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Linksys WRT1900AC Router Review: Part One: Router Installation

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Linksys recently released the WRT1900AC router, intended to be the highest-performance AC1900 router on the market.  They were nice enough to send me one to review; here is Part One of my review where I walk you through the installation process.

Linksys WRT1900AC Router_Final

Linksys recently released the WRT1900AC router, intended to be the highest-performance AC1900 router on the market.  They were nice enough to send me one to review; here is Part One of my review.

We first told you about this router here.  This router is an attempt to seize the performance AC1900 lead by building on the heritage and reputation garnered by the venerable WRT line of routers.  Here is a quick YouTube video that explains the router:

The Linksys tagline for this product is Performance Perfected.  Let’s see if they get there.  Evaluating this router, I’ll look at Ease of Installation, Coverage, Performance, and Stability.  In addition, I’ll be comparing the WRT1900AC to a Linksys EA6700 (provided free for review purposes by Linksys), a Linksys EA6900 (purchased by me), and a NETGEAR R7000 (provided free for review purposes by NETGEAR and pending a completed review due to firmware issues).

Ease of Installation

First, unplug your current router.  Place the WRT1900AC where you want it; plug the yellow ethernet cable into the cable modem and then the yellow WAN port on the WRT1900AC, then power it up.  Open up http://myrouter.local in your browser of choice (it worked just fine in IE11, Chrome and Firefox for me) and you’ll see this:

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Accept the terms and conditions and click Next.

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Once it finds the internet, click Next.  This went as smoothly as on the EA6900 and the R7000, and was much faster than with the EA6700.

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I want updates to be applied automatically, so I clicked the checkbox and hit Next.

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I accepted the network names here.  I renamed them later from inside Smart Wi Fi in order to maintain backward compatibility with the devices that I already have set up to use my wi-fi network.  Anyway, click Next here to continue.

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Updating the settings…

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I changed the admin password and clicked Next.

WRT1900AC Screenshot 1

Success!  Now onto setting up the Smart Wi-Fi remote access.

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If you want to opt out of Smart Wi-Fi’s online access features, click No Thanks then Next.  I want those features so I clicked Next.

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I provided my Smart Wi-Fi details.  If you don’t have an account, click on Create My Account, set it up, then fill in your details here to link the router to your account.

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Success!  Start to finish, this took 22 minutes.

Installation Evaluation

Router manufacturers are trying to make installing their product even easier as they make them more powerful.  Linksys hits the mark here; I had the router up and running in 22 minutes start to finish with no drama.  Installation was as easy as installing the EA6700 and EA6900.  Due to some issues around firmware on the R7000, I had major issues getting devices to connect; the WRT1900AC comes out ahead of the R7000 and on par with other Linksys AC1900 routers that I’ve reviewed.  To be fair to NETGEAR, the installation process on the R7000 is also a breeze; when they resolve the 2.4 GHz connectivity issues and the printer connectivity issues that I saw on the R7000, these two routers will be on par as far as getting things set up easily.

Some people have complained about using Smart Wi-Fi to manage the Linksys routers over the internet.  Note that you can check a box during setup to bypass using Smart Wi-Fi.  I opted to use it as I love being able to manage the router in detail over the internet, but if you opt for managing locally, you can.

Overall, the Linksys WRT1900AC is very easy to set up.  Linksys hits the mark on Ease of Installation.  Stay tuned for Part Two, where I cover Coverage, Performance, Stability and Wrap-Up.

Jim McCarthy
My tech interests include WHS, media streaming, and gaming, among others!

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