Due to the continued increase in the number of Wi-fi equipped household devices, the demand for premium wireless routers that are fast, secure, and packed with features is becoming increasingly critical. The Linksys EA6900 delivers network speed, reliability, and enough space to connect all of your household gadgets thanks to the inclusion of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, beamforming technology, and the ability to function on the new 802.11ac standard, among other features.
The EA6900 achieves up to 1300 Mbps with the usage of the 5GHz band and the new 802.11ac standard, which are both supported by the device. Even the speed of the n-band has increased in comparison to the previous generation of chips. Rather than being restricted to 450 Mbps, this dual-band router supports n-band speeds of up to 600 Mbps, which when paired with the ac-band results in a total maximum throughput of 1900 Mbps. n-band speeds are not limited to 450 Mbps.
The EA6900, like the greatest wireless routers, includes a quality of service function (QoS). By prioritizing things that are more essential to you, you may make the most of your network and get the most out of your time. For example, you may prioritize a gaming console to obtain the greatest performance for online gaming, or you can prioritize a video streaming device to watch HD video without buffering.
The EA6900 is very identical in appearance to the EA6400, with the exception of the inclusion of three external dual-band dipole antennas that are attached to the device on the outside (they are included in the package).
It has a modern, sleek appearance, with black housing and silver metallic accents. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that this metal strip can become a little warm to the touch after several hours of use. In addition, Linksys has totally removed the Cisco branding from the EA6400, which was still there because those devices were manufactured just before Cisco sold the Linksys subsidiary to Juniper Networks.
When it comes to specifications, the EA6900 is a more reliable router than the EA6400. This is a concurrent, dual-band router with a 3×3 transmit/receive antenna configuration on each band and a 3×3 transmit/receive antenna configuration on the other band. The 2.4GHz band can handle theoretical data rates of up to 600Mbps, while the 5GHz frequency can support data rates of up to 1300Mbps.
The EA6900’s speed and range are its most impressive characteristics. It’s the quickest router I’ve ever used in my tests. With the Linksys WUSB6300 Wi-Fi Wireless AC Dual-Band AC1200 USB Adapter in 802.11ac mode, the router achieved speeds just shy of 400Mbps in our tests. In our testing environment, I’ve never seen anything even close to that kind of speed.
The Trendnet AC1750 Dual Band Wireless Router is the second-fastest router we’ve tested, coming in at a second place. Although that router achieved over 300Mbps when tested using a high-performance testing script, it did not come close to the EA900’s 400Mbps speed limit.
Although the EA6900 has a little edge in terms of raw throughput, the Trendnet holds its own in a conventional throughput test conducted using Ixia’s IxChariot testing software. At 15 feet, the Trendnet router achieved 283Mbps, compared to the Linksys router’s 238Mbps at the same distance. It’s not a significant difference; for me, it’s the 400Mbps for high throughput tests that elevates the EA6900 above the Trendnet while both devices are operating at 5GHz in 802.11ac mode.
In addition, the Linksys EA6900 delivered a greater performance in the 5GHz 802.11-N only configuration. In addition, the Linksys device maintained a good range. Even in the 2.4GHz band, it performed admirably, achieving some of the greatest scores among 11ac routers that I’ve seen so far.
In my tests, however, I encountered a concerning problem while using the EA6900 in 2.4GHz mode at a distance of 30 feet or more from the router: the connection kept dropping. This was only true when I used Linksys’ newest 11ac wireless USB adapter, the Linksys WUSB6300, to conduct my tests. Using my laptop’s native onboard Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 AGN adapter, I achieved lesser throughput numbers, but I did not see any connection drops at distances of up to 30 feet from the router.
LinkSys staff have informed me that the connection dropouts are caused by the WUSB6300 adapter switching from USB 3.0 mode (which I was using at the time) to USB 2.0 mode when there is interfering data transmitted between the two devices. That performance load balancing is acceptable, but it should not result in the client being disconnected from the router. You can learn more about the adapter by reading our in-depth review.
While this issue with the adapter has no bearing on the evaluation of the EA6900, it is a shame because the EA6900 when combined with the WUSB6300 delivers incredible results. Until Linksys resolves any difficulties with the adapter, my recommendation would be to only use the Linksys USB adaptor when connecting to the EA6900 on the 5GHz frequency and to use the native wireless adapter on your wireless client while connecting to the EA6900 on the 2.4GHz band. Hopefully, Linksys will release a firmware update in the near future that will resolve the adaptor difficulties that have been reported.
Despite its high price tag and high performance, the Linksys EA6900 AC1900 Smart Wi-Fi Router is a simple-to-use, high-capacity router that is straightforward to administer. Multi-device home networks with a lot of movie and television streaming, Skype use, and online gaming are an excellent fit for this router.