Linksys new router, the MR7350, offers the very latest in internet technology, with WiFi 6 and mesh network integration, at an affordable price. But there is no miracle: it is less efficient than its more expensive competitors.
Posted on October 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.
At first glance, nothing distinguishes the Linksys MR7350 router from a device designed to work on its own. Two antennas, four Gigabit Ethernet inputs on the back and a USB 3.0 socket to connect a portable hard drive then accessible on the network.
But it is first of all a router using the new WiFi 6 standard, capable in theory of sending up to 10 Gb / s of data and of better managing several devices at the same time, with the so-called MU-technology. MIMO. But since this is an affordable router, its capacity is actually 1.8 Gb / s – 547 Mb / on the 2.4 GHz band and 1201 Mb / s on the 5 GHz -, sent over separate beams with its two antennae. It can handle up to 25 devices, which should suit the overwhelming majority of users.
It can cover, on its own, 158 square meters. But it has a second surprise in store: it can be combined with other Linksys routers, the Velops sold at $ 110 each, to form a mesh network covering a few hundred additional square meters.
The configuration is very simple, from the mobile application Linksys which locates and connects the “nodes”, the Velop, to the main router. First test successfully passed, we have not suffered any bugs to weave our network.
Mesh networks are the most stable way to increase the range of a network, better than network extenders. We were able to connect the MR7350 with two Velops supplied by Linksys and got a full strength signal on all three levels of the house.
The speed tests were convincing. Connected directly to the MR7350, our devices obtained the maximum speed of our network, around 133 Mb / s. When they passed through one of the secondary Velops, the speed was slightly lower, from 125 to 128 Mb / s.
You can configure the entire network from the application LinksysThis includes setting up parental controls with bedtime, designating priority devices, and assigning fixed IP addresses. As a general rule – see below for hitches – we obtained a sufficient and stable signal.
In the “plus” category, note that the MR7350 is discreet for a conventional router, with a surface of 20.49 by 14.98 cm and a thickness of 13.41 cm, for a weight of 700 grams. It uses a 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 512MB RAM, which is standard for this price category.
We like less
Perhaps we have asked a bit too much of this base model, with our 47 devices connected to the internet – at the time of this writing – which exceeds the manufacturer’s promises. Still, our hyper-connected little assistants complained three or four times about capricious connections, YouTube videos that are slow to download and connections to TikTok unstable. Honestly, we didn’t notice anything like it, our video conferences went well and the video game downloads were fast, but we are less ruthless and consistent on the internet than two little girls aged 10 and 12.
The countless diodes that power electronic devices have almost become a crusade, but Linksys is turning a deaf ear to this. Despite the many requests from users, it is impossible to force the Velops to turn off their annoying blue light at certain times. And since these “knots” are almost inevitably found in a bedroom, they need to be covered with a pantyhose. Rather hay spit, as a solution.
We liked the Linksys Aware features, which allowed the Velops to be used as motion detectors for $ 2.99 per month, or Linksys Shield, a firewall lined with antivirus for $ 4.99 per month. Unfortunately, none are compatible with the MR7350.
One buys ?
The MR7350 is a good, affordable router, a good initial purchase that can be extended with Velop secondary routers and provide good WiFi coverage throughout the house. The stability of the mesh network he establishes with his Velop cousins is compelling.
Don’t make the mistake of asking for too much with more devices than the manufacturer recommends, which is 25. It is also not the ideal router for a hyperactive family on the Internet, teeth will cringe. It is very useful for its price, it is an undeniable observation.
Price: $ 199.99
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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