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This review is from: TP-LINK - Google OnHub Dual-Band Wireless AC1900 Gigabit Router -Blue
Pros: The router is easy to setup, just download the app to your smartphone and plug it in. I was online with this router in less than 5 minutes, and that included a firmware update.
It has fantastic range! Easily the best of many routers that I've reviewed.
It's small, sleek and well balanced. It can be placed anywhere in your home with it's small footprint and non-replicator (stargate reference) looks as many big and bulky routers look today.
Has a great built-in speedtest.
Easy to setup static ip's and change the DNS.
Led brightness is adjustable.
Cons: Can't access through web browser (just redirects to install onhub app)
Only one ethernet port.
No real use for the speaker (it did make some noise during setup, but has no other function as of now)
Router IP address is 192.168.86.1 and can't be changed.
Can't limit the amount of devices connected to it (anyone with the ssid and password will have access)
No repeater/extender/bridge functionality.
No way to view MAC addresses - which is important if you are looking to create a static ip for say, a server, and all the Onhub can tell you is that it's "intel" and has an ip of 192.168.86.121. If I could see the MAC address I could find out which of the 4 "Intel" listed devices were my server... It also showed many "unknown device" listings and only listed ip addresses. Not very helpful for my network when it can't tell me if the devices is a Server or an HP printer on a wired connection.
No way to select the 5ghz band unless you do so on every client by disabling the 2.4 band on every client. The onhub seemed to move every device I connected to it to the 2.4 band, even laptops and my SP4 that were transferring large files from my server. I saw claims it will automatically switch to the best band on any device, but with the 3 computers that have a 5ghz connection I was always on the 2.4 band. So it's either not switching on the fly (as I was led to believe), or it's not smart enough to realize that my 4 bar 5ghz connection can do transfer rates of 30 MB/s and my 5 bar 2.4 connection can only manage 6 MB/s.
Location request upon install and setup seems unnecessary. No where in the app does it appear to use the location information provided, so as of now it only seems to be a data mining attempt by google (hey, I'm an android guy and this seems fishy to me)
Turning off all privacy settings removes a bunch of functionality within the app. Why does the onhub need the cloud to tell me what is connected to my router (when it can't do so reliably- see above)? So the "optimal" way to do things is: App -> Onhub -> Google Cloud -> Onhub -> App?? When you can't even tell me the MAC addresses of the devices connected to the onhub why is the cloud needed to list the manufacturer id of the network adapter connected to it (that's what it seems like it does)? It seems that it should just be App -> Onhub -> App and then periodically it could download and store information it needs to identify devices connected to it (via firmware update)
Has a USB port, but I can't seem to connect and share anything with it (Printer, USB drive)
Last con is that you can prioritize traffic, but only 1 connected device at a time and only up to 4 hours at a time. If you do a ton of streaming and need more than one device prioritized for more than 4 hours or any other form of advanced QoS you are just out of luck.
Other Thoughts: I say "identity crisis" in the title I gave for the review, so let me explain that a bit. I assumed (without searching for information) that this was Google's response to devices like the Echo. It's not. It has a speaker, but no awesome "ok google what's the weather like today" functionality even though it got my location during the setup. In fact, I'm unsure if there's even a mic for the onhub to even hear me with. The smart switching and managing of the 2.4 and 5 ghz bands isn't something I experienced in practice. The router functionality is solid (no wifi dropouts, great signal from both bands, no other issues), but it lacks advanced features that it seems all routers have these days like a guest network, mac filtering QoS customization, etc. So it's not the best in router functionality and it has a usb port and a speaker seemingly with no real purpose (yet). Is it just a router? Or was it intended to be more?
If it's just a router, I'm not that impressed considering all the limitations (but that would change with Tomato/DD-WRT compatibility). If it eventually becomes more then I will happily revisit this device and update my review.
I can't really give this device as it currently is a "you should get this" unless you don't need anything than stable solid wifi and a streamlined setup.
Anyone needing more for their money or advanced features and a more traditional router should look elsewhere.
This review is from: LINKSYS RE6300 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Range Extender
Pros: Very easy setup - I was impatient and didn't even wait the full minute for it to boot up and with WPS I had both 2.4 and 5ghz bands repeating within 5 minutes.
Great range - The signal strength was better than my router even when my router was closer to my laptop than the range extender. I got -65dbm or better everywhere in my 2200 sq ft home (which is very good).
Also has a gigabit port (which I think it doesn't really need).
Cons: Limited throughput - I've tried everything I know how to do (changing channels, making sure WMM is enabled, etc) and nothing I've done can get throughput through the range extender faster than 17 MB/s, even when my laptop is positioned right next to the extender. And even when my laptop reports 526.5 mbps and higher as the connected speed. When connected to my main router with my laptop right next to the extender I can get 44 MB/s so the issue isn't with my router's signal, and the Linksys RE6300 shows optimal placement through the web interface.
Limited interface - As much as I wanted to adjust the settings to maximize the throughput (or at least break 20 MB/s) there just isn't a lot of settings to adjust within the interface. There's basic functionality and not much else.
No power pass through outlet (it is on other Linksys Range Extenders though).
Other Thoughts: I was amazed just how easy it was to connect the RE6300 to my main router. After it was setup, it just worked and did great for the week I have been using it with the 20 or so wireless devices that I have in my home (chromecasts, fire tv, tablets, pc's etc).
The interface is constructed with the average user in mind, and I am guessing that the RE6300 is designed to not need the average user to adjust anything to begin with (but it is there if you need to manually assign it an ip address or change the main wireless settings). This range extender is meant to just connect and extend quickly and not be fussed with.
The only real issue I found is in throughput - which was only noticeable when transferring files from my server, which I will admit isn't a really viable thing to do via wireless.
I also think that Linksys could have dropped the gigabit port. There just aren't any reasons to plug a pc into this extender that I can think of that wouldn't be better served being plugged into the main router (or a multiport gigabit switch).
This review is from: Linksys WRT004ANT High-Gain Antenna 4-Pack
Pros: Increased range and throughput on the 5ghz band
Increased range on the 2.4ghz band – although not especially noticeable for most use cases
They work with most wireless routers with external antennas.
They work even better in rural locations where there is less interference.
Cons: The antennas themselves are quite large – this may become an issue depending on where your router is located. My router is located near the ceiling and I needed to relocate it when testing it at home (I also tested it at a friend’s house – see other thoughts)
Most people won’t notice any improvement for larger multi-story living spaces as the gains made are horizontal and not vertical and these can reduce the signal and throughput for vertical coverage.
Price. These are expensive. (Although just before I wrote this review I received an email from Linksys stating they are discounting these antennas by 40% 11/2 and 11/3 directly from Linksys so it’s possible that these will get reduced pricing from time to time so I won't remove an egg for pricing.)
Other Thoughts: I first tested these antennas at home with my WRT1900AC router and a few other routers from other companies (Buffalo & TP Link). Definite improvement on the 5ghz band as speeds were very respectable going from ~20MBps to ~40MBps from my WRT1900AC router to my office (20 feet away). Reception was also improved – going from about -80dbm to about -70dbm. I didn’t really notice any improvement on the 2.4ghz band at my home (a split-level home).
I then decided to test these antennas at a buddy’s home (who lives out of town/in a rural area). There was a much more noticeable effect from these antennas at his home. His router in his home would reach his shop (~100 feet away), but only just barely, and the connection was unreliable. These antennas made it possible to have a reliable connection in his shop, and even the 5ghz band was now visible (although just barely, and not usable).
Overall I would recommend these (especially if they have a price reduction) for the increased 5ghz signal and throughput for most use cases, and in rural use cases I would definitely recommend them if you need your signal to reach another structure on your property (if it is within 100’).