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Linksys > 
Item#: N82E16833124496
Linksys EA3500-NP SMART Smooth Stream Gigabit Dual-Band Wireless N750 Router IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, IEEE 802.3/3u/3ab
  • Up to 300+450Mbps Wireless Data Rates
  • Two spatial streams (2TX and 2RX) for 2.4G band and three spatial streams for 5G band (3TX and 3RX)
  • Smart Wi-Fi Apps, tools and mobility
  • USB and 4 Gigabit port
  • $129.99
  • $86.99
  • Save: $43.00 (33%)
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

Pros:

Aesthetics are nice. Has a clean look that blends in with most other gear nicely. Doesn't take up very much space.

Set-up procedure is implemented very well. Linksys have always made things easy on the average joe. It's just a matter of inserting the setup CD, creating a Smart Wi Fi account, then following the directions. If you get stuck along the way or want to learn how to disable or enable a specific setting, the PDF user guide is extremely well-written and easy to follow.

WPA2\WPA mixed mode is enabled by default after the setup CD is ran, which ensures the network is secure. This is useful for those folks that really don't understand how the wireless security works.

After creating a Smart Wi Fi account, it's possible to manage this router from anywhere over the internet. If this feature is something you don't need, remote access can easily be disabled.

2.4 Ghz range is pretty good. Not the best I've seen, but solid. The EA3500 features six internal antennas so it should perform admirably in most scenarios. Transfer rates are solid across the board, whether you're using legacy 802.11g devices or newer 802.11n devices.

Speeds on the 5Ghz band are excellent, but like any other router the range is limited.

USB 2.0 port allows printers to be shared, as well as external hard drives.

Can be optimized for gaming or VOIP by simply toggling a setting. There are advanced settings for us power users, however Linksys made it easy for anyone to tweak the router for their specific needs.

Very reliable. I have 5 devices connected (mixture of 802.11g/n) and I don't experience any dropped connections at all.

Cons:

Doesn't support 802.11ac. Other more advanced routers (like TP-Link's Archer C7 or Netgear's R6200) are only around $10-$20 USD more.

5Ghz range is pretty disappointing. Granted, most routers aren't great with their 5Ghz range, but the EA3500 is worse than most other modern routers I've tested.

USB 3.0 is not supported. Again, other modern routers support this for around the same price. USB 2.0 severely limits the transfer rate of external drives that support the standard.

No built in media server. This is disappointing, as this is a very useful feature in this day and age. Plenty of folks love to stream media to multiple devices in their home, and most wireless routers can accomplish this all by themselves.

While the EA3500's software is very easy to set-up, it doesn't offer very much to advanced end-users. This is a basic wireless router at heart, yet it's pricey considering that.

Other Thoughts:

I would only recommend this router to folks that want a no-nonsense wireless router for a basic home network. In that sense it does it's job very well. It's very easy to set up, reliable, and offers solid security features.

That said, anyone wanting more than a basic home network (including streaming HD video to multiple devices) should be looking at the EA6500, or one of the many 802.11ac wireless routers that are currently available.

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  • Matthew M.
  • EggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 day to 1 week


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Item#: N82E16833124496
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