Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 Router Review

If you have a budget for a high-end streaming and gaming router I am sure that the Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream is on your radar. It is a fantastic high-end offering from Linksys – it features tri-band AC5400 Wi-Fi, MU-MIMO, Beamforming and everything in between. Yes, it is big and clunky but it totally deserves the footprint for the features it offers.

Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream™ AC5400 Front View

Linksys Max-Stream Wi-Fi Capabilities

The EA9500 is a tri-band, quad-stream WiFi router with a total Wi-Fi data transfer capacity of up to 5,333 megabits per second. For a three band router, it has two separate 5GHz bands with a connection speed of 2,166.67Mbps and a 2.4GHz band that bests out at 1,000Mbps. Keep in mind that these are theoretical speeds and only achievable with devices that share the same standard. The truth is, in any case, that you won’t  achieve those speeds on regular basis at all. Most computers, tablets and phones just got updated to AC WiFi standard and most devices built before 2016 do not even support AC standard.

Multi-User Experience (MU-MIMO)

The EA9500 bolsters Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), which is an innovation intended to effectively deal with Wi-Fi data transmission speeds at homes with devices of various WiFi speed and standards. Every device can connect to the router at its optimised speed without unfavourably influencing the connection of others.

 

Linksys EA9500 Wireless Performance

You are correct to expect a top-level performance from a top-level offering from Linksys. It has a quad configuration antennas to match the 4×4 capabilities of the router.

In real-world tests, we managed to get about 170 Mbps on the 2.4Ghz band and roughly around 750Mbps on the 5Ghz band. Real world testing brings the router to about total connection speed of about 1750Mbps which is not bad at all – much better than most of the competition. No wonder we placed it on the best fastest gaming routers list we published recently.

Keep in mind that your mileage may vary – we tested the router with a very high-end WiFi adapter in almost ideal conditions. If you have older tablets or laptops you might not see speeds anywhere near that. We managed great results with some of our Android TV boxes but other just couldn’t cope due to slow wireless or limited LAN options.

Linksys Max-Stream AC5400 Wired (LAN) Performance

Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream™ AC5400 Rear View

The Linksys flagship has the best-in-class number of ethernet ports – a whopping eight Gigabit ones! They are fast ones as well. In our tests, we managed to get close to 921 Mbit per second transfer speeds. That is as fast as you get out of a gigabit wired connection and the Linksys certainly delivers a great deal of transfer speed here.

Graphical User Interface

Linksys EA9500 MAX-STREAM AC5400 WiFi RouterOk, we understand if the physical appearance of the EA9500 is not your cup of tea – we get it! It is a bulky, big and black box that doesn’t have the exoskeleton appeal of the D-Link DIR-895L, for example. But on the inside, it is a beautifully designed machine that it is a pleasure to work with.

The homepage is full of widgets allowing you to configure the router and make changes to all the main functions. You can move them around and arrange them in any way that you prefer.

All the connected devices are shown on a connection map allowing you to quickly glance and see what is connected to the network. You can assign different priorities to each connected device or application via the Media Prioritization page. It is a very useful feature if you have an important conference call with your boss and you want that to stay uninterrupted regardless of the heavy gaming activities happening in the kid’s room or the binge Netflix streaming happening in the living room.

 

You can restrict access to certain websites or devices or block them completely off your network via the parental controls page. It is a great feature for growing teenagers to keep them off bad influences… If you can, of course!

The GUI allows you to easily share any media stored on external USB devices such as flash drives or connected external hard drives. You can do so via FTP or DHCP access. You can even restrict users from accessing certain folders on external media. It is working great when we tested it.

 

There is an Android and iOS Linksys app allowing you to modify most functions on the router remotely.

Linksys EA9500 Max-Stream Specifications

Here are the most notable specs of this router offering from Linksys:

  • Tri-band technology for combined speeds of up to 5.3 Gbps.
  • Offers Seamless Roaming when paired with the Max-Stream AC1900+ MU-MIMO Wi-Fi Range Extender.
  • Remotely monitor and control the network with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi.
  • Eight Gigabit ports and USB 3.0 for fast wired connections.

EA9500 Review Verdict 

The Linksys EA9500 is not for everyone – there is no question about it. It is bulky and very very expensive. It is the Linksys flagship router and a lot of thought and features are crammed into it. It offers the latest AC speeds with great performance and speed optimisations. The GUI looks great and works flawlessly. If you have the budget for it – by any means – but it! You won’t be disappointed. If you are like me and can’t spare that much cash on a single device – check out the best dual-band routers that we have reviewed recently and save some hard earned cash!

Aaron Brown

Aaron is a networking engineer who started Zilla Best with the sole purpose to provide unbiased buyers guides and tech reviews.

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