Linksys EA6900 AC1900 Vs Apple Airport Extreme AC1750

Various models of wireless AC1900 router you can find in the market today; even though the emergence of quad data streams-based routers and three band routers have been around for a while the demand of more economical wireless AC1900 routers is still high such as Linksys and Airport extreme. How good is Linksys EA6900 AC1900 wireless router compared with Apple Airport Extreme AC1750 router?




Linksys Vs Airport Extreme

Most people are typically interested with the beautiful appearance of a device in the first impression when they are intending to choose the device to purchase before then digging deeper into the features embedded in it. You would also experience the same thing when you should select the wireless ac router between two high end wireless ac routers currently available in the market i.e. Linksys AE6900 ac1900 and Apple Airport Extreme ac1750 routers. Which one do you prefer?

Spec comparison

The following table compares main spec comparison between the two routers to help you understand the spec differences if any, not to mention the detail features each of them.

Wifi technology

Even though both routers deliver the same theoretical speeds in 5GHz band, the wifi speed in 2.4GHz band is different between the two; Linksys delivers faster speed up to 600Mbps in 2,4GHz while Airport Extreme delivers up to 450Mbps. You may also see comparison between Linksys EA6900 and R7000 which the speeds are the same.

Linksys breaks its tradition in producing the routers with internal antennas for its E or EA series by introducing Linksys EA6900 AC1900 with three detachable external antennas that makes this router to look sturdy and ferocious. Compared with Extreme, and other Apple router series, this router comes with internal antennas and put the 6x antenna arrays on top for higher position. However, both routers are engineered with the same beamforming antenna technology that broadcast in all direction like Omni but focusing the beam to the wifi clients solidly.

An optimal throughput can be achieved should you also equip your computers with wireless ac-based wireless adapters such as Linksys WUSB6300 that is based on wireless ac1200, and you may also consider Asus USB-AC56 with the same wireless ac1200 technology. See also some models of wireless ac1200 USB adapters.

Linksys Wireless AC1900 router

Linksys Wireless AC1900 router

Ethernet Port

Probably Apple has a certain reason why Airport Extreme all generations come with only three Ethernet ports, one less port compared with other home routers in general. Not sure, but I think most people use no more than three ports in home for direct connections to the router. Most clients connect wirelessly to the network, home theater devices including Smart-TV, Blu-ray, XBOX and more devices connect wirelessly since they are separated in different room using wireless bridge device such as Linksys WUMC710N. This is a  universal media connector with single 5GHz band, ideal for delivering multimedia traffic for less interference and less noise. By adding wireless bridge with multiple ports, you can eliminate the clutter of the wires to the router.

USB Ports

Significant difference lies on the USB equipment. Airport Extreme AC1750 comes with only one USB 2.0 port, but Linksys EA6900 AC1900 comes with two USB ports – one USB 2.0 standard and the other one is USB 3,0 port – 10x faster than USB 2.0. Both routers support DLNA media server to seamlessly connect all other DLNA compliant devices to share media files from the attached storage to the port.

Apple Airport Extreme 6G

Apple Airport Extreme 6G Wireless AC router

The ease of router with two USB ports is apparent; you can host both printer and storage together. With Airport you require adding USB hub to let you host both printer and storage together, somewhat troublesome indeed.

I put a special column with 3G share in the table, even though both routers do not support this feature but just want to let you know that Asus wireless ac routers come with this feature, you can add USB dongle for sharing the cellular internet. Asus AC66U wireless ac1750 and also the newest version AC68U support this 3G share feature.  See also Asus AC66U Vs Netgear R6300v2.

Time machine

Airport Extreme is indeed designed with Time machine support, no wonder because this router must work in Mac machine environment including to support Time machine automatic backup wirelessly to the storage disk attached to the router.

Linksys EA6900 doesn’t naturally support time machine, you may try with different disk format see if this router support Time machine.

To see more experience with Linksys EA6900, watch this product introduction video (courtesy by Linksys and YouTube)

Table 1. Airport Extreme AC1750 Vs Linksys EA6900 AC1900

Airport Extreme AC Linksys EA6900
Wifi technology Simultaneous dual band based on wireless ac1750 Wireless 802.11ac – AC1900 speeds of up to 600+1300 Mbps each band
Antennas 6x internal antenna array with beamforming technology 3x adjustable external antennas with beam-Forming technology
Ethernet ports 3x Gigabit LAN and 1x Gigabit WAN ports 4x Gigabit LAN and 1x Gigabit WAN ports
USB port 1x USB 2.0 for share storage or printer with DLNA media server 1x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0 both are in rear panel

Supports DLNA certified media server

Share printer and storage

3G/4G Share No No
Cloud N/A, except you sign on for iCloud services Linksys Smart Wifi apps for remote home network management
Time machine Yes, natively N/A
IPv6 ready Yes Yes
Guest network Yes Yes – allow limitation devices to connect
Hardware Performance Broadcom processor with 512MB RAM and 128 MB Flash Dual core 800MHz processor with 256MB RAM and 128MB Flash
On Off buttons N/A Power On-Off switch
VPN server N/A N/A
Management Airport utility:

iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 5 or later and AirPort Utility 1.3

Mac with OS X Lion v10.7.5 or later and AirPort Utility 6.3

Linksys smart wifi software and apps accessible via mobile devices
Customer ratings (up to Dec 2015 in Amazon) 4.6 out of 5 stars 3.5 out of 5 stars
Price $179.99 $143.99

 Summary

Doesn’t mean to ignore the high rating received by Apple Airport Extreme, Linksys EA6900 AC1900 has more features including 4x Gigabit port, one more USB 3.0 port, and speed is theoretically higher.  I expect that Linksys will soon upgrade the firmware to boost the performance of this router.

So far, Apple still with it’s Airport Extreme version with AC1750. However Linksys has offered newer version in AC3200 – a three band wireless router.

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Cheers,



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