Wednesday, 20 February 2013

802.11ac router roundup

Here's a link to an article I wrote for ZDNet recently, looking at three of the latest 11ac routers from Cisco (Linksys EA6500), D-Link (DIR-865L) and Netgear (R6300). They all have their strengths and weaknesses, but if pushed I would plump for the Netgear R6330 purely for the fact that its performance is outstanding. It's a bit big and bulky, though.

The Cisco Linksys EA6500 is not a bad performer, and the matching WUMC710 media bridge adapter is by far the best of the bunch in terms of design and performance, and although it's expensive it does have a 4-port Gigabit switch. I still don't like the router's Cisco Cloud Connect interface, though.

D-Link's DIR-865L is one of the cheapest 11ac routers around, and it shows. It is very ungainly, and the DWA-182 USB client adapter is quite large, but cheap. When I was testing it, it played havoc with my SIP telephones, probably because of an incompatibility with the SIP ALG.

Netgear also has a matching 11ac USB adapter, the A6200, which has a peculiar rotating antenna that makes it a bit of a space-hog in a notebook.

Netgear R6300

D-Link DIR-865L

Cisco Linksys EA6500

Find it on Amazon:

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