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Wi-Fi Router Charts

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Features - more

A pretty serious omission from this feature set is outbound service blocking, a basic feature supported by most routers. If you want to block user access to specific services, such as Netflix, Pandora, etc. or allow use of only certain ports or port ranges to limit access to proxies and Torrent servers, you'll have to wait for OpenWRT firmware. Shouldn't be this way, guys.

The built-in set of parental controls are blunt instruments, providing all-on or all-off Internet access or blocking only a handful of domains. You're supposed to depend on the Smart Wi-Fi apps if you want more sophisticated tools. But you might be better off just using OpenDNS' free or paid services.

I haven't tried either Linksys app yet to see if they work with the WRT1900AC. Craig reviewed the Linksys apps and some of the third party apps back when all of this was known as Cisco Connect Cloud. It doesn't look like a lot has changed since then.

Linksys probably hasn't had much success attracting new developers to its Smart Wi-Fi platform, just as NETGEAR is finding it tough going to get even an initial set of apps for its genie+ smart router ecosystem. Both vendors are finding that routers are just too small a market for developers to bother with.

That's not to say there haven't been some changes in the Smart Wi-Fi app lineup. The current list below has gained one app, Qnext, and lost two, Gemini IP Camera Viewer and Twonky Video, from the original list.

App Description Platform
HipPlay offers a single, easy access point for all of your content stored in a variety of locations. Play & share content from a USB drive connected to your Linksys Smart Wifi router , stored on DropBox, uploaded to Facebook and more. Securely and privately share music, pictures, videos, even word and excel docs from anywhere on your Smartphone or tablet. You can also instantly upload pictures and videos to any of your storage locations.
Qnext provides a secure and private way for you to access and share music, pictures and videos with any of your facebook friends. Your shared content remains in its original location and when you share you give the group or individual permission to access the specific files (and only those files) from within facebook. You can create and edit the shared content list and recipients, and with one click you can remove content and sharing privileges, all remotely.
Netproofer lets you restrict access to designated websites for devices on your home network. This can be done as either a complete "blackout" of the site or allow access only on specific days at specific times.
Device Monitr
By providing real time network status, Device Monitr allows you to see what devices are on your network at any point in time. From anywhere you can monitor if the gaming console is on or if someone's iPhone has left the network. Additionally, Device Monitr also lets you block devices from network access as you see fit.
Block the Bad Stuff Block the Bad Stuff lets you select from three levels of content filtering to block malicious sites and mature or non-family-friendly content. Now you can set access to only content and websites you deem appropriate. iOS
Table 2: Smart Wi-Fi Apps

The gallery below copied from the EA6900 review shows most of the Smart Wi-Fi feature set's admin screens. Again, the WRT1900AC's Smart Wi-Fi feature set is similar enough that you'll get a good enough feel for the router admin from it.

Wireless features are again a bit on the thin side compared to some other high-end routers. There is no physical wireless on/off switch, no transmit power adjust, no timed wireless radio scheduling and you can't set maximum link rates. But you can manually shut off each radio in the GUI and MAC filters can be set to allow or deny the devices in the list. Sadly, you'll need to check the Troubleshooting > Status page to get the MAC addresses of devices you want to control since there is no pick list presented.

Thankfully, Linksys included support for both Wireless Bridge and Wireless Repeating, which work with any router (no WDS required). But they tucked them away in the Connectivity > Internet Settings screen shown below. Since changing to either mode will interrupt a wireless connection, you'd best be connected via Ethernet to set either of these up.

Wireless Bridge and Repeater Setttings

Wireless Bridge and Repeater Setttings

The implementation of both modes is pretty basic, with the Repeater screen shown below. There is no site survey to locate networks; you need to enter the SSID and security key of the network you want to connect to. In Repeater mode, I found that the router reverted to the factory SSID and security key for the repeated network. But you can change this using the Wireless Settings page. Once connected, there is no indication of link rate or signal strength between the repeater and base router. No wireless statistics are available either.

Wireless Bridge and Repeater Setttings

Wireless Bridge and Repeater Setttings

Table 3 has a summary of the wireless settings for your reference. Note Channel 165 isn't supported in the 5 GHz radio. There is also no 80 MHz only mode, nor Wireless-AC only mode to force AC operation on the 5 GHz radio. Similarly, there is no 256-QAM enable to raise the 2.4 GHz link rate to 600 Mbps with the few clients capable of linking at that rate. The default Auto settings on both radios will do the trick.

Setting 2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Channel Auto [default]
1 - 11
Auto [default]
36, 40, 44, 48
149, 153, 157, 161
Channel Width Auto [default]
20 MHz only
Auto [default]
20 MHz only
40 MHz
Network Mode Mixed [default]
Wireless B/G/N only
Wireless B/G only
Wireless-N only
Wireless-G only
Wireless-B only
Mixed [default]
Wireless-A/N only
Wireless-N only
Wireless-A only
Security None
WPA2 Personal
WPA2 Enterprise
WPA2/WPA Mixed Personal
WPA2/WPA Mixed Enterprise
Table 3: Wireless settings summary

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