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You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews Edimax BR-6478AC AC1200 Wireless Concurrent Dual-Band Gigabit Router Reviewed

Edimax BR-6478AC AC1200 Wireless Concurrent Dual-Band Gigabit Router Reviewed

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AC1200 Wireless Concurrent Dual-Band Gigabit Router
At a glance
ProductEdimax BR-6478AC AC1200 Wireless Concurrent Dual-Band Gigabit Router   [Website]
SummaryInexpensive, basic Realtek-based AC1200 class router with Gigabit ports but no USB sharing
Pros• Inexpensive
• High routing throughput
• Easy CD-less wireless setupv • Bandwidth-based up & downlink QoS
Cons• No USB port
• Unhelpful user manual
• No bridging features
• Wireless guests can't access wired LAN

Typical Price: $63  Check NewEgg  Check Amazon

Introduction

We are continuing to crunch our way through the AC1200 routers pouring in. On the test bench today is Edimax' BR-6478AC AC1200 Wireless Concurrent Dual-Band Gigabit Router. Edimax isn't a company that usually springs to mind for cutting edge products. So why this review? The table below shows the reason. 802.11ac isn't even released yet and we already have multiple companies battling it out for your router budget at well below $100.

AC1200 Router Amazon Price
Edimax BR-6478AC $70
TRENDnet TEW-811DRU $80
D-Link DIR-850L $85
NETGEAR R6100 $100
D-Link DIR-860L $102

With an Amazon price of $70 as I write this, the BR-6478AC currently beats the next most expensive TRENDnet TEW-811DRU by $10. At that price point, you’d expect to give up some features, and you’d be right. The Edimax router is a very basic router that lacks a USB port, so there are no file or printer sharing features. So the real question becomes, “How well does it perform?” Actually, surprisingly well, as you'll see when we review performance later on.

If you’re a fan of LEDs, you’ll like the front panel of the BR-6478AC. Bucking the minimalist trend found on D-Link routers, the front panel of the Edimax router is loaded with LEDs. The chart below summarizes the LEDs and functions. I personally like front panel indicators, as they provide basic status with just a quick glance.

Edimax BR-6478AC Front Panel LED Indicators

Edimax BR-6478AC Front Panel LED Indicators

The BR-6478AC has link and activity indicators for the WAN and the four Gigabit LAN ports. Unfortunately, the LEDs are single color, so there’s no link rate indicator. There are individual LEDs for each wireless band, power indicator and internet connection indicator.

There’s nothing too exceptional about the rear of the router. You have a power port for 5V DC and color-coded ports for the Gigabit WAN and the four LAN ports. The WPS button also doubles as the reset button – you just hold it in longer for a factory reset. Interestingly, there’s a Radio On/Off switch which lets you disable all wireless functions without having to log into the device.

The Edimax router is one of the few routers that is still using a pair of external 3 dBi dual-band antennas. Many manufacturers have moved the antennas either to the PCB or inside the case. These antennas are firmly affixed to the router and not upgradeable, however. Finally, you’ll note that above the Ethernet ports, there are some cooling holes that provides convection cooling from the holes on the bottom of the router.

Edimax BR-6478AC Rear Panel

Edimax BR-6478AC Rear Panel

Setup

Setup of the BR-6478AC is fairly simple. Edimax has joined other manufacturers in having a “No-CD” setup. Though there is a CD included with the product, it contains only the User Manual and a Multi-Language Quick Installation Guide. Unlike many manufacturers that instruct you to connect an Ethernet cable between your computer and one of the LAN ports, the setup on the Edimax is wireless.

The QIG instructs you to connect an Ethernet cable to your modem, and then search for a wireless network named edimax.setup. (Edimax uses the same SSID on both the 2.4GHz and the 5GHz bands.) There is no wireless security for the setup process, so you should be able to easily connect to the router.

Next, you are instructed to browse to http://edimax.setup. When you connect to the router, you encounter a first-run wizard that guides you through the rest of the setup. Feel free to scroll through the setup gallery below if you‘re interested in the individual steps.




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User reviews

Average user rating from: 2 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: 
 
3.3 Features :
 
4.0 Performance :
 
4.0 Reliability :
 
2.0
 
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Good feature and UI, horrible reliability

Overall rating: 
 
3.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Scott
June 12, 2014
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I bought this to replace an aging N150 belkin router, both for better wireless speed and port forwarding that actually works.

Install and setup:
easy to setup, defaults to a wizard that lets you set mode, SSID, password, etc. Advanced setup, however, is significantly less intuitive, as there are absolutely zero tool tips or setting descriptions. Did I mention that it does not come with a manual? Even after finding the online one, most features are still very vaguely described. While the UI is good and well laid out, every single setting change requires a reboot, which is a great deal more annoying than it sounds. You can "save settings" multiple times and then reboot once after changing several things, but in the end it still requires a reboot.

Performance:
I did not get a chance to really test this unit, for the reasons described below. However, the signal strength and speed overall seemed to be good, and a definite upgrade from my old router.

Reliability:
After initial setup, I experienced a lot of trouble getting and maintaining internet access, as well as DHCP issues. I tried playing an client-based multiplayer game, and this router would only let me stay on for about 5 minutes before it would start dropping packets and kick me off. It was NOT my internet connection, that was fine and has been since I switched back to my old router. This loss of WAN connectivity appeared to affect both the wired and wireless connections, and was sometimes solved by waiting several minutes and sometimes required a restart. In addition, it often required resetting the ethernet adapter in my PC to regain internet access and obtain a DHCP address again, without which the adapter would stay on a automatic private IP.

In short, if you want a stable router that works, look elsewhere.

note: all of the above was after updating to the latest (2.12) firmware.

 

With 1.16 firmware, a nice WiFi extender mode with good 2.4ghz sensitivity

Overall rating: 
 
3.7
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by RussellInCincinnati
April 22, 2014
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Could not use this to hook up via 2.4gHz WiFi to a primary router, and then rebroadcast extended 2.4gHz and 5gHz signal, until I downloaded and installed the "3-in-one firmware v2.12", and then also downloaded and installed the "v1.16" firmware. Both of these files are at the top of the page at
http://www.edimax.us/html/english/frames/b-download.htm

Once those 2 upgrades were done, this thing did exactly as I hoped. It picks up a fairly weak and distant 2.4ghz (802.11g) WiFi signal from our building's main router (the old main router that connects via cable to our building's internet provider), and then generates 2.4ghz and 5ghz g/n etc extended networks in our part of our building. You get to choose the channels if you desire for the generated 2.4 and 5ghz extended networks, you get to say whether all the clients on those networks are isolated from each other, you get to set your own names for the extended networks, all easy.

This is much nicer than simpler $25 extenders--which undesirably and simplistically rebroadcast the primary signal on the same channel with the same name, (and at best 50% wifi speed because primary and secondary signals are all on the same channel).

The BR6478AC does a better job of picking up the primary, maximally distant, weak 2.4ghz 802.11g router signal than does any of our other WiFi equipment (laptop/ipad/desktops etc) that is even closer to the primary.

However the rebroadcasted 2.4ghz 802.11n network is not so exceptionally strong and long-ranged. It's OK, it's just not exceptional range like have seen from ASUS RT-AC66u's.

The router's 5ghz output is, somewhat surprisingly, mighty fine/somewhat above expectation for speed and range.

None of this was possible with the firmware that came in the Amazon-shipped unit this week. The party only started, all the great adminstrator options that the simplistic Setup Wizard can't touch, only appeared after installing the 2 upgrades mentioned above.

People complain about how long it takes to save configuration changes. But you can zip around the menus and "save a bunch of changes" rapidly, and then when you're done, do a single "Apply" at the bottom of your last change screen, that then takes a full minute to restart the router.

It was kind of fun hooking up to the brand new router without a wire, just by looking for the "edimax.setup" wireless connection, connecting to it, and then browsing to http://edimax.setup.

Will report back later with reliability observations as the months go by. One aspect of reliability that exceeded my expectation is that the unit in its well-ventilated room generates practically no heat at all--once again compared to a mighty RT-AC66u. Quite efficient/power-thrifty, can recommend the unit for installation in a closed closet or whatever.

*******************
So in summary of my use of this as a dual-band extender of a 2.4ghz-only network:

2.4ghz connection range/link quality to primary WiFi network is better than any other of my 2.4ghz devices (ipad/usb/pci card/laptop).

2.4ghz retransmission range/link quality ho-hum, acceptable.

5ghz retransmission range/link quality nice.

Mysterious to get going if you don't know to download the above firmware upgrades.

Setup is easy once upgrades done, and it runs real cool.

 
 

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