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Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router Now Available

Linksys has recently announced and made available the first MU-MIMO enabled Wireless Router – the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router. That’s a pretty long name for a wireless router. What’s so special about this router is that it is based on Multi-User MIMO technology and that’s like having an individual router dedicated to multiple devices in your home. It also features 1.4GHz dual core processor, 4×4 wireless AC that delivers 4 stream of data, simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz connection, Beamforming technology, and has input ports like USB3.0, eSATA and USB 2.0 port. More features and specifications about the Linksys EA8500 from the official news below.

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Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Smart Wi-Fi Router

The Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 – First Multi-User MIMO Enabled Wireless Router

Linksys recently announced the availability of the first MU-MIMO enabled Wireless AC router – the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router. The new Linksys router leverages the 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) technology, which helps ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices in the home and function as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router. With MU-MIMO, the whole household can play video games, listen to music, check email, shop, stream movies, and more – all at the same time.

The Linksys EA8500 router incorporates Qualcomm MU | EFX MU-MIMO technology, which helps to provide up to 3x faster speeds compared to current Wi-Fi. The combined 2.53 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds (up to 1733 Mbps for 5 GHz and 800 Mbps for 2.4 GHz) help minimize buffering and enable faster downloads. A supercharged 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU and four Gigabit ports offer blazing-fast speeds perfect for heavy-bandwidth wired gaming. Users can attach devices to the USB 3.0 port and a combo USB 2.0/eSATA port for uninterrupted personal cloud content streaming or to share data across their network. The four removable external antennas are adjustable for maximum coverage, while beamforming technology concentrates the Wi-Fi signal to each device for stronger, better performance and increased mobile speed and range.

According to Mike Chen, vice president of product management, Linksys: “MU-MIMO technology revolutionizes the wireless experience in the home,”. “The average home has more than 8 devices connecting to the Internet, and they’re not used for just sending emails and tweets. We’re streaming movies and TV shows in high definition, we’re video chatting with our friends and family, and we’re playing video games against competitors around the globe, all on different devices and often at the same time. To have dedicated bandwidth for their devices simultaneously will enhance the users’ experience so they won’t see that buffering icon when streaming a movie or listening to choppy music or worse, playing games with lag. We are so confident in the experience that MU-MIMO provides that we will be expanding our product line in the future to include more MU-MIMO routers.”

According to Gopi Sirineni, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc: “Qualcomm MU | EFX is designed to greatly improve Wi-Fi performance and consumers’ connected experiences,”. “Industry leaders like Linksys recognize the impact that MU-MIMO can have on home networks, and are delivering advanced products with the speed and efficiency to address the ever-increasing number of devices and high-bandwidth applications.”

In an IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Linksys, titled The Home Network, the Neglected Workhorse, IDC surveyed participants that had at least 3 wireless access users in their household to understand the behaviors of wireless Internet use and how MU-MIMO can benefit multi-user/multi-device households. The research project found that people are doing more on their home networks but are using older wireless technology that is not suited for the type of wireless households today – which are multiple-user/multiple-device households:

  • 84% of the respondents said they were streaming movies/TV and another activity such as streaming music, playing games, or surfing the Internet at the same time.
  • Nearly 50% still use routers running versions of Wi-Fi at least 12 years old.
  • 2/3 of the respondents said they had at least 5 devices connected to the Internet and in use at the same time.
  • More than half of survey respondents said they frequently or always experience buffering, interruptions or other performance issues on their home network.
  • 84% of survey respondents cite performance as a key attribute to their router buying decision, far out-distancing range, security and even price.
  • Average selling price of routers is growing too – respondents said they would spend an average of $84 MORE on a router to eliminate performance issues.
  • People want their Wi-Fi: Wireless Internet access ranked #2 of the things that people would not live without. Food ranked #1, followed by Wi-Fi, Smartphone and Sex.

What Linksys learned from the survey is that more households are online with multiple devices – and our research showed that there were an average of 5 devices connected and in use at a time and more than half of users are having buffering and lag issues. People are looking for Wi-Fi that has strong performance, which is why they are willing to pay more for a router that enables them to connect multiple devices simultaneously and not experience any performance issues.

The Linksys EA8500 AC2600 MU-MIMO router will help address these issues customers are having today and into the future as MU-MIMO becomes the next major Wi-Fi technology in the market.

Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream Specs and Price

Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream Specifications

Standards802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, 802.3ab, 802.3u
SecurityWEP, WPA, WPA2
up to 128-bit encryption
WPA/WPA2WPA2
LEDsPower, Internet, Ethernet (1-4), Wi-Fi Protected Setup, Wireless
ButtonsWi-Fi Protected Setup, Reset, Wi-Fi, Power
Wireless Data RatesUp to 2.6Gbps
Frequency Band2.4GHz/5GHz
Antenna5 (4 external and 1 internal)
InterfaceInternet, Etherent (1-4), USB 2.0/eSATA combo, USB 3.0, Power
VPN supportIPSec, L2TP, and PPTP VPN pass-through
Power Adapter12V / 3.5A
System RequirementsPC: Wi-Fi enabled with CD or DVD drive, Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows 7, or Windows 8
Mac: Wi-Fi enabled with CD or DVD drive, Mac OS X Leopard v10.5.8 or later, Snow Leopard v10.6.1 or later, Lion v10.7, Mountain Lion v10.8, or Mavericks v10.9
Web Browser: Internet Explorer 8, Safari 5 (for Mac), Firefox 8, or Chrome configuration
Package ContentsLinksys AC2600 Dual Band Smart Wi-Fi Router, EA8500
Quick Start Guide
CD-ROM with Documentation
Ethernet cable
Power Adapter

Price and Availability

The Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Wireless Router is now available and comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $279.99. You can order one from Newegg here.

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