Linksys have been a brand name in the home and office networking space for over two decades bringing consumers products that can help keep them connected, including: wired and wireless routers, Ethernet switches, VoIP equipment, network storage systems and much more. With more and more households having a dependency on being connected to Wi-Fi including the recent popularity of connected smart home devices, Linksys want to make sure that you never suffer from dropped signal or black spots in your home again with their line of Max-Stream routers and range extenders.
Linksys, recently acquired by Belkin, have a simple philosophy when it comes to their products – they must enhance the technology that connects us to the people, activities and experiences we love and make wireless connectivity mainstream around the globe. Their latest offering the EA8300 Tri band router aims to offer users twice the performance of a traditional dual band router thanks to some much welcome new technology in this space.
The EA8300 is designed for households that have heavy Wi-Fi use but still want to take advantage of their service providers available speed for things like data transfer and 4k streaming. With its powerful quad core CPU, the Max-Stream router can provide end users with a combined 2.2Gbps of speed over a single 2.4ghz band and two separate 5ghz bands. The device features next gen Mu-MIMO AC network standard as well of the usual array of 802.11b; 802.11a/g; 802.11n. Four Gigabit Ethernet ports flank the rear of the unit and lets you hardwire more devices and share files 10x faster. Also included is an ultra-fast USB 3.0 port, ideal for connecting shared network storage devices as well as a range of other peripherals. One thing we really love about the design of the router is its adjustable high-performance antennas, allowing you multi-direct the signal to every corner of your home, it also just looks really cool too!
Aesthetics aside, it’s the tech. on the inside that makes the EA8300 truly special. Some of the best features of the router must be the advanced beamforming that maximizes the coverage of both the 2.4 and 5gz bands and what Linksys calls – Airtime Fairness, a feature that ensures even, fair distribution of Wi-Fi to different products. This helps to reduce the lag associated with slower Wi-Fi enabled devices. Another underrated feature is Advanced Band Steering, which monitors network input and output re-routs devices to the clearest Wi-Fi band to speed up gaming and streaming. Best of all, when the router is paired with range extender and the routers Seamless Roaming support, your devices will automatically connect to the strongest Wi-Fi signal by utilizing a single network name, like how mesh home networks operate.
At the time of testing, we also had a Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream range extender with us, so we thought we would put this to the test. The innovative wall plug design of the unit paired with Next-Gen AC with MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) technology meant that we could take advantage of seamless roaming when it was paired with our similar Max-Stream router. Unlike range extenders of yesteryear, this technology means your enabled wireless devices will automatically switch to the strongest Wi-Fi signal, so you won’t have to manually connect to the router or range extender when you move from one room to another–or even to your backyard. This means that you can move freely throughout your home while video chatting or streaming videos without experiencing dropped calls or buffering.
The extender also has some notable features to make this the ultimate accessory to your home network including – simultaneous cross band technology that maximizes the simultaneous use of both bands for high-speed data transfer and uninterrupted streaming and gaming. Paired with similar Beamforming tech. and an included Ethernet port for hardwired connections, mean that you can enjoy a strong, seamless signal in every room of your house.
Lastly, we must talk about the setup process. Setup of both the router and extender could not have been easier thanks to the intuitive and easy to use Linksys app. You simply power up devices, follow the prompts and before you know it, you are connected. One advantage of their app if the ability to manage the network, including the ability to give guests’ access, parental controls, device prioritization and even recent support for Amazon’s Alexa service.
Both the Max-Stream AC8300 router and RE7000 extender offer users some powerful options to keep you connected throughout your whole home. After using both devices in our office space, we are impressed with the roaming technology and single network capability. While we are familiar with mesh network systems, this worked equally as effective although the extender did reduce signal strength slightly on the upper levels of the building. Nonetheless, for home users, this is a perfectly affordable option for those that don’t want to drop the extra bills for a mesh Wi-Fi system.
BUY the EA8300 here – Linksys Max-Stream AC2200 MU-MIMO Tri-band Wireless Router, Works with Amazon Alexa (EA8300)
BUY the RE7000 here – Linksys AC1900 Gigabit Range Extender/WiFi Booster/Repeater MU-MIMO (Max Stream RE7000)