- Up to 450Mbps + 1.3Gbps
- IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
- Smart Wi-Fi Apps, tools and mobility
- Best-in-class HD video streaming
- USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 port
- 4 Gigabit ports
- Beamforming Technology
What a consumer router should be 12/03/2013
If you own any 802.11ac devices, the Linksys EA6700 helps make the most of them. Simply put, it is the best general-usage 802.11ac router I have experienced, and that includes the Cisco Aeronet 3600 access point we use in the office ($1k for the access point alone - you'll need a controller to actually connect to the network). Whether in the same room or with two walls separating router and wireless device, the EA6700 gave ~10% faster data transfer rates. Put another way, the speed we measured for the EA6700 two rooms away from the router (235Mbps) was within a hair of the speed the Aeronet 3600 gave at 20 feet line-of-sight. Pushing several simultaneous HD video stream through the EA6700 is easily doable.
Another benefit of the EA6700 is that it performs active beamforming. This not only aids in optimizing the connection to a single device, but also keeps downloads going strong when multiple devices are active. Total throughput drops only a few percent when 10 devices are downloading through the EA6700. Features like this obviously come at a cost, and the EA6700 isn't exactly cheap. In this case you get what you pat for,
Linksys did an admirable job of building a simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface to the router. Configuring the basic settings is trivial, and all advanced options are both available and logically laid out. If you wish, all the standard options can be configured through point-and-click the Smart WiFi interface. There are also a growing number of 3rd party apps available that take advantage of the open API.
Wireless 802.11n and 802.11g performance are also good but not exceptional. Long range 802.11n performance was the only area where I saw the EA6700 falling significantly short of other options (the aforementioned Cisco and the Ruckus Wireless APs that make up the rest of our office network).
Another slick option is the capability to easily authenticate NFC-enabled devices with the EA6700 router. Linksys provides a setup card. Simply tap your phone or tablet (sorry iPhone folks!) on the card and voila - you're connected to the guest 802.11n wireless network. As other reviewers note, this only accesses the 2.4GHz band, allowing half maximum speed wireless n connections. My assumption is that this is because 5GHz 802.11n support is not common and wireless ac rarer still. In any event, it works and works well.
There are a few notable extras as well. A USB 3 port is included if you want to share a portable drive across the network. Transfer speeds are slower than even 802.11n, not to mention wireless ac or the wired GigE ports. The EA6700 also supports IPv6, has a functional Dynamic DNS interface, and port forwarding that both works and is easy to configure. Firmeare updates can be handled automatically. Finally, if you're bored, there is even a broadband speed test app included in the router.
We have had this router installed for over four months. It has performed without a hitch. No random reboots, connec
The price makes this a good buy only if you are connecting 802.11ac capable devices. Otherwise, there are perfectly adequate wireless n routers for half the money.
Linksys pushes their Smart WiFi suite. This is cloud-based software that allows remote control and administration of your router, remote file sharing, streaming, etc. It works. Whether the security risk is something you are comfortable with is a decision you'll need to make for yourself.
Overall, the Linksys EA6700 is an exceptional performer, has good build quality, and is packed with extra features. It comes at a premium price, but it is definitely worth it.
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