Linksys MAX-STREAM EA9500 Router Review
Setup and Installation
Since the EA9500 is part of Linksys’ Smart Wi-Fi group of routers, it came as no surprise to see it follow the exact same installation process as that of the EA7500. To be precise, its installation is a truly straightforward and painless endeavor. Just plug in the router, attach the various cables, and type “linksyssmartwifi.com” or “192.168.1.1” into your web browser. The router will then walk you through a setup process which is almost completely automated, and requires very little user input. As an added bonus, this can be accomplished without plugging in an Ethernet cable as the EA9500 comes with a basic network preconfigured for the sole use of setup and installation.
When the wizard is finished, you will be left with two fully functioning networks, and all that will be left to do is either start using your basic 802.11n and 802.11ac networks or customize the more advanced features. Those advanced features should only take a few moments of configuration time as Linksys has opted for their classic easy to use, easy to navigate and highly intuitive interface. We will get into the various features this router has to offer, but the list is rather long and detailed as would be expected from a $300 wireless device.
All told, the automated procedure will take a few minutes if the default passwords and SSID for 2.4GHz and dual 5GHz networks are used. Naturally, setting things up manually will take a bit longer if any customizations are made, but even then the installation wizard will walk you through it with very few hassles.
If you so choose, you can also opt for a totally manual setup, but unlike the automated process this one does have a few quirks. In order to progress through the options, you really should have the router connected to your ISP as on the surface you cannot continue the manual installation without. Thankfully, Linksys has included a fail-safe / backup error page that if you read carefully will allow you to login and manually configure without first plugging it in… as long as you find the small hotlink buried in the warning. This is a nice upgrade from the EA7500, even if they do make it harder than it should be to manually configure the darn thing.