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Pros: Setting up this router is fast and straightforward. The default SSID and password are on a sticker inside the CD-ROM case, and a three foot ethernet cable is included. You just connect to the router (wired or wireless) and point your browser at http://192.168.1.1. The initial setup wizard is user-friendly with a slick GUI.
If you go through the setup wizard while you are connected to the internet, by default you will be establishing remote access to the router through the “Linksys Smart Wi-Fi” cloud service. You might find that to be a benefit, but I prefer allowing local access only. The easiest way to do that is to perform the initial setup without an internet connection. Otherwise, use the “for local access, click here” link on the login page and then follow the instructions in the Full User Guide under “How to disable remote access.”
The status LEDs are the most comprehensive of any router I've used. There are separate activity LEDs for each wireless band and for the eSATA/USB1 and USB2/USB3 ports, and indicators for the ethernet port link speeds. The design is attractive with uniform brightness across the display.
Physically, the router feels like a quality component with a real toggle switch for power and secure antenna connections. The large rubber feet have slots for wall mounting and there are templates in the manual you can print with the correct placement of mounting screws.
The included CD-ROM has a very abbreviated multi-lingual user guide (32 languages, 16 pages for English) and legal documents (EULA, warranty, regulatory). For some reason the “Full User Guide” (EN/FR, 76 pages for English) is only available on the Linksys web site. That manual is comprehensive and well written.
The storage media server is very fast. With a Corsair Slider X2 64 GB USB3 stick formatted as NTFS and a wired gigabit ethernet connection, I measured 184 to 200 Mbps write and 232 to 256 Mbps read using a Windows 7 client. However, for some reason the drive did not show up in my Windows computers' list of available network drives when I browsed the local network. The network drive worked fine when I pointed Explorer directly at \\192.168.1.1, it just didn't seem to announce itself. Unfortunately Windows exFAT format is not supported, you must use FAT, FAT32, NTFS, or HFS+.
The router includes a “Twonky” server for uPnP AV or DLNA media serving. The configuration is done through the Linksys GUI, although you can see a Twonky configuration stub on port 9999 (http://192.168.1.1:9999).
Overall I found the Linksys firmware to be very pleasant to work with.
This router was reliable in my tests, with no reboots, lags, or other signs of instability over 7 days of continuous use, which included 24 hours of “ping -t” with no packets lost.
5 GHz throughput was excellent, see measurements below.
Cons: The “wall wart” style transformer is huge. At this price point an inline transformer would be more appropriate.
The “Full User Guide” is not included on the CD-ROM and must be downloaded from Linksys. For some reason that PDF does not allow you to search for text. In Adobe Reader or Okular this file behaves as graphics with no text, which makes navigation cumbersome.
When using this router as a wireless bridge, there is no site survey function, so you have to manually enter the SSID. After setting wireless bridge mode, the router tells you to “check upstream router to find IP of router and use that IP to adjust any router settings.” This doesn't work if you don't control the upstream router. I found myself unable to find the router's IP and had to perform a factory reset in order to get back into the configuration page. When I brought the router home and the remote link was unavailable, it wouldn't assign an IP to my laptop and once again I had to do a factory reset to get back to the configuration page.
Also, if you ever want to re-enter the initial setup wizard, you must perform a factory reset. In general, I found myself doing a factory reset a lot more often than expected while evaluating this product. It never takes long to set up or restore a configuration, but it was a little annoying at the time.
Instead of a standard SSID/password combination, the guest network access password must be entered in the web browser. This means the router must intercept a regular http connection and receive the password before any IMAP, POP, SMTP, or encrypted https connections are permitted.
In the 5 GHz connection properties there is no way to specify AC or N (without A), which I find odd. The choices are: Mixed, AC only, A or N, N only, or A only.
2.4 GHz throughput and range was good but not great, see measurements below.
Overall Review: I carefully compared this router's range and throughput against a D-Link DIR-868L router. Using iperf3 with a server on a gigabit wired ethernet connected directly to the router, I first measured throughput with the D-Link router using multiple devices in specific locations, then substituted the Linksys WRT1900ACS in the exact same position as the D-Link router and repeated the measurements.
Wired ethernet performance was equivalent. From the LAN side to the WAN side of the router I measured 936-944 Mbps on both routers.
5 GHz throughput was comparable at close distances and the Linksys was better at moderate distances. A few feet away from the router, a laptop using a D-Link DWA-182 adapter measured 77.5-78.5 Mbps with both routers. An LG G2 phone measured 216-218 Mbps with both routers. Two rooms away, a computer bridged to a Linksys RE6700 range extender increased in speed from 80.3 to 101 Mbps, and the laptop also improved from 34.4 to 36.5 Mbps. In a nearby outbuilding, equivalent to about four rooms away, the laptop measured 16.2 Mbps with the D-Link router but was unable to connect to the Linksys router.
The Linksys router did not perform as well in the 2.4 GHz band. A few feet from the router, the laptop measured 52.7 Mbps with the D-Link router and 46.7 Mbps with the Linksys. The LG G2 phone likewise saw a decrease from 42.3 to 28.5 Mbps. Two rooms away, the laptop measured 44.4 Mbps with the D-Link router and 38.2 Mbps with the Linksys router. In the outbuilding, the laptop measured 22.4 Mbps with the D-Link router and was again unable to connect to the Linksys router.
I was a little disappointed in the range. With four external antennas and beamforming I was expecting much better range than the older thermos-shaped D-Link router.
Power consumption was 8-9W and 21-23VA with a power factor of 0.40. The plastic case remained cool to the touch.
Pros: Before you do anything with this router you must first upgrade the firmware (if needed).
Setup was very easy, I just went through the menu option of “Quick Setup” and left everything on defaults. It took about 30 seconds to complete. (Note: Menu system is familiar to me and identical to the WRT1200AC)
The WRT1900ACS is an improved version of earlier Linksys models (such as the WRT1200AC, see my review). It has several improvements over its earlier generations and you can see it with the improvements to the 2.4 GHz Upload and Download speeds (especially). In all other cases the only limitation is your ISP.
The two models I put this up against are
- Archer C9 AC1900 (Since this unit is also AC1900)
- WRT1200AC (See the difference from the earlier generation)
The range for all three units is fantastic and I was able to get a very strong signal from all three units across the street from my home and up my neighbor’s driveway.
Menu system is identical to the WRT1200AC, which is good because Linksys has a very solid and smooth interface. No need to break something that works really well!
Archer C9 (5Ghz)
Archer C9 (2.4Ghz)
Archer C9 (LAN)
All of my tests were on Verizon FIOS internet connection at 75/75Mbps Download/Upload.
It supports 1 USB 2.0 port and 1 USB 3.0 port plus a File/FTP/Media server.
Overall Review: It is an extremely good router. I have been very impressed with the Linksys WRTxxxxAC line of routers. From their menu system to their performance. The menu system makes it super easy for novice people and provides a tremendous amount of options for the network enthusiast.
Pros: The first thing i notice about the LinksysWRT 1900 ACS is it's size. It is about the same size as a nintendo 64. without the antennas, the dimensions are 10x8x2 inches.
It can be hung from a wall, but use screws or nails, it's a bit too heavy for thumbtacks. It weighs about 2lbs.
It seems to be well made, it's made of thick plastic. Even the antennas feel strong.
I opened it to take a look at the components inside. There is a single large heatsink on the right side to keep it cool. The left side has the Wireless Tuner, and a few components including 3 capacitors. One of these capacitors is a long lasting polymer. The other two are Tapion brand electrolytics Rated to 105c. electrolytic capacitors wear out over time from heat and use, but 105c is a good heat rating and these capacitors should be durable.
This router runs slightly warm, it draws about 10 watts idle, 15 watts under heavy use.
This router has a eSata port. this is a first for me. I had to wait a week for my eSata adapter cable to arrive so i could benchmark the eSata Performance.
Using a Mushkin Chronos 128GB SSD i was able to reach a maximum transfer speed of 109MB/s Writing and 108MB/s reading a ssd through the eSata Port. I performed the same test with two different ssd's each capable of over 400MB/s and received identical results. This is the limitation of the Gigabit Ethernet connection, and not the router. Gigabit ethernet connection's theoretical maximum transfer speed is about 125MB/s. When i plugged in my SSD it was formatted in Ext4 format. I received a notification that the file system was not supported. and that compatible partitions are FAT, FAT32, NTFS, and HFS+ and that supported mappings are GUID, GPT, and MBR. This router is the second router that i have used which is capable of saturating the gigabit ethernet connection. the other was the nighthawk x6. I have used 8 different routers which had USB3.0 ports and none of them could actually take full advantage of the gigabit network speeds besides the x6 and this Linksys WRT1900ACS.
I also Benchmarked the USB 3.0 port with a Samsung Portable USB SSD and achieved a Read speed of 105MB/s and Write 107MB/s.
I am very pleased with these results. Finally home routers exist with the potential to serve as a powerful NAS server, and perform just as quickly. This can save a lot of people money because many of those NAS drives are way overpriced for what they do.
Wireless range is very good. it out performs my other routers. I was a bit surprised by this because some of my other routers have larger antennas. Through one wall and 50ft into my yard i can still stream 1080p youtube video without any slowdowns.
Cons: No DD-WRT.. yet.
Overall Review: When i first plugged it into the internet and ran the setup wizard i got a notification that a update was available. It took about 2 minutes to complete. The setup wizard takes you through wireless network name, wireless password, and router login password. It also takes you through the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account setup, this allows you to access your network and router over the internet from anywhere.
The lights are not super bright and should not be a distraction.
The included 5ft flat ethernet cable is junk compared to a good cat5e or cat6 cable. It does not list its speed category (cat5,6 etc) it contains thinner wire than most ethernet wires which are 24AWG. It is at least 28AWG. and my benchmark results were slower with the flat cable, 92MB/s vs 108MB/s. By design flat cables are easier to damage and are more susceptible to noise and electrical interference and generally are inferior to standard round UTP Cables.
The Router Interface is very simple. parental controls allow you to restrict what time of the day specific devices can access the internet, media prioritization allows you to select how much bandwidth each computer and application is able to consume. port forwarding is hidden under the security tab, but is very simple to setup once you find it.
I am happy to recommend this router. anybody looking for a great performing router which can also be a NAS will not be disappointed with a Linksys WRT1900ACS.
Pros: -Stock firmware is good enough for most people
-Wireless coverage is very good
-Wireless speeds are great
-Replaceable antenna's that use the standard antenna connector
-Good ol' fashioned blue and black color scheme
-Support for 3rd party DD-WRT firmware
-eSATA is something you don't see on a lot of routers, and very nice
-The two USB ports worked perfectly
Cons: -Stock firmware not the best out of the box, but after a firmware update it was very good
-The WPS button is on the back of the router, it should be on the front
Overall Review: This definitely is a worthy replacement to the legendary WRT54GL. Linksys is really going back to their roots with this router. It is amazing how they went from a great router that supports so many 3rd party firmwares, the WRT54GL, then spent time locking down their routers to make it harder for people to sue 3rd party firmware, and now are openly advertising that this router supports 3rd party firmware. It is just wonderful to see a company going back to their roots and doing what made the successful in the first place.
Pros: Totally 90's aesthetic with a modern twist. Easy setup and update. Smart Wi-Fi is awesome! e-SATA port for NAS. Great range. No-slip rubber feet. (Amazing how many routers and modems get this wrong!) Simple and familiar user interface. Good security features for home use. Comes with a nice flat ethernet cable. Good ventilation / doesn't get hot. Wall mount options well thought out.
Cons: Short antennas, but they seem to Keep the signal strong all over my 2-story house. No eSATA cable. El-Lame-O picture quality in the included instruction manual that comes on a CD.
Overall Review: It's a great router, and even though it won't transfer humongous files as fast as my TP-Link Archer 2600 it still streams 4 devices in HD simultaneously. So there's that. ;) I'd buy it if that was what I wanted to do.
Pros: The Linksys WRT1900ACS is a simultaneous dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) wireless router that uses the latest, and fastest, Wi-Fi standard - 802.11ac. It is also is 802.11n/a compatible in the 5GHz band and 802.11b/g/n compatible in the 2.4GHz band. The WR1900ACS is, as of this review writing, the flagship 802.11ac WiFi router offered by Linksys; including nice features such as, multi-MIMO support and beam forming (supported by 4 external detachable antennas), gigabit Ethernet LAN connectivity, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 2.0 port, an eSATA port, a speedy 1.6GHz dual-core processor to easily manage a speedy multi-device environment, and 512MB of RAM to keep multiple connections moving quickly. Simply stated: There is a lot of hardware horsepower inside this thing!
The multi-MIMO support offers multiple 802.11ac or 802.11n streams to several devices simultaneously. There is no issue moving a ton of data across your network with no bottlenecks. Streaming HD content or moving large files to several devices from the Internet, or from another device within your network, is a cake walk for the WRT1900ACS. The 1.6GHz dual-core processor easily manages a multi-device environment and ensures that bits are routed to their appropriate destinations.
Setup could not be easier. Simply take out of box, attach the 4x external antennas, power up and connect Ethernet and the web interface will automatically search for updated firmware, download and install it. The standard myriad of user options is given: set SID names, passwords, encryption, MAC filtering, guest network, etc.
Linksys went back to the vintage blue and black scheme for the WRT1900ACS; personally, I think it’s awesome! The color and style screams of the throwback to the venerable WRT54G/GS/GL from way back in early 2000. These things were known for their rock-solid build and reliability. I am getting the same feel for this new WRT1900ACS as well. It’s large, solidly built, and has good weight/heft (it won’t be sliding off your desk). The standard bits of front LEDs and indicators are all there and are not overly bright. The rear features 4x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, Internet Ethernet port, USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports, eSATA port, the always tiny reset button, and a rocker switch for power.
Linksys built this thing to be OpenWRT capable so you have an option for 3rd party firmware if you desire, and as of this writing it is also DD-WRT capable for even better 3rd party firmware (seriously people, install and use DD-WRT, it will turn this consumer-grade WiFi router into an enterprise capable router that generally costs $$$$).
Cons: The price – but really you get what you pay for. People balk at a $200+ WiFi router, but the features and performance you get cannot be matched by cheaper routers out there. This certainly does not warrant the loss of an egg in my reviewing opinion.
Overall Review: In my network testing I was able to achieve nominal 802.11ac speeds to several devices - roughly 1700 megabits per second (Mbit/s), and nominal 802.11n speeds (5GHz band) of 800 Mbit/s. I moved large multi-gigabyte files across both the wired and wireless interfaces with no problems while simultaneously streaming HD video and audio content.
In the box you will find the WRT1900ACS router, the 4 detachable antennas, a power supply, one Ethernet cable, and a quick install guide and DVD (not needed though because setup is so simple).
Miscellaneous networking rant: Note that there is a significant difference in the networking world when talking about measuring bandwidth by using Mbit/s or by measuring it by megabytes per second (MB/s) (one megabit per second is 1,000,000 bits per second, while one megabyte per second is 8,000,000 bits per second; or 1 Mbit/s = 125,000 bytes per second). These units of measure matter when talking bandwidth speeds not only for your home network, but also for advertised speeds from ISPs, phone carriers, data plans, etc.
Pros: The Linksys WRT1900ACS router performed ok in Speakeasy speedtests when compared to my Linksys EA 8500 and Belkin AC1750BD routers. I've been using it for the past 3 weeks and it never dropped a connection where I had to reboot the modem & router. (My linksys EA8500 needs to be reset/rebooted every week.) The setup is quite easy, just follow the well written set-up guide. The GUI on linksys routers are the best in the Industry. The router provided better than expected whole house coverage. This year I moved my router and modem to the basement, but I work upstairs on the second floor in my home office. The Speakeasy Speedtest benchmarks with the LAN cable connected to my computers average 125 Mbps for Downloads and 25 Mbps for uploads. Connecting to the router via Wi-fi I average 24.4 Mbps on downloads and 23.8 Mbps on uploads.
The devices profile is low in height, which suites my preference.
I checked to see if the unit was running the latest firmware and it was.
Cons: This may be a con to some, but not for me is..........the devices profile. It is low in height and the external antennas are visible.
Overall Review: To me the Linksys WRT1900ACS is an above average Dual band router. It had slightly slower speeds than my Belkin router, but nothing noticeable. The setup widgets, (GUI) are the best in the Industry.
My final thought is, I would recommend this to someone looking for a router to provide coverage in a 3000 sq foot living area with up to 10 devices connected to it.
Pros: Immediately upon receiving a package from UPS, I opened the box, knowing my new Linksys router had arrived. The packaging was excellent, not simply the box Newegg shipped the device in, but the retail packaging of the router itself. Plenty of product protection surrounded the router, if it was to be damaged in shipping, it would mean someone deliberately wished to damage the product. In fact, the retail packaging may have been a bit over the top, but that’s fine, it just means the device will arrive in pristine condition! A thin layer of foam glued to the top flap protected the top of the router and the rest encased in pre-cut foam, surrounding the router in safety.
The design of the router is classic Linksys. Some designs showing up in the market have you wondering just who is designing routers and what they’re trying to make them look like. The design of the WRT1900ACS is stylish and practical. Plenty of breathability with the numerous vent holes. Little worry of this device overheating unless you purposely cover it up! There’s even an included template if you wish to mount the router on a wall or other vertical surface!
Installation was a breeze. Simply attach the four antennae, which, relative to many other routers, Linksys included, are much sturdier and actually stay exactly where you position them. Connect the Ethernet cable to your modem and computing devices, plug in the power and you’re just about ready to go. Type linksyssmartwifi.com in your browser and follow the instructions. Could not be easier!
There’s also plenty of customization for those wanting more control than what you get out of the box. Everything you would expect to customize in a router, it’s there. It’s even developed for OpenWRT! One nice feature is the Network Map, where you can monitor all connected devices and their bandwidth usage! Now you can easily pinpoint which one of the kids is hogging all the bandwidth! From there, you can adjust how much bandwidth you wish each device should be limited to, if you so desire.
Speed. This thing is fast. My advertised cable network speed is 105Mb/s. My son and I experienced consistent 135Mb/s download speeds on Steam at any given time of day or night (either solo or combined, not both of us at the same time, of course!). We’re able to stream HD video from Youtube, while downloading games on Steam, and also stream from any or all of our 3 NASes to any of 4 desktop computers, SmartTV, multiple smartphones (I stream from my NAS away from home on my android device), Playstation 3 and 4, as well as 2-4 laptops at times.
This is, hands down, the fastest router I’ve owned. However…
Cons: In less than 2 weeks’ time, one of the lan ports died. I went to use my computer and noticed I didn’t have internet or network connection. I thought maybe someone had unplugged either a power cable or network cable. No, the port my Gigabit switch was connected to was dead on the Linksys router. I’m sure it’s covered under warranty, and it may be an isolated incident. For the record, I’ve never had a network port fail on any router or switch I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned many since they were first introduced decades ago. Regardless, this is extremely disappointing. It makes me wonder just how well this device will perform a year or two down the road.
I’ve re-installed my older Linksys EA6900 AC1900 router for now, as I’m submitting this router for warranty repair. We’ll see just how well Linksys warranty service is. I’ve never had the misfortune of needing to send a Linksys product in until now. Hopefully their service is as good as their products. I say that because this is the first Linksys product I’ve had fail, so overall, my experience with their products has been very satisfying.