Is the most expensive home router also the best wireless router? Let’s find out.
Setup & Software
The setup is (like most of the time) pretty simple and standard. You have the option to connect all cables, connect to the router via browser and set everything up by yourself or you just follow the installation guide on the software disc.
Please also note that the router is supposed to stand upright and not in a horizontal position. Depending on where you want to put your home router this might cause some issues.
The Linksys AC3200 supports a feature called “Network Map” that gives you an overview over all connected devices. This includes most of the important information like the device type and the connection type. From this menu you can simply click on the icon of one of the devices and make some adjustments (like changing the name or blocking it).
Additionally, there’s the standard set of features like Parental Control and port forwarding. You can even create up to two guest networks (one for one band) which can access the Internet but not local files or connected devices.
Hardware & Wireless Connection
The hardware is comparable to the NETGEAR Nighthawk R8000 and since those two are the only two Tri-Band routers I have reviewed so far I’m going to show you a small comparison table further down.
Standard ports for the newer and more advanced routers: one USB 2.0 port, one USB 3.0 port and 4 LAN ports, all on the backside.
With the Linksys AC3200 you get two 5GHz bands with a speed of up to 1300Mbps each and one 2.4GHz band with up to 600Mbps for a total of 3200Mbps. Two 5GHz bands come in handy when you want to connect many devices whithout them hindering each other. Since a wireless band only works on the speed of the slowest device or client supports (and therefore might slow down your faster ones) you can use one 5GHz band for the slower speed and one for the devices you want to have a really fast connection. The good thing is that the router does this automatically.
In theory that’s awesome but in reality you might not even notice it. As stated on other pages your Internet service provider determines your speed in the end. No matter how much potential your home router has it can’t surpass the limits given by your provider.
Regarding the connection stability and speed you might notice an improvement on the 5GHz band compared with the Linksys WRT1900AC though the range seems to be the same if not a bit less.
Unfortunately, there are huge problems with the 2.4GHz band. Many users report that the connection drops frequently without obvious reasons. Some can fix it through firmware updates or changes in the settings, some can’t. Since there is no reliable fix at the moment I would not buy this wireless router if I planned on using many 2.4GHz devices with it.
The Linksys AC3200 in comparison
This one won’t be exciting at all…
|Data Transfer Rate (max)||3200Mbps||3200Mbps|
Since the 2.4GHz band has massive issues and the price of the Linksys AC3200 is even higher I’d go for the NETGEAR AC3200 Nighthawk R8000 instead. But keep in mind that a Tri-Band router in general will only benefit you if you plan on using many 5GHz devices within your network. Otherwise I’d pick one of the many dual-band routers.