These days, ordinary routers just won’t cut it anymore if you have a lot of devices connected, all doing heavy bandwidth work, be it gaming or streaming.
Linksys, a household name for network products, recently launched its newest gaming router, the MR8300, which offers a ton of built-in features, such as compatibility with Mesh Wi-Fi extenders like the Velop, High-Speed Wi-Fi with prioritization, Easy Setup, Parental Controls, security features, and more, all done via its companion app.
|Processor & Memory||
|WAN and LAN Connectivity||
|Wtfast Integration (Premium 6-month access)||
What’s in the Box
Apart from the usual documentation and a short network cable, Linksys also included detachable plugs for the power adapter, which means you can use it in just about any type of socket. For the MR8300, you also get 6 months of premium membership for wtfast. a private Gamers Network which lets you experience your favorite titles at the most optimal network performance.
The MR8300 isn’t outlandish in its looks. In fact, Linksys has kept things simple – you get a slab of plastic with four antennas, a Linksys branding, a ton of ports at the back, and a dedicated status light.
Speaking of ports, you get 4 Ethernet ports at the back of the device, along with one Internet port, a power port, a dedicated ON and OFF switch, and a USB 3.0 port. The indicator light tells you the status of the router, a Solid Blue for example, means the router is already setup and good to go, while a solid purple light means it’s ready for setup.
Setting Things Up
The Linksys app gives you access to all the features of your router, and make the necessary adjustments. It shows you all the devices that are connected to the router, and lets you manage each individual device.
Router Administration lets you see the nodes in your network, remotely restart the router, enable automatic firmware updates and more. You can set a frequency for 2.4GHz and 5GHz, or just combine them as one. You can also restrict Internet access using the MAC address filter, add a new node, and more.
Velop allows you to extend the coverage of your Wi-Fi network with via Mesh Wi-Fi technology. A perfect partner for the MR8300, you can have a multitude of these devices or “nodes” that connect to one another and form a network. This eliminates any dead spots in your house, as your devices seamlessly connect to the best node, as you move around.
There are of course, guidelines as to how far you can place each node apart. In my case, I decided to put the node one floor beneath the office, a bedroom. Setting it up can be done anytime after you’ve finished setting up your router.
To setup a node, your phone will have to be near it. Just follow the instructions on the app, as it scans for the node. It will also give you advice as to whether you should move the node to another location.
In my case, I was able to setup the Velop Mesh properly, though the app was warning me that I won’t be able to get the best experience, as the node was simply too far, when in fact, it was just a room down, with the only thing dividing the router and the node is a ceiling, maybe it was really just too thick, or I just needed another node.
I did a speed test on when I was close to the router in my home office, when I was on the first floor where the Velop node is installed, and outside the house at around 20m distance, to see the network’s effective range.
Surprisingly, I did get good results even when I was on the first floor where the Velop node was installed. There’s a noticeable drop in overall speed, but it wasn’t really much. Unfortunately, the speed did go down significantly when I was outside, which suggests that the effective range of the router isn’t as great.
For gaming, my ping did not suffer terribly in Mobile Legends, even when three devices – two smartphones and one desktop were all streaming content from YouTube. I guess that prioritization really works.
To know more about the MR8300, click here.