Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router Quick Review
I just had a new ISP for our home and I am in need for a wireless router since the provider is only giving a cable modem. Good thing, we have this Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router in our HQ. I would to share my experience with it so check out this quick review. The router may be a mouthful for a name, but it also has a lot of features to offer.
Design and Construction
The first thing you’ll notice about the EA9200 is it’s positioned vertically. Unlike most wireless routers, it stands with the help of a non-removable base feet. We don’t see any other possible position for the router, you can’t mount it or lie it down on the table. Thus, placing the router on a surface will immediate flaunt its three antennas.
The three external antennas on top are adjustable so you can point them to any direction. The face of the router has a two-toned exterior. The Linksys brand lights up to indicate the status of the device. There are also two small vents up front.
The back panel, on the other hand, is fully ventilated. The weave-like design allows heat to come out, although you’ll have to watch out for dust as the internals are exposed. Down at the bottom are the I/O ports. We have two USB ports here, one 2.0 and a speedy 3.0. There are four Gigabit LAN ports and a WAN port to connect it to the modem. The DC-in, power switch, and reset pinhole are also located along with the ports.
The overall design of the EA9200 should do well with most rooms. It’s not that intrusive in terms of looks aside from the three antennas on top which could draw some interest. The whole device is also made out of polycarbonate making it lightweight despite its size.
Setup has been easy. Basically, you just need to closely follow the steps indicated on the Quick Start Guide.
1. Connect the antennas to the top of your router and power it on.
You have to assemble the router as the antennas are separately packed inside the box. It’s relatively easy to do, just connect and tighten the screws. Be sure to twist the base part of the antennas not the antennas itself. Bring out the power supply and choose the appropriate plug type for your socket because Linksys included three types — Type A, Type C, and Type G. Plug it in to an available power source and turn on the router by pressing the switch located at the back.
2. Connect the Internet cable from your modem to the yellow Internet port on the back of your router. Wait until the Linksys logo on the front of your router is solid.
Now, connect the included Ethernet cable, or use your old one if you find it to be short, to the yellow port at the back of the router labelled with Internet and also to the modem. This step includes a bit of a waiting time as the router sets it self up. You just need to wait for the Linksys logo to light up uninterruptedly. If it is still blinking, then just wait a little more. It took me about 4-5 minutes until it is ready.
3. Connect to the secure wireless name on the sticker. Select the option to automatically connect to this network in the future. You will not have Internet access until you complete router setup.
There’s a sticker on the booklet showing the initial Wireless Network name of the router and the default password. Connect to it and type in the password. You can easily change this later on according to your preference.
4. Open a web browser to launch the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router setup instructions. If you don’t see the instructions, type linksyssmartwifi.com in the address bar.
From here, you can now get the most out of your router. We suggest changing the SSID and password first before digging in as this will make things more familiar since the default password is a bit tricky to remember.
The EA9200 has a lot features up its sleeves. First off, it is a Tri-Band wireless router. Most routers that our local ISPs provide for their service are single-band 802.11 b/g/n compliant. Slightly expensive routers in the market are now dual-band 802.11 ac. They operate with 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels. A lot of this year’s flagships already support the higher band thus preventing Wi-Fi network congestion. With tri-band, you get a 2.4GHz and two 5GHz channels. According to Linksys, this configuration can support up to 3.2Gbps of combined speeds. So if you’re planning to get the new 1Gbps Internet plan from our ISPs, be sure to have a capable router such as this.
It has 6 antennas — 3 external and 3 internal. The internal antennas are fixed while the external antennas are removable and can be directed to certain directions. With this, you can try to expand the coverage of the network to most corners of your home. As for our humble single-floor abode, we were able to have Wi-Fi networks in every room but with a few signal drops due to the position of the router and the concrete walls. Nevertheless, for our simple home setup, it gives good coverage.
Aside from providing big numbers, the router can also make your home a smart connected place. You can access the Smart Wi-Fi dashboard by typing in your IP address onto the browser or simply access it via www.linksyssmartwifi.com. It id also accessible even when you’re not connected to the router, this means you can monitor your home network even when you’re out. There’s also a mobile application version for iOS and Android.
There are six Smart Wi-Fi tools you can try:
This shows all the connected devices to the network. You can glance some information or even quickly setup parental control over a particular device.
Here, you can enable or disable an additional SSID for visitors. Perfect for parties or any get together. Why setup guest access? This will ensure security over your private network. Guests don’t have to know your primary password for your network because you’ll be able to set up a different password for the guests. It’s like those public Wi-Fi’s wherein you have to log in and enter an access code before full connection.
As the name suggests, you can restrict access for a specific device, like a kid’s tablet or a friend who leech your network, to websites you don’t want them to visit. You can also block them from accessing the Internet or set a specific time when they can browse or play.
Perfect for allotting the highest bandwidth to priority device like your work laptop or media server. This should give the best possible connection whenever a lot of devices are congesting your network. It’s not even just by device, it also gives you the option to prioritize selected applications and online games.
This is just a simple speed test to know your current connection quality to your ISP. Sadly, it uses a dated and Flash-based tester. You’re better off testing your speed with other testers available online.
Turn the router into a media server, either a UPnP or DLNA. There are two USB ports at the back of the router for you to plug in a portable drive. There’s an option to give secure access to the drive by allowing selected users only. You can also access the drive over the internet from any computer via an FTP server.
For a hefty Php 14,998, you can have a feature packed smart router that is ready for almost anything. It’s a future-proofed device so it will be a good investment. Yet, for almost 15k, you might find a more suited and cheaper wireless router for your home. Besides, you router’s capabilities will be choked if your Internet plan is slow.
Linksys EA9200 AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi Router specifications:
Tri-Band: 2.4GHz, 5.0GHz + 5.0GHz
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac w/ up to 3.2Gbps capability
3 External Antennas + 3 Internal Antennas
1GHz dual-core CPU
USB 3.0 & USB 2.0 ports
4-port Gigabit Switch
1 Gigabit WAN port
Height: 50.0 mm
Width: 195.58 mm
Depth: 248.92 mm
Weight: 952.54 g
What we liked about it:
- Simple yet moden design
- Wide coverage
What we didn’t like:
- Static stand base