Router Review: For Internet connections, a good router is as necessary as the device
Not much attention is paid to the router we use at home although more and more devices in our homes and offices are connected to the Internet, which adds up to more load on the WiFi router
More and more devices in our homes and offices are connected to the Internet, meaning more load on your WiFi router. Investing in a good WiFi router for a long-term use could mean better performance for your devices throughout the premises. The Linksys E5600 is an AC1200 router that tries to fill that space without splurging too much.
The E5600 comes in Black-Blue colour scheme and looks a little bit like a shrunken gaming console, weighing under 500 grams. The back houses 4 gigabit LAN ports, 1 WAN Internet port, reset button, power switch, power port, and WPS button. You can’t mount-wall it since there’s no built-in screw hole for that, so you would have to check for that. There are four internal antennas, none visible outside.
The router takes about 2 minutes to power on and get connected. If you have a fibre connection the direct line from your ISP’s modem would further get connected into the E5600’s Internet WAN port; if you have a PPOE connection, you can directly plug in the wire into the Internet WAN port, add your ISP connection credentials, and are good to go. You can select auto update from the settings, though it’s suggested you deselect it and check for updates manually once in a while since auto update might lead to the router restarting without the user’s knowledge.
The router is equipped with a 128 MB NAND Flash storage and 128 MB DDR3 RAM. The login settings page of the router is quite straight forward to navigate and doesn’t lead to connection losses while you are logged in to it and using the connection on other devices, which can be the case in some low-budget WiFi routers. The Blue or Yellow lights on the front indicate the connection status.
It’s a dual band router (2.4GHz and 5 GHz) with MU-MIMO technology and spatial streams. 2.4GHz is more than enough to cover your entire floor, while 5GHz is suitable for devices with higher bandwidth requirement that may be within a few metres away from the router. It supports 20, 40, and 80 MHz channel widths. You can customize both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands separately, and also decide to rename and broadcast their SSIDs of each other; both having the WPA2 Personal mode for security. There’s also SPI Firewall Protection. It is a WiFi 5 (a/b/g/n/ac) router than can hold up speeds of up to 1.2Gbps.
The connection seemed to be in-line with the ISP speeds when I tried, and didn’t notice any connection drops throughout the floor. Even with about a dozen different devices connected at once, the router didn’t show any considerable performance issues or major bugs. You can also add some child blocks from the settings page, down to websites, or restrict a certain device (via its MAC address) to be allowed network access for a certain time period during the day and blocked for the rest of the day.
Quite useful if you have children at home, or have a small group to manage. You can also start a guest access for one-time use (similar to how hotels provide it). All in all, the Linksys E5600 is a value-for-money router that has a good design, relatively good performance for its price, and support for many technologies and protocols that a modern router needs for being at the centre of your Internet connection.