The Linksys EA8500 AC2600 is the latest in Linksys’s ever-growing number of top-end routers. And yes, just like the E8350, it’s another MU-MIMO equipped beast.
The EA8500 is brand new for 2015 and is priced and spec’d slightly lower than it’s big brother – the E8350.
What you’re probably wanting to know is whether the EA8350 has the tools, and hardware under it’s hood to warrant taking a further look. I suppose we’d better run through the key features then!
Linksys EA8500 AC2600 Features
The key features that Linksys have packed in…
7 Features of the Linksys EA8500 AC2600
2.53Gbps AC Speeds
When you need fast speed, you need a fast router. The EA8500 AC2600 is capable of up to 2.53Gbps theoretical speeds. Perfect if you’re a media streamer or you like playing games. This router pulls off 1.7Gbps on .11ac and up to 800Mbps on .11n, partly thanks to the four data streams on offer – more on that later.
Moving files around the network is now faster than ever before.
The vast majority of routers available have single MIMO (Multi In Multi Out). Linksys have in the EA8500, added multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO). MIMO is a technology that speeds up wireless streams to a client by taking signals that have potentially reflected off objects, such as furniture and walls and realigns them into a solid stream again. Single MIMO only works with one client at a time. MU-MIMO lets multiple users enjoy the benefit of MIMO at the same time. This speeds up wireless performance for all your devices all the time.
4 Spatial Data Streams
With its 4×4 chipset, the EA8500 has 4 data streams – similar to the Nighthawk X4 & Linksys E8350. Used in conjunction with MU-MIMO, these streams help increase throughput to new levels. Most other routers can offer only 2 or 3 streams concurrently.
Extend Coverage & Reliability With Beamforming
Aim Wi-Fi beamwidth in the direction of clients when they need it, rather than beaming out in all directions at all times. Why? Well, it means the wireless beam is intensified in the direction of the clients, meaning a better signal and scope to roam further away from your router than before. It also means that reliability improves as the signal has been increased making dropouts and disconnects much less likely.
1.4GHz Dual Core Processor
You can have a router with .11ac, MU-MIMO, 4 spatial streams and all the features you want. However, without a powerful processor to drive things along, the user experience is not going to be pleasant.
Luckily, the EA8500 is equipped with a fast 1.4GHz dual core CPU that can handle all the network can throw at it. This will help your connectivity around the home as well as to/from the internet.
4 External Adjustable Antennas
Get the most out of your Wi-Fi coverage. The Linksys EA8500 has four external antennas that can be positioned at angles to ensure that the wireless beamwidth is tilted in different directions helping to cover multiple floors and more area. Dead spots that you may have had previously, can now be manually obliterated.
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi App
The Smart Wi-Fi app is an intuitive tool that lets you take control of your network from any location at any time. By installing on your PC, smartphone or tablet, you can access the EA8500 to control the way you want and monitor in depth.
– Configure QoS to the way you want it. You can choose what devices and websites get priority
– Create a secure, separate Guest Network.
– Remotely control which network devices have Wi-Fi access.
– Adjust Parental Controls.
– Monitor your network usage and what the speed throughputs are.
Linksys EA8500 Ports
EA8500 Other Features
USB 3.0 & eSATA Ports
There are two external ports available on the Linksys EA8500. A USB 3.0 port and an eSATA port (which doubles-up as a USB 2.0 port).
Gigabit LAN Ports
For those of you who still use wired Ethernet devices, there are 4 Gigabit LAN ports and the WAN port also happens to be Gigabit.
If you have visitors who want access to the internet, you can set them up on the optional Guest Wireless network. Designed to section off clients from your main network, the Guest network keeps your own personal network secure from intruders and potential viruses.
Linksys EA8500 Technical Specs
- Dual Band – 1x 2.4GHz / 1x 5GHz
- 1.4GHz Dual Core
- 512MB RAM
- 4x External Antennas / 1x Internal
- 4x 1Gbps LAN / 1x 1Gbps WAN
- 1x USB 3.0 / 1x eSATA & USB 2.0
Linksys E8350 – Alternative To The EA8500
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