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Wireless Reviews

Wireless-AC Universal Media Connector
At a glance
ProductLinksys Wireless-AC Universal Media Connector (WUMC710)   [Website]
Summary5 GHz only AC1300 class bridge with four-port Gigabit switch
Pros• Four-port Gigabit switch
Cons• 5 GHz only
• Poor performance
• Old-school setup process

Typical Price: $160  Buy From Amazon

Introduction

You would think with AC1750 and AC1900 routers all the rage now, that there would be a growing market for matching bridges. But there are precious few of these beasties, most of which are basically the same hardware as their router equivalents with a firmware load locking them into functioning as dedicated bridges.

The other two things that are suppressing the market for dedicated AC bridges are their high cost—essentially the same as their router siblings—and the fact that many top-end routers include bridge functions.

Linksys' WUMC710 is the rare bird that is trying to fly against the prevailing wind. It's a 5 GHz only AC1300 class (3x3) dedicated bridge with built-in four-port Gigabit switch. And to perhaps entice buyers who would otherwise opt to buy a second router for their bridge, it's priced very aggressively right now at about half its normal $90.

This review was originally going to be a head-to-head including WD's My Net AC Bridge. But since WD has exited the business and because I had already tested it, the only thing I'll do is use it for comparison when I discuss the WUMC710's performance.

I should also mention that Linksys has discontinued its WES610N N900 bridge. So if you simply must have a Linksys wireless bridge, the WUMC710 is your only option for now.

Speaking of the WES610N, the WUMC710 looks very much like it as shown in the callout diagram below. There's not much to it with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and power port on one end and indicators and Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) switch on the other.

Linksys WUMC710 callouts
Linksys WUMC710 callouts

The vertical design has the three antennas spread across the arched top of the bridge, so you'll probably want to point one of the sides toward the router you're bridging to for best performance.

Internal Details

A peek at the FCC ID internal photos shows a pretty standard first-generation AC router design based around Broadcom's BCM4706 SoC and BCM4360 AC radio.

WUMC710 inside
WUMC710 inside

The table below compares the 710 to Linksys' EA6500 AC1750 router.

  WUMC710 Linksys EA6500
CPU Broadcom BCM4706 Broadcom BCM4706
Switch Broadcom BCM53125 (unconfirmed) Broadcom BCM53125 (unconfirmed)
RAM 64 MB 128 MB
Flash ? 128 MB
2.4 GHz Radio None - BCM4331
- MicroSemi LX5535 2.4 - 2.5 GHz Power Amplifier (x3)
5 GHz radio - Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp
w/ Power Detector (x3)
- Broadcom BCM4360
- Skyworks SE5003L 5 GHz, 23dBm Power Amp
w/ Power Detector (x3)
WUMC710 component summary

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