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Pros: If you have several items plugged into your PC/Mac and want to de-clutter, this is a great option for you. Very simple to use and truly a "plug-n-play" device. Everything I plugged into it worked immediately with no issues or crazy driver bugs. Turn your laptop/tablet (provided is has a thunderbolt port) into a mobile workstation able to accommodate nearly any connection. It looks nice, very sleek, solid and well built. It has a simple elegance to it and is not out of place with any Apple product.
Cons: This is an expensive item for a very niche market. Thunderbolt 2 isn't a widely used standard right now so very few people can actually use this thing. It does not run your items as fast as they would otherwise run if plugged directly into your PC/Mac. I.E. running a high speed USB 3.0 external HD through the docking station would only deliver 1/3 to 1/2 to performance as it would if plugged directly into a laptop/PC/Mac. USB 2.0 was fairly consistent across the board, but that's a much slower speed regardless. Other reviewers are reporting they had the same/similar speeds running through the doc (USB 3.0) but I'm just not seeing it on any device tested (full listed of tested items below) Another possible con is this is a Thunderbolt 2 connection/spec and Thunderbolt 3 (one port to rule them all!) is coming, which should render everything else obsolete.
Other Thoughts: Other thoughts: This is a very basic product, it's easy to use and works. However, it is not as fast as advertised if you're looking for all out speed from your external devices running through the doc. It's not cheap and I am having a hard time seeing a real need for this product, at this point in time at least. Once Thunderbolt 3 goes mainstream, then a docking station for that would/could be useful but in the interim I just don't get the need for this at this price point. I've spent a lot of time with this thing trying to find a hidden gem or something more to say about it but it is what it is = a nice looking docking station that's soon to be obsolete.
Docking station was tested on/with:
PC - laptop and workstation
USB 3.0 hard drives (3 different versions)
USB 2.0 hard drive
USB 2.0 DVD burner
USB 3.0 DVD burner
USB 2.0 printer
This review is from: Linksys EA9200-4A Wireless AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router
Pros: This is the router you want if you're looking for something that is truly a simple plug and play - set it and forget it. Have a family member in the market for a router and you're tired of sitting on the phone with them trying to troubleshoot dropped connections and sporadic performance? This is the router to recommend to them. This has the range to cover all but the largest of mansions or thickest walled bunkers which means you it should cut down on the need for other range extenders that may add issues to your network security and/or performance. Specific pros - Good speed! Below I will have a direct comparison to a Nighthawk, wich is no slouch and the Linksys is as fast or faster. Great range! Setup in the same spot as the Nighthawk, this router falls just short of that one in 5G performance but is better on the 2.4G band really reaching out there while maintaining good speeds. Ease of use/setup! This couldn't be easier to get setup and running. Anyone should be able to follow the single flash card with directions and web address to complete the setup. Plus, as easy as it is to setup, this still has several features for the power use that wants to dive in deeper and fine tune everything. All but the most die-hard techie should be happy with the options out there. Massive bandwidth! If you have a large family that has kids gaming online, someone else that's streaming video in one room with a few others spread out around the housing streaming Netflix/Hulu/etc. and yet mom and dad want good speed so they can surf the web, check email and watch youtube, this is the router for you. You can set yourself up as a priority user so you get the first dibs. You can also give a specific application priority (netflix/etc.) to ensure consistent speeds. Benefits of "smart" routers. Reliable connection! Have been using this router for the better part of 2 months now and haven't had 1 dropped connection from any device (multiple laptops, tablets, phones, playstations, rokus and various other connected devices) and with all past routers I've used, drops happened far too oftern. Plays well with others! Out of curiosity, I ran this with several different range extenders to see how well it played with other brands. Every single powerline adapter I tried (wired and wireless) from netgear, D-link, linksys and TP-link worked without any issues. It's also nice that this includes both a USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 connection. Some older 2.0 devices don't play well when connected to 3.0 ports for some reason (an issue I ran into with the 3.0 port on my past router, where this thing just flat out works with everything I connected it to (printers and various portable HDs that were both 2.0 and 3.0 standards). The final pro may not seem like a big deal but this has a nice long cord and isn't a large power brick type plug that takes up a whole plug or one of the funky ones that need plugged in sideways sticking way out there.
Cons: Would have been 5 eggs if not for the price. $300 is a bit much as there are other options out there with similar features and specs. Although I haven't used the others out there, the fact there are cheaper alternatives may help drive the price of this down a bit. In the $250 range, this is closer to the sweet spot. Newegg has had deals where this is listed around that price as well.
Other Thoughts: Hopefully this displays correctly (no way to preview and the auto-formatting is funky). Direct speed comparison of Nighthawk R7000 (known for great speed and range) and this AC3200. Both routers were placed in the basement and tests run from the same spot. My advertised internet speed is 50MB download with up to 100MB burst speed. All tests run through speedtest.net 3 times and the average is listed below.
*Basement ~50' from router on 5G band:
Laptop (5G): Nighthawk - 48 down - 12 up ---- AC3200 - 43 down - 12 up
Laptop hardwired: Nighthawk - 58 down - 13 up ---- AC3200 - 104 down - 28 up
Tablet (2.4G): Nighthawk - 31 down - 1 up ---- AC3200 - 39 down - 13 up
Tablet (5G): Nighthawk - 33 down - 3 up ---- AC3200 - 46 down - 13 up
*Living room on 2nd floor:
Laptop (5G): Nighthawk - 44 down - 12 up --- AC3200 - 38 down - 12 up
Tablet (5G): Nighthawk - 33 down - 1 up --- AC3200 - 51 down - 12 up
Cell Phone (5G): Nighthawk - 31 down - 1 up --- AC3200 - 68 down - 12 up
Cell Phone (2.4G): Nighthawk - 29 down - 1 up --- AC3200 - 56 down - 12 up
*Garage test - farthest you can get from router location, through several walls, another level up, far enough away to where it takes a powerful router to even reach it. No signal on 5G band(s) but able to pick up the 2.4G band:
Laptop (2.4G): Nighthawk - 10 down - 4 up --- AC3200 5 down - 2 up
Cell Phone (2.4G): Nighthawk - 11.5 down - 1 up --- AC3200 - 6 down - 5 up
This review is from: Seagate STCU4000100 4TB NAS 4-Bay Network Storage
Pros: To be fair I wanted to follow-up to my previous review as now everything is working as it should after a complete reset and initial setup on another PC....
Other Thoughts: ....after much frustration not being able to get my main PC to connect to the NAS though My Computer/Network, not being able to set auto backup in Windows to save to the NAS and the ridiculously slow transfer speeds, I decided to wipe everything clean and start from scratch. This time I used another PC as the "main" PC from which I initially set everything up. This was still a Windows 7 PC but a 32 bit version vice 64 bit (shouldn't matter but ...). I also connected the 2 CAT5 cables to a different port on the router (this to shouldn't really matter either but....).
After doing this, everything has worked exactly as it should right from the start. Everything connected to the network is able to see the NAS right off the bat with zero issues and the sustained transfer speeds are now sitting around 8MB. Still not setting any speed records, but a marked improvement. The issue with Windows not seeing or connecting to the network drive as an automatic backup location is also resolved.
I wish I knew why it worked this time as not much was changed from the initial setup but wanted to at least let everyone know that it is now working exactly as it should. Don't tell my wife, but I acknowledge I'm not perfect and may have missed something obvious on my initial setup that caused some of my headaches. I doubt it as everything was quadruple checked, but it's possible and I want to be fair to the product. Had it performed like this right out of the box, this would be near a perfect 5 egg NAS for home and business use.
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