Linksys WRT1900AC Review

I moved my cable modem to a corner of the house with an older Linksys N based router and WiFi access point that I was using. This resulted in having a very weak signal on the other side of the house and an unreliable connection. I fled to the internet to find out what kind of options there were. I considered everything from Ethernet over A/C to range extenders until I looked a bit closer at the newest generation of router access points. One that rose to the top for me was the Linksys WRT1900AC.

Best Buy was awesome and price matched Amazon for the unit. I brought it home, minutes later I replaced my existing Linksys router access point. I used the same WPA2 name and PSK (pre shared key, that’s fancy for password). I have iPads, iPhone, iPod, WiFi USB adapters, Xbox consoles all came to life right away. This router was the Chuck Norris of units and I could not be happier.

The interface has a lot more options than my old N based router did. It gives you the ability to set up separate 2.4Ghz and 5.0Ghz networks, each with a guest counter part, four in total. Through the interface you can get a topology map of all the devices that are connected with usage metrics for each. The parental controls are a slight improvement over previous models as availability times are set graphically per device.

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We had an issue with the old router that performance would suffer once the kids came home and started using all of their wireless devices. The WRT1900AC comes with a 1.2ghz dual core ARM based processor that is like a round house kick to processing network traffic. With everyone on this new network device, there was a noticeable increase in the quality of service. Last night, I performed a web penetration scan which processed nearly 100,000 HTTP requests in about 5 hours. This process used to take me nearly 12 hours to do on the same target site. The WRT1900AC comes standard with 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, one of which I use to perform my web scans.

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My daughter reported she was able to still get “three bars” of signal three houses away in our neighborhood on her iPad. The max range we used to get was about 5 feet outside of our garage. Now this means I can stream Pandora while mowing the lawn.

“The WRT1900AC is basically the WRT54G of yesteryear, but on steroids.”- PC Magazine

If anyone has ever played with the old WRT54G systems, this is a modern rebirth of that unit. It has the ability to load a Linux operating system for advanced functionality.

I am happy to report that this unit has exceeded my expectations.

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Image Source: Linksys

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