The $250 Linksys WRT AC3200 follows the tradition of being a durable, home-friendly router model that also happens a top pick in 2018 – but with advanced features made a focus. Let’s take a look at the reviews and see how well this works.
Linkays WRT AC3200 Features – What You Should Know Before You Buy
This router contains Tri-stream and MU-MIMO tech: Both are advanced technologies that provide speed and device management bonuses. Tri-stream in particular means that there are three bands (2.4GHz and a doubled 5GHz) to fit devices on. It can also connect to eSata drives, and comes with a smart app to monitor performance and devices. Inside is a 1.8GHz processor that enables up to 3.2GBps combined speeds.
- MU-MIMO and similar tech prepares for the future
- Great setup and management app
- Reliable connection
- Expensive compared to many Linksys monitors
- Newer features may not be compatible with older tech
PC Mag found that file transfer speeds were excellent on this model, and the 5GHz band in particular proved to be very fast. However, the more commonly used 2.4GHz band didn’t fair as well in their tests. On the plus side, MU-MIMO and Tri-Stream are supported, which is important for the future as well as for homes with lots and lots of connected devices.
“It also supports Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO) data streaming, which sends data to MU-MIMO–compatible clients simultaneously rather than sequentially. It also offers Tri-Stream 160 technology, which effectively doubles the 80MHz channel width on the 5GHz band to achieve faster throughput speeds. The problem is, there aren’t yet any Tri-Stream clients available to take advantage of the increased throughput capabilities. The WRT3200ACM took top honors on our file transfer tests.”
C-Net also lauds the the advanced features of this Linksys model (they are less impressed with the speeds), but suggests that you wait until certain features like MU-MIMO become more consumer-compatible. It’s worth noting that since the time their review was written, we have seen a certain amount devices that are compatible with these technologies, so the change is coming…although you may not have many current devices that work with such features yet.
“In terms of raw speed, I was unimpressed. When connected to dual-band 80Mhz clients (again, there are no Tri-band 160 clients on the market) the router delivered a sustained speed topping out at around 550Mbps, about average compared with other high-end routers. Range was also about average, maxing out at about 150 feet after going through a few walls. Wi-Fi range depends heavily on the environment, the more walls, for example, the shorter the range gets, so your mileage may vary.”
While users did like the advanced features, they were generally happier about the easy-to-use interface and quick setup procedure, two classic specialities of Linksys. Very few complaints surfaced about dropped signals or speed issues, suggesting this router tends to be very reliable for a variety of home situations. It may not be the absolute fastest, but it can get the job done for a number of situations.
“This routed provides a strong and consistent internet connection, which easily reaches all throughout the apartment. The router interface is very well designed and easy to use. This is something that sets this router apart from many of the other manufacturers. No real cons. It’s a router, it works well and provides a solid connection for all devices in the household, including computers, phones, iPads, Roku and a wireless printer.”
The price is a little high, but this is a durable router that sets you up well for future technologies…just don’t expect it to always be the fastest horse in the stable.