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Wireless Reviews

Features

The WRT1900AC's feature set is essentially unchanged from its "Smart Wi-Fi" siblings. Part 1 of the EA6500 review provides a good summary of what the WRT1900AC provides for features. Note that the SimpleTap setup feature isn't supported on the WRT; it disappeared with the EA6900.

Signing up for a Smart Wi-Fi account is completely optional. You have access to all router admin features via a "local access" link in the login screen. You only need to register for a Smart Wi-Fi account if you want to access the router remotely using the Smart Wi-Fi iOS or Android apps or use some (all?) of the paltry set of third-party apps.

The main dashboard shown below is the same as found on other Smart Wi-Fi routers, with the exception of the Network Map feature.

WRT1900AC Dashboard

WRT1900AC Dashboard

Network Map takes some of the features previously available only via the Smart Wi-Fi apps and integrates them right into the router web admin. Clicking on the map's device icons brings up the Device Info / Parental Controls / Reserve DHCP Address menu shown in the screenshot. The screenshot also shows the map View Device Type and View Connection Type filters to simplify the view for large networks.

Network Map

Network Map

The Network Map isn't perfect. Note the LINKSYS00267 and Linksys00267 entries, which both represent a second WRT1900AC connected in wireless bridge mode. Clicking on the upper left icon's Device Info link popped up the window below. I'm not sure of the exact Linux-based OS running in the WRT, but I'm sure it isn't Windows 7!

Odd Network Map Device Info

Odd Network Map Device Info

Clicking on the lower right icon (which is supposed to represent a "Generic Device") isn't much more helpful. All you get is the device Name, IP address and MAC address. So the Network Map needs some work to properly enumerate and display networks that include wireless bridges.

Here's a rundown of the WRT1900AC's feature set:

Routing / Firewall

  • Static and Dynamic IP, PPPoE and PPTP, L2TP and Bridge WAN connections (IPv4)
  • IPv6 WAN : Automatic, 6rd tunnel
  • MTU Adjust on all connection types
  • WAN MAC address clone
  • WAN IP release / renew both IPv4 and IPv6
  • DHCP Server, lease time setting, default domain and primary/secondary DNS
  • DHCP Client list
  • DHCP reservation
  • NAT enable / disable
  • RIP enable / disable
  • Static routes
  • Separate SPI firewall enable / disable for IPv4 and IPv6
  • Single port forwarding with separate source and destination ports
  • Port range forwarding and triggered port range forwarding.
  • IPv6 port range forwarding
  • DMZ Host with source IP restriction
  • UPnP enable/disable
  • DDNS support for Dyndns (www.dyndns.org), TZO (www.tzodns.com), NO-IP.com
  • VPN Passthrough enable/disable for IPSec, PPTP, L2TP
  • Application Layer Gateway enable/disable for SIP
  • Internet filters for multicast, NAT redirection, Ident, anonymous requests (pings)

Administration

  • Network Map
  • Internet Usage
  • IPv4 ping, Traceroute tools
  • Router reboot
  • Configuration backup / restore
  • Previous firmware restore
  • HTTPS management (default disabled)
  • Wireless Management disable (default enabled)

QoS

  • Drag and drop prioritization for devices, services and games. High and normal priority levels.

Access / Parental Control

  • Per-device Schedulable internet access control
  • Web domain blocking (not schedulable)

USB features

  • SMB storage sharing
  • Network USB Print server
  • Media server
  • FTP server
  • Share access control by user

Navigation through the Smart Wi-Fi screens is snappy, which is a good thing. Because I found myself poking around a lot trying to find stuff, especially status information. This isn't unique to the WRT, but a "feature" of the Smart Wi-Fi OS.

Perhaps one day the Network Map will be a one-stop place for information like link rate (and signal strength for wireless clients), local bandwidth consumed and even general router status like CPU, Memory and network link utilization. And while you're at it, Linksys, please add more information to the router icon like WAN IP, number of active clients, etc. It seems like that icon contains the least amount of useful information and doesn't even have a pop-up with shortcuts to often-used pages.

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