New smart Wi-Fi Router review part two — Linksys EA3500

EA3500-EU-6_850x425.jpg

This week we’re going to look at the second router in my three-part series on the latest offer­ing from Cisco / Link­sys, and for this post we’re going to step it up a notch with the Link­sys EA3500, tar­geted at folks with slightly more soph­ist­ic­ated net­work needs.

If you haven’t read my pre­vi­ous post on the EA2700, take a moment and do that now. It’ll give you a good frame­work to build upon, because that’s what Link­sys has done with this router series and the EA3500 in par­tic­u­lar; taken everything that’s great about the EA2700 and made it bet­ter while adding a few new fea­tures, at a slightly dif­fer­ent price point, of course.


Update: If you’ve got this router, you may want to read this post re: Cisco’s forced Cloud ser­vice update and how to revert back to a pre­vi­ous ver­sion of router firm­ware: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/freeing-your-router-from-ciscos-anti-porn-pro-copyright-cloud-service/

Fur­ther Update: Cisco changes it’s mind: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/07/cisco-backpedals-after-uproar-drops-cloud-from-default-router-setting/


EA3500-EU-3_850x425.jpg

 

Still drop dead awe­some
Anoth­er mem­ber of the App Enabled fam­ily (the iOS apps were released this week in Canada), the EA3500 improves upon the EA2700 by:

  • Increas­ing the base speeds. The EA3500, like the EA2700 is a dual-band unit, but in this case Link­sys has increased the speed of the second band by 150Mbps (300 + 450 improved over 300 + 300).
  • Adding Speed­Boost, which is “high­er qual­ity antenna tech­no­logy helps to main­tain high speeds across great­er dis­tances through­out your home for max­im­um wire­less cov­er­age and in-home mobil­ity.”
  • Adding a single USB port for which lets you add stor­age devices and print­ers to your net­work to share files or print wire­lessly through­out your home.
  • Added tech to sup­port your home enter­tain­ment sys­tem by build­ing in an improved Qual­ity of Ser­vice (QoS) tech­no­logy which will pri­or­it­ise latency-sens­it­ive traffic that can help you to stream media, place a phone call or play mul­ti­play­er games without inter­rup­tions.

Who’s it for?
If you want a router for your home net­works that’s easy to setup and man­age, *and* you don’t want to take advant­age of power­ful hard­ware for stream­ing, and oth­er band­width intens­ive tasks, then the Link­sys EA3500 is an excel­lent choice.

In many ways, it reminds me of the simple, appli­ance-like func­tion­al­ity that my Apple Air­port Extreme router provides. The Link­sys EA3500 is simple and it works. Just like an appli­ance. Which is good, because frankly, I don’t want to spend time with my router. I just want it to stay out of the way as I do what I do on my net­work and the Inter­net. The Link­sys EA3500 does just that.
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Published by Brad Grier

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