CNET First Look
Belkin's latest Linksys EA6900 is almost a great Wi-Fi routerCNET editor Dong Ngo is back from a long vacation and he believes that means the flow of technology development can now once again continues (phew!). Well, it flows indeed and Belkin's latest Linksys EA6900 is the proof.
Hi, guys. Dong Ngo is here. I'm back from my vacation, and that means the flow of technology development can once again continue. The proof, about right here, this is the latest from Belkin, the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router. You know, the thing that connects to your broadband modems and print the internet to the rest of the devices wirelessly, and via network cables. Now, the EA6900 is not just another Wi-Fi router. In fact, it is one of the most advanced on the market because it comes with the new Wi-Fi chip set, and is powered by a powerful 800-megahertz Dual-Core processor, making it very similar to the ASUS AC68U, or the Netgear R7000. And the new router here's offer the Wi-Fi speed up to 1.3-gigabit per second on the 5-gigahertz frequency band, and up to 600-megabit per second on the 2.4-gigahertz frequency band. Of course, you need a compatible client to achieve the top speed. But the router here supports all existing Wi-Fi clients on the market, regardless of their standard. The point is, it's designed to be good for what you have now, and also good for what you're going to have in the future. Now, the EA6900 looked very similar to the previous model in the EA series, taking the exact shape of an UFO. Yes, exact. Trust me, I'm probably wrong. On the front-- top rather, it has one big white status light. And on the back, it has one WAN port, and four LAN ports. All of them are gigabit. And like all network ports, all of them come with their own port light. Now, if you don't like these lights on the back, you can actually turn them off using the router's WAP interface. But the odd thing is, you cannot turn the front white light off. I'm not sure how hard it is that you can turn off to the few lights, but not all of them. But one thing is for sure, you cannot have a completely dark bat room with this router. For me, it's a dim-breaker, during weekend. Now, to make up for that, the router also come with two USB port. One of them, the actually USB 3.0, even if these ports holds a printer, or a storage device such as these Turbo drive, right here. One thing this EA6900 is different from its sibling, it now come with a three detachable external antennas. Now, in my testing, this Linksys 6900 offer mixed results. On one hand, at close range, it offer really fast sustained Wi-Fi speed up to 72-megabyte per second. That's some 600-megabit per second. On the other hand, at longer range, its performance wasn't as impressive. Other than that, the new router here shared the same features, and WAP interface at previous models. You can also use Linksys Smart Wi-Fi cloud features, and allows you to remotely manage your home network via a website or a mobile app, if you can make that work. But in my trial, the website worked fine. Not so much, the mobile apps. Hopefully, that's just a temporary glitch. You know, the EA6900 is probably the best in the Linksys EA series of Smart Wi-Fi Routers. But it's not the best among its type. As with all routers, it can get better via phone ware updates. But for now, as it cost of some $200, I believe you're better off opting for either Netgear, or the ASUS. For more, lot more on this router, check out my full review at CNET.com. If you wanna tell me just how happy you are to see me again, well, you know how to reach me. So, do it. Though I know that you are, even if you don't, and that's because I'm Dong Ngo. And this has been the first look at the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Router from Belkin.