Linksys EA9200 Tri-Band Smart AC Wi-Fi Router Review

Introducing the Linksys EA9200

Shortly after we published our AC3200 router roundup, Linksys contacted us and wanted to throw one of its routers into the ring. We agreed, and the company sent us its Linksys EA9200 Tri-band Smart Wi-Fi router, which like the others in the roundup is a tri-band router that uses the Broadcom XStream 5GHz platform, throwing out dual 5GHz networks along with a 2.4GHz network for older devices. Like the other routers, it's capable of pushing data at 1,300Mbp/s on its 5GHz bands, and 600Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band. It is also able to pair both 5GHz channels together using Smart Connect technology, or you can run them as two separate networks if you prefer. This router was one of the first to appear on the market, and has been around for almost a year now, so Belkin/Linksys has had some time to fine-tune its firmware based on real-world usage. Its specs are exactly the same as the other routers in the roundup, as is its MSRP of $300, though it's available at Amazon for just $189, so it's about $100 less expensive than the D-Link DIR-890L/R, the Netgear Nighthawk, and the Asus RT-AC3200. The Trendnet TEW-828DRU is just a bit more expensive most of the time, promos not withstanding.

linksys ea9200 front

Linksys EA9200 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router
Specifications & Features

Linksys EA9200 ASUS RT-AC3200 Netgear Nighthawk X6 Trendnet TEW-828DRU
Technology IE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac IE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac IE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac IE802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Bands One 2.4GHz, Dual 5GHz One 2.4GHz, Dual 5GHz One 2.4GHz, Dual 5GHz One 2.4GHz, Dual 5GHz
Wireless speeds 600Mb/s @2.4GHz, 1,300Mb/s @ 5GHz 600Mb/s @2.4GHz, 1,300Mb/s @ 5GHz 600Mb/s @2.4GHz, 1,300Mb/s @ 5GHz 600Mb/s @2.4GHz, 1,300Mb/s @ 5GHz
Interface Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Ethernet Port 4x 1Gb LAN (+1Gb WAN) 4x 1Gb LAN (+1Gb WAN) 4x 1Gb LAN (+1Gb WAN) 4x 1Gb LAN (+1Gb WAN)
USB Port 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x Virtual 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
Security WEP, WPA/WPA2: SPI Firewall; Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS); WPA/WPA2 Mixed Personal; WPA/WPA2 Mixed Enterprise; WPA2 Personal; WPA2 Enterprise WPA/WPA2; SPI Firewall; Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), 64-bit WEP, 128-bit WEP WPA/WPA2; SPI Firewall; Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)  WEP, WPA/WPA2-PSK, WPA/WPA2-RADIUS
Platform Broadcom Xstream 5G Broadcom Xstream 5G Broadcom Xstream 5G Broadcom Xstream 5G
Antenna 3x External Removable, 3x Internal Non-removable Six removable Six non-removable Six non-removable
Dimensions 9.70 X 3.14 X 8.15 Inches (w/out Antennas) (WxDxH) 11.4 x 7.4 x 2.28 inch (WxDxH) 11.63 x 8.92 x 2.14 inch (WxDxH) 9.5 x 6.7 x 1.8 inch (WxDxH)
Warranty 1 year 2 year 1 year 3 year 
Pricing (street): $189.99 (On Sale) $269.50 $273 $209.99

The EA9200 uses six antennae, three of which are internal and three that are external and removable. Unlike the other routers that we've tested recently though, it stands up vertically and has a permanently attached base so that the antennae can always be up as high as possible and in the optimum position for sending a signal down like rainfall. We actually like the design quite a bit, though the option to remove the base and lay it down flat would certainly be appreciated.

linksys ea9200 back

The front of the router has a lone Linksys logo with a white LED that is quite bright, and oddly there are no activity lights on the front whatsoever, so all you ever see is that logo. Though we appreciate the lack of light because it can be a distraction, it is handy to be able to glance at a router and make sure everything is working properly, so we kind of miss them.

The rear of the router offers four Gigabit LAN ports, a gigabit WAN port, power and reset switches, and two USB ports. One port is USB 2.0 for a printer, and the other is USB 3.0 for attached storage. The side of the router sports a Wi-Fi on/off switch as well as a WPS connect button. Though the USB ports let you connect a hard drive and let the router act as a media server or NAS, it does not support Apple's Time Machine.

linksys ea9200 box

It’s a full-featured router with parental control, guest networks, and quality of service that lets you prioritize traffic to specific devices or apps via drag-and-drop, letting you place three devices, applications, or games in "High Priority.” You can also manually add games and applications if you know their port range and protocol. It will let you create secure guest networks, and limit the number of connections. Parental controls let you block Internet access at specific times, or manually block certain websites. Like other AC routers it supports a technology named Beam Forming, where the router can amplify a signal in the direction of a detected connection instead of just sending it out equally in all directions. The router is backed by a one year warranty, which is the bare minimum.

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