Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router AC 1750 HD Video Pro (EA6500) - Wireless Cruiser

Launch SRP: S$349

Performance - 2.4GHz

Test Setup

Our routine test setup includes a desktop PC, the reviewed router, and a laptop to simulate a wireless home network. The desktop system takes on the role of a host machine, while the router acts as a gateway. And lastly, an external 802.11ac adapter attached to the notebook is used to fulfill the role of a wireless remote client. We'll be using Netgear's A6200 802.11ac USB adapter for our throughput tests to reduce the number of variables involved.

A graphical representation of our network test setup.

The router is locked down in N-only mode for the 2.4GHz band, and 802.11ac for the 5GHz band, mainly to prevent the use of varying 802.11 standards. Typically, a channel bandwidth of 40MHz is selected where applicable, while 80MHz is used for the 5GHz AC band. The QCheck application measures wireless throughput (TCP) and streaming (UDP) speeds between the host and client endpoints based on a 1MB data packet. On the other hand, NetIQ's Chariot benchmark offers a more detailed account with average throughput and response time readings recorded over 30 seconds, based on a High Performance throughput script.

Range is determined by the distance between the router and wireless client. Here's how the DIR-865L fared. 

Chariot and QCheck Performance Results - 2.4GHz Band

Linksys EA6500 Wireless Performance Results - 2.4GHz Band
Average Downlink Throughput (Mbps) - Chariot Average Uplink Throughput (Mbps) - Chariot Downlink TCP Throughput of 1MB (Mbps) Uplink TCP Throughput of 1MB (Mbps) UDP Streaming (kbps) Time to transfer 1GB Zip file
65.862 56.229 37.915 50.633 1,000.036
(0.0% loss)
91 seconds
2m with WPA2-AES
42.784 34.341 41.237 34.188 997.641
(0.0% loss)
56.125 52.984 42.105 43.243 1,061.406
(7.9% loss)
131 seconds
35.945 37.904 27.027 9.270 976.829
(9.9 loss%)

Linksys delivered a commendable 2.4GHz downlink performance on the whole. In most instances, it proved to be the faster router compared to the ASUS RT-AC66U. At 2 meters, however, its throughput was crippled slightly with WPA2 encryption enabled, with average data speeds dipping from 65Mbps to 43Mbps. Transfer of a 1GB file between host and client took 91 seconds and 131 seconds, measured at 2 meters and 10 meters respectively. The EA6500 also offered a notable average downlink result of 36Mbps at 25 meters, compared to its less stellar opponents at this range. On the other hand, there was a considerable amount of packet loss during UDP streams when distance is increased. This might have an impact on video and voice wireless streaming qualities at a range of 10 meters or more. That said, let's move on to the EA6500's uplink results. Undoubtedly, it was Netgear's R6300 which topped this category although Linksys didn't fare too badly either. Apart from its 'encrypted' performance, it is clear that the EA6500 is one of the speedier gateways on the uplink front compared to the likes of D-Link and ASUS. Similar to its downlink performance, the router delivered a fairly decent and consistent throughput at 25 meters.  

Noteworthy downlink results were observed on the 2.4GHz band across the various ranges. However, the router wasn't so hot with WPA2 encryption enabled.

Like its downlink performance, the EA6500 did fairly well on the uplink front although the router's overall throughput deteriorated by a notch with WPA2 enabled.

The Good
Sleek design
User-friendly platform
Remote access features
Balanced throughput on both bands
The Bad
Sluggish interface
Lacks Samba and iTunes server support
A tad expensive