t run unless the router is connected to the internet; so it’s best to connect it to the cable modem or an existing network first. Note that some cable modems need to be rebooted when changing routers in front of it. The link sys setup lets you ‘clone’ a MAC address of another device if you cannot reboot the cable modem. The first thing the setup does is to check for firmware updates. Then lets you configure both WiFi bands under the same name or select different names for each (i.e. homeNetwork or homeNetwork-5G). My preference is to set up both with the same name. Most AC capable devices will pick up the 5G network first and downgrade to 2.4Ghz as necessary. Linksys setup defaults to different names. There is no default admin password when using assisted setup (better security); so you’ll need to enter a new password for administering the router. If the assisted setup isn’t used; the default password is ‘admin’. At the end of the setup; the router will guide you to crearte a link sys account. This account (optional) can be used to access the router remotely (unless is in Access Point mode; see below). This is optional; and it’s in addition to the local user. This is also used by the mobile apps (iOS / Android). USB ports: There is one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 ports that can be used to shared storage (but not for printing). - Connect an external storage on USB ports and by default if’s open for windows shares with no password. Network Security: IPv4 and IPv6 SPI (Stageful Packet Inspection), IPv6 port filters, DMZ settings, IPv4 Port forwarding, triggers. Security concerns: - WPS is done through a button on the back of the router; or through its web interface; so you don’t need to walk to the router to pair a new device, if you have web access through another computer. - Firmware updates are not automatic in manual setup; but automatic updated are enabled if assisted setup is selected (Smart Wi-Fi). - Local management supports http and https but https is disabled by default. There is no way to load https certificates. - The default WiFi mode is WPA/WPA2 Personal. I can’t find a good reason for having the old WPA mode enabled. WPA2 is mandatory in WiFi devices in the past 10 years or so. Network: Local network: Allows to define a netmask so there is no pre-set limit of how many DHCP reservations it can handle. By default is only 50 devices when using a /24 mask (255.255.255.0); but can be set up to 155 devices when using this mask. For some reason; it leaves IPs 1-100 reserved. This is way better than other basic routers that don’t allow much flexibility; however the DHCP parameters are not configurable; except for external DNS servers (like Google DNS, OpenDNS or DynDNS). Configurable DHCP parameters are useful in some home offices with IP phones that sometimes need extra help booting. - Activity lights can be disabled; except for the power / status indicator; which is a bright white ‘Linksys” logo, and by far the brightest on the device. Advanced Network setup: Can toggle between NAT routing or RIP (but there is no way to disable RIP if NAT is not checked). It also supports static routes. QoS settings: Only allows three entries; that can be either a device, a range or ports; or defined applications (like Vonage, certain games, etc). This would give certain applications priority when competing for broadband access. I think it could be more comprehensive without making it more difficult but it’s sufficient for the most basic home applications. It’s ny no means required. Ethernet ports support VLAN tagging on ethernet WAN port and LAN ports 3 and 4; but it’s confusing on how it’s expected to work. There is nothing on the routing tab to define what to do with VLANs; so it looks like a hardcoded workaround for certain providers. Could not find a way to define different networks between VLANs nor any type of VLAN routing. VoIP: - It supports a SIP ALG. It’s either enabled or disabled. It’s disabled by default; which is probably good; since there is no documentation on what it does to SIP signaling, and no way of configuring ALG ports. Parental controls: - I was excited to test the advertised parental controls; but found them quite lacking: - It allows time of day settings per device (MAC Address) which is good; within a weekly schedule; in a nice chart interface to select the time ranges. - Then it allows a list of optional web sites to block; that’s it. It would be very easy for a teen to get around this very simplistic filter. - If you’re interested in some form of parental controls with this router, your best option would be to set MAC based time restrictions (if each restricted user has their own device), and set up a DNS based filter like OpenDNS for the whole household. Naming resolution: DDN Support: Dyn.com and NO-IP.com It supports bonjour but its name is hardcoded to ‘myrouter’. It does not match the UPnP / DLNA name; like any other service offered by the router. If the router is changed to Access Point mode; the hardcoded mDNS (Bonjour) name becomes ‘Linksys’ instead of ‘my router’. This seems like a double oversight. Network shares: It supports sharing via SMB (Windows shares) with local user names; and the workgroup advertised is ‘WORKGROUP’; which cannot be changed. It supports FTP but not SFTP nor WebDAV. This limits how data can be accessed; and offers no encrypted access. DLNA: It offers a DLNA media server, on the drives configured for network sharing. The only options are which folders are accessible through DLNA and selections on scan intervals. IoT: There is a setting to enable ‘AllJoyn Notifications’; which is disabled by default. There is no documentation on the router. What it is; as simply as possible; it’s a standardized gateway for IoT devices (like WeMo lamps; etc); which provides additional interfaces and security ( https://allseenalliance.org ). Access Point: Changing the router into an Access Point mode is an interesting process. It almost feels like a whole different firmware is running when in this mode: It’s done by changing the mode (Connection Type) on the WAN port; however; this setting is only available when logged in as the local admin user; it’s not possible to change it by using the Linksys account created during the initial setup; and there was no indication on the router’s interface about this. Once it’s in access point mode; it’s not possible to use any other additional feature; like the network map nor the USB ports; and it’s not possible to log in with mobile apps or remote access. Hardware: Remains rather cool; with plenty of ventilation. It has three removable external antennas; so it’s possible to replace them with high gain antennas. One gigabit WAN port and four gigabit WAN ports. One USB 3.0; one USB 2.0; power plug and a power switch!. It consumes between 5 and 6 watts. The power supply is a power brick type that is actually quite large (It takes what it amounts to four plugs on a power strip). The power supply is rated 100-240V; so it should be good for use in any country; with a plug adapter. WiFi Configuration: Very flexible configuration options. Allows automatic channel selection on both radios; or manual. Automatic channel selection is a nice feature on some newer routers that selects the least congested channels for each radio. This is the default mode. It has Network mode controls (i.e. which wireless protocols are allowed, like in most routers of this type) and supports Radius for WPA2 Enterprise; has MAC filters, and scheduler with hours and days of the week. As noted earlier; The security model enabled by default is WPA/WPA2 Personal. It would’ve been preferable to leave only WPA2 enabled by default. Wi-Fi performance: In my few days of using this product; Apple MBPs, iPhones, Amazon tablets, Surface Pro; etc all connected reliably. As a point of comparison, I’m also currently using older Apple routers (5th Gen ’N’) that are over three years old. I set up one Apple router next the Linksys, in a house that is two stories high plus basement; so set them on the basement; using different channels for 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz. Computers and tablets right above the router get about -20 dBm more with the Linksys than the older apple devices. Moving to the 2nd floor and on the opposite side of the house; the differences are not as pronounced. On 2.4 Ghz, the Linksys provides between -10 and -5 dBm more than the older devices. The newer radios in the Linksys should perform better when multiple devices are transmitting large amounts of data; yet I had no issues with either device with at least two Netflix streams and several other devices connected. I didn’t test performance outside the house; but this unit should reasonably be able to serve a medium size house with usable signal reaching outside the house; so I could replace the two 802.11N units at each side of the house with this; centrally located. Support: Tried to contact Belkin, d/b/a Linksys by email and I was surprised to find out I couldn’t open a support case by web or email. There are community forums, live chat, twitter support ?? or phone support (90 days complimentary); but no way to send them a detailed explanation on my questions. Phone support is nice; but email or web support would’ve facilitated more technical support exchanges that are simply not possible with current options.
I would recommend this to a friend
Great router for the regular home usePosted
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 would 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 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. 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 22.214.171.124 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 will 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 do not 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
Good Entry-level Dual-band MU-MIMO RouterPosted
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 have 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 have 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
Linksys has changed! Great Value to Features.Posted
Review 2/9/2016 (Initial Review) My first thoughts are Linksys has come a long way. I received this device as part of BestBuy's Tech Insider program in return for an honest review. I had been previously using a competitor's device to which I had NO problems with but I agreed to test this one to see where Linksys stands today with their technology. I last used Linksys in 2005 for my home networking needs because there was always trouble with setup and connectivity. So far, I have not seen the same issues I experienced in the past. I am trying to start fresh with this review and not take into account my antiquated experience with older Linksys routers. My overall experience thus far has been a great one. I plan on updating this review as I encounter issues and new things I like about the router. And the review begins, here we go... Price: --------------------------------- This router is listed at $199 MSRP on the website. It was recently announced at CES 2016. What's in the Box: --------------------------------- -Linksys EA7500-AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router -Quick Start Guide -3 Antennas -Ethernet Cable -Power Adapter -CD-ROM with Documentation -Cardboard Specs for my Tech Nerds: (straight off the Linksys Website) --------------------------------- Wi-Fi for the AC1900 uses 3x3 MU-MIMO technology employing Dual-band (2.4 and 5GHz) Gigabit, 600+1300 Mbps for medium household supporting up to 12 wireless devices. Network Standards: 802.11b 802.11a 802.11n 802.11ac 802.11g Wi-Fi Speed: AC1900 (N600 + AC1300) Wi-Fi Bands: 2.4 and 5 GHz (simultaneous dual band) Wi-Fi Range: Medium Household Number of Ethernet Ports: 1x Gigabit WAN port 4x Gigabit LAN ports Other Ports: One(1) USB 3.0 port One(1) USB 2.0 port Power Antennas: 3x external, dual-band, detachable antennas Processor: 1.4 GHz dual-core LEDs: Internet, Ethernet(1-4), Linksys Logo, WPS Wireless Encryption: Up to 128-bit encryption Operation Modes: Wireless Router Access Point Wired Bridge Wireless Bridge Storage File System Support: FAT NTFS HFS+ Dimensions (LxWxH): 257 x 184 x 56 mm (10.12 x 7.24 x 2.2 in.) without antennas Weight: 558 g (20.74 oz) Security Features: 64/128-bit WEP WPA2-Personal WPA2-Enterprise Regulatory Compliance: FCC class B Power Supply: Input: 100-240V ~ 50-60Hz; Output: 12V, 3.5A Setup: --------------------------------- Setup was a breeze LITERALLY. No CD required just a computer and a web browser. Just like every other router, you connect the router to your modem, connect power, and go to the router setup page. I particularly like what Linksys has done with their router setup. Gone is the required CD that does everything for you. Now you register an account using linksyssmartwifi.com which allows you to administer your router from ANYWHERE you have internet. You don't even have to be on the router's network! There is an easy setup process for those who are "network challenged" and there are advanced options for the IT guru. The Hardware: --------------------------------- There are 4 ethernet gigabit ports for LAN and 1 ethernet gigabit port for WLAN, 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0 port. The device itself looks great. It is a low key Black and grey device that doesn't attract attention like some of the prior blue and black Linksys devices. It has a 1.4GHz Dual Core Processor Highlights: --------------------------------- -Media Prioritization (still testing, it is an ongoing review with updates to come) WWM Support is Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM). WMM is a wireless Quality of Service (QoS) feature that improves quality for audio, video and voice applications by prioritizing wireless traffic. Turning this ON will enable its functionality. QoS is used to set up priority to specific devices, services or applications within the network through the router. This helps in properly allocating bandwidth. The WMM Support feature can be configured under Media Prioritization for this routers or from the Administration tab. For instructional video visit http://www.linksys.com/us/support-article?articleNum=155136 -Parental Controls This allows parents/administrators to restrict on a network basis or on a per device basis. You can set different levels of restriction per device which is great. You can block websites, domains, or a specific device. You can also shut down internet access using the Internet Scheduling feature for those kids who want to stay up all night on their computer/cell phones. -Beamforming Beamforming is a process that allows you to focus your WiFi signal. Simply put, when your router is sending out a WiFi signal, the signal gets wider and wider as it leaves the router decreasing losing strength in exchange for coverage. -Advanced Security You can safeguard your network with wireless WPA/WPA2 encryption and an SPI firewall. It also supports VPN. - 3x3 AC MIMO A 3x3 MIMO device with 3 antennas and radios is capable of transmitting and receiving via three streams. All these streams afford the device more bandwidth capacity when downloading and uploading data to and from the wireless network. The more bandwidth or the faster the devices’ speed on the network the better the performance for everyone overall who is connected to the same access point. An analogy I like to use often is that of 1 straw versus 3 straws in your drink. 3 straws in a drink will allow you to consume your beverage 3x faster than someone with only 1 straw in their drink. The same goes for wireless. Someone with a 3 stream MIMO device will get their data quicker and will allow others waiting in line to get their data much sooner than the 1 stream MIMO device. -Linksys Smart Wifi Monitor and control your home network from anywhere through the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi website or mobile app The app needs work, but it shows some promise. You cannot reboot your router from the app as of today 2/9/2016 but I hope they change that while you can using the website. It provides a network map of all devices customizable with VERY LIMITED icons that sometimes get mixed up. I found myself correcting the icons I selected for my devices, but that isn't REALLY a big deal. There are a few apps you can use with your router that I have yet to test. The ones posted on the website at the moment are -MU-MIMO Latest Wireless-AC technology for simultaneously streaming and gaming on multiple devices. -1.4 GHZ Dual-Core Central Processing Unit (CPU) Promotes simultaneous high-speed data processing. -USB 3.0 Port Add external storage and other devices to share content across your network via USB ports. -Easy Setup Installation is fast and easy. No CD required. More to come as many of these features are still being tested for an accurate review.
I would recommend this to a friend
Good Intermediate Level RouterPosted
I had not used a Linksys router in a while and was interested to see how they had come along. I currently have a AC5300 router from a different manufacturer and will not compare the two. The Linksys is a router for a medium sized home, the other is for a large home and has more options. Setting up- It's a router, I've done tons of them. The three antennas connected with no problems. I set the middle one straight up and the outer ones at 45 degree angles per the instructions. My network has static IP's as much as possible, so usually when I install the new router, I connect to it, change its base IP address and everything connects again. The router was connected behind a FIOS router (due to the type of connection from FIOS). The starting IP 192.168.1.1 was the same as the FIOS router. So, the router would not connect due to the IP address conflict, as expected. I disconnect the FIOS router and proceeded to setup the Linksys router. However, the Linksys router would not allow access even after power offs and resets. Finally, I tried to connect over the wireless network. Nothing worked to connect to the wireless network, I couldn’t even find the network. I checked the router for any issues and noticed the default wireless settings given on the quick start card were different than the ones on the router. Using the settings from under the router I was able to connect to the router and bring up the starting page. That was a waste of time. Not sure how the included setup card that had the wrong information on it. Without being connected to the interest, the automatic setup process would not work. I reset the router and went to use manual settings (what I planned to do eventually anyways). Once I accessed the router wirelessly, I could then access it through my wired computers. Using the setup on the router was straight forwarded and laid out in a nice way. All of the settings were easy to find and change as needed. I changed the router to my custom network settings and all of my devices started connecting to the network, wired and wireless. I am in a 2 story house with a basement. The router is in the basement as that is where the FIOS comes into the house. The router was able to service the basement and first floor okay. The top floor had issues. My wireless devices could not connect from the top floor. As it says it is for medium houses this is an expected result. It covers the area it says I would expect on both 2.4 And 5.0 frequencies. If the router was on my main floor it would probably cover the whole house. The network diagram worked fine and showed all of the connected devices. I have upgraded my computers to Windows 10, and have dropped flash. The network speed tester built into the router said it required flash, so I could not test it. The rest of the GUI for the router worked fine. I was able to change names, network settings, and passwords with no problems. Port forwarding, guest networks, and the typical router settings are all there. I downloaded the Linksys app on my smart phone, but it said I needed a Linksys account. Apparently it cannot connect to the router directly, but has to go through Linksys. I do not see why, and do not want getting my router information to go through an unneeded site and process, so I didn’t use it. Although this allows access to the router from anywhere on the internet, other companies allow you to at least access your router directly without logging into another system when you are at home connected to the router through an app. This is through an app, of course you can always connect directly by the router IP address. I tested my other network devices, and had no real problems. Remotes, internet streaming devices, etc all worked fine. I setup Prioritization for a few machines and they did get priority. I had some starting pains, but it all work eventually. I contacted Linksys support and they were helpful in trying to resolve the situation. One issue was only being able to access the router through linksyssmartwifi.com in my browser at first, since trying 192.168.1.1 didn’t work until after I accessed it wirelessly and set it up. The instructions said 192.168.1.1 should work by default. Overall, it seems like a good router for its purpose. Medium size dwellings. The 2.4 and 5.0 frequencies both worked fine and at the same time. Throughput was good on multiple wireless devices. It has the original firmware, and no updates were available at this time. I would expect improvements with new firmware. The misprinted quick start card with the wrong wireless information on it caused some delays. The router is built to be setup and used completely wirelessly if you need to do that. I didn’t have any MU-MIMO devices to check the higher speed claims. Overall a solid product, that does what it says it should do.
I would recommend this to a friend
More MU-MIMO capable devices neededPosted
As it stands, any MU-MIMO router you purchase on the market will currently behave and function the same as any other 802.11ac router and specifically any AC1900 router in it's class. That's because end-user devices require Wi-Fi antennas that specifically take advantage of the MU-MIMO instruction. I had trouble finding a USB 3.0 Wi-Fi card that has MU-MIMO support, and because of that not a single device in my home can currently support such instruction. Now what's MU-MIMO supposed to do and why is such a touted feature of this product so important? Currently, 802.11n and newer Wi-Fi bands broadcast as a single user-multi input multi output (SU-MIMO) gateway. This means that as the signal is broadcast, it offers full bandwidth potential to one wireless device at a time, particularly the device closest to the router with the best acquired signal. Say for example you're using a high-bandwidth application on your PC computer in your bedroom and are farthest from the router, you are being "de-prioritized" to traffic from a device closest to the router, say a smart TV or a game console. If those devices aren't in use at the time you're using your PC computer, however, your PC takes full advantage of prioritization. In homes with particularly fast broadband connections (above 50Mbps), we don't see this issue affect many user's wireless bandwidth potential because routers do a pretty good job at dividing bandwidth between devices. But see, that's the problem with SU-MIMO. If 5 devices are connected and are using Internet traffic simultaneously, each device gets 10Mbps of available bandwidth (50/5). That's the major problem MU-MIMO will solve: the "MU" stands for multi-user; each client device capable of using this tech will take full advantage of your ISP's download speed /and/ will never suffer from de-prioritization if that is such a case as a result of multiple devices requesting packets from the router simultaneously. So all those 5 devices? They can theoretically hit 50Mbps simultaneously and all of them can be downloading music or streaming content and all bandwidth and traffic would be treated equally. How's that for equality? There's only one major problem about this incredible tech: Nothing sold on the market at the moment supports it! I wish Linksys would at least release alongside this class of product a USB 3.0 Wi-Fi adapter that is able to take advantage of MU-MIMO from the get-go. We also plan to see many manufacturers of Wi-Fi devices (smartphones, game consoles, TVs, etc.) take advantage of MU-MIMO tech in future versions of their hardware so that eventually your home can take advantage of this much-welcomed technology that can help alleviate some of the woes Wi-Fi technology has infamously shared since it first became a reality. tl;dr: router of the future, no really. nothing out to support it yet though.
I would recommend this to a friend
Good - may be better if MU-MIMO becomes commonPosted
Choosing a router has become complex and needs are variable depending on many factors (type and number of clients, use, internet speed, competition, structure etc). My comments are based on use in a 2 story ~4000 square foot home in a neighborhood with 1/4-1/2 acre lots and many competing routers. I am comparing to a 2 year old R7000 Netgear Nighthawk. I have business class cable internet with a speed of 100Mbps/7Mbps. I use Ethernet for several of the devices on my network and wireless for laptops, an AIO, smartphones, printers and some Blu ray/smart TVs. My internet is faster than any 2.4 GHz device connection that I have tested. I easily get full internet speeds with the 5GHz network but the range is limited. Note that if you are transferring large files within your network you would be best served with high end 5GHz clients OR running cable. The promised advantage of MU-MIMO (no clients are available to me) is that if one has several devices using significant bandwidth it they will no slow down as much as older wireless protocols. Say you have two smart TVs watching a 10-20 Mbps amazon or netflix stream and a another client (also wireless and with MU-MIMO) downloading a giant stream update, the MU-MIMO should help. My solution (and many others) of using 5GHz and Ethernet whenever possible limits the wireless competition and would make MU-MIMO of little help. I performed some primitive real world testing, alternating the two routers with the same connection in an upstairs centrally located closet. I choose the locations in my house where I know signal is weak or I frequently stream/download. The Linksys (now owned by Belkin) router firmware was 126.96.36.199091. Signal in -dBm based on Wifi Analytics App on Galaxy 6 Edge (less than -80 dBm is considered poor) Location 1 -E7500 2.4GHz -62 5 GHz -88-- Netgear R7000 2.4 -62 5 -72 Location 2 - E7500 2.4 -58 5 -83 Netgear 2.4 -60 5 -70 Location 3 - E7500 2.4 -65 5 -86 Netgear 2.4 -59 5 -73 Conclusion - Netgear better range 5GHz radio, 2.4 GHz Netgear and Linksys similar Speedtest run at common sites where I would stream or browse internet -tested with Microsoft SP3 windows 10 Location 4 - E7500 65Mbps 2.4 and 5 GHz 105Mbps (full potential of my internet connection) Location 4 - Netgear 2.4 48 Mbps and 5GHz 105 Mbps Location 5 - E7500 2.4 16Mbps and 5 GHz 43Mbps Location 5- Netgear 2.4 13Mbps and 5 GHz 105 Mbps Location 6- E7500 2.4 75 Mbps and 5GHz 105 Mbps Location 6 - E7500 2.4 78Mbps and 5GHz 105 Mbps Conclusion - despite not having MU-MIMO the Linksys was faster than the Netgear on the 2.4 GHz band in some locations BUT the increase range of the Netgear at 5GHz seems to be an advantage at the worst 2.4 GHz location. I use the 5GHz for any client that has it available (many wireless printers and many older devices may not have 5GHz available). Business use: I also have a Cisco 881 router behind my primary router for secure business use and I notice no significant speed issues when comparing the Netgear and the Linksys. A few other comments about the Linksys - the web based configuration is easy to navigate but less customization is available than the Netgear. There are parental controls on the E7500 but not linked to the excellent opendns service like the Netgear. The guest network is turned on by default. So overall a nice router with good range, good performance but slightly less range and speed than the Netgear R7000 when tested with the superior 5GHz band in my environment. The MU-MIMO may prove useful if you have the yet to be released clients/devices and must rely on wireless for simultaneous high bandwidth uses.
I would recommend this to a friend
Good range, cloud set-up may not be for everyonePosted
My review is based on wired bridge mode only. Note that there are also standard wireless and a wireless bridge mode that were not tested. [When using wireless bridge mode you lose 1 of the channels (2.4 or 5GHz).] I received an evaluation unit for review at no cost. My current network configuration includes a Comcast router handling wireless IP assignments. I have a 2nd Apple router that is also wireless N based used in wired bridge mode to extend range. This Linksys is being tested as a third router to extend range. Eventually it will replace the older Apple router if everything works well over time. We would be classified as above average data users. Our home network has multiple devices including 4 iPhones, an iPad, Fire and other tablets, 4 Chromebooks, 3 Mac laptops and 3 PC laptops plus a Nintendo and Xbox 360, 3 wireless printers as well as Roku, Chromecast and an Apple TV. We average over 300Gb data usage on a monthly basis primarily due to Netflix and Amazon video streaming and some online gaming. So having a fast reliable internet connection is important. Some of our newer devices are wireless AC based. However, in close proximity I was not able to achieve any noticeable throughput improvements with an AC device to AC router (Linksys) vs. an AC device to wireless N routers. I currently have a 75Mbs down/ 10 Mbs up internet connection. The biggest improvement I noticed with this router was range. I went to a historically poor connection area outside. I connected to each of the 3 routers and performed a speed test. The Linksys router was in the general proximity of the Comcast router. The Apple router was located on the other side of the house. While the upload speed was approximately the same for the 3 routers, the download throughput in this weaker area was about double for the Linksys router. I was able to achieve 40 Mbps down, (vs 20 for the next closest router), with the Linksys. I am speculating this is primarily due to the 3 directional antennas instead of the AC technology. In close proximity I can typically get approximately the same 80 Mbps downstream with any of the 3 routers. When initiating setup a cloud based approach is now used by default. While there are advantages, some may prefer a local setup. When using in wired bridge mode to extend another routers range much of the menu functionality is disabled. I opted to use local setup via IP address and wired bridge mode only. One word of caution. If you allow another router to control IP addresses and don’t assign a fixed IP address to your bridge router you will need to determine the IP address assigned to the Linksys to regain access to the menus. In my case I wanted to locally log back on to the Linksys to make some setting changes, I first had to log onto the Comcast router and see what IP address had been assigned. There are some other nice features with this router including USB ports for sharing printers or hard drives. I did experiment with a shared external hard drive from the USB 3 port and this seemed to work well. This router has next gen AC (MU_MIMO), however I did not have any standard wireless AC routers to test against. My initial opinion is that this router provides a fast reliable wireless connection with extended range and device sharing options via USB ports. Cloud setup may not be for everyone, but there are work arounds.
I would recommend this to a friend
Solid Router with Tech that isn't RewardingPosted
3.5 out of 5, rounding up. For starters, everyone needs, at least, an AC capable router in their household, and an AC-1900 is the one (power-wise) that I'd recommend everyone get their hands on. Now, is the Linksys EA7500 right for you? Read on to find out. At the 199.99 price point, there is a lot of competition for routers. Specifically, the AC-1900 crop. The newest addition of these routers is the Linksys EA7500. The specs alone top most other routers in its class (processor, RAM, etc, everything outclasses most others'), and as such you might expect it to be the best out there. Not quite. I'll start with the PROS: the biggest one is ease of set up. Seriously, this thing was a breeze to set up and run. Also, super simple to change settings once set up. If you like no hassle, I'd say this is the one you're looking for, straight up. Next, the range. It's great. I have a 1200 sq. ft. apartment and it covers the entire thing, while also reaching about 200 feet away while I'm outside. Third, the tech specs underneath the hood. The processor, RAM, etc. all make it willing and able to take on any task you through at it, without a hiccup. This is good. It's a dual-band router, so it has both 2GHz and 5GHz band, to support old and new devices alike. Now, the bad. This thing is huge. It's probably 16 inches by 8 inches (I honestly didn't measure) and since it has to lay flat (not wall mountable), that is a factor some may need to consider. It only has one 3.0 USB port, which is sup-par what others pack with their technology. However, the biggest gripe of all was the MU-MIMO (Multiple User - Multiple Input Multiple Output) promise. While this sounds great (and I'm sure it will be in 2-3 years, when devices actually support this), it didn't perform nearly as it should've. I had connection problems galore when I tried to run some stress tests using both computers, phones, or my gaming systems. I even couldn't connect some times with friends online because of the routers filtering settings. And while, yes, you can change all of these settings, you shouldn't HAVE to do that. The router should for you. Everything considered, it's a great router. 3.5 out of 5 starts, with potential though. I'd recommend it, but I'd definitely consider your options first.
I would recommend this to a friend
As usual great solid Wifi Router from LinksysPosted
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 have 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 have 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