Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wifi Router
The Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router is designed for device-heavy homes with simultaneous wireless activities. Tri-band technology adds an additional high-speed 5GHz band for combined speeds of up to 3.2Gbps – up to double the AC performance of dual-band routers. Innovative Smart Connect technology optimizes the performance of your wireless devices by balancing them across multiple Wi-Fi bands. Its six active antennas – 3 external, 3 internal – provide six data streams and a 1GHz dual-core CPU ensures faster combined Wi-Fi speeds to even more devices without diminishing individual speed or performance. Four Gigabit ports offer a blazing-fastest wired connection, while Beamforming technology focuses and strengthens the Wi-Fi signal to your Wireless-AC devices.
Explaining the AC3200:
Coming right out of the box I had some high expectations for this router. And for the most part they all were fulfilled. This Linksys AC3200 Wi-Fi Router is designed for any homes with multiple heavy hitting wireless devices. Supporting Tri-band tech, and adding in an additional 5GHz band for increased speeds. Though please keep in mind your never going to achieve the advertised 3.2Gbps speeds between clients.
Talk about antennas, this router packs in six antennas – 3 external, 3 internal – providing a massive six data streams and a 1GHz dual-core CPU for each band makes for some fast internal Wi-Fi speeds. There are 3 integrated cpus that technically add up to 2.96Ghz but the 2.96Ghz is just an advertising scheme. You’re really only getting a 1Ghz cpu for whatever band you’re on. Thank you Cisco for adding in Gigabit ports,5 to be exact: 4 data and 1 uplink. And I don’t know about the rest of you but I am seriously done with the days of 10/100. I am also glad they added in 1x USB 3.0 and 1X USB 2.0 ports for connecting external devices, such as an external HDD or printer. Though please note that if you place this device into bridge mode those USB ports will be disabled. (See Cons below) Transfer speeds from the router to an external HDD I had were in the range of 25-35Mbs range. So not bad there for sure and worked flawlessly when I connect a brother printer to the second USB port for some wireless printing. Very elegant look as well, and by elegant I also me serious looking. When I first setup the device I couldn’t help but think that this device looks like it can handle some massive network traffic. Another thing I really liked was that there was no stupid wall wart for a power supply. It has a standard 2-prong (Would like to see 3-prong) plug and a power converted inline. So no more taking up 3+ outlets for one device. Setup and configuring this device was really just like any other Cisco Linksys router. Though the interface is quite a bit different, it’s still very straight forward. Mostly just a plug and play device.
That’s a lot of money for a router, though considering the supply and demand aspect of this device, and how right now that price is affect by the FAD affect, you’re going to pay more now than you will in say 6months. Streaming to the Xbox 360 (Using NetFlix) I had some serious LAG and slow speeds, plugged it directly into the router and decreased the speed issue easily by 80%. Xbox had full bars and I had even set media prioritization on it as well, but to no affect. This is not something for a business, it is more designed for a home power user who really wants to get the most out of his or her devices. A big issue that I see is when you place this device into bridge mode all of those fancy and usefully features all but disappear.
When in bridge mode you will only have the options to:
Change the Routers basic settings; Router login, wifi password, upgrade firmware, and a few other things.
Really just all of the troubleshooting features don’t work when in bridge mode. Logging, dhcp table view, ping…etc, which is really annoying when you’re trying to monitor client issues.
I can see some modes being disabled in bridge mode but this just about disables everything!
All in all this is a nice router. It’s fast, reliable, and can support a crazy amount of devices and throughput. It is bit pricy, but you mostly get what you are paying for. I would recommend this device to a lot of people though I would also say wait a bit for the price to drop before you get it. I read some reviews as well that stated that this device would speed up your download/upload speeds as well, so I’d like to state that this is not a cable modem and will not increase your base internet speed. Your internet speed is based on what plan you have with service provider and on the cable modem you use. This unit ensures all the local data from all the devices in your home connect fast to the cable modem/dsl router provided your device is capable of it or you have a good adapter card/dongle.
Some things I would like to see in the next firmware update would be:
Support for more features when in bridge mode, especially the USB ports, media prioritization, and logging.