I have used a variety of wireless routers (Apple, Netgear, and Linksys) in recent years, and I’m pretty picky about them. I’ve also tried several high-end mesh systems. But the Linksys EA9500 really stands out. This is a beast of a router. If you don’t mind the price and the size, I wholeheartedly recommend this router.
When I consider a new router these days, there are a few things that are really important to me:
1. Of course, the basics: reliability, speed, range, security features, guest network,etc.
2. Dual band
3. AC standard.
5. Beamforming (or similar) technology.
6. Print server capability
7. Reasonable port selection
The EA-9500 has all the basics in spades. Dual band? Even better; this is tri-band. AC? Yes, but not just 1900 (like the Linksys I replaced with this one); 5400. MU-MIMO? Yes. Beamforming? Yes. Print server? Yes. Ports? Plenty; one USB 2, one USB 3, and 8 ethernet ports.
After using this router for quite a bit on my 300Mbs cable connection, I am impressed. It never sputters or strains. We use a variety of devices: two different gaming consoles, multiple laptops (Windows and Mac), desktop computers, tablets (Windows, iOS, and Android), connected home devices (Nest and such), and a variety of cell phones. But we have not experienced a single blip in signal since installing the router, and the coverage is phenomenal.
Setup is fairly typical for Linksys Smart WiFi devices, which I like in the current generation of devices (prior iterations of the portal were clumsy, but the current portal is relatively easy to use and gives lots of options for setup). One caution, when choosing your network name, it will also give your device this same name. You can change all the names later,. The network names are changed in the wireless settings, but the device name is changed via a drop-down menu in the top right of the screen (sadly, that took me a little while to find that particular menu).
However, if you’ve ever set up a wireless network, you’ll find setup a breeze.
I have to admit, when I took this out of the box, it looked frighteningly huge. That’s because it is huge. But it works beautifully. I am completely sold on this router and highly recommend it. When I test other routers, this is always the one I measure them by, and it is the one still used in my home as of March 2017.