Linksys have kindly provided us with their Smart Wifi EA6700 router for review in our PC Build feature. As most online gamers will tell you, a reliable router is important for gaming and Linksys is known to be one of the best router manufacturers in the world.

The Linksys EA6700 is the most expensive smart Wi-Fi router which Linksys produce, and is definitely only made for heavy networking users, but, for those who pay up, you get what you pay for. This router has exceptional performance and delivers the absolute best in terms of functionality, features and efficiency.

One of the key strengths of Linksys is the complexity and technology used in their routers, all hidden behind an extremely easy to use, simplified interface. Their products use the latest technological innovations, many of which are invented by the in-house development team. While this router and their other smart wi-fi routers are expensive, they deliver on what they promise.

Firstly, to speak about the wireless specifications; the EA6700 offers 2.4GHz wireless over the 802.11b/g/n protocols and 5GHz wireless over the 802.11ac protocol. The router offers dual-band connection, four ethernet ports and two USB ports (one USB3 and one USB2) for storage sharing over the local network. The EA6700 additionally supports WPS for the hassle-free connection of devices.

Currently available at £160, the router does not come cheap, however, it is mainly recommended towards power users and those who may have ten or more devices connected simultaneously. The device is extremely stylish and with the advanced antenna array of 6 antennas being hidden inside the small, compact router, the EA6700 looks good and doesn’t take up space. The highly advanced wireless system is capable of supporting a huge number of devices at once without the connection deteriorating. We had the router connected to twelve devices and, on each, we set something to download. The result? When the download speed of each was totaled, the EA6700 was able to give 93% of our total connection speed, as advertised by our ISP. Receiving 93% of your advertised connection speed over 12 devices is extremely impressive, and it goes to show that you get what you pay for, as with most computer components.

Now, to move on to some of the management options available on the EA6700, we’re going to be talking about the prioritisation, remote management, parental controls and supplementary features available to utilise. Firstly, you can choose which devices you wish to dedicate additional bandwidth to using the media prioritisation feature. All that must be done is to drag and drop the device (which does not even need to be connected at the time) you wish to prioritise in the ‘High priority’ zone. Using the options, you can customise the specific downstream and upstream values you wish to offer to those devices.

The EA6700 also makes possible the management of router settings, additional router apps and connected devices remotely using mobile applications. Users can also manage the settings remotely using a PC from the Smart Wi-Fi website using the account they created during router setup. This can be very useful if a user needs to remotely edit settings or device priorities when away from the home or the office, perhaps for security reasons.

On the topic of settings, the EA6700′s interface is fantastic and almost anyone would be able to understand and use it. With its level of simplicity, changing connection settings, wireless settings and security settings is as simple as it can get. Unfortunately, some network enthusiasts might find the lack of advanced features on the router a problem, however, it doesn’t really impact anything. I can’t think of anything of worthiness which the router is missing, so, Linksys must have done an excellent job in developing their interface.

The EA6700 was able to maintain a high speed connection 12 meters away from its setup location, going through several obstructions, including three brick walls. On average, in the same room, we saw the router being capable of achieving 92% of our total download speed, and 94% of our total upload speed, as advertised by our broadband provider. Moving 7 meters away, through one brick wall, we still saw 82% download and 76% upload speed. Even 12 meters away through three brick walls, we were still able to pull 63% download and 59% upload speed. These upload and download speeds are fantastic for the distance and obstructions they face, and the EA6700 is one of the only routers I have seen achieving such high efficiency rates.

To round up our review, the EA6700 performs magnificently, and, if you can justify the very expensive asking price, the router will certainly deliver what it promises, and even more. The product is fantastically build and definitely deserves our gold award.