The Linksys EA6900 Smart WiFi Wireless AC Router AC1900 packs fast performance in a small design, but with all of the issues that have yet to be worked out, it isn't worth the $197.99 price tag. Why? let's take a much closer look at this router, and why it doesn't impress as it should.
Besides a non-functional USB 3.0 port, the router has problems with its Linksys Smart WiFi cloud, a very unstable 5GHz band, and even overheats. Add to that the fact you need to be in close proximity to the device, and it's easy to see why most would choose another option.
Design and Hardware
As previously stated, it is compact and sleek. The front features a white LED status light, and on the back there are four Gigabit LAN ports, one Gigabit WAN port, one USB 2.0 port, and one USB 3.0 port. On the back, there is a button to activate the WiFi Protected Setup feature, as well as a recessed reset button.
There are three detachable antennas that protrude from the back of the EA6900. Prior EA series models feature internal antennas. It can either be mounted on the wall or lay flat on a desk or shelf. Don't worry about the antennas though, it is still quite compact regardless. It measures 10.1 inches by 7.3 inches by 1.6 inches, making it the most compact router in its class.
There aren't many other routers in this class, as it features the new Broadcom TurboQAM WiFi chip. In fact, only two other brands of routers have this chip: Asus and Netgear. It supports the top tier of 802.11ac on the 5GHz band, and 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. It runs on a dual-core 800MHz processor, the most powerful Belkin router on the market.
It's a breeze to set up. The factory-determined network name and password are printed on the bottom of the EA6900. This information works for both WiFi networks on both bands. You can customize the network name and password by heading to the router's web interface by heading to linksyssmartwifi.com or its IP address of 192.168.1.1. The log-in password: admin.
Once logged in, you create a Smart WiFi account in order to associate the router to your account. This allows you to head to the website from any computer, anywhere, to manage your network remotely. There are also mobile apps to tweak router features and settings. In Cnet testing, however, the mobile apps looked like they needed a bit of work: the tester could not log in.
Besides offering very high speeds, there are no features that are new to this model. It is quite similar to the EA6500 router. The Guest Access feature is only accessible on the 2.4GHz band, and it doesn't allow you to modify the name of the guest network. Your stuck with "Yournetwork-guest".
Another issue: the USB 3.0 port was unable to recognize the tester's USB drives.
So although this router is built for high-performance, it's just not quite there yet. Until the bugs have been worked out, just look elsewhere.