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Linksys E8350 AC2400 Wireless Router Review

Linksys E8350 AC2400 Wireless Router Review

We take a look at the new AC2400 solution from Linksys, the E8350. Tyler puts this 802.11ac wireless router through its paces to see if it's worth buying.

@TylerBernath
Published Thu, Oct 30 2014 4:04 PM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:33 PM CDT
Rating: 84%Manufacturer: Linksys

Introduction & Pricing, Availability, and Specifications

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Just last month, we got our first taste of the latest in wireless router technology when the ASUS RT-87U made its way through the lab. While these AC2400 routers are capable of tremendous wireless throughput, the lack of client adapters will certainly stunt the adoption rate. Today, with the launch of the latest solution from Linksys, we now have each of the top three vendors with an AC2400 solution in the market.

The Linksys E8350 is the latest product to come from the labs at Linksys. This wireless router supports 600Mbps over the 2.4GHz band, and 1.73Gbps over the 5GHz band, supported via four external antennas. Wired connectivity is issued via four-gigabit LAN ports, and a single gigabit WAN port found on the rear of the unit.

A dual-core 1.4GHz processor powers the E8350, along with 512MB of DRAM, and 128MB of flash memory. Additionally, as with most routers these days, the E8350 deploys a single USB 3.0 port, along with a combo eSATA USB 2.0 port for storage.

Pricing, Availability, and Specifications

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Adding to the specifications we mentioned above, the E8350 supports FAT32, NTFS, and HSF+ for external storage. Additionally, this solution supports the latest IPV6 standard, along with added VPN support via IPSec, PPTP, and L2TP.

Minimum system requirements include a Wi-Fi enabled PC running, at the least, Windows XP SP3, or a OS X based system running 10.6.1+.

MSRP of the Linksys E8350 wireless router is listed at $249.99, with a one-year warranty. Availability of the router is quite high at this point in time, with nearly every retailer having stock.

PRICING: You can find the Linksys E8350 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Linksys E8350 retails for $249.99 at Amazon.

Linksys E8350 AC2400 Wireless Router

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Packaging for the E8350 features an image of the router centered on the front, and marketing information is listed below, outlining a few features of the router.

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The rear of the box has a chart on the right to aide in your purchasing decision.

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Opening up the packaging, we found everything tucked away in its own place. The router is covered with styrene to protect it during shipping.

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Scope of delivery includes the external antennas, power adapter, Ethernet cable, and an installation disk.

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The E8350 uses the consumer line as part of its design. Here we have the standard black and grey appearance with no LEDs viewable from the front.

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The rear of the router houses two of the antenna connections, along with the USB 3.0, eSATA, and gigabit ports. To the far right, we have the WPS, reset, and power input.

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The internals of the router are largely shielded. In the center, we have the Quantenna chipset, and DRAM package.

Management GUI

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When setting up the E8350, you have the option to choose Linksys Connect, or setup via the manual method.

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For those that have used a Linksys solution in the past, this menu should look familiar. The basic setup screen allows you to adjust settings for the DHCP server, and the WAN connection.

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By default, the E8350 uses Wi-Fi protected setup, so to get to this menu you must use the manual option available at the top. Once you get into the wireless menu, you can change all options pertaining to the 2.4 and 5GHz bands. Security options, along with additional wireless features, are included in their own sub menu.

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Looking over the Security tab, we find options for the SPI firewall and internet filter.

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The Storage menu allows you to setup any external solution you have plugged into the E8350.

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Over on the access policy, parents can setup control to limit the time children can spend on the internet.

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Next, we have the Port Forward menu, which allows single port forwarding, or triggering along with DMZ and QoS settings.

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The Administration menu allows you to change the router password, setup remote access, and UPnP, among others.

Test System Setup and Wireless Range

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As wireless networking has proliferated in homes and offices around the world, and network vendors keep releasing new devices on a regular basis, you now have so many options that it's hard to make a choice. The truth of the matter is: regardless of how many features a wireless router or access point has, the two most important things about it are its speed and range.

We test throughput in a dual-node network environment consisting of a custom PC with a GIGABYTE Z77UP5 TH, Intel Core i5 3570K Processor operating at 3.3GHz with 16GB of DDR3, featuring the Startech.com ST1000SPEX42 quad port gigabit network adapter. The second system features a GIGABYTE x58 OC Mainboard with an Intel Xeon L5639 Six Core CPU, 48GB of DDR3 from ADATA, and the StarTech.com ST1000SPEX42 NIC.

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Wireless throughput is tested using the ASUS PCE-AC68 PCI Express Network Adapter. Range is tested with a HP ProBook installed with an ASUS USB-AC56 adapter via USB 3.0.

We perform all tests in a real-world environment. You may get better range and throughput results in a spacious facility with few internal walls, or outdoors. Our tests provide a benchmark for estimating the range and throughput of wireless networking devices in an indoor setting, with some obstacles.

Wireless Range

For wireless range, we need to refer to the Network Infrastructure chart above. Each chart herein is based on the locations on the table. To make it simple, Location 1 is the closest, and within Line of Sight; Location 4 is the furthest away, with many walls in between. Location 5 tests the router's ability to generate enough signal strength to penetrate to the second floor of a home.

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In our 2.4GHz testing, the E8350 performed quite well. In fact, range was similar to the RT-AC87U from ASUS.

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5GHz range was quite similar again to the ASUS solution.

Benchmarks - Wired and Wireless Throughput

Benchmarks - Wired Throughput

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LAN to LAN throughput peaked at 952.38 Mbps, just over the 952.34 Mbps the R7000 achieved, and matching the DLink 880L.

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WAN to LAN came in at 952.38 Mbps, once again matching the result we received from the DLink 880L.

Benchmarks - Wireless Throughput

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Moving over to wireless throughput, we start with the 2.4GHz band. The E8350 came in at 124 Mbps, utilizing 20MHz, while 40MHz increased throughput slightly to 149 Mbps.

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5GHz performance was quite surprising. In fact, the last time we tested a AC2400 solution, the RT-87U, that router topped this chart; yet again we have the latest solution (now from Linksys) taking over at 470 Mbps. Moving to the 40Mhz band, the E8350 took over the top spot with results coming in at 355 Mbps, while the 20 MHz band offered 143 Mbps at its peak.

Benchmarks - File Transfer Test & Final Thoughts

File Transfer Speeds

In our file transfer test, we use a single 4GB ISO file, and transfer it from test system one to our second test system via the network. To eliminate any bottlenecks, each system is utilizing a Corsair Neutron 256GB SSD.

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File transfer testing for the E8350 was good with the wired connection, but slowed down when we went to check wireless performance. LAN-to-LAN transfers came in at 112 MB/s, while the 2.4GHz band was able to produce 26 MB/s and 29 MB/s, respectively. Over on the 5GHz band, we touched 76 MB/s with 802.11ac, while the 20 and 40 MHz bands came in at 17 MB/s and 36.3 MB/s.

Final Thoughts

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The Linksys E8350 AC2400 wireless router is a decent solution for those that want the very latest technology for their home network. Build quality appeared rather good; however, this router bares half the weight of the WRT1900 we looked at a few months back. Another odd feature of the E8350 is the lack of front facing LEDs that we typically see on home routers. Even with the lack of weight, the E8350 is a bulky router; it's nearly four inches tall, and carries a square footprint, so it does take up a bit of room on the desk.

Performance of the E8350 was rather good, and to be honest, it surprised me when testing the 5GHz band. As it sits right now, this solution takes top honors for wired performance and wireless 5GHz performance with numbers upwards of 470 Mbps for the 80MHz 802.11ac band. That's not to say the 2.4GHz band was bad in any way - the Linksys actually performed on par with other solutions utilizing the 802.11n feature set.

In our testing, we achieved 112 MB/s for wired transfer speed, and 952 Mbps for throughput. 40MHz allowed 149.5 Mbps for throughput, and the file transfer came in at 29.9 MB/s. Lastly, we had the 5GHz band coming in at 470.5 Mbps for throughput, and 76.1 MB/s for file transfer speed.

Like I have said in the past, adoption rates may not tick up for these solutions until we have client adapters available, but nonetheless, ASUS, Netgear, and now Linksys, have made a solution available if you want to future proof your network.

MSRP of the Linksys E8350 wireless router is listed at $249.99, with a one-year warranty. Availability of the router is quite high at this point in time, with nearly every retailer having stock.

PRICING: You can find the Linksys E8350 for sale below. The prices listed are valid at the time of writing, but can change at any time. Click the link to see the very latest pricing for the best deal.

United States: The Linksys E8350 retails for $249.99 at Amazon.

Performance90%
Quality including Design and Build85%
General Features80%
Bundle and Packaging85%
Value for Money80%
Overall84%

The Bottom Line: Like previous AC2400 solutions, the Linksys E8350 is a bit before its time, with the adoption of 802.11ac just now starting to take hold and no client adapters being deployed for the Quantenna chipset, it may be best to hold off until these solutions have matured.

PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.

USUnited States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com

UKUnited Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk

AUAustralia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au

CACanada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca

DEDeutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de

Growing up in a small farm town, tech wasn't around, unless it was in a tractor. At an early age, Tyler's parents brought home their first PC. Tyler was hooked and learned what it meant to format a HDD, spending many nights reinstalling Windows 95. Tyler's love and enthusiast nature always kept his PC nearby. Eager to get deeper into tech, he started reviewing.

We openly invite the companies who provide us with review samples / who are mentioned or discussed to express their opinion. If any company representative wishes to respond, we will publish the response here. Please contact us if you wish to respond.

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