Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router Review
Router Network Attached Storage Tests
One of the major components of these next-generation routers is the ability for them to double as home-ready Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices. If a person didnt want to spend a lot of money for a stand-alone NAS unit which could cost hundreds of dollars for a 2TB unit, an integrated solution that allows you to add a USB Flash drive for much less might be perfect. Of course the question is how good is the performances of these routers when it comes to attached storage.
For our Router Storage test, we used the very popular ATTO Disk Benchmark to measure transfer speeds of our routers USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. ATTO measures raw transfer rates for both Read and Write plotting them in a graph that is easy to understand. We ran our routers with this test with default ATTO settings of 0.5 KB up through 8192.0 KB transfer sizes with the total length being 256 MB.
The folks at Kingston were kind enough to send over a Kingston DataTraveler HyperX 3.0 64GB USB drive ($60.00 shipped) for our tests. The Kingston HyperX USB 3.0 Flash drive is rated conservatively at 225MB/s read and 135MB/s write. On our test system we were able to get 300MB/s read and 160MB/s write speeds on the DTHX30/64GB. Those speeds should be well over what this generation routers can support. We wanted to make sure the write speeds would be high enough not to bottleneck the benchmarks of these next generation routers.
Benchmark Results: One of the trends we have seen with the next-generation of wireless-AC routers has been their relatively poor performance from the USB 3.0 ports. For routers that cost more than $100 (and some more than $200), the performance that you get when you try to use the USB port for attached storage is woefully weak. With the exception of the Belkin/Linksys WRT1900AC, the rest of our routers including the Linksys EA9200 look very pedestrian. With Read/Write speeds measuring at only 47 MB/s and 27 MB/s respectively, the Linksys EA9200 is one of the lower performers in our suite.
Benchmark Results: Examining the ATTO Benchmarks for USB 2.0 speeds we see the Linksys EA9200 scores in the middle of the pack with Read/Write speeds of 34.8 MB/s and 20.71 MB/s respectively. While the Netgear R8000 and R7000 routers lead the way in USB 2.0 Read speeds, the Linksys EA9200 hangs touch with the third-fastest Write speed measurement.