ESSENTIALHOME ROUTER

Linksys EA6350

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - Az­izul Rah­man Is­mail

Po­si­tioned at the top end of the brand's midrange router of­fer­ings, the Linksys EA6350 brings fea­tures more com­monly found in higher-end mod­els, but at a more af­ford­able price. It is de­cep­tively sim­ple on the out­side, but its func­tion­al­ity and toolset are def­i­nitely an above av­er­age af­fair.

It is small, lightweight, and sports the typ­i­cal Linksys de­sign foot­print. There's noth­ing sub­stan­tially dif­fer­ent about the ex­te­rior of the EA6350 next to the EA6300, apart from its two an­ten­nas, which are af­fixed per­ma­nently. They swivel and tilt, but they can­not be re­placed.

While we did ex­pe­ri­ence some mi­nor hic­cups with the ini­tial setup wizard, we were able to per­form a man­ual setup in­stead. It was a rel­a­tively easy ex­er­cise, which left us to won­der what the ini­tial setup wizard is for.

Once logged in, we were wel­comed by a pleas­ant and in­tu­itive user in­ter­face that Linksys usu­ally re­serve for higher-end router mod­els. The UI in­cludes the com­plete Smart Wi-Fi Tools, which is one of the best fea­tures of the EA6350. Other no­table in­clu­sions are Guest Ac­cess, and the Me­dia Pri­or­i­ti­za­tion tools.

The im­ple­men­ta­tion of Guest Ac­cess in this router is one of the most user-friendly im­ple­men­ta­tions we've seen. It is off by de­fault, which is a good thing, and once en­abled, the de­fault set­tings are very prac­ti­cal, leav­ing the fea­ture ready to be used as-is.

Me­dia Pri­or­i­ti­za­tion is not your typ­i­cal QoS fea­ture. It uses a drag-and-drop in­ter­face, al­low­ing users to en­force In­ter­net traf­fic pri­or­ity not only to ap­pli­ca­tions, but to de­vices as well. You can also add your own ap­pli­ca­tions to the list, while con­nected de­vices ap­pear au­to­mat­i­cally.

Be­ing a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi de­vice, the EA6350 is also com­pat­i­ble with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app. It al­lows users to en­able and man­age parental con­trols, con­tent fil­ter­ing, de­vice mon­i­tor­ing, router man­age­ment, IP cam­eras, and more – right from their smart de­vice.

Even with all these fea­tures, speed poses no is­sue for the EA6350, a dual-band router rated at 300Mbps for 802.11n, and 867Mbps for 802.11ac. In our tests, the router is ca­pa­ble of at­tain­ing an av­er­age 65MB/s speed, a re­spectable re­sult. You can squeeze a lit­tle more per­for­mance by mak­ing your pre­ferred de­vice a pri­or­ity, but that would be at the ex­pense of other de­vices that are con­nected to the router.

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AT A GLANCE

The user in­ter­face is of­ten ne­glected on most routers, but not on the Linksys EA6350.

CON­CLU­SION

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