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First Look: The Linksys EA6400 Smart Wi-Fi router is an OK deal

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First Look: The Linksys EA6400 Smart Wi-Fi router is an OK deal

3:02 /

Just because CNET editor Dong Ngo isn't too impressed by the Linksys EA6400 Smart Wi-Fi router doesn't mean he's an alien. Or maybe he is... (pause)... NOT.

Hey, guys. It's Dong Ngo here, and this is the Linksys EA6400 Smart Wi-Fi router. It's smart indeed because it's one of the more elegant and stylish routers on the market. Take a look. It looks great, taking the shape of a modern UFO, which is much better than the old school UFO I used to have. And no, I'm not an alien, at least not anymore. On the back here, the router has a 4-Gigabit LAN port and 1-Gigabit WAN port. Gigabit because they all give you the speed of up to 1000 megabit per second. It's important to have this fast port here because number 1, you know, this is an 802.11ac or AC, for short, Wi-Fi router, an awful up to 1300 megabit per second Wi-Fi speed. You do not want your LAN speed to be much slower than your wireless LAN speed. And secondly, the Internet is getting faster and faster and you need a fast WAN port to take full advantage of that. There's also a USB 3.0 port right here to host a printer or a storage device like this portable drive right here, and in this case, it can also work as a file-sharing and media streaming server. Now, the EA6400 here is a true dual band Wi-Fi router, meaning that it works on both the 2.4 gigahertz and 5 gigahertz frequency band at the same times. Apart from the AC client, it also supports all existing Wi-Fi client, but in this case, it offers the cap speed of only 300-megabit per second, and I believe this is why it's called AC 1600 router. You know, I add 300 to 1300, and guess what? That's 1600. Now, the router comes with a very nice WAP interface to manage its many features. You can actually also subscribe for a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account and then you can manage your home network via the Internet or the cloud using the browser or mobile apps. Now, using the WAP interface, you can even test the speed of the Internet. Guess what? And I've checked how fast it is here. Here we go. What? Only 316.14 down and 218.75 up? Come on, CNET; you can do better than that. It's very hard to impress me. And speaking of not being impressed, that's also how I feel about this router's performance. In my testing, it wasn't super slow, but it was below average compared with other routers of the same configuration. That plus the cost of $170 make this not a great deal. It's an okay deal, though, because it works well, and well, it looks nice. For more on the router, check out the full review at CNET.com and follow me on Twitter or Facebook or Google+, maybe you can impress me with your home Internet speed. It's unlikely though. That's because I'm Dong Ngo, and this has been the first look at the Linksys EA6400 Smart Wi-Fi AC 1600 router.

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