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Pros: - Fully ready for open source firmware which opens up a whole range of other options
- Was super easy to setup as just an Access Point in my environment
- Maintains typical Linksys styling
- eSATA port is a nice feature, too bad I don't have anything that can use it
- Great range
- Physical power switch makes turning on and off an breeze
- Ability to setup a guest network on another VLAN. This makes it super easy to move all your guest traffic off of your main network
Cons: - Stock firmware is nothing special and could use a face lift in my honest opinion
- Not seeing True AC performance, of course that could be due to other facters
- Short antennas. If they increased these the shape of the broadcast would greatly improve and would probably provide better coverage
- Very pricey for the featureset. Though I guess this is offset by the ability to load custom firmware
Overall Review: Having owned this router for the better part of 4 months I can say that I would decide on this router again, if only because I am a fan of DD-WRT. The ability to load open source firmware is about the only thing that saves this router from being massively overpriced for the amount of features. Also beware of the stock firmware, if it is working for you, turn off auto update. Lately I have been having problems where my wifi cuts out for about 10 seconds and then works again, so stay with what works for you. Hopefully linksys puts out a few patches for these problems or I may have to move over and use DD-WRT fairly soon.
Pros: - Maintains Linksys styling.
- Setup is reasonably easy and straightforward, most should be able to configure without issue.
- Performance shows that the packet processing potential for multiple devices is obviously present. No noticeable lag or buffering.
- Average range.
- eSATA port is a nice (and welcome) upgrade in contrast to many devices that offer USB. (eSATA, unlike USB - ensures speed, even if there are multiple devices present. USB operates at the speed of the slowest device).
- WiFi AP/Router with this performance capability being "open source ready" is a HUGE positive.
- A nice upgrade compared to some of the prior generation Linksys products.
Cons: - App needs more work before it's truly useful.
- Parental controls are marginal (given usability - they should have been omitted until a later firmware version, when more focus could have been given to them).
- Guest WiFi was enabled by default.
- Very pricey vs. feature set. (Existing features didn't seem "complete" - parental controls being the primary focus. If included, it should be more complete and usable - otherwise should have been excluded).
Overall Review: - Custom firmware for this unit is not "ready yet", therefore testing of ability to use 'open source' was not viable.
- Did some testing where if there are a number of APs/WiFi Routers in vicinity where channels would overlap (especially with some signal) that connections seem to be more apt to drop with this unit vs. other units/brands. (Too many folks turn up the transmission power, when they should be turning it *DOWN* in order to achieve optimal operation of wireless devices). Not sure why it appears to be more apt to drop, possibly an artifact of such a 'wide' channel set "VHT160" vs. "VHT80" and other APs creating 'just enough' interference?
- Given price point, would have liked to see the feature set having more 'fit and finish' of the included features.
Pros: Easy setup
Physical power switch
Ability to act as a File server
Ability to use custom firmware
Ability to control a small set of things remotely via smartphone
Faster speed over Wifi than my previous router.
USB 3.0 & eSATA/USB 2.0 ports
Cons: Stock Firmware is nothing special
Runs pretty warm, even at idle
Mobile app is pretty limited
Not seeing True AC speeds across my network
Parental control is a after thought
Custom Firmware flashing.... support is very lacking and confusing at this time
Wireless range doesn't seem to be any better than my old TP-link N router
Slow connection speeds over network from USB 3.0 port
Features are kind of lacking, especially at the price point
Pretty short antennas
Overall Review: As far as prioritizing and delegating bandwidth this router is up to the task. Ive had all 4 family members using the internet (surfing, HD YouTube, etc) AND streaming 1080p Netflix from my TV all at the same time with out the slightest bit of buffering or lag.
The range of this router is average. I was able to reach a little bit past the extent of my property with spotty connectivity just like every other router I've used in the last few years. Basically I don't have enough signal to steam Music or anything out in my garage, which is disappointing. Id like to blame the antennae length for this but that's just a guess? At this price level Id like to see at least 6" antennas, minimum. 8" would be ideal. However I have no issues getting the full bandwidth from my ISP over my iPhone 6sPlus when in range. I easily get 120Ms/s down in any room of my house consistently.
The ability to potentially use this router as a standalone file server was a major plus for me. Set up was pretty basic but unfortunately like almost everything, you need to use a PC hooked up via Ethernet to manage these settings. You simply cant set any of these features up on the App which is a shame. As far as speed goes it is somewhat limited. I never was able to get anything over 59MB/s no matter what USB 3.0 storage device I used. take that for what it is... For me I was really hoping for the full bandwidth of UBS 3.0. This may or may not be a deal breaker for you but 60MB/s isn't a whole lot faster than the speeds I see when making transfers on USB 2.0 Ports on older PCs.
Parental controls are basically non existent, sadly. You can block specific web addresses and that's it....? IS THAT A JOKE? How about a "allow list" that lets you set only the websites your Children can go to? The one thing they did do right here is you can set up "down time". So say at 8pm you want the Kids off the internet. You just set the schedule. This thankfully can be setup through the app along with being able to flat out disable any given device at will. So say your kid got in trouble at school or hasn't finished their homework yet? just turn their connection off, right from your phone! Really awesome feature!
I was expecting a lot more from this router, but the stock firmware seems to REALLY limit this hardware. I didn't find much different going on here from most N rated routers Ive been using Since they started coming out. In fact Id go as far to say the D-link DIR-655 (my "go to" router since 2007) is still pretty competitive feature wise to the 3200WRT and only cost $50 new... This can change over time obviously as the 3200 gets updates or Better Custom Firmware support. Speaking of that....
Now I have been waiting to try out the "custom firmware" aspect of this router. But it is just not there yet. You can follow links from Linksys own site to these places that are suppose to be where all this stuff is going on, but the site is kind of a cluster... Ive been flashing custom firmware, recoveries, etc on my Android devices ever since the original Droid came out. So I am not new to this type of stuff at all. However I cant find any real tutorials or "how to" for the AC3200WRT. So not wanting to brick the router I haven't been able to test this aspect out yet. As said above, Id love to try these Custom Firmwares out when they mature and I am thankful the 3200 is open for this type of stuff.
All in all I know this review sound mostly negative, but really I'm just being critical here. This Router is trying to come off as something special and a cut above the 1900, etc. well it just falls short of that... All the ingredients are here its just the wrong recipe. To put it one sentence. This is an fantastic router with great potential. lets just see if that potential is unlocked at some point.
Pros: - Really great range out of the box
- Support all custom open source firmwares
- VLAN tagging on LAN3 and 4, WAN
- Supports Dyn and NO-IP DDNS
- Bridge Mode and Wireless Repeating
- Very easy firmware updates
- USB3.0 and eSATA ports
- Physical power switch! (so nice to see that these days)
Cons: - Only nateively supports OpenVPN
- Speed is lacking compared to rival models, especially on 802.11n
- Stock firmware and UI is lacking, seems heavily influenced by Belkin's purchase of Linksys
- Media Prioritization is manual QoS, expect that to be automatic at this price point
- Only 4 LAN points
- No 10Gbe aggregate ports (offered on comparable models)
- Nothing really supports the 3200AC speeds advertised
Overall Review: Out of the box I think a lot of enthusiasts will be extremely disappointed by this "top of the line" Linksys router. It seems like they put some good guts in it, but wrapped a lot of low-end firmware around it. This router feels like it should be a LOT faster and have a lot more features without having to load customer firmware. Comparable models from NetGear and Asus all offer a lot more flexibility and features for the same of less money. What they don't offer is the ability to load customer firmwares, which is really where the WRT3200ACM shines.
I think all-in-all the new WRT routers are still pretty good, but Linksys is really resting on it's laurals when it comes to them. The competition is edging way out in front from a features standspoint, and the only trump card Linksys has is the open source firmware support. That's just not enough to give this router 5 eggs.
Overall, I rate the WRT3200ACM 4 out of 5 eggs. I subtracted 1 egg for the mediocre performance and the low-end out of the box features.
Here are some speed specs - transfer was from a dual gigabit wired file server to an Alienware 17 R3 connected via 5.0Ghz. wireless AC approximately 25' from the routers. Transfers were over SMB and approximately 10GB in size (single MKV file):
- AC connectivity 866.7 Mbps
- AC Transfer speeds 40-54 MB/s (lots of dips and spikes)
- N connectivity 144.4 Mbps
- N transfer speeds 2-8 MB/s
Netgear Nighthawk X4 R7500
- AC connectivity 866.7 Mbps
- AC transfer speeds 49-58MB/s (higher average)
- N connectivity 144.4 Mbps
- N transfer speeds 9.5-11 MB/s
Pros: This was probably one of my favorite items to review in a long time. I have my degree in network administration and have always been fond of networking so I pursued it as a hobby. At one point I had my own 20 port switch, PFSense router, and a $300 commercial AP for my home network which wasn’t too much overkill considering I had a few servers as well. Now I have scaled back since I no longer have time to maintain/setup/play with all of the toys thanks to “responsibilities”. I ended up replacing all of that gear with this router and a 20 port dumb switch in order to get surprisingly good performance. Now I have since removed my server stuff and simplified my file server so that has also removed a lot of the excess load that was there but all things considered this little router keeps up pretty good with everything I throw at it. I have only been using it as a router, switch, and AP so I cannot speak to the real world usability of the USB ports and what not (other than just some preliminary testing which worked and worked as well as expected) but as far as I have noticed the wireless connectivity is as good as can be, the actual connection speeds are as reported, and the device has not given me any unexpected surprises like shutdowns or loss of internet for no reason. I have done a little tinkering in the router and found the menu options to be acceptable and pretty easy to use for even the most basic of users. I found the setup so simple my 2-year-old could do it and the interface very easy to navigate unless you want some of the more advanced options which were sparse/hard to find but that may be intentional/planned/something they didn’t care about. I believe the advanced options aren’t great because an advanced user such as myself would most likely want to switch to openWRT or DD-wrt if I needed to use them. The face that this router supports open source firmware is pretty awesome and would be one of the most exciting things about it to me…. If I had the time to enjoy it.
Now, the basic rundown of the device is this it has some very nice wireless features that help maintain strong connections even when it is difficult and it comes with some decent detachable antennas if you ever wanted to upgrade. I also really like the aesthetic since I had one of the original wrt routers, nostalgia can be quite powerful! It also has some really sharp looking white LEDs that aren’t blinding and do a really good job of lighting up the indicator evenly with minimal to no bleed. The device also comes with an app that allows you to control your network through the cloud (remote access) which is nice for people who may be interested in tinkering but aren’t initiated yet.
In regards to the wireless, with the combination of wireless technologies, I have found the range and performance of this router to be one of the best I have ever used at home. The range is perfect for my home and it maintains excellent speeds throughout until I get down to 1 bar, then I can no longer stream videos. The range isn’t astounding compared to other AC routers but I have found that it maintains the signal strength for longer with a steeper drop off, so it may have a 50ft range just like a theoretical “other” router but it will be far more usable throughout that range than the “other” router.
Cons: I couldn’t really find many cons with this device that I would take any eggs off. The most surprising thing about this device was how big it was, since I was expecting something closer to the size of the original WRT due to its aesthetic. I also wish it came with some slightly longer antennae, the stubby ones make me wonder if longer antenna would make the range ridiculous.
And the last con I found was the fact that the open source firmware is still lacking. I could only find 1 stable distro that is currently (at the time of this review) in beta. I am hoping that more open source firmware will come because this device really does do some nice things and does have some horsepower under the hood, it just needs the community to take advantage of it.
Overall Review: I don’t want this review to seem like I am just gushing about this device because of nostalgia and I did not see a huge value in adding performance numbers since you can look those up on any website but I feel like I summarized most of my thoughts pretty well in my pros and cons sections. I do want to say that this device is awesome. I was expecting a decent wireless router that I would need finagle and configure and fight with until it was just right for my situation but instead I ended up setting it up in under 15 minutes (physically and electronically) with the stock firmware. I am very fond of this router because it is a great router out of the box but also comes with a lot of possibilities for power users/tweaking in the future with the ability to use open source firmware on the device. I love this router and would gladly recommend to anyone in the market for a powerhouse.
Pros: +high speed dual cpu large ram
+can use other external antennas from different brand router (TP-Link)
+power switch on/off
+usb 3.0 and eSATA
+all Gigabit ports
+Custom firmware like DDWRT - Open Source ready!
+External antennas (4)
Cons: -Tried to see what happens without internet during setup, pretty much cannot setup router unless connected to internet.
-large power brick
-a little bit larger then regular routers
-need more advanced features in stock firmware
Overall Review: This router brought back some memories, a bit nostalgic to the old but popular wrt54g. This one is far larger than the popular old one, its amazing how far tech has come, router now has a 1.8ghz back then those ran at 200-500Mhz with only few MB of rom and ram. Right out of the box the unit looks great so does the packaging, things are laid out nice and simple. One major turn off is the large power brick. I will continue to run this with stock firmware and will move to the very familiar to me ddwrt firmware(when its out of beta). All units that I had it run solid, and with a daily or weekly reboot the units always work as expected up to the age of the unit. Not to say that stock firmware doesn’t work just that you get lots of times far more control, for me its also the familiarity of all the menus and areas. One thing that kind of shocked me is that well, though the antennas are removable they are pretty small. Not that larger antennas mean always better or faster connections but in general they should provide better range and cut through obstacles better. The most of the TP-Link routers seem to all come with large antennas that are about twice as long. I found out that the TP-Link antennas will fit this unit! I wish I would have saved my extra long wrt54g antennas that I had long ago.
Even with the short antennas it did outperform the TP-Link router, which I saw wifi connections above 500Mbps+ with a netgear a6200 wifi adapter, though most time idled at 234-350Mbps.
All in all this is a solid router, I am begging to get hope from Linksys again in there routers. Though this router is priced a bit high, you get great features and I am sure really good longevity of their hardware, though time will tell. The average user might benefit or might not depending on the amount of devices they have and the type of connections, I would recommend this device to anyone who is looking for a new router even if they might not take full advantage of the performance, this is a great future proof router.
To the manufacture great job on such a product, here is something else that can be done, how about incorporating some of the Ethernet over power lines into routers? So we do not have to buy extra device and take up extra wall socket, simple toggle on/off of feature would be great in firmware.
Pros: + Clean and nicely ogranized web management UI
+ Open source ready!
+ Feet are wall-mountable
+ Typical assortment of firmware options for tweaking; VPN, wireless settings, QoS, storage, guest access, mac filtering, wireless scheduler, etc.
+ Dual core processor @ 1.8 GHz
+ USB 2.0, 3.0 and eSata ports
+ MU-MIMO (great if many devices connected and requiring bandwidth)
+ 4 external antennas
Cons: - Not a con against this router, but obviously only wireless adapters that support 160 MHz frequency bandwidth will take advantage of the "N600 + AC2600 Mbps" total link rate
Overall Review: When I was looking at the diagram at the back of the original packaging of this router, it indicated that this is really a AC1900 Class router at the traditional 3x3 MIMO x 80 MHz frequency channel, achieving 1.3 Gbps. If one has a compatible wireless adapter that supports the 160 MHz frequency channel, then you'll supposedly double the total link rate.
So to reiterate for those who may not understand, if you don't have a compatible wireless adapter, then this is an expensive AC1900 wireless router, with the ability to provide double speed when you upgrade to a 3x3 MIMO x 160 MHz compatible wireless adapter.
With that out of the way, I don't have a 160 MHz channel compatible wireless adapter so I won't be able to cover that.
The signal range is really good in my house; house is 80+ foot long and like many other wireless routers I've tested, covers only half the house in terms of length.
In 2 weeks of router up-time, there have been no router, major signal degradation or connectivity issues.
Transferring a large file over wired to a SMB share averaged 113 MBps (or 904 Mbps). Wireless speeds are good, averaging 478 Mbps.
Pros: The WRT3200ACM is the latest flagship from Linksys which includes 256MB Flash and 512MB of RAM and a enterprise class duel core 1.8GHZ chip.
MU-MIMO technology allows for full bandwidth to multiple devices simultaneously without any type of tier effect when bandwidth is shared.
Beam-forming technology reduces interference by allowing a more direct signal to devices
DFS Certified with Dedicated Scanner Radio
The WRT3200ACM operates in a clear airspace denied to traditional routers thanks to Dynamic frequency selection (DFS) certification from the FCC
The 4 high gain antenna's provide for superior coverage and range.
I tested the range and no drops through multiple walls all the way to my garage. I have no doubt you could sit on your porch with a laptop and still have a strong signal.
Both 2.5 and 5 worked without issue and my bridge wireless network survey shows around 75% for 2.4 and 59% for 5 which is expected. Since 2.4 has better signal penetration.
Open-source ready to use distributions like OpenWrt and DD-WRT.
4 gigabit Ethernet ports, ESATA port and USB 3.0 for connecting external devices.
WPS, Reset and a rocker type power button.
Soft white LED indicators which can be turned off through the GUI
Can bet set up to automatically update firmware when a new version becomes available.
In keeping with the WRT theme this model is larger and more angular but still retains the style and stable footprint of the original plus color theme.
I still have a working but retired WRT54G which has to be 15+ years old.
Power cord is roughly 6 feet long, plenty long enough to get the router higher off the ground for clear coverage.
Flat ribbon style RJ45 Ethernet cable is included in the box.
Setup was very easy, the wizard is a click through with simple answers and it's up and running.
The GUI is clean and simple with a easy network map with icons you can change, built in speed test, route trace, etc.
The usual guest network, parental control are includes as one might expect and all other router features which have been standard for decades.
If you have any Linksys AP's it's really easy since you can just use the WI-FI protected setup [WPS] button on the AP then under wireless on the router click the push button icon and within a few seconds the AP recognized and running with SSID name and password.
This was great for the simple fact even though I have two Linksys AP's the router could not see then for me to set them up manually unlike routers of different brands in which I get the IP from the client list and use that information to open the AP to set it up.
Cons: Power brick is on the larger side so placement in a power strip or USP, it will need some space.
Cost is always a factor but stat wise compared to other routers in this class it's in the same price tier so not really a con.
I like the browser based GUI but a few things are annoying which a future firmware could address.
The DHCP client list is under troubleshooting? I never seen it listed under that heading because it's not very logical and not easy to find at first.
Linksys home networking widget can't be removed from the main page, it's just a hotlink to the Linksys smart WI-FI router home page.
Small annoyances but nothing that can't be corrected or lived with.
Overall Review: Power draw is rated at 33W due to the duel core processor, expected.
The honest truth is for the majority of home networks this router is overkill. If you are running 100mbps+ cable, FIOS and have many devices you might give this router a workout otherwise it's not even breaking a sweat.
Yes the range is great but in reality any multiple antenna quality router in the right spot should allow range from house end to end and even outside a good distance.
To sum up this is a top line fully loaded fast router with the latest technology and a price tag to match.
If you have the network speed, multiple devices and want to future proof this is a excellent choice of hardware otherwise a less powerful and lower cost router might suffice without sacrificing speed and range.