Linksys Max-Stream review: A smart router for streamers and gamers

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The Linksys Max-Stream EA7500-AH v2 is the latest smart-router from Belkin.

Rating:
3.5/5

Linksys Max-Stream review: A smart router for streamers and gamers

 

The Max-Stream is a premium router and is priced at Rs 10,000 on Amazon. So, should this be the next router that you should consider? Let's find out.

Linksys Max-Stream specifications

Linksys Max-Stream specifications

Wi-Fi Technology:

AC1900+ MU-MIMO Dual-band Gigabit, 800+1733 Mbps

Network Standards:

802.11b
802.11a
802.11n
802.11ac
802.11g

Wi-Fi Speed:

AC1900+ (N800 + AC1733)

Wi-Fi Bands:

2.4 and 5 GHz (simultaneous dual-band)

Number of Ethernet Ports:

1x Gigabit WAN port
4x Gigabit LAN ports

Other Ports:

One(1) USB 3.0 port
One(1) USB 2.0 port
Power

Antennas:

3x external

Processor:

Dual-Core

Wireless Encryption:

Up to 128-bit encryption

Certified Operating Systems:

MacOS (10.X or higher),
Windows 7
Windows 8.1
Windows 10

Dimensions (LxWxH):

257 x 184 x 56 mm (10.12 x 7.24 x 2.2 in.) without antennas

Weight:

558 g (20.74 oz)

Security Features:

64/128-bit WEP
WPA2-Personal
WPA2-Enterprise

Power Supply:

Input: 100-240V ~ 50-60Hz; Output: 12V, 3.5A

Design
 

Design

The Linksys Max-Stream is not so much of a looker as it looks like most of the standard router with a subtle design. So, if you are looking for a delicate looking a powerful router yet, then the Linksys Max-Stream should be an ideal option. It is also a bit compact compared to the other dual-channel Gigabit-enabled routers.

The router comes with three user-replaceable antennas, which does help to extend the range of the router. On the back, the router has two USB ports, which can be used to data-sharing across the devices connected to the device. Concerning connectivity, the router has a single Gigabit WAN port and four Gigabit LAN ports.

All-in-all, the Linksys Max-Stream does a great job regarding design. However, this is not the best-looking router than one can buy, especially at the price of Rs 10,000.

Connectivity

Connectivity

The Linksys Max-Stream might be a subtle looking router. However, when it comes to performance, the Linksys Max-Stream is one of the best routers that are available in India with futuristic features.

It supports dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz), and offer Gigabit-class download and upload speeds. Do note that the download and upload speeds depend on the bandwidth provided by ISP (internet service provider). The download speed on the 2.4GHz band is capped at 800 Mbps, and the 5 GHz band can go up to 1733 Mbps.

Most of the modern laptops, tablets, and smartphones can utilise the 5GHz band. However, the 5GHz band does come with a drawback, as the range on the 5GHz is limited compared to the 2.4 GHz band. We did stream on platforms like Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Netflix at the same time and we did not notice any speed drop what so ever. However, do note that streaming on multiple devices at the same time does require higher bandwidth from the ISP.

Performance

Performance

The Linksys Max-Stream can offer both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands at the same time. So, we were able to test both bands on some devices. We tried ran the speed test on both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz on a smartphone and a laptop to get an average download and upload speed limits of the Linksys Max-Stream. We did run the benchmark multiple times to get accurate and average results.

As one can see from the graph, we got slightly better download and upload speeds on a smartphone. The maximum download speed that we recorded is 27.3 Mbps, and the upload speed was 28.8 Mbps.

On a laptop, we got slightly better results with an average download speed of 30.9 Mbps and an upload speed of 16.19 Mbps. These tests were conducted on Speedtest by Ookla Bharti Airtel Bengaluru as a server on both devices.

Similarly, we tried to connect more than five devices at a time (including smartphones and laptops), we did not face any loss of speed what so ever.

Smart features

Smart features

The Linksys Max-Stream comes with two USB ports (USB 3.0 and USB 2.0). These ports can be used to share files across the devices that are connected to the network via Wi-Fi or LAN network. However, the router failed to detect the pen drive that we inserted on (on both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 port) saying that the device is in an unsupported format. We did format the pen drive to different file formats (Fat32, exFat, NTFC) and the results were the same.

The Linksys Max-Stream comes with a dedicated app for Android and iOS, which offers an intuitive way to control the smartphone from a smartphone. However, one has to connect to the Linksys Max-Stream's Wi-Fi network to use these apps, and, remove access will not work. So, you cannot monitor the internet usage or even turn on or turn off the Wi-Fi if you are outside the Wi-Fi range, which is a bummer.

Parental Controls

Parental Controls

Parent controls are one of the best features to monitor the internet usage of children. Using this feature, the primary user can log in to the Linksys panel to select the device to set up the Parental control guidance.

Using this feature one can schedule the internet usage or even block specific websites that you don't want your children to access. This feature does work as marketed and the results are instantaneous. To remove a device from parental control, just select resume access.

Device Prioritization

Device Prioritization

Device Prioritization is an exciting feature, especially for users with more than three devices. So, these prioritised devices will get better download and upload speeds when more than three devices are connected to the router.

Guest Access

Guest Access

Guest Access is again a nifty feature, which is not present on the majority of routers. This feature will enable to share your Wi-Fi network with guests by creating a custom passcode. One can also limit the number of guests (from 5 to 50). This feature also works well, and, we did not notice any speed difference between the guest users and the standard users.

Verdict

Verdict

The Linksys Max-Stream EA7500-AH v2 is a powerful router, which has state of the art technology with smart features. It does offer a wide range of connectivity on both 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz channels. Features like Guest Access, Parental control are nifty additions. The app has a nice and easy to use user experience.

However, regarding design, it lacks the X factor that we look for on a router that costs Rs 10,000 with minor drawbacks. The USB port failed to recognise the device (we tried multiple pen drives), and there is no remote access on smartphones.

If you are in the market for a powerful modern, and a smart router then Linksys Max-Stream could be the one that you should consider if looks and design is not your primary priority. The Linksys Max-Stream is undoubtedly an intelligent router with futuristic features.

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