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Linksys EA6300 review

Richard Easton
1 Dec 2014
Linksys EA6300 front angle
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
76
inc VAT

The EA6300 is a great-value router with excellent wireless performance and an attractive design for a reasonable price

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Specifications

Modem: None, Wi-Fi standard: 802.11ac, Stated speed: 867Mbit/s, USB ports: 1x USB3, Wall mountable: Yes

The Linksys EA6300 is a classy design. It has a matt black finish with a simple silver accent in the centre and a single green light to indicate power. The light also pulses and flashes during firmware updates or WPS setup, but there are no other visual status indicators for any connected devices or the router's wireless networking. The router's flat, horizontal design has no external antennas to disturb its clean lines and you can mount it to a wall thanks to the requisite holes on its base.

The router is equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port for connecting your separate cable or fibre modem or ADSL router, as there isn’t one built-in. There are also four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for your wired network. The EA6300 is able to broadcast simultaneously on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands with theoretical throughputs of 300Mbit/s and 867Mbit/s respectively.

By default, both the wireless networks have the same names, meaning only one SSID will appear on most of your devices depending on whether they support 5GHz or not. This does mean you can’t force 5GHz devices to use the 2.4GHz band, but it's possible to change the SSID names from the web interface should you wish.

The router also comes with a SimpleTap NFC card, which you can use to connect NFC-capable wireless devices such as smartphones to the router. However, we never managed to get this to work with either a Nexus 5 or an HTC One (m8) smartphone, with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app just stating it was not able to connect. 

You can also create a Guest network, although this only operates on the 2.4GHz band. The web interface allows you to limit the number of devices that can connect, from five guests up to 50. Guests are required to connect to the open network and then enter a password in the browser-based login screen. 

The router's web interface is easy to use, with its various settings broken down into mostly logical sections such as Parental Controls and Connectivity. Parental controls in particular are very easy to set up, with a straightforward step-by-step process to block internet access from specific systems at pre-determined times.  You can also conduct a speed test to check your internet upload and download speeds. 

The router has a USB3 port that can be used to share an external storage drive or a printer across the network. It’s possible to share files through SMB or FTP, or you can create a DLNA media server. You’ll need to install Linksys’ printer sharing utility on each computer you want to print from and you might have to install the printer drivers manually. We didn’t have any problems printing from our test Samsung Xpress C1810W laser printer. 

We tested the EA6300’s wireless speeds using both our reference laptop, which has an Intel Dual Band Wireless N-7260 adaptor, and Linksys’ WUSB6300 Wireless-AC USB3 adaptor (£37 inc VAT from www.ebuyer.com). Using our test laptop and the router’s 2.4GHz network, we saw an impressive 53.6Mbit/s at 10m, but 6.6Mbit/s at 25m was poor. Performance markedly improved on the 5GHz band with a strong 149Mbit/s at 10m, but 42.8Mbit/s at 25m is below average. 

Using the USB adaptor, speeds were impressive. In 802.11n mode the router managed a seriously quick 195.7Mbit/s at 10m and 139.8Mbit/s at 25m, which is also very fast. In wireless-AC mode wireless speeds were further improved, with 233Mbit/s at 10m and 181.8Mbit/s at 25m; the 25m score is amazing for a router at this price. 

The Linksys EA6300 is a smart-looking router with very strong speeds as long as you use Linksys' own USB adaptor. However, the D-Link DIR-868L is far faster, so if you don’t need printer sharing it's worth the extra £15 or so. 

HARDWARE
ModemNone
Wi-Fi standard802.11ac
Bands2.4GHz, 5GHz
Stated speed867Mbit/s
SecurityWEP, WPA-PSK, WPA-Enterprise, WPA2-PSK, WPA2-Enterprise, WPS
Upgradable antennaNo
WAN ports1
LAN ports4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s
USB ports1x USB3
Wall mountableYes
Size328x240x70mm
SOFTWARE
Guest networks1
Media serverDLNA, SMB, FTP
USB servicesPrint sharing, NAS
DDNS servicesDynDNS.org, TZO.com
BUYING INFORMATION
Price including VAT£76
WarrantyTwo-year RTB
Supplierwww.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.linkysys.com
Part codeEA6300