The Linksys MR8300 ($179.99) appears to be a normal Wi-Fi router at first appearance, and in many respects, it is. It has a conventional form factor, several LAN ports, and external antennae. However, it also has Linksys Velop nodes and Velop mesh technologies, which enable you to create a whole-home Wi-Fi network.
It can be used independently, but you can also connect it to any Velop node to take advantage of all the mesh network advantages, such as seamless roaming, a single SSID and password, and simple management. Although it delivers good performance, it falls short of the features and capabilities offered by the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus, our Editors’ Choice mesh system.
Due to its ability to automatically optimize its settings for adequate speed and coverage, the Linksys Max-Stream MR8300 ($140) excels in set-and-forget operation. The MR8300, a leader in terms of value, isn’t the fastest or has the greatest range, but it’s a dependable solution to cover a small house, townhouse, or apartment. If the router by itself is insufficient, you can attach Linksys Velop extensions to it and build a mesh network with the MR8300 as its hub.
LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router Design & Specifications
The EA8300 we evaluated last year and the MR8300 have the same same appearance. Its dimensions are 2.1 by 8.4 by 6.3 inches (HWD), and it contains four nonremovable, adjustable antennas and a black, textured finish.
A single colored LED is used on the glossy black screen on top of the router to display information: Solid blue indicates that the router is connected to the internet and is ready to use, solid purple indicates that it is ready for configuration, flickering purple indicates that setup is currently taking place, and red indicates that your internet connection has been lost.
Four gigabit LAN connections, a WAN port, a power port, reset and power buttons, and a strangely reserved USB 3.0 port are all located on the back of the device. As a result, external peripherals like hard drives and printers cannot be connected at the moment. Linksys intends to fix issue with a subsequent firmware upgrade, though.
It functions primarily as a triband router, joining two 5GHz bands with a single 2.4GHz network. For each band, the system can configure two streams of data flow that can be combined under a single network name. The combined highest theoretical throughput of its 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks is 400Mbps and 867Mbps, respectively, for a total theoretical maximum throughput of 2.134Gbps.
The Qualcomm IPQ4019 chip is located inside the MR8300. By allocating which data flows through the 2.4- and 5-GHz channels, it allows for the utilization of beamforming and Mu-MIMO to establish a solid connection between the client and router. It features six built-in signal amplifiers as well as an integrated Bluetooth 4.2 radio, which is utilized during setup to link a phone or tablet with the router.
The performance improvements of Wi-Fi 6 routers that employ the most recent 802.11ax spec are not available to the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router because it is an 802.11AC router. But it will work flawlessly with all of your current wireless-AC gadgets. Additionally, Wi-Fi 6 is still undergoing its initial distribution to items like laptops and cellphones, so it’s possible that many customers won’t be overly concerned.
The MR8300 comes ready to plug in with its antennae already attached, which is good news. The bad news is that although it is simple to turn the antennas to point the signal in the right direction, they cannot be taken off or replaced with amplified or higher gain apparatuses.
A small connection panel with an on/off switch, a power port, and a recessed reset button for resetting the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router to its factory-loaded software settings is located on the router’s rear. The router contains four downstream LAN ports for usage with network appliances, such as printers and storage devices, as well as one input Ethernet port for connecting with your broadband modem. Although all are capable of handling gigabit-per-second data loads, they cannot be combined to improve performance.
A USB 3.0 port is also included, but there is a catch. When we questioned Linksys about the port’s inactivity, they informed us that it would be activated in a subsequent firmware update. They didn’t say when, though.
The Max-Stream MR8300 has a single subdued, simple-to-ignore light in the center of its rectangular screen rather than having a Christmas tree-like appearance. Although there is no way to turn it off, among contemporary routers, it is the least obnoxious light show. The router’s indicator flashes blue when it first turns on, then changes to purple when it’s ready for configuration and finally to solid blue when it’s connected to the internet and prepared for pretty much everything your family can throw at it.
Although the MR8300 lacks mesh extensions for packing a big house with data, it does have a trick up its sleeve. You can add Linksys Velop mesh extensions at any moment to extend the network’s signal into your home’s disconnected areas. The extensions can assist in eradicating Wi-Fi dead zones at home and range in price from $80 to $145.
LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router General Information
|WiFi Speed||AC2200 – AC3200|
|WiFi Technology||WiFi 5 (802.11ac)|
|Router Type||Mesh Router|
|Number of Ethernet Ports||1x Gigabit WAN port4x Gigabit LAN ports|
|Wi-Fi Range||Medium Household|
|LEDs||One, multicolor light for power and status, USB, Ethernet (1-4), Internet|
|Memory||RAM: 512MB; Flash: 256MB|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||213.7mmX161.8mmx54.8mm (without Antenna)|
|Operation Modes||Access Point(Wired Bridge)Wireless Router|
|Wi-Fi Speed||AC2200 (N400 + AC867 + AC867)|
|Security Features||128 bit AES link encryptionWPA2/WPA Personal|
|Wi-Fi Technology||AC2200 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gigabit, 400+867+867 Mbps|
LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router Conclusion
Even if you have no experience with networking or node deployment, the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router is relatively simple to use and configure. Setting up, keeping an eye on, and managing your home Wi-Fi is a breeze with the Linksys app that comes with it. Additionally, users have the option of extending the range by continually adding Velop nodes to the router thanks to mesh Wi-Fi capability.
Additionally, the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router provides you that extra speed boost while you’re engaged in a fierce combat on the ground, and the network latency is constantly low, ensuring a superb gaming experience if you frequently play online games on your phone or PC. The best speeds for binge-watching Netflix on a 4K TV are also provided by this router if you stream a lot of TV series or movies on your smart TV.
LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router