By Ki Grinsing
New generations of Linksys EA6500 wireless ac routers – simultaneous dual band gigabit with Cisco Connect Cloud technology
All the wifi network observers always follow the development of the wifi technology especially recent developments of the fifth generation of the draft 802.11ac wifi technology (aka wireless ac). The manufacturers have released to the market several products including wireless routers and wireless LAN adapters based on this draft version of wireless ac technology.
This is reasonable considering leaping speed happen theoretically of wifi technology from the fastest speed of 450Mbps (with three spatial data streams on current 802.11n standard) to 1350Mbps on the draft 802.11ac three times faster than the current wifi technology today, it is really incredible.
Various models of new generations of wireless ac routers can be ordered today from different networking vendors such as Netgear with its R6300, Belkin with its AC1200 DB, Buffalo with its WZR-D1800H and Linksys with its EA6500 cloud connect router.
Evolution of Wifi technology
Looking back the evolution of the Wifi network history, you will be amazed how the speeds of the 5th generation (today) of the Wifi standard is more than 600 times as fast as the 1st generation of the wifi standard in the period of 15 years time. Here is the history of the Wifi standards:
- First generation of Wifi (802.11) was introduced in 1997 with the data rate up to 2Mbps
- 802.11b was introduced in 1999, this is the second generation of the Wifi standard with the speed up to 11Mbps which is typically for email usage.
- 3rd generation of Wifi standard (802.11g/a) was introduced in 2002 with the data rate throughput up to 54Mbps, used for rich data web experiences.
- The 4th generation of the wifi was introduced in 2007 with the throughput up to 450Mbps with three spatial data streams and the range is enhanced with the use of MIMO antenna technology. Various models of wireless routers were recently offered with dual band N900 technology – 450Mbps each band.
- Today, the 5th generation (5G) of the Wifi standard is released with data rate can reach up to 3.6Gbps (theoretically). The first releases of the wireless routers were offered with the speeds up to 3 times as fast as wireless -N routers (up to 1300Mbps).
Click here for Linksys EA6500 spec details.
Wireless ac routers
Each of the networking vendors offer new router based on this 5G Wifi technology, few of them are listed in table 1 with their main features to help you see the differences if any. Netgear and Buffalo introduce their product earlier than Linksys in their official websites. How do you compare them?
Speeds up to 1300Mbps
Netgear R6300, Buffalo Wzr-D1800H and Linksys EA6500 are offered with the maximum speed of up 1300Mbps, But Belkin AC1200 DB is offered with less speed up to 1200Mbps. I have no idea yet how the wireless speed each of them in the real world, the speed of the wired gigabit connection. Is the wireless speed is approaching or even exceeding their solid wired connection of the Gigabit Ethernet ports? All of these routers are equipped with Gigabit Ethernet ports both WAN and LAN (4x) interfaces.
USB ports for storage and printer
Except Buffalo, all other routers are included with two USB 2.0 ports to let you easily connect both storage and printer together at the same time. Netgear R6300 is different than others which can also be configured as the wireless bridge mode. You need two R6300, one is configured as the router and the other is configured as wireless bridge to let you connect other Gigabit Ethernet based devices to the bridge and connect with the speed of wireless ac network.
Linksys EA6500 different
So what makes Linksys EA6500 is different than others? Like Linksys EA4500 cloud series router, Linksys EA6500 supports connect cloud as well to let you access your home network via your Android or iOS mobile devices anywhere you can access the internet. There will come more apps to enrich your connected lifestyle. Among other wireless ac routers, Linksys EA6500 is more expensive as shown in the last row of the table. However, as the time passes the retail prices in the stores will go down significantly.
How customer reviews so far? Are all the advantages that was written can convince people to buy this product. If all the greatness that are written in the specs are as in the real world, then this is your flagship product. So to balance, it helps you read the following customer reviews summary.
I do not comment on reviews with 5 stars, factory specs are promising with good features. To be fair, the following is summary of one star rating from those who are disappointed with the product.
1. GUI and CCC is very slow to load
One user was disappointed that the upgrade from a router didn’t provide improvement but even getting worse. Router GUI was extremely slow can take up to 5 minutes. Cisco connect cloud causes the router to be very slow.
2. Constantly reboot in bridge mode
One Linksys loyal user (who uses WRT54G, GL, E2000, E3000 and E1200 find them work fine) was disappointed with the product due to hard to get solutions from the technical support. Indeed he is expert in networking and imposes the router to work as the bridge and the result was the router reboot constantly. Although technically it could be turned into a bridge by disabling the NAT / router, but router reacts differently – reboot all the time. Even though the manual says you can do that. But he was successful in using two Asus RT-AC66 routers, one router to work as AP and the other works as Bridge. He found that the performance and stability are awesome.
3. USB port problems
A user found that the USB port cannot host wide range or external disks even those disks are among those in Linksys e4200 approved compatibility list and work well in D-link routers.
4. Still more reviews with their problems and found no luck with help from technical support guys.
Table 1 Linksys EA6500 Vs Netgear R6300 Vs Belkin AC1200 Vs Buffalo
|Wireless speed||Up to 450 (2.4GHz) + 1300 (5GHz) with high power amplifier and speedboost technology||Up to 450 (2.4GHz) + 1300 (5GHz) with high-powered radio amplifiers||Up to 300 (2.4GHz) + 867 (5GHz)||Up to 450 (2.4GHz) + 1300 (5GHz)|
|Ethernet Interfaces||4xGigabit LAN and 1xGigabit WAN||4xGigabit LAN and 1xGigabit WAN||4xGigabit LAN and 1xGigabit WAN||4xGigabit LAN and 1xGigabit WAN|
|USB ports||2xUSB 2.0 for share storage and printer||2xUSB 2.0 for share storage and printer||2xUSB 2.0 for share storage and printer||1 x USB 2.0 – NAS or print server|
|Media server||Yes – DLNA certified||Yes – DLNA certified||Unspecified||Yes – DLNA certified|
|Cloud Connect||Cisco Connect Cloud App||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Power savings||Power on/off buton||Wi-fi and power on-off button||N/A||Power on-off button|
|Other Mode||Can be configured as the wireless bridge|
There are couples of wireless ac adapters are ready to order to work with this new 5G wifi routers for optimum data rate throughput such as Netgear A6200 wireless ac USB adapter, or you may also purchase the multi-port Buffalo WLI-H4-D1300 wireless ac bridge.
All of those new 5G wifi routers still cost much money. If you do not need that much speed and range for your large house, so keep the current router and until you see which one is best according to your needs. If you are currently using Netgear WNDR3700 N600 router, then still use it as long as still can meet your needs until the time you need to replace.
By Ki Grinsing