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Linksys launches new flagship tri-band EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 MU-MIMO router (Updated)

Updated on 15 July 2016: Updated details on Hachi.tech’s special launch promotion. Singtel broadband subscribers also get S$100 off the bundle at Challenger.
Originally published on 13 July 2016: 
At CES 2016 earlier this year, Linksys showed off their brand new flagship router, the EA9500 Max-Stream AC5400 MU-MIMO router. It boasts the latest in home networking technologies and it is finally here in Singapore.
To begin, the Linksys EA9500 router looks like an EA8500 router that has undergone a rigorous workout. It is substantially larger, and it has double the number of external antennas. Count them, there’s eight in total.
At its heart, the new EA9500 router is a AC5400 class tri-band router that is powered by a 1.4GHz dual-core processor and broadcasts a single 2.4GHz network and two 5GHz networks. The 2.4GHz network offers data transfer rates of up to 1000Mbps while the two 5GHz networks are good for up to 2167Mbps each. Add them all up and you get about 5400Mbps (hence the AC5400 classification).
And since the EA9500 router is part of Linksys’ Max-Stream routers, it also supports MU-MIMO technology. Very briefly, MU-MIMO is a new technology that allows the routers to more efficiently make use of its available bandwidth by transmitting data to multiple devices simultaneously. You can find out more about MU-MIMO here.

However, the feature that we think most users would be most pleased with is the generous number of Gigabit Ethernet ports that the EA9500 router provides. While most routers only have four Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, the EA9500 router ups the ante with a staggering 8 Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports. This is great for owners who need to connect many devices, like NAS systems and consoles, to their routers. After all, nothing beats a wired Ethernet connection right? The previous best we’ve seen in this department was 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports from Netgear’s Nighthawk X8 router, but Linksys obviously tops that easily.
Besides the eight Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, the EA9500 router also comes with a single USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 port. These ports will come in handy for users who want to attach external storage devices and printers for file and printer-sharing.

Apart from the EA9500 router, Linksys also launched two new accompanying devices to make better use of its speed and range. The first is the Max-Stream AC1900+ MU-MIMO Wi-Fi range extender or RE7000.
This is a dual-band range extender that supports MU-MIMO and broadcasts four streams, allowing it to support 5GHz speeds of up to 1733Mbps. It also broadcasts a 2.4GHz network with speeds of up to 300Mbps.
It also supports something called Seamless Roaming, which automatically switches users over from the router to the Wi-Fi range extender without the need for any user intervention. This means users can move about their home and not worry about having to switch networks or suffer drops in connection.
Finally, there’s the Max-Stream AC600 USB MU-MIMO adapter, which is great for users who want to take advantage of their new MU-MIMO routers with older devices that do not support MU-MIMO.
It’s a single stream device, which means it supports speeds of up to 433Mbps on 5GHz networks and 150Mbps on 2.4GHz networks. But the key advantage is that is supports MU-MIMO, which no other adapter does at the moment.

Availability

The Linksys EA9500 router and AC600 USB adapter will be available exclusively at Challenger stores and Hachi.Tech from 14 July. The EA9500 router will be priced at S$539,while the AC600 USB adapter is priced at S$129. Both devices will be available islandwide from 1 August.
Hachi.tech is offering a special bundle where customers can purchase the EA9500 router at a special price of S$439 and get a free Linksys AC600 USB MU-MIMO adapter. This offer is valid till this Sunday, 17 July. The bundle is also selling for S$499 at Challenger for its members, but Singtel broadband customers can additionally enjoy S$100 off the router itself, which means they’ll be able to buy it (without the USB adapter) at just S$439. The latter offer is valid until the end of October.
The RE7000 Wi-Fi range extender will be available from 1 August and is priced at S$199.