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Oct 17

Linksys WRT3200ACM MU MIMO Gigabit WiFi Router
Linksys WRT3200ACM MU MIMO Gigabit WiFi Router Review

Gamers are always looking for the fastest connection and a wireless router that can handle multiple connections anywhere in the home. Linksys has been producing reliable wireless connectivity hardware for more than 15 years. So when Best Buy gave me the chance to try out their new open source firmware enabled WRT3200ACM WiFi router, I said, “Yes please.”

Overview
The Linksys WRT3200ACM WiFi Router is an easy to setup, yet highly powerful router. From unboxing to connecting computers, smartphones and gaming systems to the router’s wireless signal should take no more 15 minutes.

Disclosure: I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


Linksys WRT3200ACM Router Unboxing by Chris R @24k

Inside The Box:
• Linksys WRT3200ACM WiFi Router
• Four Detachable Antennas
• Power Adapter
• Setup Guide
• CD: User’s Guide
• Ethernet Cable

Setting up the Linksys router only took a few minutes and most of that time included disconnecting my previous hotspot and organizing the cables. I started by downloading the Linksys app for the iPhone, also available for Android.

Linksys WRT3200ACM Router Unboxing
Linksys WRT3200ACM Router Unboxing

Once the router was on, I selected it from the WiFi menu on my phone and switched to the app. It walked me through the connection process for my modem and to change passwords for the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHZ wireless networks. I have a more complicated network, so I then configured ports to forward and an IP range that the DHCP server could use.

The WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router is powered by Tri-Stream 160 technology, which doubles the bandwidth on all spatial streams for the fastest dual-band router on the market. Gain access to restricted DFS channels at full bandwidth for the clearest Wi-Fi not available to most other routers.

The WRT3200ACM also boasts:

Features:
• 1.8 GHz CPU for high-powered performance
• MU-MIMO technology for high-speed Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time, same speed
• Open-source ready with OpenWrt and DD-WRT® for complete flexibility and customization of functions,
• Upgraded Smart Wi-Fi app to manage and monitor your home Wi-Fi from a mobile device, anytime, anywhere
• 256MB Flash and 512MB of RAM Memory
• 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports

The Linksys iPhone app has been great over the years. I have had friends that call me while I have been out of town and I was able to diagnose their connectivity issues over the phone and fix them remotely. If the app cannot log into the router, the connection issue is either with the ISP or modem.

The WRT3200ACM comes with a setup guide on a CD. But if you have setup a Linksys router before, the steps are basically the same and may even be easier now with the assistance of their app.

The performance of the Linksys WRT3200ACM was excellent and provided a stronger connection than my current 1900AC router did. The 5.0 GHz connection supplied faster throughput to my (Huawei P9 link to the unboxing) than the signal I usually get from a year plus old router from my cellular provider.

It is best to do a quick site survey of the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz wireless channels being used by your neighbors. Allowing any router to automatically jump between less used channels is ok, but can cause issues with older 2.4GHz devices. I have found that assigning complimentary channels in both spectrums allows newer and older devices to maintain stronger connections, which lowers latency too. Lowering latency is how you can win more matches faster.

Its 2.4 GHz spectrum proved several megabits faster than my current router, and gave me a larger radius of usable wireless connectivity. This allowed me to stay connected out in the yard, where the last router dropped entirely.

The 5 GHz spectrum provided a zippier experience while streaming HD movies to several devices on multiple floors. There are about 15 wireless routers that show up from my home in the iPhone connection menu, but the Linksys produced more throughput than my old router, even while battling signals from all around.

This router makes a big difference when using devices with the latest 5GHz 802.11ac wireless technology. Gamers should pay particular attention to the next point. The router has a second 5GHz set of channels that can be used to segment gaming gear. This means lower latency and faster ping times for devices connected.

Video performance was great on all of my devices that can stream content from within and outside of the home network. My iPad Air, Huawei P9, iPhone 6S Plus, a Western Digital NAS and a Chromecast worked without hiccups. Hulu, Netflix, Network TV Channel Apps and Slingbox all worked well on 2.4 GHz and even better on 5GHz.

Linksys WRT3200ACM Router With Antennas
Linksys WRT3200ACM Router With Antennas

Verdict
The Linksys WRT3200ACM wireless router reminds me of the cool WRT router design from years past that now includes some of the most advanced WiFi technology of today. It should be a great option for anyone needing a better hotspot, for gamers that need three wireless channels that can produce lower latency connections and for those who want to try open source firmware on their router. Those with small businesses will like that they can get more performance out of a single router.

The WRT3200ACM supplies multiple strong and fast, 2.4 GHz and 2x 5 GHz wireless spectrums. It should meet the needs of consumers that stream hours of content each day up to gamers that need low latency connections with faster ping times.

New wireless hardware, such as the WRT3200ACM, is more expensive than some routers available, however you’ll receive upgraded features. This hotspot with comes with multiple 5GHz streams, media server capabilities, lower latency for the newest 802.11ac devices and an option to use open source firmware.

Price: $249.99 – The Linksys WRT3200ACM WiFi Router is Available From Best Buy.

Pros:
• Fast setup, just like other Linksys routers
• Strong signal in the corners of a two story home
• Gigabit Ethernet ports
• Four adjustable antennas to direct signal
• Open source firmware capable

Cons:
• To experience its greatest wireless speeds, devices need the latest 802.11ac WiFi technology built-in

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