Cisco Linksys EA6500 Smart Wi-Fi Router Review

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Linksys EA6500 – Wireless 802.11ac Tests

Cisco Linksys EA6500 Smart Wi-Fi Router

Since the true usefulness of this new generation of router is in the “AC” performance, we set up a couple of experiments to test how good this new standard is. Because most people who purchase this router will have “legacy” devices that still run with Wireless-N or G, we tested what would happen when we connected a 802.11n device to the 5GHz Channel setting on the Cisco/Linksys EA6500.  We did the same thing that we did in our previous speed test and looked at two different sized packets at the same distance away from the Linksys router. 

As always, our results turned out to be pretty interesting:

Wireless Speed Test
Test Results: Here we see the Cisco/Linksys EA6500 AC1750 router redeems itself a bit with a fairly strong test results when looking at a typical “mixed” signal environment. While not as good as the Netgear R6300, the Cisco/Linksys does very well with 1 MB Average Write speeds posting the fastest measurements.  Remember, this is a “legacy” device connected to the 5 GHz channel on the routers.  Each router tested shows a measurable increase in speeds.  Even if you don’t have any AC-capable devices, your existing arsenal of equipment should give you a very nice bump in speed when paired with any of these routers.

Wireless Speed Test
Test Results: Netgear still leads the way when looking at larger packet sizes in a “mixed” wireless-AC/N environment.  Speeds across manufacturer continue to show a significant boost in speeds.  Remember, this is a “legacy” device connected to the 5 GHz “AC” channel on the routers.  The Cisco Linksys EA6500 rates solidly in the middle of the pack with very solid speeds.

Next, we turned off the built-in Wi-Fi on our laptop and then paired a Netgear R6300 802.11ac Router configured as a bridge to each of the wireless AC routers in our test suite. We are now ready to see what a true 802.11ac wireless network can do.  Again, we used LAN Speed Test to check the throughput of our 1MB and 100MB data packets.

Wireless Speed Test
Test Results: Results like this are really why we absolutely love the 802.11ac wireless standard. We see an almost 287% increase in Average Write speed with the Linksys EA6500. Netgear again leads the way, but just barely due to incredible Average Write speeds.

Wireless Speed Test
Test Results: Again we see results that are pretty outstanding when compared to “standard” wireless-n speeds.  The Linksys EA6500 shows an almost 300% increase in Average Read speeds and goes to the top of our AC router speed test. It’s not apparent why Write speeds are relatively slow when compared with the Netgear R6300.

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