Linksys MAX-STREAM EA9500 Router Review
Conclusion – A New Router Revolution?
There are no ifs, no ands, and certainly no buts about it; the Linksys EA9500 is easily the best wireless router we have tested to date. Everything from its incredible performance, to its excellent range, are damn near perfect. Even its drop dead gorgeous looks – that somehow doesn’t look ugly even with eight antennas sprouting from it – are the best we have seen to date. If all that was not enough its backwards compatibility and ability to play nice with ancient equipment is everything any consumer could ask for. Sure older networks may not be able to fully take advantage of 2167Mbit/sec speeds but they certainly will be able to take advantage of the second 5Ghz network! This extra network really does make the difference and can help balance the loads in even a heavily congested network.
This however is only part of the reason we like this router so much. The other half is its asking price. With an online average asking price of only $200(USD) this router is not priced outside the realm of reason. Two hundred dollars may be right at the extreme edge of what most people are willing to spend on a router but compared to older routers it is a damn sight easier pill to swallow. Basically when compared to older, and slower, routers released even last year this router has value to burn.
Equally important this value is not just on the amount of hardware consumers hard earned dollars can get them, it is also nets an excellent User Interface that is razor sharp, easy to use, and basically the best revision Linksys has created to date. Put simply this is a router that even novices will not mind entering and using to tweak the settings. Mix in a painless setup that is not so simplistic as to be useless and this router really does tick all the boxes for us.
This value really is why the EA9500 not only impressed us but actually made us want to replace our existing (ASUS RT-87U) with it. More importantly it will be the router that we will be recommending to friends and family – and that is the highest accolade we can bestow on any piece of hardware. Color us impressed… and a believer that Linksys is back and better than ever! WRT who? That is how good this new EA model is. Now if they would only offer a quad band router with dual 802.11N bands and we would be first in line to sign up for official fanboi status.