Monster routers from Linksys and TP-Link are ready to hit the streets

TP-Link and Linksys each took advantage of CES to show off impressive new Wi-Fi routers. The routers differ in a few key areas, but both are unapologetically high-end.

The Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 Tri-Band Wi-Fi Router has a name that leaves little room for confusion about its core specifications. There are some details missing from that mouthful, though. For one, the EA9500's eight Gigabit Ethernet ports  doubles up on the number of ports you typically get on a home router. It also includes one USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port for connecting shared devices like external hard drives and printers. The EA9500 offers speeds up to 2166 Mbps with tri-band Wi-Fi that supports four simultaneous data streams as well as MU-MIMO and beamforming.

The TP-Link Talon AD7200 Multi-band Wi-Fi Router brings something new to the table as the world's first 802.11ad router. IEEE 802.11ad, or "WiGig", operates at a ridiculous 60 GHz and is intended for extremely high speed communiccation over short distances with no obstructions. Under ideal circumstances, that can translate into connection speeds up to 4.6 Gbps. Of course, most homes have walls, so TP-Link thoughtfully incudes a robust 802.11ac solution in the AD7200 as well. That radio includes support for MU-MIMO and beamforming. For wired connectivity, TP-Link equips the AD7200 with four Gigabit Ethernet ports and two USB 3.0 ports.

Colton Westrate

I post Shortbread, I host BBQs, I tell stories, and I strive to keep folks happy.

Comments closed
    • deinabog
    • 4 years ago

    Those routers look like dead roaches after being hit by a shot of bug spray (except they have eight antennas). Okay maybe spider is more appropriate; in any case while I’m sure they’re powerful I’m going to stick with my trusty RT-AC68R from Asus (which supports 802.11ac as well).

    • Meadows
    • 4 years ago

    And here I thought they were actually marketed by Monster. I was ready to jump in with an oxygen-free copper punchline or crisp bits and warm, full sounding bytes or something.

      • Chrispy_
      • 4 years ago

      You can still plug a $10,000 ethernet cable into it if you want though!

    • trackerben
    • 4 years ago

    It appears the TP-Link’s antennas all seat into the housing for some portability. Interesting, a WiGig quasi-travel router.

    • RdVi
    • 4 years ago

    I might be alone on this, but all I can see when looking at that TP-link…

    [url<]http://i1177.photobucket.com/albums/x351/ema_1996/AFE/E.jpg~original[/url<]

    • Xylker
    • 4 years ago

    [quote<] ...IEEE 802.ad, or "WiGig" operates...[/quote<] I do believe you're missing two numbers there - 802.[i<]11[/i<]ad

      • drfish
      • 4 years ago

      Ugh! Thanks.

    • tipoo
    • 4 years ago

    I thought my 5 year old DIR-615 was dying, kept dropping connections. Bought an AC router to replace it but was let down with the range, returned it while I was going to look for a new one.

    In the meantime, I flashed DD-WRT on the old one. Upped transmit power from 13 to 21, set up to cron jobs, one to reset every night at 4AM, one to reset if it ever can’t ping Google for 80 seconds.

    Even only on N, and with an ever increasing number of wifi devices connected in a family of 5, it’s been running like a champ and providing full speed to everything. If I wanted it there’s also an optimize gaming setting.

    It has stats on hardware, even with torrents and movie streams and all manner of things going the CPU hardly ever goes above 10% use, and the RAM is often half free.

    Some people will need high end routers like the above – but for a lot of other users, it’s the crappy manufacturer firmware killing the router, not the hardware.

      • Captain Ned
      • 4 years ago

      Asus RT-N66U here, running Tomato by Shibby. Stupid solid, makes Stimpy look a genius.

      • TruthSerum
      • 4 years ago

      I installed DD-WRT on that exact model and it worked like a champ also, absolutely flawless.

      The stock F/w is absolutely garbage.

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        The AC router I returned was the DIR-820 – D-link has not changed a thing about their web interface, if anything it was even slower than before. The 2.4GHz range was slightly worse than the old one, and the 5GHz range wouldn’t even connect in parts of my house (that’s usual since 5GHz is worse at getting through walls). If the 615 on DD-WRT ever fails to satisfy, my next definitely won’t be them again.

          • TruthSerum
          • 4 years ago

          It’s not the best possible h/w out there but it’s sturdy with DD-WRT at least.

          The stock f/w drops and pauses and does all kinds of weird stuff.

      • UnfriendlyFire
      • 4 years ago

      My family had a router from 2005-2006 that “supported” WPA2, but it turned out that it never had the processing power to run the encryption. And then a firmware update bricked it despite following the OEM’s recommended procedures.

      It’s like sticking a lawnmower engine in a sports car and claim that it CAN go up to 200 mph. You just need to let it run down a ramp at a 60 degree angle to build up the momentum. Or allow it to be rammed by a train from behind.

        • strangerguy
        • 4 years ago

        That Linksys router only has a unknown dual core and RAM for $400, while a $150 Xiaomi phone has a 8-core 2GHz A53, 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC at the minimum, plus a 1080p screen, 3000+ mAH battery and LTE modem which a router doesn’t have.

        There’s no way Linksys can convince me they aren’t ripping us off with this.

      • w76
      • 4 years ago

      That’s all true but also I have to wonder how many client devices can make full use of all the wireless technology that’s rolled out. Typically phones, tablets, even laptops and USB adapters are somewhat space constrained, so don’t have a thousand antennas to fully utilize all the potential bandwidth. Plus, 5ghz may be less crowded, but thats because it has a range only slightly better than WiGig (or so it often times feels). 2.4ghz is still king for me.

        • tipoo
        • 4 years ago

        Yeah, the 2.4GHz range on the new router I bought and returned was about the same as the 5 year old one, but the 5GHz range was even worse, couldn’t connect in my room and our house is far from massive. 5GHz isn’t as good at going through walls, even though it didn’t have that many to go through here. Something more powerful if you want 5GHz would certainly come in handy, but for now DD-WRT is making plain old 2.4GHz Wireless N a joy to work on.

          • curtisb
          • 4 years ago

          The channels on the 5GHz band were probably at 40MHz or even 80MHz. That drastically reduces how far it will reach, but greatly improves the bandwidth for devices that are close enough to the access point.

          There’s a LOT more to wireless these days than just the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

        • travbrad
        • 4 years ago

        I have a new dual-band router and I get better bandwidth with the 5ghz (AC) network in any room of my house and even out in my garage/driveway. That is with a router that is in the basement too, while most of the rooms are upstairs. The 5ghz AC averages about 250mbps depending on the room, while the 2.4ghz tops out at about 80mbps.

        That being said the pings on 2.4ghz seem a bit more consistent, so that would probably be preferable for gaming if you absolutely can’t use a WIRED connection for some reason.

    • TruthSerum
    • 4 years ago

    I have a tp-link load balancing router and I’m very pleased with the firmware/config setup.
    I haven’t done a full leakdown test but it comes configured relatively straightforwardly.
    Updating the firmware was also drama free. I haven’t had any issues.

    I’d use them again before I went back to netgear or linksys. Edit : Or Dlink.

      • Firestarter
      • 4 years ago

      well 60GHz is more than 5Ghz, so I think we have a winner right there!

        • TruthSerum
        • 4 years ago

        Gigity.

      • shank15217
      • 4 years ago

      [url<]https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter-x/[/url<] thats a real router, it also costs like $50, its more functional than every soho router out there. Its kind of embarrassing how bad the others are in comparison.

        • curtisb
        • 4 years ago

        [url<]https://www.ubnt.com/edgemax/edgerouter/[/url<] That's the real router. The EdgeRouter-X series has roughly 1/8th the throughput of the EdgeRouter series (130K packets/second vs. 1M packets/second...the 8-port model is 2M packets/second and the 8-port Pro model is 2.4M packets/second). The EdgeRouter-X line is also only Layer 2 where the EdgeRouter line will do Layer 3 routing. Do most people need this for a home network? Maybe not right now, but the EdgeRouters are future proofed for anything the any of the ISPs are planning for quite some time, and it allows upgrading the AP without having to replace a robust router every time.

    • TwoEars
    • 4 years ago

    Ugh. They both have 8 antennas. Now I don’t know which is better.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 4 years ago

      Really? Obviously it’s the one with more blinky lights and visible buttons. And you call yourself a tech enthusiast–for shame sir!

      • eofpi
      • 4 years ago

      One of them is more symmetrical.

      • Vaughn
      • 4 years ago

      Instead of putting 10 5Ghz antenna’s on these new routers.

      how about we start putting beefier CPUs maybe with hardware AES to aid with VPN speeds which alot of people use now.

      And making sure they all support Open source firmware.

      While keeping them cooler and quiet and make the thing abit aesthetic so you can maybe have it in the living room and not look like a huge/plastic metal spider!

      • SixIron
      • 4 years ago

      They actually look kind of like coffee tables turned upside down, especially the TP-Link

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