Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Review

Editor rating

4.0/5 on August 15, 2018

User's rating

10,190 reviews

PROS

- Modest design with wall mounting.

- Works with Amazon Alexa.

- Very fast Wi-Fi speeds. 1.9 Gbps speed across two channels.

- MU-MIMO directs signal directly at your devices.

- Advanced, intuitive backend software.

- Enjoy your favorite online games and streaming content without buffering or lag.

CONS

- Only one USB 3.0 port.

- Not as fast as fastest AC1900 routers.

VERDICT

The Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router may not have the greatest top speed, but what it lacks in horsepower it more than makes up for in solid software and a clean, unobtrusive design. At its current price it strikes a nice middle ground between a straight consumer device and one that’s built for serious tech geeks, all while including many of the features that will be necessary as our streaming, downloading, and gaming demands increase.

For many, the performance and features of any router aren’t going to add up, but if you’re in the market for a high-end router, and don’t have an infinite budget, the Linksys EA7500 is a good pick.

The Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router is one of only two routers by Linksys that features the latest development in Wi-Fi: MU-MIMO (Multi User, Multiple Input Multiple Output). This allows the router to simultaneously talk to up to 12 devices at the same time, rather than having to talk to each device in quick succession.

Although a standard part of the now fairly widely adopted Wi-Fi AC specification, MU-MIMO is only just starting to be incorporated into routers and is set to be the must-have feature for those buying a high-end router this year. Aside from its MU-MIMO capabilities, this is a fairly typical modern router, with a couple of USB ports for sharing printers and USB storage devices, plus four gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices. So, lets have a closer look.

Video – Linksys EA7500 Max-Stream AC1900 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

 

 

Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Features

 

– Works with Amazon Alexa.

– 3 external antennas expand Wi-Fi range throughout a medium-size home.

– Platform compatibility:Windows XP,Windows Vista 32/64,Windows 7 32/64,Windows 8 32/64,Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard,Mac OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard,Mac OS X 10.7 Lion,Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion,Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.

– Power your streaming and gaming with Next Gen AC Wi-Fi, which utilizes Multi-User MIMO technology to keep multiple Wi-Fi devices online at the same time and the same speed.

– Enjoy your favorite online games and streaming content without buffering or lag via dual-band speeds up to 1.9 GBPS.

– Connect 4K TV, gaming console, laptop and more with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired transfer speeds 10x faster than Fast Ethernet.

– Minimum System Requirements: Internet Explorer versions 8 and newer, Safari 5 (for Mac), Firefox 8, Google Chrome.

– Easy setup, generate guest passwords, monitor your Wi-Fi remotely and more with Smart Wi-Fi software.

 

$145.99
$155.88
43 new from $109.01
25 used from $55.00
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on November 14, 2018 5:45 am

Our Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Review

 

Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router

Unlike the EA6900 that flunked at launch, the Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router proves itself right out of the box to be one of the fastest Wi-Fi routers on the market, exhibiting exceptional range. When hosting a storage device, it also provides network storage performance equal to that of many high-end dedicated NAS servers.

The router has a few minor shortcomings, however, including its higher price tag and the lack of customization’s for its Wi-Fi networks. The Web interface, while organized, is also a little unintuitive, especially for first time users.

But if you’re willing to pay the premium, the new Linksys WRT1900AC is worth it and will be an excellent router for any home, especially for advanced users who want to take advantage of its custom firmware and other nerdy features.

Video – Linksys Max-Stream AC1900 Multi User-MIMO WI-FI Router Overview

 

 

Linksys EA7500 Design

The new AC1900 arrives with a completely new design compared with routers released by Linksys over the last few years. Indeed, this model harkens back to the “classic” decade-old, blue-and-black Linksys design. It’s reminiscent of the earlier WRT series (such as the WRT54Gs), albeit much larger than those models. It’s wall-mountable, but it retains the stackable design of previous Linksys gear (the company will soon release a switch that will be able to sit on top).

Despite the fact that the device features four antennas (rather than the three you’ll find in other high-end routers), it’s a three-stream router, not a four-stream (4 x 4) model. As an AC1900 router, the WRT1900AC will deliver speeds of up to 1,300Mbps on the 5GHz frequency band and up to 600Mbps on the 2.4GHz band.

On its back, the router has four gigabit LAN ports and one gigabit WAN (Internet) port. It also comes with one USB 3.0 port and another port that can work as either a USB 2.0 or an eSATA connection. This is the first router I’ve seen that supports eSATA. You can use these ports to host up to two external storage devices at a time.

On the front, the EA7500 comes with an array of fancy LED lights that show the status of the router. I find these lights very helpful, but if you don’t like them, you can turn all of them off (except for the power light) via the router’s Web interface.

If you just want to use the new router right out of the box, there’s default settings printed on its underside that allow you to use it as soon as you have plugged it into power and connected its WAN port into an Internet source, such as a broadband modem. But with the AC1900 EA7500, you’ll want to do more than that.

The router allows you to access its Web interface, hence the ability to manage your home network, both locally and, as an option, over the Internet. For the latter, you’ll need a free Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account. Locally, you can always access the router by pointing the browser from a connecter computer to the router’s IP address, the default is 192.168.1.1, and the default password to log in is admin. If you opt to use the remote management from anywhere in the world, you can log in by going to linksyssmartwifi.com and logging in via your Smart Wi-Fi account. In both cases, the Web interface is exactly the same.

Those with a Smart Wi-Fi account can also access a sizable collection of mobile apps, including the free Linksys Smart Wi-Fi mobile app (Android and iOS) to manage the router’s settings and features, again via the Internet.

Video – Review and setup of Linksys EA7500 Max Stream Router MU MIMO 2x AC1900

 

 

Linksys EA7500 Hardware

Of course, the new WRT router now comes with much more powerful components than its ancient predecessors. In fact, it’s the most powerful home router on the market to date, running a 1.2Ghz ARM-based dual-core processor, and containing 128MB of flash storage as well as 256MB of DDR3 RAM. This powerful hardware is even more significant considering that Linksys says the router will also support third-party firmware. OpenWRT is pledging to release compatible firmware, and DD-WRT and Tomato should now have theirs.

Linksys EA7500 Features

The EA7500 shares the same interface as that of previous Smart Wi-Fi routers but with many improved features. The Network Map now has a lot of customizations — you can view connected devices by connection types (wireless or wired) or device types (computers, mobile devices, printers, and unknown). You can quickly add or edit a connected client to a IP reservation/blocking pool, give it a name, or view more information about the client. In all, the Map is a great feature for anybody to visually manage their home network.

The second big feature is the Media Prioritization, which allows you to drag and drop connected clients between the High priority and Normal priority lists. (The former will have priority access to the Internet.) There’s also a handy Internet Speed test (available only locally) and a simple Parental Control feature that allows you to block certain connected clients’ access to the Internet or just to certain Web sites. You can also schedule the time when the blocking is in effect. With the WRT1900AC, you can change the name of its guest networks (two of them, one for each band) to what you prefer, a first among Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers. With previous models, the guest networks’ names would be based on the name of the main networks with a “-guest” suffix. You can allow up to 50 guests at a time.

The router’s USB ports can be used to connect to external storage devices of any capacity. You can use external hard drives formatted in HFS+, FAT32, or NTFS. In my trials, while the USB 2.0/eSATA port worked well, the USB 3.0 port didn’t provide enough juice to power a few of the portable drives. (It did with most drives, however.) When a drive is plugged in, you can share its content with other network devices, either via regular file-sharing protocol or through streaming. By default, all clients in your home network can access all the content stored on a connected drive, but you can also turn on secure sharing by user accounts. The router supports UPnP and DNLA streaming standards, meaning content stored on the connected drive can be played back by network media streamers.

Other than that, the WRT1900AC offers all the other common features and settings found in most new routers, such as IPv6, DynDNS, port-forwarding, WPA/WPA2 Wi-Fi encryption methods, and so on. However, for first-time Smart Wi-Fi router users, the interface might require a learning curve. It also doesn’t provide the level of customization they might like for the Wi-Fi networks.

Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Features

Linksys EA7500 Performance

Although MU-MIMO should result in better performance when using multiple devices, in terms of maximum throughput its presence here didn’t help the EA7500 to set any records. At 5GHz, the EA7500 hit 63MB/s at a range of 1m, which trails the 70MB/s+ of the fastest models.
At 5m through two brick walls it fared better, though, hitting 40MB/s, which is the second fastest we’ve recorded. However, at 7m and down a floor this dropped to 13.5MB/s, some way behind the 25MB/s of the fastest I’ve tested.

Using the 2.4GHz band the EA7500 is similarly middle-of-the-road. At 1m it hit an average of 13.4Mb/s, compared to high teens for most of the competition and even 24.2MB/s for the ASRock G10. At 5m it managed 6.6MB/s, which actually beats the G10 but still trails the 10MB/s+ of some other competitors.

Finally, at 7m it hit 6.1MB/s, which again was behind the G10 (8.9MB/s) and WRT1900ACS (14.7MB/s). All these figures reflect a router that still provides much of the speed you’d hope for from a high-end AC1900 router, but it’s just not the fastest out there.

It’s when using this router with multiple devices that it should really show what it’s capable of, and unfortunately that’s something I’m not yet equipped to test in a quantitative manner. All I can say is that this has proved to be one of the most consistent and stable routers I’ve ever tested, and it certainly seemed to start file transfers quicker than other routers.

As for storage transfer speed via the USB port, this router pulled out a surprising victory, hitting a whopping 60MB/s read and 38.9MB/s write, eclipsing the 53.3MB/s and 28.6MB/s of its nearest competitor. This is an excellent result and points towards a router well-suited to running a modest home media server via an attached hard disk.

Below is a Wi-Fi performance and NAS speed test I found from another reviewer. I have included this to give you a look at what other testers have found.

“I tested the WRT1900AC’s Wi-Fi performance on the “Auto” setting for both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands — since this is the only way for it to offer top speeds — and it performed very well.

On the 5GHz band, I noted that the clients could connect to the router easily at 1.3Gbps. At close range (15 feet), I got a sustained copy speed of 65MBps (or 521Mbps). When I increased the distance to 100 feet, that speed now registered at 341Mbps. Both of these scores are among the fastest on the market.

On the 2.4GHz band, it was a little different story. It seemed that on the Auto setting, the clients didn’t connect to the router consistently at the same rate, but that changes between 175Mbps and 600Mbps. In the end, the average score was 168Mbps for close range and about 50Mbps at long range. These aren’t slow, but comparatively they’re not among the fastest, either.

I was also very pleased with the router’s Wi-Fi range, which was among the farthest I’ve seen –up to more than 300 feet in my testing. Obviously the closer you are, the better data rates you’ll get, and the effective range of this model is about the same as other high-end router — around 175 feet or less. The router also passed my 48-hour stress test without a hiccup. During this time of transferring large amounts of data between multiple Wi-Fi clients it didn’t disconnect once.

Note that I tested the router at my office, where there are walls and many Wi-Fi devices that are out of my control. Generally, walls shorten the reach of a Wi-Fi signal, and other Wi-Fi devices create interference. As with all Wi-Fi routers, your results may vary depending on where you live.

The WRT1900AC’s NAS performance was the most impressive. When coupled with a portable drive connected to its USB 3.0 port via a gigabit connection, the router registered a sustained speed of 75MBps for writing and 105MBps for reading. These are by far the fastest among all routers that have this feature, and even faster than many high-end dedicated NAS servers.

Despite its high-end components, the WRT1900AC managed to stay cool during my testing. It never became hot enough to trigger the little ventilation fan on the inside. For this reason, it was also very quiet.”

Video – Linksys EA7500 Unboxing

 

 

Conclusion

The Linksys EA7500 is easily the best Wi-Fi router Linksys has made in a long time, and it’s one of the best 802.11ac routers on the market. To add to its value, there will soon be third-party firmware made for this router. This means, among other things, if you’re taken aback by its interface, you’ll have a choice to change to an entirely different one.

The only real drawback is its higher price. If you plan on using it as a NAS server (with your own add-on storage, of course) — or if you plan on taking advantage of the custom firmware option — it’s well worth it.

$145.99
$155.88
43 new from $109.01
25 used from $55.00
Amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on November 14, 2018 5:45 am

Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Customer Reviews

 

“First of all, all I can say is WOW! All of this time I have been complaining to my ISP about slow internet speeds and not getting what I am paying for. I have been signed up for 100mbps for the longest time, but on the best of days I would only get 35mbps. I checked my modem, it’s a DOCIS 3.0 so I guess I just chalked it up to being in a bad coverage area.

The slow speeds really started annoying me as the wifi in my bedroom would barely reach 5mbps and I would end up switching to LTE on my phone to get webpages to load. I purchased my wireless router in 2010 (seven years ago) and the whole time in between I was ignorant to think that WiFi technology hasn’t changed and that I didn’t need an upgrade. Boy was I wrong.

I finally concluded that the problem has to be with my router, so I hit up Amazon to find a new one since mine was so dated. I looked at various NetGear routers but decided against them from the many negative reviews. I stumbled across this router, and even though it is on the pricier side of the house, the reviews were solid, and I took the plunge and boy am I happy I did.

My internet is now faster than ever, and I am finally getting what I am paying for! I couldn’t be happier. These are the speeds I was getting before and after purchasing this router:

Living room: Bedroom: Bathroom:
Before — 35mbps
After — 118mbps
Before — 5mbps
After — 102mbps
Before — 1mbps
After — 50mbps

 

As you can see, the speeds have been significantly impacted. The antennas on these bad boys send the signal all the way to the back of my house and I can finally browse in peace where ever I am. Honestly, I can’t believe I waited this long to make the upgrade.

If you have terrible service and aren’t getting the speeds you are paying for, your problem very well may be in your dated router, as mine was. If you have a few extra bucks to spend to finally get those speeds you’ve been dreaming of — GET THIS ROUTER!” …. Read More

Linksys EA7500 Rear View

“This router replaces a Linksys EA6350 that was continually dropping my wi-fi connections. Prior to that I had a Linksys E1500 for several years that never dropped a connection, so I decided to stick with the Linksys brand and I’m glad I did.

I’ve had the AC1900 Max-Stream in service for more than a year and half now and while the AC1900 class and processor are a little dated when compared to some of the newer routers on the market, this has been the most reliable and best performing router I’ve ever owned.

I’m using the AC1900 router with two Linksys RE6500 extender to increase the 5 Ghz band range; which for all routers is limited when compared to the 2.4 Ghz bands. The AC1900 router is upstairs at one end of a 3,000 ft sq home and the extenders are downstairs in the middle of the home. I consistently get 100+mB download and 10+mB upload speeds throughout every location in my home.

I have nearly 20 network devices connected to my network, to include a smart TVs, smart phones & tablets, two desktops & one laptop, a network printer, an HTPC, and several home security cameras. I have never had the router drop any of the devices, I’ve also had no lag or delays when streaming HD from NetFlix or Amazon Prime, even with multiple devices streaming at the same time. The only downtime I’ve had is when the cable or electricity has went out.” …. Read More

Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Customer Reviews

Video – Linksys EA7500 Wireless AC Router – Review

 

 

Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router Review Verdict

 

The Linksys AC1900 EA7500 Dual Band Wireless Router may not have the greatest top speed, but what it lacks in horsepower it more than makes up for in solid software and a clean, unobtrusive design. At its current price it strikes a nice middle ground between a straight consumer device and one that’s built for serious tech geeks, all while including many of the features that will be necessary as our streaming, downloading, and gaming demands increase.

For many, the performance and features of any router aren’t going to add up, but if you’re in the market for a high-end router, and don’t have an infinite budget, the Linksys EA7500 is a good pick.

 

Linksys AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Router, Works with Amazon Alexa (Max Stream EA7500)

$155.88
$145.99
43 new from $109.01
25 used from $ 55.00
Free shipping
Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of November 14, 2018 5:45 am

Features

  • Works with Amazon Alexa. 3 external antennas expand Wi-Fi range throughout a medium-size home
  • Platform compatibility:Windows XP,Windows Vista 32/64,Windows 7 32/64,Windows 8 32/64,Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard,Mac OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard,Mac OS X 10.7 Lion,Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion,Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.Power your streaming and gaming with Next Gen AC Wi-Fi, which utilizes Multi-User MIMO technology to keep multiple Wi-Fi devices online at the same time and the same speed
  • Enjoy your favorite online games and streaming content without buffering or lag via dual-band speeds up to 1.9 GBPS
  • Connect 4K TV, gaming console, laptop and more with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired transfer speeds 10x faster than Fast Ethernet
  • Minimum System Requirements: Internet Explorer versions 8 and newer, Safari 5 (for Mac), Firefox 8, Google Chrome