Linksys EA8500 Review (AC2600 Dual Band Wireless Router)

Recently, Wi-Fi routers have shifted from the old AC1900 standard to the newer AC2600 standard. A new router like Linksys EA8500 (AC2600) has implemented the MU-MIMO technology. The Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 has incorporated the MU-MIMO technology than any other router.

Simply put, its MU-MIMO technology is right out of the box. Linksys is on equal terms with some of the routers from Asus and Netgear. Let’s find out whether or not it performs better than other routers. Note: the review is based on our personal experience with the Linksys EA8500 router. Read on!


Specifications

Size: 10.1 x 7.2 x 2.2 inches

Antennas: 4 adjustable  

Wi-Fi Spec: Dual-band 802.11ac / 2.53Gbps

Ports: 1 x USB 3.0

Peak Performance: 1733 Mbps

Range: 10,000 sqft.

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Networking

To test the true power of Linksys EA8500, it is important to have a device that supports 4 802.11ac data streams or use another 4×4 router device connected in the bridge mode. We connected another router in the bridge mode. At 5 feet, we calculated a maximum speed of 680 Mbps. The speed of the device was 590 Mbps at 20 feet. Further, we increased the distance, and this time, we measured the speed of 325 Mbps at 100 feet.

We further tested the router and connected a 3×3 client to the router. With MU-MIMO turned off, we use the 5 GHz radio band. At a close range of 5 feet, we measured the speed of 430 Mbps. The speed reached up to 350 Mbps at 15 feet and at 100 feet, the speed measured was 245 Mbps.

We turned on the MU-MIMO feature and connected 2 more clients. At 5 feet, the speed went up to 490 Mbps. At 15 feet, we got 410 Mbps and at 100 feet, we had 290 Mbps. As you can see that MU-MIMO makes a considerable difference, which is 20% better. Also, we tested the router on the 2.4 GHz radio frequency band. At 5 feet, we got 125 Mbps. At 15 feet, the speed was 138 Mbps and at 100 feet, we measured speed of 54 Mbps.

Design

Linksys EA8500 features a rectangular design, which is a bit similar to the design of the E8350 router. It has a black, matte finish. The router has 4 large antennas, which are adjustable and detachable. The size of the antennas has been increased from the E8350. However, you can see that it has maintained the same footprint. The device measures 10.1 x 7.2 x 2.2 inches. The weight of the Linksys EA8500 is 33 ounces.

You will see only one LED light that blinks slowly as the device boots or upgrades the firmware. The LED lights blink green if you see the WPS is in progress. It also flashes fast in green if you see an error with the WPS. From WAN and LAN, if there is data transmission, the LED blinks with yellow color. You get a solid green color if the link is up on the physical port.

On the backside of this router, there is an eSATA and USB 3.0 port. You will also see 1 Gigabit Ethernet WAN port as well as 4 Ethernet LAN ports. There is an ON-OFF button for the Wi-Fi, the WPS, and the Reset Button near the WAN port.

As you can see, the design of the Linksys EA8500 has adopted more of a conservative approach. However, at the same time, it blends well and gives a great aesthetic matching with the surroundings. So, just like the WRT1900ACS, the Linksys EA8500 satisfies the requirements of the majority of users.

Hardware

The Linksys EA8500 (AC2600) router is powered by a dual-core Qualcomm IPQ8064 1.4 GHz CPU. The CPU is backed with high-class Samsung DDR3 512 MB of RAM and 128 MB of flash memory. As you know the EA8500 is a 4×4 router device, which has incorporated the MU-MIMO technology from the beginning. It is important to know that other routers relied on it later when they have a firmware update.

The Linksys EA8500 uses the Qualcomm QCA9980 MU-EFX chip for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radio frequency bands. Not only you get beamforming for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, but you also have the MU-MIMO feature. However, this only works with the 5 GHz band. For instance, the devices must show compatibility with the adapters.

Thanks to the incredible specifications, the router Linksys EA8500 performs well and reaches a maximum speed of 800 Mbps on the radio frequency 2.4 GHz band. Likewise, it achieves a maximum speed of 1733 Mbps on the 5 GHz radio frequency band.

Installation

Setting up this router is easy and simple. The process of installation is similar to that of other Linksys routers. Primarily, it has a user-friendly interface, which you can see on the router. Compared to the routers of other brands, Linksys offers a pretty simple and effortless installation procedure. This is why we have become a fan of the manufacturer’s keen interest in providing customers with the best User Interface.

When it comes to the installation, first, you need to connect your PC to the router. Open the browser and type in the address bar “linksyssmartwifi.com.” This will lead you to the setup page where you can install and configure the Linksys EA8500. Basically, the page is a smart Wi-Fi setup app where you can name the SSIDs and create passwords.

You can also do any other configuration setting as per your needs or requirements. Once you are logged in, you can access the router remotely from any part of the world. The only thing you need to do is download the router app designed and published by Linksys Company. The interesting thing is that the app available for both iOS and Android. It is good for viewing the internet protocol cameras that are inside your home, especially when you are on vacation.


What We Liked

  • MU-MIMO Technology
  • Awesome Wi-Fi Speeds
  • Excellent NAS Performance
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Unique Design

What We didn’t Like

  • No 4 x 4 Client Support
  • Highly Priced

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Ted Webster
Ted is an expert in the field of computers, electronics, and the latest technology.Have a question, need some help, or want to give your opinion? Drop us a comment below!