Linksys XAC1900 - Performance and Verdict Review

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Linksys XAC1900 – Setup

One thing Linksys has generally impressed us with recently is its software and router interfaces, and this continues here. The Smart Wi-Fi setup procedure is swift and presented smartly.

As ever, you can either follow a guided setup or just jump straight to doing it yourself, and both options run along smoothly.

LInksys XAC1900

The selection of options is comprehensive yet clear, and you can even drag and drop interface elements around to get the layout you like.

The modem side of things just adds an extra set of options for inputting your ISP’s login details. When you follow the setup wizard it’s made clear how you can opt to use the “power modem” or skip setting it up, for if you’re using an alternative modem.

Linksys XAC1900 – Performance

As mentioned earlier, the only way to test this router to its full potential currently is with the Asus PCE-AC68, so that’s what we did. This we used to test 5GHz AC and 2.4GHz N at test distances of 2m line of sight, 5m behind one brick wall and 15m behind two brick walls. Note we’ve changed our test location, so results from this review onwards will not be directly comparable to previous reviews, aside from the 2m test.

ac 5ghz

Running at full tilt, with 5GHz AC, the XAC1900 delivered excellent results, recording a speed of 70.1MB/s at 2m. Although the AC2350-packing Netgear X4 R7500 can outpace it, delivering 81.3MB/s, this is still a solid maximum speed for this type of router.

Moving further away and the Linksys actually delivers a surprisingly strong speed at 5m behind the wall. It managed 47.8MB/s compared to just 32.5MB/s for the Netgear, though the roles were reversed when we moved to the furthest test. At 15m with two brick walls the Netgear could still deliver 28.0MB/s where the Linksys dropped to 19.8MB/s, which is still an excellent result.

LInksys XAC1900

Moving onto the 2.4GHz band and the Linksys also shows why the modem-less version was one of our favourite routers from last year. At 2m it delivered 17.8MB/s compared to the Netgear’s 16.7MB/s. The roles were reversed at 5m – 12.4MB/s compared to 14.0MB/s – but then the Linksys came through again at 15m, delivering 8.1MB/s compared to 7.1MB/s.

LInksys XAC1900

Perhaps the only area where the XAC1900 really trails its most recent rival is in USB file transfers. The Linksys delivers a normally quite competitive 34.0MB/s, but the R7500 trounced it with a massive 60.5MB/s.

LInksys XAC1900

Should I buy the Linksys XAC1900?

Plain and simply there’s only one reason to buy the XAC1900 and that’s if you don’t, for some reason, have an existing router/modem that you can feed into the Ethernet input of the EA6900 or any other conventional high-end router.

This may sound relatively uncommon considering just about every ISP provides a free router when you sign up but not all ISP-provided router/modems have a modem-only mode so buying the XAC1900 gets round this. However, keep in mind it is only a modem for DSL connections, not cable or fibre.

In terms of value, it’s competing with the very high-end of the market which is now moving on to AC2350, and certainly when you compare it to the likes of the Netgear X4 Nighthawk R7500 it trails on nearly all fronts. But then that is only a router, not a modem, and the standalone EA6900 is now available for as little as £130.

SEE ALSO: Best Routers Round-up

Verdict

The Linksys XAC1900 is a convenient and compact way to get the full complement of a modem and a high-end router. For most users, though, combining a standalone router with a free router from their ISP is likely to be the cheaper option.

Score


Score in detail

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