Living in an age were everything must be connected to the internet, a good router is important and it is important that when choosing a router, you pick one that will both suit your current broadband package and even boost it someway, as well as being both future and past proof, making sure that you are always able to connect any of the devices you may already own and the ones you may buy in the future.
And that’s exactly what the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Wireless AC Router AC1900 is good for, offering 802.11ac Wi-Fi on board, the AC1900 can be used with devices that use both the 2.4GHz band and the 5GHz one.
In order to set up the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Wireless AC Router AC1900 you first need to make sure it is connected to a modem – something the router is not supplied with, but after you have done that the rest of the setup is pretty easy.
Simply type in the browser setup page in your browser (https://linksyssmartwifi.com), and follow the instructions for your particular needs. This page makes setup extremely easy by guiding you through each of the options, so even if you aren’t the most technical person, the router can be setup easily.
That’s not the main feature of the routers setup however, as it allows you to manage the router remotely using an Android or iPhone application, or via a different computer on a different network, allowing you to change settings on the router wherever you are.
In terms of network options, you get a lot of choices within the network screen, allowing you to monitor the devices which are connected to your network, create and control guest access, manage parental controls, set up media prioritization for devices and apps, manage your USB storage and even speed test your network right from the browser app, or the app for smartphones.
All of these features a particularly interesting, mostly the device list which provides a clear view of the devices you have connected to your network, and control how they are managed, something that a lot of routers don’t provide in such an easy to view manner.
The Guest Access and Parental Controls are also pretty handy, allowing you to restrict internet access for both your guests and your kids, allowing you to restrict internet access to a specific device, and even block internet access during specific times.
Unfortunately you can’t block specific devices at specific times, so this feature may become more annoying in the long run.
One of my most favoured features on the AC1900 was the Media Prioritization features, allowing you to say which apps, games and even devices should have priority over your networks wireless signal, allowing you to give your own devices priority over others, making sure what you’re doing is always connected, as well as allowing you to give applications like Spotify priority over other apps like Netflix or Skype for instance.
In our tests there was no true way to found out how well this worked exactly, however we didn’t find any lag on any of our devices, so we presume it works well.
As an extra feature, there’s also both a USB 2.0 and a USB 3.0 port that allows you to connect an external drive to share music, photos, videos and other files around your network, and even access the content from a remote computer as long as it has access to the internet, allowing you to stream your media and files from around the world.
From the moment we first used the router, we definitely noticed a speed improvement when browsing the internet on various devices that have been connected to the network, and the router even worked well from range, allowing you to continue using your devices even when sat on the bog.
During our tests we tested the router with a number of devices, including our MacBook Pro, iPad, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, Xbox and various other 802.11ac and 802.11n devices, all of which worked well during a number of internet activities like HD streaming on Netflix and just browsing the web.
We didn’t run any benchmarks in our tests, as they don’t really mean anything honestly, however we have downloaded a lot of content during our tests and we have to say the Linksys routers does perform better than routers we have had in the past, and that’s the same when streaming HD content.
For instance we streamed the entire second season of House of Cards (read our review here) earlier this week, and there was no dropped frames, and the whole season streamed in HD quality without a hitch, this is whilst using an iPad to surf the web.
When moving around the house with a device we found the same great connection, and that’s without any range extenders, however if you do live in a rather large house, you might want to pick one up.
In terms of the design, the AC1900 is basically a box that features a black and silver design, that is both smart and sleek, certainly something that you wouldn’t be displeased to see on your desk, or behind your TV, however at night the box can get a little too bright, this can be somewhat dimmed by disabling the connection lights on the back of the router, however there is also a really bright logo light one the front that cannot be turned off.
Continuing with the back of the box, the AC1900 features three directional aerials that can be screwed in by hand and pointed to the direction where you need coverage.
These aren’t to large as is usually the norm with routers that use aerials, so the router still keeps its good business looks when in operation.
Also on the back, you will find four Gigabit Ethernet ports, and internet connection port, buttons to turn the router off and those USB ports we mentioned earlier.
As we mentioned at the start of this review, picking the right router is incredibly important in todays age, making sure that all of your devices keep a good and decent speed no matter the situation is something we all stride for.
For that the Linksys EA6900 Smart Wi-Fi Wireless AC Router AC1900 is a great option, offering great speed on all of your devices, a range across your devices and offering features that allow you to manage your entire network from anywhere in the world.
Overall if you have the spare cash for the router you should definitely pick it up.
Disclosure: Linksys sent us this router for review purposes.