Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Linksys EA6800 AC1900 Smart WiFi Router

AC Routers have started flooding the market lately and today I'm taking a look at the Linksys EA6900 AC1900 Router promising consumers speeds up to 1900Mbps (600mbps for Wireless-N & 1300Mbps for Wireless-AC).

Setting up the EA6900, the device wasn’t too fond of my Home network and refused to be detected through wires. After eventually setting it up through my laptop the router was up and running. Looking over the design of the unit it’s fairly similar to previous models with the addition of a few subtle changes and the addition of the 3 antennas. One thing you will notice is the size of the router. It is quite large and if you’re planning to place it somewhere on your desk, you may need to rethink it.
Once setup the web GUI of the device is very friendly and almost every level of user should be able to navigate and make changes quite easily and comfortably. The device lets you manage and edit everything you need to in a router. By default both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz on the device come with the same network ID and password, so your device will connect to whichever one is at its best reach. This is something you may want to change and control so that you can manually manage what devices you have connect to which network. The router also has functionality of using your smartphone to access the routers settings via an account and the app.

Speed wise the EA6900 is the fastest router I’ve used on the 2.4GHz at close range. It easily surpasses anything I’ve used and beats my own wireless router that I use. Where it doesn’t do so well is in the distance. Head to head against my dedicated Wireless-N router, it performs on par. I didn’t really see an improvement of speed against my existing router using the EA6900. For the premium price tag on the device and the age gap difference between the routers I was expecting significant improvement on the wireless range and throughput.

The biggest downside to the unit is the amount of heat it generates. It’s definitely up there as one of the hottest I’ve held. Even after an hour or so of powering it on, it gets uncomfortably hot. So beware and ensure you’re router is placed in a well-ventilated area as it’s going to need it.

Overall, the Linksys EA6900 is a solid piece of hardware with powerful specs that does have a few minor issues going against it. Saying that, most issues should be fixed with firmware updates which I hope Linksys is working on. If you’re looking to future proof your Home or Office wireless network, the Linksys EA6900 is one to put on your consideration list.