If you're living in a small home, Belkin has a new just-right router for you. The networking vendor announced today the Linksys EA8300, the latest in its Max Stream family.
This is an entry-level AC2200 Tri-Band MU-MIMO router that shares a similar feature set to the high-end, but with lower speed. The EA8300 is a tri-band router (two 5GHz bands and one 2.4GHz band) but its 5GHz speed caps at just 867 megabits per second and the 2.4GHz band at 400Mbps. The EA9500 is an AC5400 router with cap speeds of some three times higher. However, if you just need to access the internet or do casual local networking tasks, the new EA8300 is more than fast enough.
As a Max Stream router, it EA8300 will work with all existing Linksys Max Stream devices to deliver seamless hand-off, via a feature called Seamless Roaming. This means when used together with other Max Stream access point or range extenders it will allow you to roam around the house without any connection interruption, similar to having a Wi-Fi system. You can also use the EA8300 as an access point if you already have another Max Stream router.
The EA8300 uses the familiar web interface found in Linksys routers released over the past few years. You also have the option to opt for a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account, which allows you to manage their home network remotely via a free mobile app or a web portal. Using this feature, however, means the router will be connected to Linksys at all times. The router also works with Amazon Alexa in case you want to control certain aspects of your home network via voice commands.
Here's the complete list of the EA8300's features:
- Tri-Band AC2200: Up to 2.2Gbps (867 Mbps 5GHz + 867 Mbps 5GHz + 400 Mbps 2.4GHz) with MU-MIMO Wave 2 support.
- Quad-core 716MHz processor (equal to 1.4GHz dual-core processor) with 256MB of DDR3 system memory and 256MB of flash memory.
- Five Gigabit Ethernet ports (four LAN + one WAN)
- USB 3.0 port to host a portable drive for network storage sharing.
- Airtime Fairness: Slow Wi-Fi devices won't impact the speed of faster ones.
- Seamless roaming when used with other Max Stream range extenders or access points.
- Linksys App: Remote home network management.
- Amazon Alexa support for turning guest access on and off, obtaining guest and main Wi-Fi credentials, via voice commands.
- SPI firewall and DoS protection
Price and availability
The Linksys EA8300 AC2200 Tri-Band MU-MIMO router is available now for $200 in the US and £180 in the UK. Pricing and availability for Australia are TBA, but the UK price converts to about AU$300.