LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router Review

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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.

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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

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The EA8300 we evaluated last year and the MR8300 have the 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 an issue with a subsequent firmware upgrade, though.

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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. Allocating which data flows through the 2.4- and 5-GHz channels, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router General Information

WiFi BandsTri-Band
WiFi SpeedAC2200 – AC3200
WiFi TechnologyWiFi 5 (802.11ac)
Router TypeMesh Router
Number of Ethernet Ports1x Gigabit WAN port4x Gigabit LAN ports
Wi-Fi RangeMedium Household
LEDsOne, multicolor light for power and status, USB, Ethernet (1-4), Internet
MemoryRAM: 512MB; Flash: 256MB
Dimensions (LxWxH)213.7mmX161.8mmx54.8mm (without Antenna)
Weight608 g
Operation ModesAccess Point(Wired Bridge)Wireless Router
Wi-Fi SpeedAC2200 (N400 + AC867 + AC867)
Security Features128 bit AES link encryptionWPA2/WPA Personal
Wi-Fi TechnologyAC2200 MU-MIMO Tri-Band Gigabit, 400+867+867 Mbps

LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router Conclusion

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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 with that extra speed boost while you’re engaged in 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.

Is LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router good?

Reviews of the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router are largely favorable due to its features, dependability, and performance. The following are some significant elements that support its reputation:

Tri-Band Wi-Fi: With one 2.4 GHz band and two 5 GHz bands, the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router makes use of tri-band Wi-Fi technology. Especially in houses with numerous connected devices, this setup helps disperse traffic more effectively, lowering congestion and enhancing overall efficiency.

Coverage and Range: According to user reviews, the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router has good Wi-Fi coverage and range, making it a good choice for medium-sized to big houses. The signal strength of the router usually stays strong even in locations that are far from it.

Speed and Performance: The LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router offers fast Wi-Fi speeds appropriate for demanding applications like online gaming, HD streaming, and video conferencing thanks to its AC2200 rating. Even with numerous devices connected at once, excellent performance is ensured by the tri-band configuration.

Easy to Use: The user-friendly Linksys app makes it relatively simple to set up and manage the MR8300. The app makes managing settings and connected devices simple and provides step-by-step installation instructions.

Mesh Compatibility: When linked with additional Linksys Velop mesh routers, the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router may also operate as a component of a mesh network. This enables wider coverage throughout the house and easy roaming.

Advanced Features: For better performance and dependability, the router has advanced features like beamforming technology, which helps to concentrate Wi-Fi signals toward connected devices. Furthermore, MU-MIMO technology guarantees effective data transfer to numerous devices at once.

Security: The LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router has strong security features, including as support for guest networks, SPI firewall, and WPA/WPA2 encryption. Frequent firmware updates contribute to the router’s security by addressing vulnerabilities.

Parental Controls: With the router’s parental control features, parents may limit their children’s access to the internet, ban particular websites, and schedule their connected devices’ usage. This is especially helpful for monitoring kids’ internet activity.

All things considered, consumers looking for strong Wi-Fi performance, wide coverage, and sophisticated control features might consider the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router. Individual experiences, however, could differ based on things like the internet service provider, the network environment, and particular use cases.

Is LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router a modem router?

The LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router is not a combination of modem and router. It’s a stand-alone router made to link to a modem or modem router that your internet service provider (ISP) currently has installed. This implies that in order to distribute the internet connection to your devices via Wi-Fi or Ethernet, you will need a separate modem in order to establish an online connection. You can then connect the MR8300 router to the modem.

How many devices can the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router support?

A number of variables, such as the kind of devices connected, their bandwidth needs, and the volume of network traffic overall, can affect how many devices the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router can serve at once.

With its AC2200 Wi-Fi capabilities, the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router is a tri-band router that can accommodate a sizable number of devices at once. However, the performance of the router and possibly the overall speed and stability of the network might be negatively impacted by the number of devices that are actively utilizing the network at the same time.

Generally speaking, dozens of linked devices, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart home appliances, and more, ought to be easily supported by the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router. Large to medium-sized homes and small enterprises with numerous users and gadgets would benefit greatly from it.

Remember that even while the router is theoretically capable of supporting a lot of devices, real performance, and user experience may differ based on things like Wi-Fi signal quality, network congestion, and the kinds of activities being done on the network. If you have any connectivity or performance issues, you could choose to upgrade your internet subscription, tweak your network settings, or add more access points or mesh Wi-Fi systems to increase coverage and boost efficiency.

Does the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router collect data?

Like many other tech businesses, Linksys may gather information about how its devices—including routers like the LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router—are used and performing. Usually, the goals of this data collection are firmware updates, troubleshooting, and product performance improvement.

Usually, Linksys’s privacy policy lists the precise categories of information that its routers gather. Although specifics may differ, information gathering could involve:

Router Performance Data: Details regarding the signal strength, stability of the connection, and firmware usage of the router.

Network traffic data is aggregate information about network traffic, including the kinds of websites visited, the amount of data sent, and the length of time spent connected.

Diagnostic data: Information gathered for troubleshooting, such as crash reports, error logs, and system specs.

Device Connection Data: MAC addresses, IP addresses, and device kinds of devices linked to the router are all included in this data.

It’s critical to read Linksys’ privacy statement to find out what information is gathered, how it’s used, and if users have any control or restriction over data gathering. Since many businesses must abide by privacy laws and policies that control the gathering, handling, and safeguarding of user data, they frequently disclose their data practices in an open and honest manner.

If you are concerned about privacy, you may usually find settings to control data-collecting preferences or disable specific functionalities in the router’s configuration interface or mobile app. Furthermore, by maintaining the firmware on your router updated, you can guarantee that you get any security patches or updates that might address privacy concerns with data.

How do I get the most out of my LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router?

Take into consideration the following advice to enhance the functionality and performance of your LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router:

The best location for your router is in the center of your house or place of business to provide uniform Wi-Fi coverage. Keep it away from big obstructions and electrical equipment that could disrupt the signal.

Firmware Updates: Make sure your router has the most recent firmware updates installed on a regular basis. Updates to the router’s firmware frequently include security patches, bug fixes, and performance enhancements that might improve its overall operation.

Optimize your Wi-Fi settings by going to the router’s settings page and adjusting things like the network name (SSID), password, and security protocol (like WPA3). Based on your security needs and the compatibility of the linked devices, select the best settings.

Channel Selection: To reduce interference from nearby networks and maximize network performance, manually choose the Wi-Fi channels for both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Utilize resources such as Wi-Fi analyzer applications to pinpoint less crowded channels nearby.

Quality of Service (QoS): To enhance performance, use the router’s QoS settings to give priority to particular kinds of network traffic, like streaming or gaming. Assign bandwidth in accordance with your unique consumption needs to guarantee that all linked devices can browse the internet without interruption.

Establish a guest network to give guests access to the internet while maintaining the security of your main network. To avoid unwanted access to your primary network resources, set up a different SSID and password for the guest network.

Parental Controls: To limit internet access, prohibit particular websites, and establish usage guidelines for linked devices, activate the parental control tools. This is especially helpful for controlling kids’ internet activity and encouraging a secure online surfing environment.

Activate features like SPI firewall, guest network isolation, and WPA/WPA2 encryption to improve network security. To guarantee a safe network environment, check linked devices and update passwords on a regular basis.

Device Management: To keep an eye on network activity and spot any unapproved or questionable devices, periodically check the list of connected devices in the router’s settings. Rename devices to make them easier to identify, and adjust access rights as necessary.

Frequent Maintenance: To maintain peak performance and dependability over time, carry out routine maintenance procedures like rebooting the router, cleaning device caches, and fine-tuning network settings.
Through the application of these techniques, you may enhance the functionality, security, and performance of your LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router, resulting in a strong and effective network environment for your home or place of business.

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LINKSYS AC2200 MR8300 Router
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