Linksys AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi EA9200
The Linksys AC3200 Tr-Band Smart Wi-Fi EA9200 router brings dual built-in 5Ghz bands to ensure data transmission rates are top-notch, but despite its ease-of-use, there are still some issues – namely its limited range and poor network storage performance. You're probably better off to wait until the price comes down.
Cnet reviewed the router in depth, and determined that although it featured an extra band and did indeed provide better, faster speeds, it wasn't worth the money.
This router is quite similar to the Linksys WRT1900AC, except that it features an additional access point. This means you'll get lightning fast speeds, but it comes with a price – literally, the price tag is much higher than the WRT1900AC at $300. One problem they found in testing is that while the price was much higher, the difference in performance wasn't really that much to write home about. However, the interface and remote management functionality just might be enough to choose the EA9200 over other router models.
There is another option on the market this can be compared to – the only other tri-band router on the market, the Netgear R8000. They both feature Broadcom's 5G XStream Wi-Fi chip to accommodate this extra 5Ghz band, meaning the router features one 2.4Ghz band and two 5Ghz bands functioning together to provide superior performance.
It supports the three-stream tier 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, meaning the 5Ghz bands deliver speeds up to 1,300Mbps, while the 2.4Ghz band delivers up to 600Mbps. This means both high- and low-end clients have the power to function in their own band, not slowing each other down by sharing. So the EA9200 is best for people with multiple 5Ghz clients of varying Wi-Fi standards, or many 802.11ac clients. It also stands to mention you won't notice the difference unless you are a data-sucker – someone streaming media or doing a file transfer. If you're downloading a file or catching up on Netflix, you probably won't see much of a difference at all.
This router sits vertically and features six antennas. Three are external, while the other three are actually inside the router. A Linksys logo lights up when the unit is on, and on the back are four LAN ports and one WAN port, all of them Gigabit, along with one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port.
Setup is a snap – the software walks you through the entire process. Once you're all set, you can use the Network Map to see all connected clients, either by connection type or device type. Use this map to block devices, change device names, or reserve its IP address.
Also offered is the handy Media Prioritization feature. Just drag and drop connected clients or applications from High priority or Normal priority lists, or vice versa. Only three items are allowed on the High priority list.
Test your speed, or set up Parental Controls for certain devices. You can even set up guest networks, allowing visitors to access the internet without accessing your own files or printers. You are able to set up a total of two guest networks, each supporting up to 50 clients. It's range is good, but not great – 175 feet.
Unless you have a bunch of 5Ghz Wi-Fi clients in your hoome, it's not really the best choice in terms of value. You just won't notice as much of a difference – wait for the price to drop.