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Linksys EA9500 vs Asus RT-AC5300 (tests enclosed)

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Which router would you buy?


  • Total voters
    25

njweb

Senior Member
In short

Signal strength 2.4 GHz: winner Asus

Signal strength 5 GHz: winner Asus

Speed (throughput) 2.4 GHz: winner Asus (in fringe locations it was much faster than Linksys on 2.4 GHz).

Speed (throughput) 5 GHz at closer ranges : winner Asus

Speed (throughput) 5 GHz at further ranges : winner Linksys
Edit on June 4, 2016 - After testing my Linksys, I hooked the Asus back up this morning and in the distant location (basement sofa), now the Asus is on par with the Linksys (even ever so slightly faster).

The attached sheet shows performance numbers. This was not meant for distribution so forgive the messy handwriting.

Left half of page is Asus.
Within each half page, the left portion is 2.4 GHz and the right portion is 5 GHz
Within the columns for each band, the left side is for signal strength resuls; the right side contains speed (throughput) results
 

Attachments

  • Linksys EA9500 vs Assu RT-AC5300.jpg
    Linksys EA9500 vs Assu RT-AC5300.jpg
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Last edited:
I found the same results with my EA8500, but the EA8500 was better than any router I had before it.

You're results of the 2.4GHz on the Linksys confirms my findings also, but I know when I first purchased the EA8500 my 2.4 was good, but as firmware was released it got worse. I think Linksys lowered the signal in newer firmware on the 2.4, most likely to make sure the FCC was happy with them.

I don't know what devices you have but my IOS devices (not sure about my few android ones) would practically never switch from 5GHz band to 2.4GHz band seamlessly on the EA8500, most of the time I have to rejoin my wifi network with my IOS device, it did work great going from 2.4 to 5GHz though. Same SSID and password on all bands. Never seen this issue with any Asus router that I can remember. This is a major problem for me now as my data limit with my cell carrier is limited to minimal ( I know I could have separate SSID's for each band, but using the same SSID my IOS devices switch seamlessly, as Apple themselves put out instructions to configure their own router this way).

Not to mention on Linksys.......
- The very, very limited options Linksys gives us to adjust, just enough to barley get by.
- Firmware releases way to slow to come out, even after they release a known bad one.
- Flashing firmware is limited, no restore utility at all.
Otherwise it was a decent router, until I purchased the Asus AC5300, just a perfect router, I still can't believe Asus finally got it right with the AC5300.
 
June 4 edits-
1) I read Linksys' support article on EA9500 antenna placement. I tested with 2 of the 4 antenna on each side adjusted for a multi story (multi floor) environment. I placed one antenna on each side horizontally and one of them diagonally and left the other half (other 4) in the original (stock) vertical position.
Unfortunately it made no difference (perhaps due to beam forming compensating for antenna placement as one or more people have suggested (as a theory for antenna placement perhaps not being that important / not making much, if any, significant difference.

2) After testing my Linksys, I hooked the Asus back up this morning and in the distant location (basement sofa), now the Asus is on par with the Linksys (even ever so slightly faster) on GHz. 2.4 GHz on the Asus, which was already better in this basement location (81 MBps for the Asus in this spot vs 43 Mbps for the Linksys) went up to 86 Mbps on the latest test this morning.

So while I liked the almost-free * USB MU-MIMO wifi adapter with the Linksys EA9500 (limited time offer) and liked the 8 ports vs 4 LAN ports (as well as the look of the Linksys - more refined elegant look), I will be sticking with the Asus RT-AC5300.

Asus RT-AC5300 Pros
Better wifi performance
Ability to set custom Smart Connect rules
Better UI overall
More frequent firmware updates

Asus Cons
Antennae - Even a slight turn to the left makes them flop over. However they hold up well if left alone (so this is a minor con as I won't be playing around with them)
Looks (a minor con)
Only 4 ethernet ports
Shorter Warranty than Linksys

Linksys EA9500 Pros
Free USB MU-MIMO adapter ($60 value)
Looks? (I am still undecided as to whether I like the clean elegant look of the Linksys or the Asus' bolder look).
8 ethernet ports
3 year warranty
Antenna design (not in terms of performance) is more 'solid' (don't flop over)

Linksys Cons
Overall wifi performance is still good but in certain locations it is noticeably weaker than the Asus (CNet has it beating the Asus ?), especially on 2.4 GHz.
AC adapter short cord, so if the router is not close to the ground, the big bulky part of the adapter will be left dangling in mid air if you don't have room on the table or shelf where the router is. This is also unsightly
Typically far less frequent firmware updates

* (EA9500 was $15 more than the Asus since I got a Price Match on the Asus).

I am returning the EA9500 (I gave it my best shot) and also finally selling my two WRT1900AC units and my two AC66U routers.
 
Missing "none of the above" choice in your poll *smile*.
 
Linksys Cons
Typically far less frequent firmware updates

And they don't support their routers as long as either Asus or Netgear. Linksys stopped issuing firmware for the WRT1900AC after only 1 year and 2 months...got the router in April 2014, last firmware release 6/30/2015. Netgear is still supporting the R7000 after 2.5+ years that I've owned it. The Asus RT-AC68U is still supported as well.

Don't trust Linksys as far as I can throw them at this point. For support of stock and third-party firmware they have come up way short. They're still doing a lot of marketing, though.
 
njweb. Thanks for sharing. I tried reading your data table, but it's too much of a jumble.

Without knowing the following, the data isn't very useful.
- Router configuration Channel and bandwidth at minimum
- Client used for test
- Test method, duration of each test, number of tests
- RF environment during test.
 
have to admit that link is like a mad mans scratching , try and put it in some form you can define the constants and variables

dont forget to compare wifi all other settings need to be the same so you are just testing wifi as the variable , this includes channel bandwidth , control channel , router location , antenna orientation and any other outside sources

its why tim spends so much time ensuring the variables are minimized in his testing as do i do to a lesser amount
 
Hi guys,

I don't have a lot of time right now, but let me share some details.

  • Test client = Samsung Note 4.
  • Test environment = all tests were run in very specific locations in our house (within each location, I even sat in the same spot (within an inch or two typically) in each room when switching between the two routers). I even tried to keep the various doors throughout the house in same position).
  • Router location = The routers were even in the same exact spot (I moved one and placed the other in the same location).
  • # of tests with Asus = 6 or 7 tests on different days with similar results
  • # of tests with Linksys (same day an hour apart) = less tests since time was limited (had to go up North to visit a relative and return period on Asus was up). However, Linksys signal strength on BOTH bands was consistently reported lower than those of the Asus (using Network signal info Android app on my Note 4).
  • Router channel etc. = I used the default manufacturer settings on both routers. Time permitting I could have tried manual settings, but that would have taken more time than I have right now.
  • Smart Connect was intentionally set to off so I could manually switch SSID's to test 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz independently.
  • IPv6 off on Asus (default). Only pointing it out separately since I had issues on Note 4 with it on.
  • Linksys - I even gave Linksys the benefit of the doubt and tried with the antennae in different positions (using mfr recommendations) and it interestingly made virtually no difference (no better, but no worse either). Maybe Beam Forming had something to do with equalization of performance.
I will put all my results in an Excel format later when I have time (wife and I will be running out soon).
 
Last edited:
Missing "none of the above" choice in your poll *smile*.

Let me see if I can edit the poll.
Feel free to suggest alternatives. :)
Obviously the RT-AC68U comes to mind for AC1900. I only listed the router I was using till most recently and considering getting rid of (WRT1900AC) , along with the two replacement options (EA9500 and RT-AC5300).
I do know that my AC66U router did not perform as well as my WRT1900AC and I moved away from that a long time ago, so I did not even list it.

In my personal experience (just in terms of wifi signal and throughput performance which were my two primary criteria, followed by features as well as firmware support):
Asus RT-AC5300 > Linksys EA9500 > Linksys WRT1900AC > Asus RT-AC66U (I have a thread with xls-formatted results of the WRT1900AC against the AC66U).
 
In my personal experience (just in terms of wifi signal and throughput performance which were my two primary criteria, followed by features as well as firmware support):
Asus RT-AC5300 > Linksys EA9500 > Linksys WRT1900AC > Asus RT-AC66U (I have a thread with xls-formatted results of the WRT1900AC against the AC66U).


you would be right in that all 3 rt-ac5300, rt-ac88u , rt-ac3100 are pretty much top of the pile , the main issue with the ea9500 and all non wrt linksys routers is linksys are totally locking down the firmware for them and thus no 3rd party support at all

that alone would sway me away from linksys , why because linksys just dont do firmware well and lacks features and maturity and not having 3rd party to push them along linksys will just do what it needs to and no more

do you need a tri band 5300ac router thats a whole other question
 
Thanks for the testing details. What method did you use to get the actual throughput?

Using router defaults probably set you up for auto channel selection. This means you could have been using different channels each time you swapped routers.

Still missing information on how crowded each band was.
 
Thanks for the testing details. What method did you use to get the actual throughput?

Using router defaults probably set you up for auto channel selection. This means you could have been using different channels each time you swapped routers.

Still missing information on how crowded each band was.

Re. throughput:
Method was somewhat non-scientific (speedtest.net), especially for absolute numbers, but for relative (comparison) purposes it served me well. I could have also used LAN Speed Test but quite honestly forgot about that (I used that for my WRT1900AC vs RT-AC66U tests about 2 years ago).

Agreed re. channels. If I had more time I could have run tests on the same channel but as it is, it took quite a while and I wanted to let the router manage all that for me (after all it has built in algorithms to select the more appropriate channel (or is supposed to).

Each band was not crowded at all (our lot size is large and we also don't have any nearby neighbors on 3 of 4 sides regardless).
I typically see one other SSID, perhaps two others, at a time on 2.4 GHz. 5 GHz perhaps one, if that.
I observe very weak signals on those other SSIDs.

Now I have to troubleshoot. One of our Roku 3s is not connecting to the Asus suddenly (happened late last night). I tried rebooting the Roku, rebooting the Asus and resetting the network on the Roku to no avail.
The Asus log showed a temporary loss of internet had occurred, but that must have been short lived as my phone was still connected to the Asus with internet access.
 
I'm more familiar with Linksys because we have used it at home but it actually did not last for a longer time and we changed to D-link. However, based on what I heard, the top two picks for the best performing routers are Linksys and Asus, though, I have not tried the latter. I found out too that Asus seems to be the fastest and rated as an impressive router.

I think Netgear edges Linksys when it comes to performance
 
Re. throughput:
Method was somewhat non-scientific (speedtest.net), especially for absolute numbers, but for relative (comparison) purposes it served me well. I could have also used LAN Speed Test but quite honestly forgot about that (I used that for my WRT1900AC vs RT-AC66U tests about 2 years ago)....
Thanks for the additional info. Sounds like you have a relatively clean environment. Speedtest is fine for relative comparison. Don't put much faith in auto channel select. The selection is usually done once at boot time and is based on a brief look at what's going on.
 
Thanks for the additional info. Sounds like you have a relatively clean environment. Speedtest is fine for relative comparison. Don't put much faith in auto channel select. The selection is usually done once at boot time and is based on a brief look at what's going on.

No problem.
I re-validated the environment using my Roku 3 (after performing a hard reset with a paper clip, on the Roku not the Asus to be clear) and I now saw 4 SSIDs including my own network. That is upstairs. Downstairs on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 smart phone I get one SSID so the test environment is indeed clean.

I do have one annoying issue. Every time I come home and my phone reconnects to my wireless network (Asus RT-AC5300), speeds are very low 5 Mbps down. I thenturn Wifi off and back on - the phone quickly reconnects and I immediately get 91.8 Mbps down again.
Any idea on any router setting that could be to blame (aside from Smart Connect which I don't want to disable) ? I'll post on the Asus AC forum.
 
June 4 edits-
1) I read Linksys' support article on EA9500 antenna placement. I tested with 2 of the 4 antenna on each side adjusted for a multi story (multi floor) environment. I placed one antenna on each side horizontally and one of them diagonally and left the other half (other 4) in the original (stock) vertical position.
Unfortunately it made no difference (perhaps due to beam forming compensating for antenna placement as one or more people have suggested (as a theory for antenna placement perhaps not being that important / not making much, if any, significant difference.

The antenae on all devices under test should be oriented the same - this, for some, is non-obvious, but MIMO needs the paths to be similar at the receiver (which the AP is from the client)

2) After testing my Linksys, I hooked the Asus back up this morning and in the distant location (basement sofa), now the Asus is on par with the Linksys (even ever so slightly faster) on GHz. 2.4 GHz on the Asus, which was already better in this basement location (81 MBps for the Asus in this spot vs 43 Mbps for the Linksys) went up to 86 Mbps on the latest test this morning.

So while I liked the almost-free * USB MU-MIMO wifi adapter with the Linksys EA9500 (limited time offer) and liked the 8 ports vs 4 LAN ports (as well as the look of the Linksys - more refined elegant look), I will be sticking with the Asus RT-AC5300.

Hokey - I appreciate the subjective comments.

Asus RT-AC5300 Pros
Better wifi performance
Ability to set custom Smart Connect rules
Better UI overall
More frequent firmware updates

better than what?

Let's tear things down...

Subjective findings - check
Ability to set some smart rules - out of scope, as the other target doesn't do this
Better UI - subjective opinion
More Frequent Firmware Updates - this is not a plus - updates are bug fixes

Asus Cons
Antennae - Even a slight turn to the left makes them flop over. However they hold up well if left alone (so this is a minor con as I won't be playing around with them)
Looks (a minor con)
Only 4 ethernet ports
Shorter Warranty than Linksys

the floppy RT-AC5300 antennas are a known quality issue
Appearance - subjective - some might find it pleasing, others might find it a bit over the top
(sidebar - spousal approval factor, while subjective, is a key component)
4 LAN ports - not a big deal, even though for much less, I can find a managed switch to do more
Warranty - I think Asus here is probably on the spot, but should consider goodwill with premature adapter failure - subjective comment here

Linksys EA9500 Pros
Free USB MU-MIMO adapter ($60 value)
Looks? (I am still undecided as to whether I like the clean elegant look of the Linksys or the Asus' bolder look).
8 ethernet ports
3 year warranty
Antenna design (not in terms of performance) is more 'solid' (don't flop over)

the freebie adapter bundle is nice, but they, IMHO, at this price point should bundle it - permanently - it takes two to do MU-MIMO, so putting at adapter in the box gets one out of the way...

the other items are subjective opinion

Linksys Cons
Overall wifi performance is still good but in certain locations it is noticeably weaker than the Asus (CNet has it beating the Asus ?), especially on 2.4 GHz.
AC adapter short cord, so if the router is not close to the ground, the big bulky part of the adapter will be left dangling in mid air if you don't have room on the table or shelf where the router is. This is also unsightly
Typically far less frequent firmware updates

subjective comments again...

* (EA9500 was $15 more than the Asus since I got a Price Match on the Asus).

not important...

I am returning the EA9500 (I gave it my best shot) and also finally selling my two WRT1900AC units and my two AC66U routers.

Don't be a fanboi and report congnitive bias...

Nice try.

I'll trust Tim's reviews/articles first... someone has to call this out - the board is getting too much bias on Asus, and it's hurting other vendors.

(and yes, I expect to be wood-shedded on this one, perhaps, and if so, I'll just leave...)
 
And before peeps take me into the woodshed...

In my honest opinion - the AC1900 class is the right place to be - and the RT-AC68 series, along with Netgear's R7000 and Linksys' WRT1900 - they're open, mature, and probably the best value in the AC1900 and above class.

The RT-AC68U series, for folks that want open devices, is the right one - hands down - even with recent developments in response to the FCC lockdown - RMerlin and others are working on this, and I trust they'll find a way.

I've always thought the X-Streams are a poor value for end-users, confirmation bias aside - putting two AP's co-located is not a good deal for performance or capacity, better off saving your money there - best wifi performance is not bigger numbers, it's location on where the AP is in relation to the client.

So woodshed away ... bring it on...
 
The antenae on all devices under test should be oriented the same - this, for some, is non-obvious, but MIMO needs the paths to be similar at the receiver (which the AP is from the client)



Hokey - I appreciate the subjective comments.



better than what?

Let's tear things down...

Subjective findings - check
Ability to set some smart rules - out of scope, as the other target doesn't do this
Better UI - subjective opinion
More Frequent Firmware Updates - this is not a plus - updates are bug fixes



the floppy RT-AC5300 antennas are a known quality issue
Appearance - subjective - some might find it pleasing, others might find it a bit over the top
(sidebar - spousal approval factor, while subjective, is a key component)
4 LAN ports - not a big deal, even though for much less, I can find a managed switch to do more
Warranty - I think Asus here is probably on the spot, but should consider goodwill with premature adapter failure - subjective comment here



the freebie adapter bundle is nice, but they, IMHO, at this price point should bundle it - permanently - it takes two to do MU-MIMO, so putting at adapter in the box gets one out of the way...

the other items are subjective opinion



subjective comments again...



not important...



Don't be a fanboi and report congnitive bias...

Nice try.

I'll trust Tim's reviews/articles first... someone has to call this out - the board is getting too much bias on Asus, and it's hurting other vendors.

(and yes, I expect to be wood-shedded on this one, perhaps, and if so, I'll just leave...)


"Fan boi"? "bias"?
I am a long time member and posted objective (test results not my opinions) reviews of my Linksys WRT1900AC handily beating the AC66U.
If you read my comments, I prefer the Linksys WRT1900AC over the AC66U. Despite their poor firmware support, which you pointed out, I stuck with it due to wifi performance.
Been using WRT1900Ac exclusively for past 2+ years before getting the 5300 (brother recommended it).

Nothing wrong with trusting Tim's reviews "first", but it is unfair to put down another long time member who spent a lot of time posting unbiased results (these are actual performance test numbers that showed the Asus beating the Linksys, not some subjective or biased thoughts).
I have a stressful enough job (just got off late night IMs and emails for work for issues with some reports after speaking with my boss), so I come here to unwind and my time spent testing and posting here is not without cost.
The Asus UI has long been admired over the Linksys. Poll anyone in the community (ironically that would only be a tipping the scales factor for me - my primary need is good wifi performance with everything else being secondary; so if the EA9500 had been better in wifi performance, I would have gladly kept it over the RT-AC5300, regardless of less frequent firmware updates and less functionality)
You yourself posted you were upset about WRT1900AC firmware / lack of support / annoying unfixed bugs in another thread.

Sorry but I had yet another long, worse yet stressful day, at work (some real characters what can I say) and I had to defend myself.
No hard feelings... :)

To reiterate, I have no brand allegiance when it comes to networking gear. Never had, never will. My hard earned money goes to the best performing product, plain and simple.
I have owned a number of brands - e.g. Amped Wireless and Zyxel routers which many would not bother with. I gave them a fair shot and they were replaced due to subpar wifi performance.
If tomorrow brand xyz comes out with the best wifi router on the market I will buy it no ifs ands or buts.
I bought a radar detector from Radenso (ended up returning it due to poor windshield mount and lack of exact frequency display and lack of auto lockouts). Rad who you say? exactly...
 
@njweb - sorry if you feel a bit hurt. Walk it off...

What you did, and how you reported is highly subjective at best.
 

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