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Linksys EA6300 Advanced Multimedia AC1200 SMART Wi-Fi Wireless Router Reviewed

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Advanced Multimedia AC1200 SMART Wi-Fi Wireless Router
At a glance
ProductLinksys EA6300 Advanced Multimedia AC1200 SMART Wi-Fi Wireless Router   [Website]
SummarySecond generation Broadcom-based draft 802.11ac router with Gigabit ports, USB 3.0 drive and printer sharing and optional cloud features
Pros• USB 3.0 port
• High routing throughput
Cons• Guest network for 2.4 GHz only
• Doesn't function as a bridge or support WDS

Typical Price: $89  Check NewEgg  Check Amazon

Introduction

The EA6300v1 and EA6400 are currently the same product. This review applies to both.

Linksys has stumbled in the rollout of its first router under Belkin ownership. But their misstep is your gain, since you're getting the potential (with the appropriate wireless adapter) of the fastest draft 802.11ac 1300 Mbps link rate in the 5 GHz band instead of the advertised 867 Mbps.

I have learned that this advantage isn't going to be permanent, however. Linksys is working on a firmware that will limit the highest 5 GHz link rate to 867 Mbps and turn the EA6300 into the AC1200 router it is supposed to be. There is no timeframe for the firmware's release as I write this. But if you want to keep the EA6300 as an AC1600 router, you might want to make sure that the automatic firmware upgrade feature is disabled. Now, on to the review.

Linksys has continued the look and feel of the EA6500 and other EA series routers in the 6300's product box and physical design. In fact, you could easily mistake the EA6300 for the EA6500 since it is the same size. There is only a subtle change in the top panel indicator light (a thin green bar vs. the brighly-lit "Cisco" logo) and the different model number to differentiate the two. Yes, my review sample product box and router still carried the Cisco logo; I guess it will take awhile for the purge to propagate through everything.

Linksys EA6300 rear panel callouts

Linksys EA6300 rear panel callouts

The 6300's rear panel above is a dead giveaway, though, since it moves ports around and has only one USB 3.0 port vs. the two USB 2.0 ports on the EA6500 shown below.

Linksys EA6500 rear panel

Linksys EA6500 rear panel

Like the EA6500, the EA6300 is designed to sit flat on a table or desk. If you want to hang it in a wall, there are mounting slots on the bottom side. But they are at the left side of the router, so it will hang with all connections pointing right.

There is a user manual posted on the EA6300's support page. It describes the router admin screen features, but is pretty short on details for the SMARTer features like Parental Controls and Media Prioritization.

Inside

I've covered the EA6300's innards in my earlier article, so this is just a quick recap. There are five Galtronics bent-metal internal antennas, three for the 5 GHz radio and two for the 2.4 GHz. Looking at the front of the router (photo top), the 5 GHz antennas are positioned left, center and right (black cabling). The 2.4 GHz antennas (grey cabling) are positioned in the left front corner and left side rear of the router.

Unlike first-generation draft ac routers like the Buffalo WZR-D1800H / WLI-H4-D1300 and NETGEAR R6300, both of the EA6300's radios are integrated right into the main board. Note the shielding for the USB 3.0 connector. This must be an effort to reduce interference with 2.4 GHz operation as described in this Intel white paper.

Linksys EA6300V1 inside

Linksys EA6300V1 inside

Table 1 summarizes the key components in the EA6300 and EA6500 for comparison.

  "EA6300V1" (EA6400) Cisco Linksys EA6500
CPU Broadcom BCM4708A0 Broadcom BCM4706
Switch Gigabit in BCM4708A0 Broadcom BCM53125 (unconfirmed)
RAM 128 MB
(Hynix H5PS1G63JFR-S6C)
128 MB
Flash 128 MB
Spansion S34ML01G100TF100
128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio

- Broadcom BCM43217
2x2 802.11b/g/n transceiver

- BCM4331
- MicroSemi LX5535 2.4 - 2.5 GHz Power Amplifier (x3)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM4360
- RMFD RFFM4501
802.11a/n/ac Front End Module (x3)
- Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp
w/ Power Detector (x3)
Table 1: EA6300 component summary



Related Items:

Linksys EA6500 Wireless Retest
Linksys Broadens Its Draft 11ac Router Line
A Nice Surprise For Early Linksys EA6300 Buyers
No Linksys EA6700 For US
Another Gift From Linksys

User reviews

Average user rating from: 5 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

User Rating    [Back to Top]
Overall: 
 
3.7 Features :
 
3.8 Performance :
 
3.8 Reliability :
 
3.6
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
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    Please enter the security code.
 
 

Pay for Support!!!

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by tcvic2
March 07, 2014
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I just had to purchase a new router after the 7yr old 2.4 Linksys went out. I really like the router but the support from the company is terrible. I search their site for 2 hrs for a fix I needed. Came to this site and got it fixed in 5 minutes. I was appalled when I found out I got one phone call at a charge of 29.99. Thank you so much for your help you really made a bad day a lot better.

 

ea6300

Overall rating: 
 
2.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Bernard
January 29, 2014
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have to real close to unit to pick up signal

 

Not impressed

Overall rating: 
 
3.7
Features:
 
2.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Michael
December 19, 2013
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The device is nice to look at.

Wireless performance is ok.

The online configuration feature is nice.

But...

There is no firewalling features in this device. The only thing you can do is enable or disable firewall.
You have no option to limit outgoing traffic (other than very basic parental control)
You can open up ports inbound agains your server, but have no way to limit who can access your server or pc.

You are restricted in the wireless ssid naming of your guest network.

All in all I very much fail to see how any one can use the word advanced when talking about this product.

 

Nice router!

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Michael
July 04, 2013
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I just picked up this EA6300 from a local dealer toady and it is still EA6400. Very happy!

My router comes with firmware 1.1.35.xxx. May I ask if I will be able to update it to 1.1.39.xxx and still to keep the AC1300?

Thanks.

 

EA6400 in disguise

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Greg B
May 15, 2013
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I really just wanted to post that I just picked up one of these from my local Bestbuy and managed to end up with an EA6400. Great value router AC 1600 for price of AC 1200. No complaints from me....

 
 

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