The fastest wireless routers on the home consumer market today are AC1900’s. Two of the contenders within this market that are vying for your attention are from Netgear and Linksys: Linksys EA6900 vs Netgear Nighthawk R7000. Both come from reputable manufacturers and are jam-packed with powerful components and features. What we need to do is flesh out what these two routers have in common, what they don’t have in common, which one is faster and what the price difference is. Ok, let’s go…
Netgear Nighthawk R7000 Router
Netgear’s most powerful consumer router to date, has a long list of features.
Linksys EA6900 Router
The EA6900 is Linksys’s most powerful consumer router. Like the Nighthawk, it’s also “featurific”.
Key Features That Both Routers Share
Dual Core CPU
Both Netgear and Linksys have included a dual core processor. However, the Nighthawk’s CPU has a little more grunt – 1GHz as opposed to the 800MHz CPU that’s installed within the EA6900.
AC1900 – Up To 1.9Gbps Data Rates
Each router is capable of theoretical speeds up to 1.9Gbps. This is when combining both frequency bands together over Wireless AC & N.
Beamforming increases coverage area and stability by channelling wireless beamwidth in the direction of wireless clients.
Quality of Service
QoS (Quality of Service) protects data traffic types of your choosing. It’s best practice to protect and prioritize sensitive traffic types that can fall over or be badly affected by network congestion. For example, if a computer is downloading a large file or movie for example, it’s best to protect VoIP, online gaming and streaming traffic from the congestion that the file download could potentially cause.
USB 3.0 Port
Netgear and Linksys have added a USB 3.0 port to their routers. USB 3.0 is essential for file sharing over Wireless AC, due to AC’s Gigabit speeds. Both vendors have added a second USB 2.0 port. Not ideal for a Wireless AC network, but it is perfect for a centralized USB printer, that generally doesn’t require Gigabit speeds.
Antennas That Adjust
Each router has three external adjustable antennas. Strategically moving the antennas to different positions increases Wi-Fi coverage around the home and helps eliminate dead spots and poor signal zones.
So, what’s the difference in price between these two heavyweights? Well, at the time of writing, the Linksys is the best part of $20 cheaper. It comes in at $180 compared to the Nighthawk’s $199. The relatively small difference in price will likely not make a huge difference in what consumers choose.
Linksys EA6900 vs Netgear Nighthawk – Overall Conclusion
On the Wireless AC speed tests, it’s pretty much a dead heat. So speed isn’t going to be such a decisive factor.
And guess what else is a dead heat – the features. The features are almost identical. The routers have features that you would expect with any new router as well as almost identically spec’d processors.
Sorry if the conclusion hasn’t been much help to you. We love them both, so we aren’t going to make a choice. No wait, hang on, yes we are……one of them is just so cool looking that we are going to be shallow and make a recommendation based on the looks alone – the Netgear Nighthawk. It looks like such a filthy stealthy beast compared to the soft and smooth EA6900. There you go – decision made?
Alternatives Worth Considering