The Linksys E8350 dual band Wi-Fi router is known for its fast performance on the 5GHz band as well as high-end Wi-Fi specs. It is also more affordable than other competing routers on the market.
Much like its competitors, the Asus RT-AC87U and Netgear R7500, it delivers superb performance on the 5GHz band. It also has impressive storage capacity when connected to an external storage device. The old interface of the E series explains its slower performance on the 2.4GHz band.
It makes sense to purchase this product if you're looking for decent performance on a low budget. It's also an excellent choice for users who need Wi-Fi support on the 5GHz band. Most of the new Wi-Fi clients offer support for the 5GHz frequency band.
In terms of design, the Linksys E8350 resembles the EA series. However, it still retains the Web interface of the previous E series routers, such as the E3200.
It comes with four detachable antennas, two on the sides and two on the rear of the device. The routers are not very long in size. You can also tilt the antennas in different angles for improved signal reception. For best results, Linksys recommends users to have the two rear antennas point straight up and the other two antennas tilted at 45 degrees.
It hosts one Gigabit WAN port for connecting to an Internet source and four Gigabit LAN ports for wired clients. Other ports include a USB 3.0 port and another port that can be used as an eSATA port or a USB 2.0 port. These ports can be used to connect the router to a printing or storage device, allowing the router to function as a network attached store (NAS) server.
It lacks the typical indicator lights found in routers. This can make it difficult to tell if the network is connected to the Internet or not. In fact, you cannot even figure out if the router is powered on or not.
Setup and Interface
The E series router doesn't come with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi remote access support. The Smart Wi-Fi is a useful feature found in many Linksys routers. Using this feature, users can manage the home network by logging in to an account with Linksys through a mobile app or web browser.
Other than the missing Smart Wi-Fi feature, the E8350 retains the setup and interface of the E series. The Linksys Connect setup software comes in a CD enclosed in the box. The software can also be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. It offers a simple, step by step process for configuring the router to the Internet. The software can also be used to manage Wi-Fi and other router settings.
While using the software is a good option for basic users looking to connect to the Internet, advanced settings and options are only accessible from the Web interface. Using the software has another drawback too. It makes the password for router's network settings the same as the Wi-Fi network password, which is a security hazard. Anyone connecting to the Wi-Fi network is then able to access the router's interface and alter the network settings. As such, it is a better option to use the Web interface for router configuration.
The default IP address for connecting to the router's Web interface is 192.168.1.1. It will prompt for username and password. The default value for both fields is ‘admin'.
It offers an organized and responsive interface. Many of the settings are instantly implemented without requiring a restart.