Home / Computing / Peripheral / Linksys EA6700 802.11ac router / Linksys EA6700 802.11ac router

Linksys EA6700 802.11ac router

Gordon Kelly

By Gordon Kelly

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Linksys EA6700 802.11ac router

Summary

Our Score:

9

Linksys EA6700 - Setup

When it launched Connect Cloud made setting up the EA6500 a breeze, but with the launch of the EA6700 and the new Smart WiFi moniker it has hit a new level of user friendliness. In an age of smartphones, tablets and Ultrabooks, we criticised the EA6500 for still basing its (otherwise straightforward) setup on a CD, but with the EA6700 everything is handled by the router itself.

As such setup is as follows: plug the EA6700 in and wait less than a minute for it to boot, connect to it via WPS or entering its default wireless password (printed on the bottom of the router) or using Simple Tap. Open any page in your web browser and it loads the Smart WiFi wizard, updates the router to the latest firmware, sets your SSIDs, wireless and router passwords and gives you the option to register a Smart WiFi account or log in with an existing one. If you own multiple Linksys routers Smart WiFi will let you toggle between them. Job done.

Linksys EA6700 - Performance

Given the wireless arrangement within the EA6700 is unchanged from the EA6500 and we tested using the exact same environment and identical equipment (including Linksys’ own 802.11ac wireless bridge - the ‘WUMC710 Universal Media Connector’ - below) we expected near identical results, but that wasn’t what we got.

At our test distances of two metres line of sight, 10 metres line of sight and 13 metres between two solid walls the EA6700 recorded average 802.11ac speeds of 32.2 megabytes per second (257.6 megabits per second), 30.8MBps (246.4Mbit) and 21.5MBps (172Mbit) respectively (grab below). This compares to results of 30.2MBps (241.6Mbit), 27.2MBps (217.6MBit) and 22.7Mbit (181.6Mbit) with the EA6500.

Speed at maximum distance are down fractionally, but seeing the EA6700 at 10 metres outperform the EA6500 at two metres was a huge surprise making it the faster router we’ve ever tested. Needless to say these speeds will handle anything your internal network can throw at them, including multiple streams of 1080p video or even 4K video.

Results for 802.11n at 5GHz also make for interesting reading. The EA6700 managed speeds of 24.5MBps (196Mbit), 22MBps (176Mbit) and 7.7MBps (61.6Mbit) versus the EA6500’s 23.1MBps (184.8Mbit), 16.8MBps (134.4Mbit) and 10.4MBps (83.2Mbit). Again the EA6700 nearly bests its predecessor’s two metre performance at 10 metres again making it our new benchmark, but interestingly it is still slower (and this time significantly) at maximum distance.

This pattern continued with 802.11n at 2.4GHz with the EA6700 hitting 9.1MBps (72.8Mbit), 9MBps (72Mbit) and 3.5MBps (28Mbit) compared to the EA6500’s results of 8.1MBps (64.8Mbit), 5MBps (40Mbit) and 3.9MBps (31.2Mbit). Once more the EA6700 has a large advantage at midrange, but tails off slightly at maximum distance - though this time not enough to be a concern.

As for the inclusion of USB 3.0, we found it a useful addition but not vital. Transfer rates for USB 2.0 connected storage is notoriously slow (circa 5MBps, roughly 40Mbit) and the addition of USB 3.0 saw this increase to a little over 7MBps (56Mbit). Despite this both trail 802.11ac and 802.11n 5GHz wireless performance and don’t approach the speeds of Gigabit Ethernet connected NAS boxes or even the 30-40MBps USB 2.0 is capable of when plugged directly into a PC. Despite this it makes for a useful way to quickly share media on an external drive across a network, but it isn’t an ideal long term setup.

Update 26.07.13: Due to new firmware on our 802.11ac test equipment we have retested the EA6700. It achieved significant boosts to 36.7 megabytes per second (293.6 megabits per second), 35.2MBps (281.6Mbit) and 28.8MBps (230.4Mbit) at 2m, 10m and 13m respectively. At the time of this update the EA6700 remains the fastest router we have tested and these scores will be referenced in future router reviews. The update does not affect 802.11n test results.

Should I buy the Linksys EA6700?

Since the EA6700 improves on the EA6500 in virtually every significant aspect the answer is yes. Furthermore while Linksys doesn’t set RRPs, online retailers are selling the EA6700 for £169 - a £20 saving on the launch price of the EA6500. Yes to achieve 802.11ac speeds right now you will need the MUMC710 (£99), but a wave of devices with integrated 802.11ac will hit during the second half of 2013.

Furthermore with governing body the WiFi Alliance now beginning formal 802.11ac certification Linksys has confirmed both the EA6500 and EA6700 will be fully compliant come testing (via an automatic firmware update) which removes fears of any long term compatibility issues.

The caveat in all this is as stocks dwindle the EA6500 it can be found at the time of writing for under £120 which is a real bargain. Then again this will be a short lived phenomenon and Linksys should be commended for improving on which was already benchmark product while eroding the price tag.

Linksys routers are far from the cheapest on the market, but right now it has a monopoly on the best.

Linksys EA6700 - Verdict

The EA6500 was already the best 802.11ac router available and the EA6700 takes that up a notch. Admittedly the improvements are mostly incremental, but with it coming in at £20 less than the launch price of its predecessor it is easy to recommend. Linksys rivals, over to you…

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Build Quality 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 9
  • Usability 10
  • Value 8

Nate Ebner

July 10, 2013, 7:54 pm

I haven't been able to find it with the search, so forgive me if you've already done it. But could you review the Asus ac router. Their 11.n was widely considered the best, and it would be good to have the comparison.

Gordon Kelly

July 11, 2013, 9:18 am

Hi Nate, check my response to your question in the new Super Hub review. http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

Nate Ebner

July 11, 2013, 10:36 am

Saw it. Didn't check to see that you'd written this review too.

TheEclectic

August 5, 2013, 8:34 pm

I'm getting the sense that this is exactly the same router as the EA6500, but with a different USB configuration. Would I be far off? I mean, internally nothing's changed, right?

sebna

August 11, 2013, 2:46 am

Hi, I am trying to find information if this router can be paired with 3g dongle via USB like Asus one for 3g sharing?

Thanks

bradmartinlfp

August 12, 2013, 5:30 pm

Great review - thank you. I have had a EA6500 router since June 7, 2013 and have had quite some difficulty with the first one being defective and now the second one (after a power down / up) has been deemed defective. Returning the EA6500 to Amazon and purchasing the EA6700 instead - appreciate your review.

John Smith

August 19, 2013, 1:15 am

Just bought Linksys AC1600 two days ago.
It drops the signal when more then 3 devices are connected. (2 wireless and 1 wired)
Just going to return it to Costco.
Never had Linksys that would work fine. I thought I will try this one but apparently I have no luck with Linksys.

HoustonReal

September 15, 2013, 8:41 am

ea6700 has faster dual core cpu, slightly tweaked antenna connections and usb 3

Alex

September 27, 2013, 9:56 pm

This is exactly how I am browsing now. well, with a LAN adapter for the 3G dongle actually.The fiber is down for the moment. No issues in browsing.

ecopsorn

October 15, 2013, 1:56 pm

Does anybody know if this router can be extended with cisco access points, for example the WAP321? WIth extended I mean, the SAME network, not a different one. Any ideas?

Kash Janjooa

October 31, 2013, 1:10 pm

avoid this router, I have the ea6500 and its been a nightmare! I know this review is for the ea6700.

Since Linksys has been taken over by Belkin, they have the worst support. There has been no firmware upgrades since either..... disappointed. I wish I had stuck to Billion, but they dont do an AC wireless all in one device.

Andrew

October 31, 2013, 3:39 pm

dont bother with this flashy router all hype and does not do what it says on the tin. highly unreliable, had a few now all the same problems... going back to my old router that I could connect all my devices to see my printer cctv and nas drive... thanks belkin for months of hassle!!!!

naishproductions

November 7, 2013, 7:44 am

thanks for all the reviews, was about to purchase but given the bad reviews i'll go somewhere else.

MsRedCurls

November 21, 2013, 12:17 am

I bought the EA6500 in January 2013. It has been replaced 4 times! Each time I am on the phone with Support from 30 minutes to 3 hours. Today I have been on hold for over 30 minutes while they decide to replace the EA6500 with the 6700. I don't have high hopes that the 6700 will be any better than the 6500. BTW, each router has had different issues: 4 different hardware or software issues! I find it hard to believe this is a stable product.

DanielKM

November 25, 2013, 4:59 pm

Please let us know if the EA6700 fixes your issues, thanks :)

LaHaHeL

November 25, 2013, 11:46 pm

Cons #4: There is no advanced settings.
Cons #5: The GUI is very slow.
Cons #6: Bad support of L2TP connections.

Ford

January 24, 2014, 1:05 am

Has anyone else experience problems with new and Linksys reconditions EA6500 and EA6700 routers failing. I have had 5 or 6 out of 8 routers fail with 4-6 months. In each instance, router fails to transmit internet by LAN or wireless, then, after rebooting several times, lose 2.4.
Linksys support doesn't have answer, other than they can't replace.

Rand

February 19, 2014, 4:49 pm

I have lost one of the ports on this router only after 5 months. I have had issues with my connection dropping and found out the EA6500 can't handle a lot of traffic going through it. Also, have fun with their customer service, It may be because Linksys has been sold to Belkin and no longer part of Cisco. I was told they would call me back and didn't and planning on getting in touch with BBB and Belkin's CEO regarding this.

Maxipes Fik

February 22, 2015, 7:45 am

Have the same - WORST router ever! You have to sit right above the router to get any useable speed - I mean 1 meter is the maximum!! And stuff like SSID can NOT be hidden is just a bonus to this BS toy. But you surely won't miss crap like "smart media" and "automatic smart connectivity" and similar "press button to be smart" bullsh1t nonsense. Never more anything from Linksys - they used to be such nice routers; such pity :-(. To be forced to access the most basic features through "Smart WiFi" _REMOTELY_, from the internet, meaning you expose the bloody thing to Linksys company & the world! And meaning that when you switch to bridge-mode, you never can access those features. Totally useless amateur crap design.

roo zoo

October 11, 2015, 2:47 am

Use Advanced Tomato, noob.

comments powered by Disqus