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Pros: The Linksys EA6350 comes nicely packaged in a heavy cardboard box. Included are the router, the wall wart, a blue Ethernet cable and a thin Quick Start Guide that is only in English. It does have the passwords needed so don’t toss it. There is also a Documentation CD that has no setup files but includes a more complete PDF Users Guide, the EULA and warranty. Pretty thin but certainly adequate. The wall wart does not say Linksys so if it gets separated from the router then you’re on your own
The EA6350 offers 2 different WiFi bands: 300 MBPS N on the 2.4 GHZ band and an 867 MBPS AC on the 5 GHZ band. It offers 2 chunky antennas and beamforming technology. I know beamforming is good because the box tells me so but I still don’t know exactly how it works. I just put the antennas straight up and left them that way. There is 1 guest account on the 2.4 Gig band that offers no security but a password.
The router itself is a futuristic looking piece in gray and black plastic with a heavily vented bottom. It does not offer the option of wall mounting as there are no screw holes. It eschews the usual arrangement of small LEDs on the front and has a single pleasing green bar that flashes on the top. It has 4 gigabit Ethernet ports and a connection for your broadband router. There is a single USB 3 port, a reset button and a Wi-Fi protected setup button. Generally a good looking unit that has a decent heft and doesn’t feel cheap.
Setup went well considering you don’t get a setup disk. I hooked up the EA6350 to my broadband modem and to my wired computer and found the router in my Network tab. Then I opened the device page and was off. The Smart WiFi Setup appeared and it was quick and painless. Finally it sent me to the Create Linksys Smart WIFi Account. Linksys wants your name and email address then you create a password and that’s about it. This gives you the option to administer your router and network over the Internet. I signed up but didn’t try to access the router over the Internet. It’s just not something I imagine many people would need.
Now a little about my everyday network setup. My normal wireless router is an ASUS RT-AC66R Dual Band AC router. It’s several steps above the EA6350 so I’m not really putting the Linksys unit up against it but it is the only unit I have for comparison. The ASUS router sits in the computer room at one end of my single story house. I keep a Lenovo Y410P laptop running a Haswell i7 and Windows 10 in the living room and perhaps 30 feet distant through 1 open door. The laptop has a whitelisted Intel N7260 adaptor which is not great or even particularly good in my opinion but it does work. And the distance from my ASUS router means it does everything I want it to without problem.
Cons: I have a second Lenovo laptop, a U310 ultrabook that I keep on my bedside table for surfing the Internet and streaming video from my primary workstation. It has a bottom of the barrel Intel N-2200 wireless N, M-SATA card that is also whitelisted so I can’t replace it with a better unit. It has 8 gigs of memory and a decent Ivy Bridge core i5 processor and runs Windows 7 X64. It sits perhaps 80 feet from the router at the far end of my single story house. There are two doors in the way and I will say that Internet surfing and streaming are excellent with the ASUS router even if I close both doors.
Since both my laptops use N wireless cards I used a Trendnet Tew-805ub AC USB 3 adaptor. It works on the 5g band and has an advertised speed of 867 MB/s. Plugged into the USB 3 port of my Y410P I saw an average speed of 365 MB/s. This is somewhat slower than the 400 MB/s speed I get with the ASUS router. Copying a 508 Meg video file from my wired workstation to the Y410P laptop yielded 9.3 to 14 MB/s transfer speed which again is slower than the ASUS’s 20 MB/s. This amounts to a few minutes extra copying time but then again EA6350 is a less expensive unit so somewhat slower times re not unexpected.
The performance dropped when I hooked up the Trendnet USB 3 adaptor to my U310 laptop at the far end of my house. The network speed dropped to 302 MB/s and the transfer speed for the 508 Meg video file dropped to 2.8 MB/s. This is less than half the 9.7 MB/s speed I get with my ASUS router. Strangely enough the speeds using the built in N wireless adaptor were just about the same.
I did some USB copying tests using a Seagate 1 Terabyte Backup Plus USB 3 drive hooked up to the USB 3 port on the EA6350. Media Server is turned on by default and indeed it did give me a comprehensive list of media on my drive. It did so well I couldn’t figure out where some of them came from until I searched and found they were actually in the drive’s recycling bin from a year ago. Most of the video files did stream but stuttered and stalled when I fast forwarded them. I turned on FTP Server and I copied the same 508 Meg video file to the Lenovo U310 ultrabook. The speed according to Tera Copy was between 1.8 and 2 MB/s and it took approximately five minutes. Actually that’s not too shabby but the take away from this test is any hard drive hooked up to the EA6350 is best used for small file transfers and streaming small video or MP3 files. Plus if you hook up a drive to the router it runs constantly so the lifespan will be negatively impacted.
Finally, this router does get hot. I see now why it has the ventilated base. It probably shouldn’t be placed in a closet or confined space but out on shelf with plenty of air movement it seems fine.
Other Thoughts: Numbers aside, let’s talk about the Linksys EA6350. This is a medium priced router that does just about everything well. It’s tolerable looking and offers just about every option a user could want. No, it’s not the fastest or flashiest but it gives me about eighty percent of the performance of my ASUS router for half the price. Forget the lame Smart WiFi stuff. Nobody that I know needs to access their router from work or from their smart phone. I know I’ll never use it. But that aside, the router’s interface and options are numerous and easy to access and change. For my part I don’t delve too deeply into the options. I set my security passwords and if the network shows up on my laptops then I’m happy. This router surfs the net, does Bittorrent downloads and streams music and video on my home network like a champ. The USB 3 port gives decent speed as do the Gigabit Ethernet ports.
A power user probably wouldn’t choose this router but it’s a great choice for the casual user. Face it, you’re not going to be transferring multi gigabyte files over wireless; that’s what inexpensive USB keys are for. Most users are surfing the net, downloading stuff on Bittorrent and streaming movies or music to their wireless laptops. For all of this the EA6350 is just about perfect. OK, it does get hot but that’s the only real downside.
A hearty thumbs up for a good looking router with decent performance that’s easy to set up and with an excellent interface that won’t scare a novice user off and is complete enough for a more experienced owner.
Pros: I actually bought this monitor for the wrong reason. I’ve got a production machine with an ASUS Maximus VII motherboard and I was sure it had a Display Port connection. I really didn’t buy this for gaming but for general use. My surprise when I found out the only onboard video connection was HDMI. But I figured it was OK because I have an X99 gaming system with a GTX 970 that does have the required Display Port so I hooked up the AOC to it.
First let me tell you this thing has lots of real estate. The windows icons are tiny but still legible. The main problem is that there’s so much distance between things it means a lot of mouse movement. I never experienced any lag with the cursor but it may seem that way because you have to move the mouse twice to get from one corner to the other. My advice is increase the mouse cursor speed either in Control Panel or your rodent’s own software. That makes it much more pleasurable.
One problem is that when you open most programs or web pages they display in the middle third of the screen with nothing but white screen on both sides. The text is tiny and so are the pictures and you find yourself squinting both from the small text and the glare. Now all that tiny text is razor sharp and clear but you keep asking yourself why there isn’t a way to use up all the empty real estate. The AOC monitor does have picture in picture and picture by picture so I’m guessing this might help but you need two independent video sources and they both have to be the same frequency so if you’re using the 60 Hertz Display Port connection then you can’t feed the monitor anything over the 30 Hertz HDMI or DVI and have it work.
Cons: Now I’ve read all about 4K gaming but I played GTA V and Far Cry 4 at the native resolution with my ASUS GTX 970 and high graphics quality and had no problems. Maybe I’m just not as fussy as some people but both games played just fine. And do you know what? GTA V played tolerably well over an HDMI connection on the same video card at 30 Hertz. There was some cursor lag but it certainly wasn’t intolerable and the game world didn’t suffer terribly. Even better you can set the monitor’s resolution to 2560 x 1440 and get 60 Hertz and amazing gameplay.
But I did buy this for my production machine and I have a perfectly good 2560 X 1440 CrossOver IPS monitor for my gaming machine so I bit the bullet and hooked up the AOC using HDMI. At the 3840 X 2160 recommended resolution and 30 Hertz everything worked fine. There was no discernable screen lag and all my programs displayed fine. But again that seemingly endless real estate problem drove me crazy as did the tiny icons you had to squint to see. I tried enlarging Windows and it worked OK as well as Internet Explorer but to be honest it just seemed like it made text and the icons slightly fuzzy. Now I’m not complaining about the 30 Hertz limit imposed by HDMI but simply too much white space on most programs.
Right now I’ve changed the resolution to 2560 X 1440 and things seem almost normal. The only problem is that I’m really wasting the capabilities of this monitor. So I’m going to bite the bullet and buy a videocard with a dual link DVI connector and use my nice CrossOver 27 QS 1440P IPS monitor on my production machine and put the AOC on my gaming machine. Ah well, so much for spur of the moment purchases that I haven’t researched too well.
Other Thoughts: I have no complaints with this monitor. It’s nice looking and well put together with a stand that is both sturdy and gymnastic. It has plenty of input options and even a USB 3 hub. It comes with every cable you could want and they are of pretty good quality. For the price an excellent monitor.
Don’t buy any 4K monitor because you think it will be cool. It’s not. After all your friends have made the proper impressed noises you’re still left with that huge empty screen. You never think of working at a computer as work or effort but all the space on a 4K screen makes it seem that way. All you wind up is with tiny text and lots of white screen. Moving the mouse becomes a chore and if you scale up Windows and Internet Explorer then the icons get a little fuzzy and things aren’t clear and crisp and you find yourself sitting there thinking about all the money you spent to make yourself work harder and be more unhappy.
Gaming is a different matter and I found my GTX 970 card worked just tine at the native resolution. I’m sure there are people out there ready to disagree with that but all I can say is worked fine with me. If you’re looking to buy a new monitor then maybe it makes sense to spend the extra cash for a nice one like this AOC. Just remember when you’re not gaming there’s all that real estate to deal with.
This review is from: TRENDnet Wireless AC1200 Dual Band Gigibit Router with USB Share Port, TEW-813DRU
Pros: First impressions: The box and packaging are run of the mill and nothing special. The unit is however protected well. Included are the router, power brick and a 5 foot gray Ethernet cable. The brick is generic and nowhere on it does it say Trendnet so good luck matching it up if you misplace it. There is also a quick installation guide in 5 languages and a CD with another Quick Installation Guide and a User’s Guide in PDF format and a Product Registration. Hold on to this CD because you’ll need it later or at least I did. Certainly not feature rich but this is a bargain basement unit.
The TEW-813DRU itself is black matte plastic textured on the sides to look like metal. First impression is small and light, no bigger than a thick paperback book. There are four small feet on the bottom and the unit wants to topple over once any cables are attached. There are no visible antennas. This is one of those form over function units that are made more to be attractive then to perform. There are the required LEDs down the front and on the back are 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, an Internet port for your broadband modem and a USB port. There is also a power switch and the power connection from the wall wart and a ubiquitous WPS security button. On one side is a label with the preset wireless settings you need to set up the router. It’s on top of one of the sheets of protective film so don’t peel it off and discard it by mistake.
I hooked up the TEW-813DRU to my cable modem and turned it on. According to the quick install guide all I needed to do was open the browser on one of my wired computers and the setup page would appear, which it didn’t. However the PDF guide has a couple of hyperlinks to the setup page that you only need to click on. From there basic setup is easy but don’t lose that sticker with the passwords on it. In mere minutes I had my wired network and my wireless networks back and was surfing the Internet and streaming video like mad. Setup was relatively easy but not as easy as the quick setup guide implied.
The firmware is certainly adequate, offering 2 guest networks, a firewall that includes DMZ, Virtual Server and lets you set plenty of Gaming rules. As I’ve said plenty of times, I’m not a network guru and I tend to just hook up a wireless router, set the security and let it rip. But it’s nice to know there are lots of options to explore on the TEW-813DRU.
Cons: Now a little about my everyday network setup. My normal wireless router is an ASUS RT-AC66R Dual Band AC router. It’s several steps above the TEW-813DRU so I’m not really putting the Trendnet unit up against it but it is the only unit I have for comparison. The ASUS router sits in the computer room at one end of my single story house. I keep a Lenovo Y410P laptop running a Haswell i7 and Windows 10 in the living room and perhaps 30 feet distant through 1 open door. The laptop has a whitelisted Intel N7260 adaptor which is not great or even particularly good in my opinion but it does work. And the distance from my ASUS router means it does everything I want it to without problem.
I have a second Lenovo laptop, a U310 ultrabook that I keep on my bedside table for surfing the Internet and streaming video from my primary workstation. It has a bottom of the barrel Intel N-2200 wireless N, M-SATA card that is also whitelisted so I can’t replace it with a better unit. It has 8 gigs of memory and a decent Ivy Bridge core i5 processor and runs Windows 7 X64. It sits perhaps 80 feet from the router at the far end of my single story house. There are two doors in the way and I will say that Internet surfing and streaming are excellent with the ASUS router even if I close both doors.
Since both my laptops use N wireless cards I used a Trendnet Tew-805ub AC USB 3 adaptor. It works on the 5g band and has an advertised speed of 867 MB/s. Plugged into the USB 3 port of my Y410P I saw an average speed of 340 MB/s. This is somewhat slower than the 400 MB/s speed I get with the ASUS router. Copying a 1.5 Gig video file from my wired workstation to the Y410P laptop yielded approximately a 15 MB/s transfer speed which again is slower than the ASUS’s 20 MB/s. This amounts to a few minutes extra copying time but then again the TEW-813DRU is a much less expensive unit so slower times are to be expected, especially since the all important antennas are internal.
The performance dropped when I hooked up the Trendnet USB 3 adaptor to my U310 laptop at the far end of my house. The network speed dropped to 290 MB/s and the transfer speed for the 1.5 Gig video file dropped to 4.1 MB/s. This is less than half the 9.7 MB/s speed I get with my ASUS router. Strangely enough the speeds using the built in N wireless adaptor were just about the same.
I did some USB copying tests using a Seagate 1 Terabyte Backup Plus USB 3 drive hooked up to the USB 2 port on the TEW-813DRU. I used FTP Server as it and Samba were the only offerings. I copied a mixed bag of files coming out to 2.67 Gigs first to one of my wired systems then to the Lenovo U310 ultrabook. The wired connection took 9 long minutes and the wireless transfer a glacial 15 minutes. Obviously this is best used for small file transfers and streaming small video or MP3 files. Plus if you hook up a drive to the router it runs constantly so the lifespan will be negatively impacted.
Other Thoughts: Considering this is a budget unit, performance wasn’t too bad. Face it, someone needing big transfer speeds isn’t going to consider the TEW-813DRU. This is a casual user rig and as such will probably be called on for basic web surfing and streaming music and light video use. For that it worked admirably. I surfed the web, streamed videos and downloaded some large Torrents without problem or complaint. The Trendnet router did choke on my H264 copy of Timescapes and stuttered too badly to make it watchable. Wireless performance fell off badly with distance so consider that if you have a large house or lots of walls. All in all this is decent performance performance for a small cash outlay.
An entry level unit that offers tepid performance but is easy on the wallet. A good first router for someone wanting to upgrade from N wireless to AC but doesn’t want to sink a couple of hundred dollars into a wireless router. Setup is easy enough for a newbie but the firmware offers plenty of advanced options to play with. Everybody has to learn the basics somewhere. A thumbs up as long as you don’t expect top of the line performance.