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on 25 January 2016
I've had two of these routers at this point, the first one was bought the second it became available and I used it as my primary router for 1 week with a couple dozen devices active over 24hrs of the day. The first one struggled there and so I had to send it back (for reference... a several year old TP-Link N900 router handled the same amount of devices with ease!)
A few months passed and I read into the OpenWRT releases and the performance improvements of stock firmware etc. and thought it time to give it another shot! To my disappointment it was even worse than the previous unit :( The range was somehow considerably worse, we had signal drop outs and I couldn't even saturate my 200mbps WAN connection though this router - Again, a several year old TP-Link handles 200mbps NAT without breaking a sweat :(

I think this router needs a lot of work, primarily software side for both performance, stability and features
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This has been a hard product to review and I must say that I am still trying to figure out what Linksys wanted to achieve with this particular product.

Given the price range and the hardware specification (1.2Ghz chip onboard, 2.4GHz & 5Gz Wifi), as well as the "OPENWRT" mention on the box, this is clearly targeted to the networking enthusiast and that suits me fine as I like routers with all the bells and whistles and ultimately configurable.

To set it up, you get the chance to go the manual route or the automatic route. If you choose automatic, the first thing it does is to try to connect to the internet. If it can't, it gives you some strategies to get it working. So far so good. I was connected within 5 minutes - a bit longer than I'm used to, but then it does take nearly 45 seconds to boot!

Next step is to configure your wifi. This is presented in simple steps, but makes some choices about the naming conventions which you cannot change during the wizard (why?)

Finally I come out of the wizard and am presented with a truly beautiful UI. Take note all you router designers, this is how to do it.

The main screen is a bunch of widgets each presenting some aspect of your router's state. I particularly like the network map which does a really good job of mapping all the devices. You can see at a glance how many clients and guest are connected and by switching logging on you can see what your network is connecting to (or who is connecting in).

Dyndns, if you have set it up, works perfectly.

Now for the bits I didn't like.

1. There is no VPN server. Pretty much any proper router has this feature and will all the effort in other areas, this is a big omission.

2. The media server works, but the implementation make it difficult to use. My drive contains different folders of media (pictures, audio (separated into genres), movies, tv programmes etc. You can't share the drive root. The only way is to share each top level folder. When you then go to access the media, it is all mixed up, even if you browse by folder. There is no separation by share, or by top level folder so all the media of a particular type is mixed up. This implementation makes the media server impossible to use - for me at least.

These were two major issues, but since it was compatible with openwrt (an open source router software), I figured I could just flash the box and have a media server that worked and OpenVPN. Sadly, Openwrt is NOT compatible with this router. Further investigation on the openwrt site turned up a statement from April 2014 going into the reasons for the incompatibility. The end by saying the following:

"Because of these issues, we would currently recommend against purchasing this device until we have the missing pieces of software to make it functional with OpenWrt.

"The Linksys press release claims that the device is "OpenWrt ready" and "Open Source ready". Given how much is still missing, and that not even the GPL code for this device was posted to the Linksys GPL code center, we consider these claims to be premature and unfortunately misleading."

The full text as well as response from Linksys can be found here: https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=50173

The bottom line: This is a good router with some excellent features but also some glaring omissions. If the lack of a good media server implementation and VPN server are no obstacle, then this product will definitely work for you, however, you can find the same features at about half the price.
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on 3 October 2015
Bought to plug into a Skyhub to have better wifi, in a household with increasing demands. Basically, no improvement, with worse results at distance beyond 10 feet. For a dual band router of such a hi spec (and price), I would have expected significant improvement, but as bad as the SkyHub is, this router was at best, no better.
So, switching off the Sky wifi, I began testing. Right next to the router (within 6 feet), speeds of 35-40 Mbps..
Speeds from the router through to the lounge on our tablets / iphones across the 5ghz band, was 15-20Mbps, but this was absolutely no improvement on the SkyHub (2.4ghz band). When using Wifi into the TV Streaming device (in the lounge, on the 2.4Ghz spectrum), the amount of irritating buffering going on was incredible. This was the most remarkable comparison, as with Skyhub - there was barely any. When upstairs, the Linksys offered between 5-10Mbps on either spectrum, or dropped off completely with irritating regularity. The Skyhub remained connected at 10Mbps. This was not just on one device, but across all 3 Iphones, 3 tablets, and 2 wifi enabled TV's. For these tests, the router has been placed in exactly the same place as the Skuhub was. And I can assure you, I do not have a stone built mansion!
So, frankly, a completely pointless purchase for me, and I am extremely disappointed. Item returned within the week for a refund.
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on 22 December 2015
WRT1900AC

I got this router for my parents house and initially it was rock solid. The wireless is also robust with no dropouts, but the signal is not as strong as expected.

One thing I noticed however, is that upon plugging in an external storage device to enable the NAS functionality of the router, I have found the wireless to be extremely flaky since then.

I would often receive error messages where the wireless network would prompt for the password, and upon entering it, I would get an 'Incorrect password' error message. This was occurring even though I am 100% sure that the password is correct (I logged in to the router on another device via the LAN and confirmed)!

It seems to be a firmware issue which needs addressing by Linksys as I am on the latest firmware but still experiencing this issue! Linksys support claim that the caddy I am using is not on their supported list (WD HDD in an Anker 2.5" enclosure) but I dont know why this would be an issue with the wireless?

Hopefully a firmware update will resolve this issue!
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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
review for Linksys WRT1900AC
========================
pro: hefty processor and memory for a router. Upgradeable antennas, Gigabit ports for LAN, intuitive User Interface, Nas functionality with usb3/esata port.

cons: expensive, *not* as open source as it is being sold as!

bottom line: As a wifi/lan router its a very fast, powerful beast. Hopefully with firmware updates this will continue to evolve and improve. For open source router, you’re probably better off looking to other routers.
========================

Linksys or rather Belkin who now own them have gone for a very retro look with the WRT1900AC, looking more like the very old WRT54G this is a chunky monster. Packing in a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, four removable solid antennas, eSata and USB 3 ports. the AC 1900 is compatible with 802.11a, 802.11ac, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n and works dual band on 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands. Although it has four antennas it uses the best three out of its four signals to transmit and receive data. Linksys recommend all four antennas straight up for single storey installation and front up and back two angled for multi storied (although looking through the forums no one is sure what the optimum position is if you hang it against a wall - i guess its best kept horizontal?).

I found a lot of my older devices could only see the 2.4GHz band but my newer peripherals do connect happily to the 5Ghz band. My unit got a little hot, but nowhere near as hot as my older wifi routers. The antennas are removable, but at the time of writing, Aug 2014, I couldn't find the a seller for the publicised upcoming upgrade kit with the bigger antennas, which were meant to have been out by now. Having said that, its currently sitting side by side next to a cheaper N router with three giant 9dbi 2.4Ghz antennas. the 1900 powers ahead, working with better coverage (on 2.4Ghz - the 5Ghz has stronger short broadcast but degrades rapidly the further away you get, whilst the 2.4Ghz has smaller broadcast strength but extends a lot further). With the current firmware there is no advanced functions like transmit boost function or AC only mode for the 5ghz etc, however I was still very pleasantly surprised with its performance, and I can get 5Ghz in most rooms of our bungalow. I’m starting to drool thinking how much better coverage I might get with bigger antennas (means I might be able to retire one of my wifi routers used as a repeater).

I found setting up the router very simple, even though I always tend to configure my home lans differently to the normal default settings, it was easy to get up and running fairly quickly. Going through the menus I saw there was a more updated firmware and updating the box was very easy, few clicks and reboots later, your back up and running, just follow usual procedures when updating wifi devices e.g. upgrade via LAN, make sure you don’t power device off whilst flashing etc.

You can use the 1900AC as a LAN switch / wifi AP behind another router, or connect your cable modem directly to this and manage everything from here. I tried both ways, first sitting behind a 13 year old (!) 1st gen Netgear VPN Firewall switch and then directly to the cable modem - the 1900AC does almost everything and more than the old firewall switch so now I use the 1900AC exclusively. So far it has been running very well.

With the 1900AC you can either log on locally to the router via its ip, or via the cloud which has the same interface but syncs the settings to your home router. With the cloud offering you have the benefit of forgotten password etc although managing it remotely is not something I’m used to (being paranoid I used to block these type functions in the past, something I may do again if I don't see any other benefits).

The admin gui interface is refreshingly modern - all of my older devices are very pre html 4 looking - if you have managed older devices you’ll know what i mean! I liked the Network map, which shows all your devices in a map and allows you to rename them to more meaningful names. So much easier managing the devices when you can rename each one to something more relevant. Supporting both IP4 and 6, with all the usual functions such as port forwarding etc (which works well). I found the dynamic dns list a bit short - only a few providers, but then nothing stopping you using a client on a workstation for the ones it doesn't natively update.

You can also run guest wifi on both 2.4 and 5Ghz, which show up as open wifi (but then your guests have to log in via browser to use the internet). There is also mobile apps for your phone to connect to your router - I tried the android one and found it was very basic, supporting a small subset of the admin gui, although I liked the guest options - allows you to text the password for guest wifi - useful if you're paranoid and like to cycle passwords to random ones. The guest wifi is also walled off, so your guests can enjoy internet but not access the rest of the LAN. In the old days I had to set up separate VLANs for this, oh yes the 1900AC also supports VPN passthrough, DMZ and Vlans too.

There are a few more features such as parental control, filtering sites etc - personally I find these type of devices are far too simplistic - you get far greater level of control having a dedicated hardware box, or even running a separate proxy - for example in the old days I used to run Kerio Firewall as a web proxy server - this used to give a much greater level of control, and detail of logging per user and per site if necessary, as well as whitelists and blacklists etc. Of course this would be overkill for many users, and the basic features on the AC1900 its not too bad as routers go.

They also offer optional 'apps' - widgets to give extra functionality that you add on through the admin interface. At the time of writing there is only a few, and it is not clear if the 1900AC is supported by them (the help pages only mention compatability with the linksys EA series of routers of which the WRT1900AC is at the top end). At the current point in time, they look like unnecessary add ons? But I suppose at least the possibility is there to catch a gem if someone releases a good app?

So with all the glowing feature points why drop a star? The unit is advertised as providing support for opensource/OpenWRT, adding back in the missing/advanced features. Power users will be disappointed - I was hoping to dip into OpenWRT as well, unfortunately there are problems with the closed source Marvel wifi drivers so at the time of writing, you can only use the LAN functions with the open source version. . . . which is well, . . . ridiculous!!! More disappointing, if you follow the OpenWRT forums, some of the devs have started returning their 1900AC for refunds?!! . . . draw what conclusions of that what you will . . .

The AC1900 is a little on the expensive side. Two other AC routers I compared these with at the time of writing is the Netgear Nighthawk and the Asus AC6XU series, both considerably cheaper than the Linksys, so might be worth comparing these and other AC routers like them. The 1900AC is considerably more hefty hardware wise, and is a fast and powerful beast. Hopefully with firmware updates this will continue to evolve and improve. For open source though, sadly you’re better off looking to other routers.
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on 8 August 2014
Almost great, alas just comes up short, I love this router and I was really keen for it to work better than the router it replaces, and it almost does but comes up critically short on the 5GHZ band...

Set up was ok, I had to reboot after configuring for some reason to get the internet to work, it looks good (subjective)..

I have a Asus AC66U and it has become clear Asus created a monster, as so far I have tried the Asus 68u, Netgear r7000 and now this router, and all of them can not match the AC66U

The Linksys came so close to being better, it improved the range (just) and it massively improved the 2.4GHZ, I was getting a extra 20MB on a speed test on the 2.4GHZ..

Alas that is where the problem hit, the 5GHZ I have big drops in speed, on the ASUS I can manually choose the 80GHZ band, on the Linksys you can not, you have to chose AUTO to get the 80GHZ, and it makes a fatal flaw as the speed are some 25MB slower in fact the 2.4 were the same speed as the 5ghz band, and that should not be like that, I live in a urban area and on the Asus the 5ghz 80mhz band allows me to almost surf by myself, by blocking that option the Linksys is fatally floored for me...

for others you may not have this issue or care, to see such a big improvement in the 2.4ghz is impressive, but even that is floored as that speed check was done on channel 13, and some laptops/devices wont see channel 13, but that is not the routers fault.

in closing, we were so close to beating the AC66U, but the Linksys is two generations on from the Asus66U so the Asus should not even be with in fighting distance, let alone beating it!

if you are not going to use the 5GHZ band, then go for this, but not being allowed to choose the 80MHZ band if inexcusable.
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on 30 June 2014
It's really nice piece of kit looks nicer than any other router out there - more importantly it very easy to set up and works like a dream very fast -I love it. Its expensive but you want the best and a solid product you won't be disappointed. We have Bt Infinity and it works without any problem with the BT Openreach vdsl modem.

I chose the router being I had problem with the BT home hub 4 and 5 and the Netgear R700 in relation to wifi signal - live in a two story town house and this router pushes out a good signal all over the house where the others did not.
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on 9 September 2014
Don't buy one of these, I regret it. I cannot log into the admin console without it rebooting a problem that's existed for years, it's not dd-wrt supported (even though their literature states it does !) and so no SNMP support which is the main reason I bought the thing in the first place. I will never buy a linksys again.

Supporting evidence from the web for both main issues:
http://linksys.lithium.com/t5/Wireless-Routers/WRT1900AC-Sudden-Disconnects/td-p/814076/page/36

http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/content/dd-wrt-linksys-wrt-1900ac
"Despite information published by some news services indicating an early availability of DD-WRT for the WRT-1900AC there is currently no specific release plan for this router"
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on 23 February 2015
Fantastic router, as long as you ignore OpenWRT.

This is sold as having OpenWRT support, but in reality it barely has support. Yes, you can install OpenWRT on it, and yes it does sort of work, but it's not a slick process, and there's quite a few issues with the wifi drivers which aren't open source. This means the OpenWRT crew have to wait for Belkin (who own Linksys now) to release drivers to OpenWRT. They're not very good at doing so.

I spent a weekend trying the various OpenWRT builds, some worked, some didn't. In the end up I went back to the standard Linksys firmware.

The Linksys firmware is stable and fast, but it's features are pretty lacking compared to the likes of Asus. It's more like the sort of firmware you get with an ISP-supplied router. If you want something to plug in, get on the internet and forget, then this is the router for you. If you want to open ports, do dynamic DNS, etc, then you're probably better looking elsewhere. There are 'apps' for parental controls and media sharing available.

File sharing works fine, and is fast, especially when connected to the eSATA port. This router uses the same CPU as most of Synology's lower-end NAS units, so it's more than powerful enough to run NAS functions as well as routing.

All in all, it's a nice big router that's very fast, and so far been totally stable. Would I buy it again? I'm not sure, I think I'd go for the Asus RT-AC87U, because you have Asus' brilliant firmware, and the option to use the Merlin version of that firmware which has additional features and better wifi drivers.
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on 14 February 2016
had it a couple of months and had to return. the router range is much better than the standard one you get with your provider and indeed it is easy to fine tune if you know what your doing. but it seemed to have a few drop out zones and at the price of the router I expected better.

it looks like a great machine but it also seemed t 'steal' speed to certain devices and i didnt set up a proiritising network in the settings. needless to say i have had to return, shame though as it could have been the best router ever
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