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Linksys MAX-STREAM AC5400 Next Gen MU-MIMO Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router with 8 Gigabit Ports and Seamless Roaming (EA9500)
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: This thing is a behemoth! Quality feeling hardware (i.e. not cheap), 8 antennas, Some pretty interesting tech features, LED lights on the back for network activity

Cons: Could hear a piece of plastic rolling inside device, Issues with 5GHz low band (see other for more details)

Other Thoughts: This thing is great! One thing you'll notice is that once you decide to spend money on an actual router, all those annoying little "internet problems" go away. This router is no exception! If you're used to smaller routers, your jaw will drop at the massive size of this thing. It's huge and takes up a lot of space. To me that's not a downside, I own things that occupy more space than this. If you throw your router in a cramped corner... it's time to find a different space and it shouldn't be in a poorly ventilated area anyway.

The power adapter is also a point of interest on this device. You'll note that it is rated at... 12V and 5A. 5 Amps! The power brick is rated for 60W! now you know you're going to be getting some very good performance out of this device.

So you can imagine my excitement when I opened up the box. Well that excitement was doused with a little bit of disappointment when I could hear a piece of plastic rolling around inside. This could be the delivery carrier's fault. But I figure it probably won't hurt anything.

As with all high performance routers, this will take a while to start up. There is a nice, high quality display on the router. The lights in the back flash with activity. Another category I judge a product on is how good the out of box experience is and it's somewhere in the middle of the pack. The reason is because if you're on the set up page and close it, the webpage comes back up saying the router isn't completely set up (duh) and will ask you to RESET the router. So remember to not close the window when you're setting it up! The router also wants you to RESET your modem so it can detect an internet connection. I did this only to see that the router wasn't detecting a connection. You can skip this step because the router apparently can't detect the internet automatically. When of course, it can because when you skip it and you realize the internet is there.

Now the built in web page doesn't like it when you're using a mobile browser, but you can fix that if you set your browser to view in desktop mode.

The software uses an interesting piece of technology called SmartConnect Band Steering. What I assume this does is it either looks to see what you're doing and places you in either the high band 5GHz side or low band 5GHz or it just places you in the high or low 5GHz band depending on how many devices are connected to it. A very interesting concept. So yes, this device makes use of 3 radios- 2.4GHz, Low band 5GHz, High band 5GHz. This is VERY neat for households with lots of wireless devices, like mine.

While it is a neat concept, I ran into trouble with it. My devices would not connect if it was not close to the router. I eventually forced the router to deploy all the bands independently- each with their own names. While the high band 5GHz works, it seems it does not like the low band 5GHz. So in essence, I cannot use one of the bands. Disappointing. I wonder if this is related to the plastic piece rolling I mentioned earlier.

This beast uses THREE BCM4366 chips. That's right, the 2.4GHz radio isn't some junk. They're all three high quality BCM chips.

The performance is absolutely stellar. The 5GHz listed is for the HIGH BAND only:
Close to router (internet rated for 110/10)
2.4GHz -16dBm 110/10
5GHz -33dBm 140/10

Living Room
2.4GHz -49dBm 52/10
5GHz -57dbm 92/10

Basement (basically under the router)
2.4GHz -45dBm 60/10
5GHz -55dbm 110/10

Basement (furthest from the router)
2.4GHz -56dBm 28/10
5GHz -73dBm 59/10

Very respectable numbers. Overall I am sure my inability to use the low band 5GHz is just a fluke. I did take 1 egg off because the out of box experience wasn't the best and the issues with the low band 5GHz. Like I said, I think these are just flukes with my unit. I am sure you won't have any problems at all. Another fine product from Linksys.

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TP-LINK Touch P5 Wireless AC1900 Touch Screen Gigabit Router
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

5 out of 5 eggs Great! A Must Have! 05/13/2016

This review is from: TP-LINK Touch P5 Wireless AC1900 Touch Screen Gigabit Router

Pros: Sleek design, touchscreen is a HUGE plus, great performance

Cons: I honestly don't see any cons with this device

Other Thoughts: I think TP-Link has THE perfect device on their hands. By adding a touchscreen, device setup is SIGNIFICANTLY simplified.
When you first boot up the router, you actually adjust the settings on the touch screen itself. You don't understand how much this simplifies things. For the average user, it may be tedious and bothersome to go into the router settings to adjust the name and password accordingly. So this works very well. You can adjust almost everything- including what channels you want the band to be on as well as setting up guest wifi access.

If you thought the touchscreen was the best thing about the device, you are in for a treat. The performance is stellar. I have this device in the 2nd floor of my home. I can max out my home internet in the basement (110Mbps) on the 5GHz band. A little less (80Mbps) on 2.4GHz. I have not encountered any performance issues whatsoever. Accessing the router setting through a browser is nice too. TP link has a very clean and modern UI that is pleasing to the eye.

Additional bonuses include being able to set up a print server. You can take a regular USB printer and connect it to this router for centralized printing. No more having to go find the printer and hook it up. It is a great modern convenience. For the average user, it explains things nicely.

With great performance, ease of use, and a refined UI, I cannot recommend this router enough. I would give it 6 eggs if I could- it's that good. I know personally if anyone I know is in need of a new router, I will recommend this without hesitation.

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TP-LINK TL-PA8010P KIT HomePlug AV2 MIMO AV1200 Gigabit Pass-through Powerline Starter Kit, up to 1200Mbps
  • eggxpert iconEggXpert

Pros: No messy wires running across the home, good performance, easy to use, surprisingly good range

Cons: None!

Other Thoughts: This device is great! I currently have LAN wires running across the home and I've been meaning to find a good solution to this. We have so many devices, it cripples even the best wireless routers we can find. Our cable modem and router are located on the 2nd floor but my computer is located in the basement. I was surprised that the two devices could talk to each other- despite being that far apart.

Performance is a little lower than expected. I am seeingabout 70-80Mbps while my wireless can reach 110Mbps easily. But there isn't a picture perfect solution to everything. It's not wireless which can drop off randomly and it increases safety by eliminating open wires. I do notice on occasion the random lag spike- probably due to the circuit line quality. But it doesn't happen often and the performance is solid. I have yet to add more PoE adapters but definitely plan on doing so.

If you've been looking at using PoE in your home I highly recommend this product!

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Yunchang K.'s Profile

Display Name: Yunchang K.

Date Joined: 11/11/06

Achievements:

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  • Reviews: 76
  • Helpfulness: 34
  • First Review: 11/15/06
  • Last Review: 06/16/16
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