Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Wireless Router Review | Gadget Review
Wireless Routers

Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Wireless Router Review

Linksys WRT3200ACM Router Review
We go hands on and review the Linksys WRT3200ACM Router.
5
Expert Rating

As Linksys continues to reinvent the ways we all get online while still sticking true to what fans of their routers love, the company has since slowed down its “revolutionary” designs for more “evolutionary” choices instead. The WRT3200ACM is another in what’s looking to become a whole series of routers that rely on nostalgia to hook old users, and performance to bring in new ones. But will those two factors alone be enough to recapture some of the magic that’s been lost in the router market over the past few years?

Keep reading my Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO wireless router review to find out!


Overview

Summary: The Linksys WRT3200ACM is another step in the right direction for a company who seems to be able to do no wrong when it comes to producing solid, reliable routers in the second half of 2016.

Price: $249.99
Available: Now
Model: WRT3200ACM

What We Liked

  • Friendly, nostalgiac design
  • Good performance at short range
  • Linksys Smart WiFi is still king of router software

What We Didn’t

  • Could use more wired ports
  • Ranged performance and reliability suffered
  • High price for average internet users

Linksys WRT3200ACM Router Specs

Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Wireless Router
WiFi Type802.11ac
Processor1.8GHz dual-core ARM processor
Transmission RatingAC3200
Operation ModesWireless Router, Wired Networking, Access Point, Bridge
128-bit Wireless Encryptiongreen-check-mark
2.4Ghzgreen-check-mark
5Ghzgreen-check-mark
Ports4 10/100/1000Mbps LAN Ports,
1 10/100/1000Mbps WAN Port
MU-MIMOgreen-check-mark
QoSgreen-check-mark
USB Inputsgreen-check-mark
Dimensions9.1 x 9.1 x 1.7 inches
Weight1.76
Price$279.99
Buy Now

Design

Linksys WRT3200ACM

If you’ve ever bought a Linksys router in the past, the design of the WRT3200ACM will be all-too familiar

While router manufacturers around the globe continue to try and revolutionize the way routers are designed by adding crazy color schemes, changing up the antenna placement, or making the whole thing look like something straight out of a military hangar from the future, Linksys and its new WRT3200ACM router go exactly the opposite direction, and the choice pays off in spades.

Read More: Best Home Router for 2018

Relying heavily on the nostalgia factor, the WRT3200ACM brings back all the things we loved about the original WRT54G and updates them for the 21st century. If all this sounds vaguely familiar, you might remember we gushed over the same design choices when the WRT1900ACS first came out earlier this year, and the WRT3200ACM improves on this even further with an indented LED panel that sits in front of the classic blue-on-black chassis, as well as an ever-so-slightly lighter footprint at 1.76lbs (compared to the WRT1900ACS’ 1.77lbs).

This isn’t a router designed for people who want something that will blend in with their decor, though. It is quintessentially, unapologetically a router lover’s router…and we’re okay with that.

Hardware

Linksys WRT3200ACM

We would have liked to see a few more wired ports on the back, but this is a small complaint for a router that’s made for wireless connections first and foremost

The Linksys WRT3200ACM features a beefy 1.8GHz dual-core processor, tri-band AC3200 wireless, 802.11ac/n/a 2.4Ghz/5GHz antennas with MU-MIMO beamforming capability, four high-powered antennas, five gigabit Ethernet ports (4 LAN, 1 Internet), one USB 3.0 port, and one USB 2.0/eSATA port for setting up external storage or adding onboard media servers.

Software

What more can we say about the Linksys Smart WiFi dashboard that we haven’t already said a dozen times before?

Linksys continues to update the Smart WiFi system here and there with minor tweaks to the mobile app and desktop platform, but on the whole it’s already as good as it needs to be thanks to an intuitive UI, super simple setup, and easy access to all the configuration settings the amateur or expert router owner would need.

Read More: Best Router for Gaming 2018

Competing router manufacturers take note: the Linksys Smart WiFi dashboard is how you do router settings right, full-stop.

Speed & Distance Tests

All number in Mbps2.4GHz (5ft)2.4GHz(30ft)5GHz (5ft)5GHz (30ft)

Linksys EA8300
Up: 31.75
Down: 150.97
Up: 76.39
Down: 163.82
Up: 281.26
Down: 502.53
Up: 118.50
Down: 261.30
Up: 99.46
Down: 69.68
Up: 5.45
Down: 9.96
Up: 149.83
Down: 199.93
Up: 9.07
Down: 12.95
61pduaxrczl-_sl1350_
Netgear Nighthawk X10
Up: 109.24
Down: 77.45
Up: 69.30 Down: 69.67Up: 388.04
Down: 513.45
Up: 351.29
Down: 354.44
linksys-wrt3200acm-design
Linksys WRT3200ACM
Up: 102.65
Down: 73.26
Up: 48.68
Down: 43.52
Up: 475.24
Down: 449.84
Up: 311.96
Down: 276.98
Product Image 1 (1)
AmpliFI HD Mesh Router
Up: 177.99
Down: 196.22
Up: 197.23
Down: 146.29
Up: 368.04
Down: 534.86
Up: 161.06
Down: 372.34
A1+ih84z5YL._SL1500_
TP-LINK Archer C5400
Up: 103.86
Down: 108.11
Up: 61.92
Down: 84.31
Up: 369.84
Down: 459.58
Up: 231.07
Down: 269.54
61qU72ikisL._SL1000_
Linksys EA9500 AC5400
Up: 106.49
Down: 94.73
Up: 69.86
Down: 70.84
Up: 295.30
Down: 302.3
Up: 204.35
Down: 214.64
51wKSYRGfAL._SL1000_
D-Link DIR-879 AC1900 EXO
Up: 102.05
Down: 81.34
Up: 65.28
Down: 64.75
Up: 241.46
Down: 338.53
Up: 209.32
Down: 177.06
Netgear Nighthawk X4S
Netgear Nighthawk X4S
Up: 77.45
Down: 109.24
Up: 59.33
Down: 78.36
Up: 241.70
Down: 348.86
Up: 223.42
Down: 169.15
Netgear-R8500-Router
Netgear Nighthawk X8 AC5300
Up: 91.32
Down: 104.97
Up: 71.61
Down: 82.20
Up: 288.97
Down: 348.33
Up: 216.49
Down: 200.58
Tp Link 9
TP-Link Archer C9 AC1900
Up: 64.94
Down: 96.35
Up: 67.18
Down: 34.26
Up: 289.97
Down: 483.37
Up: 181.40
Down: 132.40
Netgear NightHawk X6 AC3200
Netgear NightHawk X6 AC3200
Up: 59.19
Down: 84.98
N/AUp: 209.80
Down: 280.61
Up: 170.98
Down: 169.84
Linksys EA7500
Linksys EA7500 AC1900
N/AUp: 44.27
Down: 141.55
N/AUp: 78.72
Down: 209.31
Print
TP-Link P5 AC1900
Up: 90.89
Down: 99.21
Up: 40.77
Down: 82.267
Up: 354.28
Down: 524.54
Up: 247.32
Down: 269.95
Linksys WRT1900ACS
Linksys WRT1900ACS
Up: 63.38
Down: 70.02
Up: 59.37
Down: 56.66
Up: 299.83
Down: 412.59
Up: 242.43
Down: 216.16
D-Link DIR890L:R AC3200
D-Link DIR890L/R AC3200
Up: 49.25
Down: 66.30
Up: 33.89
Down: 36.03
Up: 285.83
Down: 470.85
Up: 200.06
Down: 325.12

Despite its AC3200 rating, the Linksys WRT3200ACM still managed to pump out even, consistent performance which only suffered slight drops at ranges of 30ft or greater. On the 2.4GHz frequency at 5ft, we recorded a par-for-the-course score of 73.26Mbps down/102.65Mbps up, which isn’t the fastest speed we’ve seen, but it’s also by no means the slowest either.

Unfortunately, the WRT3200ACM didn’t really hold up all that well once we jumped to a distance of 30ft, with 48.68Mbps down and 43.52Mbps up. Luckily, it was quickly (no pun intended) redeemed by its 5Ghz performance with a score of 449.84Mbps down/475.24Mbps up from a distance of five feet, and 311.96Mbps down/276.98Mbps up at a distance of 30ft.

Wrap Up

The Linksys WRT3200ACM takes many of the same concepts and features we originally loved in the WRT1900ACS, and mildly improves on performance across the board. That in mind, there’s not a whole lot left to make you turn your head (and pull out your wallet) if you don’t have MU-MIMO-ready devices or a connection that only pumps out 120Mbps or less.

If you’re itching for a new router, at $249.99 the WRT3200ACM may be a bit pricey for some, but it’s also quick and pretty enough to justify the top-tier cost.

Read More: Best Wireless Router for 2018

Performance
Design
Value
Reader Rating2 Votes4.85
5
Expert Rating
Bottom Line


7 Comments to Linksys WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Wireless Router Review

  1. Erik
    1.7
    Not happy with purchase

    Mine keeps dropping connection to wireless devices. Says I have a strong connection, but the device stops loading. I wish I had read the numerous threads regarding this issue before purchasing 2 of these routers. I have to disconnect and reconnect to the network to get the device to work again. This happens on my phone, laptop and my Switch doesn’t even work wirelessly.

    Breakdown
    Performance
    Design
    Value
  2. Mario

    “The Linksys WRT3200ACM features a beefy 1.8GHz dual-core processor, tri-band AC3200 wireless”
    What are you talking about? This is a tri-stream router not a tri-band one. They are completely different and operate with totally different technologies. A tri-band router has an additional 5GHz radio, while the tri-stream is a dual-band router (with the 5GHz radio pumped with the 160 MHz channel). I’m not sure the reviewer understood the concept of this router.

  3. Ev Schermerhorn

    my new Linksys wrt3200atm router destroyed my computer internet connection, Do not buy Linksys The last one also destroyed 2 modems

    • Christen Costa

      Ev, we’d love to help if we can. Can you be a bit more specific about what happened? When you say the “router destroyed my computer internet connection” what do you mean? And how did it destroy 2 modems?

      • Abhishek

        it was too fast for his computer and internet connection

  4. Brandon Trujillo

    Just a quick question. What was the wired speed of this router?

    • AGuyWithNoName

      Gigabit 1000 Mbps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Performance
Design
Value
Final Score