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This review is from: Linksys EA9200-4A Wireless AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router
Pros: The Linksys EA9200 is a very handsome piece of equipment. The soft matte finish, brilliant but not too bright LED's, and unique antennas combine to make one sharp package. Reading through the spec list one would assume this thing is blazing fast, and it is...sort of. The interface is clean and what is being used on most new Linksys products so it should be familiar right away.
I leveraged the different radios inside to segment my Wi-Fi networks into their different bands respectively and it has worked out great! Speaking of Wi-Fi, this thing is WAY faster than my older Asus RT-N16 with about the same signal strength and the same distance in my home.
Because of the powerful hardware inside I'm able to stream content from my NAS to an HTPC in the living room, watch netflix on another device, have people gaming with no lag all at the same time! I have not been able to really bottleneck this device at all when it comes to throughput which is fantastic as faster broadband speeds become more available around the US.
Cons: Now, the parts that weren't as awesome. The software is very basic for a $300 (retail) router that is competing to be the highest end consumer router you can buy currently. The kind of person who will spend this much on a router will most likely be an informed person who wants to tinker and have control over their network with advanced settings, something this is sorely lacking.
The most recent firmware added VLAN tagging, which was helpful but it is still missing a whole host of features that routers from other brands offer. For the initiated you may ask, "just throw DD-WRT or Tomato on there, problem solved!". Well, as of this writing there is no support for either one.
I also did notice some stutter and lag in the UI when the screen transitions with this sort of fading animation. My button presses weren't always recognized either, I suspect it's because the page hadn't fully "loaded" even though it looked like it was. This isn't a deal breaker for me at all, but with all that power under the hood I feel it should be smooth and seamless.
Now, an interesting thing I found was Wi-Fi download speeds for me seemed off. I have a 75 Mbps down line, I was able to sustain speeds of 170 Mbps on my network, but download speeds and tests resulted in just 20-25 Mbps on average (a full 70 over ethernet). I'm not sure why I was getting so much less and couldn't really pin point the loss. This was with QoS off and on, it didn't seem to impact it at all.
Other Thoughts: But wait! This is still a FANTASTIC piece of hardware and will most likely live up to your expectations. Just know that unless/until they release an updated firmware, you will be missing on some advanced features you would expect to have at this price point with these specs.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Seagate STCU4000100 4TB NAS 4-Bay Network Storage
Pros: As NAS's are becoming more mature and mainstream, I think Seagate really hit their stride here with this one. The unit is well built, fast, expandable, and most of all reliable.
Initial setup is as easy as plugging in two cables (power and ethernet), finding out the assigned IP (I used my routers network map) and browsing to that page.
The UI is elegant but informative and, and the monitoring tools are fantastic at this price point. It is jam packed with services pre-installed that you can configure to make this NAS even more robust and user friendly across operating systems.
The power options also worked wonderfully! I setup a schedule for the unit to be off during sleeping hours at the house and it comes back up automatically without fail.
I've used this for streaming media to multiple PC's, house my ISO's to deploy VM's, and transfer large files across the network. It has done all of this without issue all while being cool, quiet, and quick.
Cons: I had no major issues that would qualify for an egg deduction from me. I would like to more third party apps available, but that is not Seagates fault in the slightest.
I did have some trouble with testing the integrated Wordpress app however. I wasn't able to access the actual file structure of wordpress, and therefore I couldn't modify any of the config files which presented some challenges. Running a very lightweight local site though should be just fine for most people.
Other Thoughts: I would definitely recommend this NAS if you are looking at something in a similar price bracket. It is so rare to get a piece of tech that does everything it is advertised to do without compromise.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: D-Link DSP-W110 Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Control/Schedule Your Devices From Anywhere
Pros: To start, this device made me realize I am living in the future. Do most people have a computer in their pocket with more power than the moon landing system's back in the day? Absolutely. But turning on appliances in my home with said computer (phone) just made something click.
The Smart Plug thankfully only takes up one socket on the wall and would look at home in just about any room. It's simple enough to get started if you've used WPS before, and if not just read the instructions because they are actually quite good.
Connecting to the smart phone of choice is just as simple and allows you to then manual toggle the appliance of choice or assign a schedule. If you own any other D-Link "smart" devices you will see them in the application as well which is nice to see.
In the app however is where I started to see some issue...
Cons: The most annoying thing I have found so far, is anytime I open the application (Android) it will crash if it's already running in the background (or in memory). This forces me to kill the app first, then re-open it to get to the menu. I tried it on another Android phone just to make sure it wasn't me and it happened EVERY single time. It got so annoying I just made a habit of bring up my recent apps, killing it if there, then opening it from there.
The other issue I had, and I'm not sure where the breakdown happens, is there can be a lengthy delay when toggling the device on manually. When connected to a room lamp for instance, I would toggle the device on in the app, get a loading circle, and then anywhere from 3-7 seconds later the light would turn on.
I would assume since both the smart plug and my phone were on the same LAN there shouldn't be that much latency between action and result.
If D-Link resolves both of those issues then this thing would be a solid 5 stars! I do have hope because the device can download and install firmware all by itself once toggled in the application to do so, here's to hoping.
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