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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Linksys WRT 3200 ACM WiFi Router Product Review

 The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free
Getting high speed Internet connectivity to your home is only half the battle. Once your home is connected, then you have to share that bandwidth among all members of the family. Traditional routers are meant for a single user utilizing multiple devices, offering top WiFi speeds to one device at a time. In most homes, that is no longer reality.

The Linksys WRT3200ACM WiFi router is a next generation router. It allows you to connect multiple wireless devices simultaneously, all at the same top speeds. Want to stay wired? You even have gigabit Ethernet port, which is 10x faster than the more typical Fast Ethernet.

When I first started connecting to computers remotely, you literally had to dial the remote modem through your telephone line and place the handset on what was called an acoustic coupler. My first connection speeds were 300 baud (bits per second), though 75 baud was also common. On the other hand, the Linksys router connects you over tri-stream 160 technology, delivering 3 x 160 Mhz at 867 Mbps, or 2.6 Gbps. So, the speed has increased from 300 bps to 2.6 Gbps, where 300 bps is 2.793968 x 10-7 Gbps, or the Linksys router is roughly a billion times faster than when I first connected to a remote computer in the 1970s.
Setup of the device couldn't be simpler. You literally go to a URL and follow the prompts.
Of course, if you don't get the cable connection right... you're told.
Once you get the cabling correct, you'll be asked to upgrade the software within the router. You should have the router automatically update itself. Frequently, upgrades are to update the security of the device, which you definitely want to keep up to date.
You can name the network anything you'd like and provide your own custom password. The originals are provided on a card in the box with the router, but you should change these to something more meaningful for you.
In addition to the network password, you should create a password for the router. This allows you to configure the router through your web browser.
You can also create a Linksys Smart WiFi account to allow you to access the home network remotely. Up to you on this option, but if you do, make sure your passwords are complex and secure and not something like the word password or the numbers 12345678.
You can then control your router either locally or through the cloud. As the screen above shows, some of the things the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM router allows you to work with is parental controls, guest access, and media prioritization among other things.

Now that I have the router configured, what do I think of it? First off, I forgot how many different devices I had in the house that talked to the Internet. Besides physical computers and tablets, we have a Nest, a couple Tivos, printers, and a few other security devices that I've previously reviewed. Each had to be reconfigured with the new router information.

Since switching to the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM WiFi router, the biggest speed improvements I've noticed are when playing some heavy network bandwidth games. While Pokemon Go on my mobile through the home network is no real difference, bringing up a Steam powered game definitely demonstrates a difference especially if other family members are using more bandwidth, too.
The WRT3200ACM MU-MIMO Gigabit Wi-Fi Router sells for $250 at Best Buy and is powered by Tri-Stream 160 technology, which doubles the bandwidth on all spatial streams for the fastest dual-band router on the market. Gain access to restricted DFS channels at full bandwidth for the clearest Wi-Fi not available to most other routers. The WRT3200ACM also boasts: 
• 1.8 GHz CPU for high-powered performance
• MU-MIMO technology for high-speed Wi-Fi to multiple devices at the same time, same speed
• Open-source ready with OpenWrt and DD-WRT® for complete flexibility and customization of functions,
• Upgraded Smart Wi-Fi app to manage and monitor your home Wi-Fi from a mobile device, anytime, anywhere
• 256MB Flash and 512MB of RAM Memory
• 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports

*Read my Disclosure


  1. Wow, I wish I had read this before I bought our Netgear, did not know there would be a difference with more than one person on at a time.