Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

Linksys EA9500 and Netgear R8500 is first and foremost big, very big. The EA9500 measuring more than 24 to more than 27 centimeters, while the R8500 is just under 23 centimeters deep, but less than 31.5 centimeters wide. What you can also find here, inconspicuous places are not there. If you stand in the meter (something we otherwise do not recommend anyway), does not matter of course, put him generally in the room, you must therefore have some place for PLAYS A LARGE PART. The Linksys can not hang the way, the Netgear does.

What Asus has chosen to keep the RT-AC5300 in many ways ‘normal’ (though the design of the device is also very eye-catching, of course), both Linksys and Netgear immediately made visible changes. Both are equipped with more than the standard four LAN ports. In Netgear are six, including two for link aggregation, Linksys even eight. There is on both devices provide two USB ports, one USB 2.0 and one USB 3.0 copy. By Netgear sit behind a door on the side, Linksys behind. The throughput of the USB 3.0 port on the Linksys is not very good: both reading and writing is around 25 MB / s. We are used to better from previous Linksys routers, which regularly passed the 70 MB / s. Netgear does it by around 45 MB / s, a lot better.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500: Bells and whistles

The WPS button and the button with which you can turn off the wifi sit by Linksys or to the side, making it the first Linksys which buttons did not sit back. In Netgear sit in front WPS buttons, turn off the Wi-Fi and turn off the LEDs. In the field of lighting Linksys next to the famous illuminated logo also eight lighted bars mounted on top of the router. These go one by one during startup and indicate whether MU MIMO devices are connected. They blink when there are problems, such as the Internet. On top of the Netgear are no less than thirteen LEDs: one for all connections, one for the three radios, one to indicate whether you are connected to the Internet and a power indicator.

A striking difference between the two routers is the number of visible antennas. Netgear has four mounted on the R8500, the Linksys EA9500 has double the number. On neither are the removable antennas. Until now it was that in general a saving measure, but it may in this type of devices actually be no question of. An advantage of this fixed antennas is at least that they do not fall over when tapped against it or if you are running on, which is often the case with separate antennas. Netgear has on the points of the four antennas otherwise blue lights affixed. If you are not fond of lighting, both routers give you the ability to disable the foregoing.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500: Internally identical

As in recent years almost always the case with 802.11ac routers, says the number on the box about what is hidden under the hood. In the case of the AC5300 of the MU MIMO tri-band Linksys EA9500 and the Netgear R8500 you can for example take poison that use Broadcom’s chips. Qualcomm focuses entirely on MU MIMO at the moment and does not deal with routers with more than two radios.

The two routers that we are discussing today are equipped with the exact same chips as the previously tested Asus RT-AC5300. A dual-core Broadcom BCM4709C0KFEBG which is clocked at 1.4GHz so, as well as three 4×4 BCM4366 for wireless communication. There is noting a difference in available memory otherwise. Where the Asus and Netgear 512 MB available, the Linksys EA9500 must make do with “only” 256 MB. This is seen clearly limited capabilities of the Linksys moreover not very surprising. Furthermore, it is, of course, natural that the Linksys and the Netgear have an additional switch-chip, in order to send out to the additional LAN ports.

If we count the AC5300 back of the box for bandwidth by radio, then we arrive at 1000 Mbps 2.4 GHz and twice in 2166 MHz to 5 GHz. To achieve these speeds, there also used by Broadcom proprietary NitroQAM that the QAM bolt on from 256 to 1024. In practice you got there without compatible clients nothing on, as well as MU MIMO incidentally, something these devices support. However, Broadcom is a lot less far with MU MIMO than Qualcomm, so you come to AC5300 models currently beta or even alpha deployments against. Linksys provides own words already MU MIMO, which can be considered ‘finished’ at the EA9500.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

As noted earlier, there is a difference in the number of external antennas between the EA9500 (eight) and R8500 (four). If we open the devices, we see that Netgear also just eight antennas. There are four of metamaterial on the sign posted. The external antennas maintain a 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz connections, the internal other 5GHz connection.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500: Opportunities

In terms of hardware the Linksys EA9500 and the Netgear R8500 may then look very similar to each other, the possibilities that the firmware has been markedly different. The EA-line Linksys is known that it is not aimed at the fans of fiddling with the settings of their router. The interface and the app are primarily focused on ease of use, to the detriment of the setting options. For something like setting up a VPN connection, you are in this line to the wrong address, therefore you must be at the WRT devices. The only setting that you can consider to be advanced, which allows you to set VLAN’s.

For many people will be an interface such as Linksys are perfectly usable, but we wonder if such people are willing to spend about 450 euros a router. We would still like to see some more possibilities for this money. The interface may use a little faster.

Netgear offers clear possibilities for the R8500. Thus, OpenVPN support, which lets you easily and safely put your entire network behind a VPN server. Additionally you on this router as said two LAN ports merge to create a single connection with a bandwidth of 2 Gbps. Join example, a NAS which is also lacp supports through such a connection, then you have a nice strong backbone and a lot of people / devices can simultaneously access the NAS. The BitTorrent downloader we have already seen on lower positioned Netgear routers, lacking here crazy enough.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

The Netgear interface is not as slick as the Linksys and is also not greatly organized. The division into Basic and Advanced can be useful, but in this case adds it does not really add much. You have regular globally on both tabs the same setting options, for example when it comes to guest networking and wireless settings. You could say that the division into basic and advanced settings creates unnecessary noise. We have heard that there is behind the scenes working on a new design of the interface, something that is certainly not for his time. This interface now we have been since the WNDR3800 from 2011.

Netgear Genie app lets you manage the router does not in features include the Smart WiFi app from Linksys, but also shaped a lot less attractive. Even there be worked on by Netgear, and Linksys recently released a new version.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500: Test Method

We topics routers to multiple tests. To get an overall picture of the wireless throughput that can deliver a router, we connect three laptops wirelessly to the router to test and put that across our test room set at 3 meters, 7 meters and 10 meters. In these tests, there is line of sight. In 802.11n tests that laptops with Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 chips at the 802.11ac tests are the ones with Intel Wireless-AC 7260 chips. We use IxChariot of Ixia in order to carry out the test. We have opted for the High Throughput script, because it is a script that all routers can handle problems. Ultra High Throughput script creates in many devices for the collapse of the throughput.

Note that the 802.11ac chip we used has two antenna connectors, so he can not use three or even four antenna connections that have the current top models. It is at this moment as far as we know, one of the few commercially available 802.11ac chips. If you want to upgrade an existing laptop, you come here also to visit and it is used by many manufacturers in laptops. That’s why we use it. Once we can get a MU-MIMO chip that can be placed in these laptops, we will of course they upgrade those chips.

The wired tests, we still do in the routers we tested, but we dedicate only a separate page if it does not execute the full bandwidth of the gigabit connection.

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500: Practice Test

We have quite a lot of experiments to develop a new test procedure in order to better identify the throughput of routers. Eventually we ended up with some additional tests that we perform in the office, where we measure the throughput of a single BTO notebook in two places in the building if we have a file from a Asustor AS-604T NAS in the network via the router which we are wireless transfer to the test, and vice versa. In the NAS we have SSDs placed, allowing wired transfer rates are possible in excess of 100 MB / s, which means that the compound is full gigabit drawn. We use TeraCopy to copy the file. The file is a video clip of just over 307 MB.

We do this test in the first place in two different locations, but have been tested during the development of this test in five locations. The remaining two provide a good picture of what you can expect in practice. Copying a file will not always go as smoothly, partly because any processes running on a laptop in the background. Hence, we do the tests several times, at different times, then we omit any outliers.

The first test we do at 10 meters line of sight, to determine the throughput in practice in almost ideal conditions. Which, incidentally, is always a bit lower than we measured using IxChariot, because of the increased overhead. In the second test we put the laptop in the room above the one where the router is. He stands there, as it were right above, but there is a thick concrete slab in between, similar to what you have in new homes. The distance between the router and laptop is about 4 meters in this test. That does not seem much, but it is hard enough for the routers we’ve tested so far in practice.

Test results: 802.11n – 3 laptops at once

The charts on this and the following pages, we have the Linksys EA9500, Netgear R8500 with a red bar. The same we did with the previously discussed Asus RT-AC5300, because this is a AC5300 router.

At 2.4 GHz, we see that the Linksys and Netgear are doing great, the Asus we take a little further down in the charts.

At 5 GHz is clearly seen that SmartConnect (band steering) works with the Linksys EA9500. He divides the three clients neatly over the two available 5GHz radios, something the Asus and Netgear do. You can of course choose to distribute client manually over the two 5GHz networks. Then you take those two models similar results.

Test results: 802.11ac – 3 laptops at once

If we connect the laptop with 802.11ac adapter to the Linksys EA9500 and the Netgear R8500, we notice that SmartConnect here seems to work in any of the models. The Linksys did it occasionally, but by no means consistent. Divide your clients manually on the 5GHz networks, we see that the scores are achieved the upper echelons of the charts. We go over the 600 Mbps over.

Practice Test

Below you can see the scores of the Linksys EA9500 and the Netgear R8500 in our practical test, in which we compare the results with a selection of previously tested models. We have here only the LAN WLAN scores for clarity and because, in practice, in our opinion are the most important. Striking here are the mixed results of the Linksys EA9500. We have repeated this test many times, but could simply squeeze better performance.

Test results: power

Additional hardware generally means a higher power. You can see clearly the Linksys EA9500 and the Netgear R8500. They seem to be particularly responsible for this additional network connections, as evidenced by the relatively low score for the otherwise almost identical Asus RT-AC5300.


With the Linksys EA9500 and Netgear R8500 (and earlier even though the Asus RT-AC5300), we have to address routers that stand out because of their size and high price. In general, they perform well, with the exception of the results in the practical test of the Linksys. Linksys and Netgear offer than additional network connections. These also seem to be a major cause of the significantly higher power consumption of these devices, compared with the otherwise almost identical Asus RT-AC5300.

Both Linksys and Netgear have their strengths. The eight LAN ports will be more convenient for many people behind the Linksys than two additional ports with link aggregation on the Netgear. Furthermore, it seems according to our tests, the Smart Connect feature of the Linksys to work better than the Netgear. The performance of convincing Netgear than in other areas once again more and interface offers significantly more capabilities, including support for OpenVPN is one of the biggest pluses. If you are not necessarily enamored of the additional network connections and the opportunities that these entail, but you’re more interested in the possibilities of a router, the Asus RT-AC5300 of these three is the best choice.

Are a larger question that you can adjust the type of router that we have discussed in this review, is whether this is at all interesting devices for the money that you have to lay it. We are inclined to say no. Want MU MIMO, keep good 150 euros in your pocket and go for a Qualcomm-based router such as the Netgear R7800 or Sitecom Greyhound. Are you fond of tri band, you’ll be for 270-280 euros to tackle an Asus RT-AC3200 or Netgear R8000. These four devices you get in practice, in all likelihood much more value for money.

Source: digitaltrends and legitreviews

Linksys EA9500 vs. Netgear R8500 review: battle of giants was last modified: July 24th, 2016 by Tomas Shellby