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Linksys EA8500 Max-stream AC2600 Mu-Mimo Smart Wi-fi Router
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5 out of 5 eggs Strong signal you will get, if money, you want to spend. 09/01/2016

This review is from: Linksys EA8500 Max-stream AC2600 Mu-Mimo Smart Wi-fi Router

Pros: The main pros of this router are in its title description. The Linksys EA8500 Max-stream AC2600 Mu-Mimo Smart Wi-fi Router.

“AC2600 Mu-Mimo Smart Wi-fi” What does it mean!? It’s mostly Linksys lingo, but it can all be translated into good stuff.

“Smart Wi-Fi”: A Linksys wireless router that provides interaction with mobile applications. For example, apps can change router settings, monitor network devices, restrict access to certain Web sites, view network cameras live and browse or stream photos. I don’t use the Linksys router app much, only when I’m tired of telling my children to get off the computer and go to bed do I open it up, select parental controls, then click on manually disconnect a device and select the PC in use, which is inevitably followed by screams of despair and woe. Otherwise you have about the same access to controls and options from the app as you do when logged into the router’s home screen through your PC browser.

“Mu-Mimo”: (Multiuser-MIMO) A multi-transmitter/receiver technology (MIMO) that supports multiple wireless users simultaneously. (Multiple Input/Multiple Output) Pronounced "my-mo," it is the use of multiple transmitters and receivers (multiple antennas) on wireless devices for improved performance. When two transmitters and two or more receivers are used, two simultaneous data streams can be sent, which double the data rate. Multiple receivers alone allow greater distances between devices. Could this be the reason for the increased signal strength and range compared to my older non Mu-Mimo AC1900 Linksys router? I don’t think the average user would really notice much improvement in speeds without running speed tests but seconds do add up over long periods of time and the technology makes sense, so why not?

“AC2600”: This is the combined throughput of both radio channels. Up to 800 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band and up to 1733 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. So that’s technically 2,533GHz… but I guess 2,600 just sounds better? Unless you have a device that can utilize both of these frequencies you will not get the benefit of the 802.11AC standard. Your newer smart phone will work great with it. That old xbox 360, not so much.

Signal strength is notably stronger than my Linksys EA1900 router. I had plans on using the Linksys Max-Stream AC1900+ range extender with this EA8500 but now I’m realizing that I really don’t need to. Nevertheless, the “Seamless Roaming” feature with both of them setup seems to work great.

The case of is largely perforated top and bottom and has vent slots on the front and sides, providing ample airflow

Easy set up if you’ve set up routers before. I did it all manually in less than 10 minutes and I was up and running.

Cons: It’s not the EA9500 (AC5400) model. If you are going to consider getting the EA8500, take a look at the EA9500 as well and get that one if you are made of money. While not as expensive as the EA9500, the EA8500 is still pretty pricey as far as routers go, but that’s how it is if you want the new technology.

The first EA8500 I received was DOA. It would not connect. It would just constantly flash its little Linksys LED at me, laughing at me, as I spent hour(s) trying to get it connected along with Linksys’s technical support. We finally decided it was a bad router and I sent it back for this new one. The second router worked the moment I plugged it in. While receiving a bad router is… well, bad, I do have to give credit to the Linksys tech support person (the online chat version) for pretty decent communication and resolution. Replacement took just a few days and all is good again.

While the router menu and setup page is not “poor” or “lacking” per say… I would like to see it become more refined and customizable. Competing vendors have a setup page that caters in a more fulfilling way to the power users while maintaining the casual user interface option. How about working in any and all browsers for starters (its speed test requires flash, I have flash, but it says that I don’t), followed by a better parental control system. I would also like to see a more user friendly firewall setup with more options.

Other Thoughts: While the documentation that came in the box was extremely scarce, the available online documentation provided by Linksys was very informative and complete. You can see it here: http://www.linksys.com/us/support-product?pid=01t80000003ouh0AAA

This router has screw mounting slots on the bottom that will orient the back panel connectors up, left or right, but not down. Down is the direction I really would like but at least there are mounting slots at all. My family uses this router for everything we do online, a lot of internet browsing, online gaming, large file downloads, streaming, and I have 15 to 20 devices synched up to it at any given time. I’ve not had any noticeable problems with this device so far and it continues to work as advertised. I would recommend it to a friend and I plan on using it as my main router until something better comes along.

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Silicon Power 128GB Elite microSDXC UHS-I/U1 Class 10 Memory Card with Adapter, Speed Up to 75MB/s (SP128GBSTXBU1V20NE)
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Pros: * It worked as advertised in my Mobius 1080P action camera. I took a 5-minute video and the playback looked just as it has looked with other micro SD cards with no skipped frames or pausing.

* Comes with an SDXC adapter so it can be used as standard SDXC memory card.

* The price of this micro SD card is a steal considering you get 128GB of storage space. I can store my entire collection of MP3s on this card. That’s 95 gigabytes, or 22,036 high quality songs with room to spare! At this time, the largest micro SD card on the market is 256GB, but you’ll dish out $200 for that one.

Cons: * You must use a microSDHC UHS-1 USB 3.0 adapter if you wish to attach this card to your USB port and download data with any kind of speed. If you use some cheap USB 2.0 generic adapter, you might as well go to bed and hopefully it will be done when you wake up. The card does not come with this adapter and you’ll have to purchase one separately.

* UHS-1 is good, but UHS-2 is better. Better (faster) by about 25-33%. This card doesn’t support UHS-2.

Other Thoughts: This card’s formatted capacity is 125,618,618,363 bytes (116 GB) as formatted in exFAT under Windows 7. My Galaxy Note 3 recognized it as 119,800 GB total. The card has a bright red, white, blue and yellow color scheme. I kind of like it over the boring all black that other cards use, but when it’s inserted into most devices you can’t see it anyway so it’s really not important, I mean, who buys a micro SD card based on what color scheme it uses anyway? Function and performance are all that really matter to me.

I spent a lot of time benchmarking this card with other cards to offer you a side by side comparison which I feel is more accurate and revealing than just using a single benchmark with no comparisons. I used two different benchmarking applications and four different micro SD cards with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3. You can download these apps from the Google play store.

Benchmarks:

*** A1 SD BENCH benchmark app on my Galaxy Note 3 smartphone
(The below tests are the average results of two tests.)

Silicon Power 128GB micro SD Class 10 (Review unit)
Read: 17.24 MB/s
Write: 12.39 MB/s

Samsung 32GB micro SD Class 10
Read: 17.88 MB/s
Write: 8.07 MB/s

SanDisk 32GB Ultra micro SD Class 10
Read: 18.28 MB/s
Write:13.84 MB/s

SanDisk 32GB micro SD Class 4
Read: 16.37 MB/s
Write: 4.7 MB/s


*** APLUS BENCH benchmark app on my Galaxy Note 3 smartphone
(The below tests are the average results of three tests.)

Silicon Power 128GB micro SD Class 10 (Review unit)
Read: 594.16 MB/s
Write: 10.43 MB/s
Video Playback: 45.63 MB/s
App Loading: 6561 IOPS

Samsung 32GB micro SD Class 10
Read: 647.5 MB/s
Write: 9.37 MB/s
Video Playback: 48.2 MB/s
App Loading: 6471 IOPS

SanDisk 32GB Ultra micro SD Class 10
Read: 600.7 MB/s
Write: 13.93 MB/s
Video Playback 49.46 MB/s
App Loading: 6638.6 IOPS

SanDisk 32GB micro SD Class 4
Read:598.2 MB/s
Write: 4.8 MB/s
Video Playback: 44.66 MB/s
App Loading: 6698 IOPS


As you can see, the Silicon Power 128GB card does in fact make the mark as a Class 10 rated micro SD card. It’s not quite as fast as the SanDisk card but it’s also half its price. I’m surprised that my expensive Samsung card had slower write speeds, but it’s nearly 4 years old now. Technology, am I right?

In summary, this is a superb micro SD card in terms of price per megabyte. I had no reliability issues with it and its performance, and while not the fastest, still falls within its Class 10 specifications (good performance) so it should work great in your real world applications.

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LINKSYS RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Mu-Mimo W-Fi Range Extender
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5 out of 5 eggs Great AC1900 range extender! 07/16/2016

This review is from: LINKSYS RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Mu-Mimo W-Fi Range Extender

Pros: * I set this router up twice, just to test the WPS and manual setup procedure. Both went very easily as I expected. I’m not a fan of WPS for security reasons, not that I have anything I’m concerned about keeping super secure, but it sure makes setup faster if you’re not comfortable with manual setup. I liked all the options available.

* Being slightly larger than my electrical outlet, it prevents you from using a power block in the second plug, but that is easily resolved with an extension cord. I put my extender on the end of a 6-foot cord and placed it on top of my entertainment center’s top shelf, hidden and out of the way, hopefully for a better signal than up against the wall down by the floor. Then when using the ”Spot Finder Technology” which is supposed to show me where to place my range extender for optimal performance, I discovered I was correct in my placement, receiving a stronger signal that was just right! It’s a nice feature, but is also available to anyone with a smart phone and a free Wi-Fi signal strength app. Nonetheless I’m glad Linksys is thinking about stuff like this for their customers.

* It’s an AC1900 extender, for extending your router’s AC1900 Wi-Fi signal. AC1900 feels so much faster than older technologies (N300), although I find it has less capability in penetrating walls sometimes and loses signal strength. I’ll never look back though.

* The extender worked fine with both my Netgear AC-1200 wireless router and Linksys EA6900 AC 1900 router. I did not notice any dropped signals when connected, and speeds felt unhindered when tested using the extender vs being connected directly to my main router. There was some slight slowdown when I ran the speed test but nothing I could “feel”, nor could I definitely correlate it to problems with the extender. This strength of the extender’s signal was outstanding, so much so that I’m using it now in access point mode as my main connection house wide. This may be because of its location over the location of my main router but I like having two strong signal points to choose from now, one upstairs and one downstairs.

* There is a Gigabit port built into this extender. Nice.

Cons: * I did not really find any cons with this router other than in order to benefit from its seamless roaming feature, you must have a Linksys Max Stream router. I really would like to have tested this feature as it sounds like an incredible convenience and I wanted to see how “seamless” the transition really is.

Other Thoughts: * Of the five range extenders I’ve used, this Linksys RE7000 range extender has impressed me the most, mainly due to the fact that it is AC1900 capable and also the many great features Linksys has included with it. Ultimately, it expanded my home Wi-Fi network as advertised with a simple setup procedure that included bonus features I did not expect to get. This signal measures very strong with no drops or noticeable slowdowns. It’s pretty much everything one could expect in a Wi-Fi range extender.

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Mike C.'s Profile

Display Name: Mike C.

Date Joined: 07/05/03

  • Reviews: 41
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  • First Review: 06/15/10
  • Last Review: 09/01/16
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