Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream Key Specs

  • 4×4 AC 2600 802.11ac
  • Simultaneous Dual Band (2.4GHz + 5GHz)
  • 1.4GHz dual-core CPU
  • Beamforming
  • 4x adjustable external antennas
  • USB 3.0, ESATA ports, 4x Gigabit Ethernet
  • Combined dual-band download speed up to 2.53 Gbps
  • Full specs are available on the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream product page.

One more time: Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream MU-MIMO Gigabit Smart Wi-Fi router. It’s a pretty safe bet what the “Wi-Fi router” part of the name means, but to get a full sense of what this new router is capable of, I’m going to break down the rest of the product name.

Gigabit, as in Gigabit Wi-Fi

You don’t want to be buying a wireless router in 2015 that doesn’t support 802.11ac—also know as Gigabit—Wi-Fi.

The latest standard is wicked fast (two to three times faster than the previous 802.11n Wi-Fi) and it introduces new technology that makes that bandwidth even more effective. This includes support for beamforming, up to eight spatial streams, wider channel width and 256-QAM modulation.

That all sounds rather technical but what it boils down to is a router that’s designed to provide the best possible Wi-Fi in a modern household, with gaming systems, mobile devices, video streamers, PCs and smart home gear all competing for bandwidth.


Here’s another acronym for you: MU-MIMO. That stands for Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output. The Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream router has four spatial streams of data. That means multiple people (and their devices) can connect to your network simultaneously, each with a connection that acts like its own dedicated Wi-Fi router. Everyone gets a fast connection for gaming, media streaming or browsing and they don’t impact each other—no buffering, lagging or waiting for a website to load.

Linksys says the EA8500 Max-Stream’s MU-MIMO support means performance of up to 4.6 times faster than traditional Wi-Fi.

Linksys EA 8500 performance.jpg


Beside MU-MIMO, the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream incorporates other leading edge technology. Beamforming delivers targeted Wi-Fi signals to each device connected on your network for maximum signal strength. Four adjustable antennas ensure whole-home coverage. A powerful dual-core CPU ensures throughput doesn’t lag, even with multiple devices actively connected to the network. Simultaneous dual-band support means the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream is broadcasting on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, so devices can connect to the Wi-Fi band best suited to their capabilities. This router is also equipped with fast ports—USB 3.0, ESATA and Gigabit Ethernet—so even accessing printers or hard drives connected to the network is speedy.

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi app.jpgSmart

Finally, there’s the “Smart” part of the equation. While the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream certainly offers a lot of smart technology to maximize performance, in this case it’s referring to the network management.

Using the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi website or mobile app, you get complete Wi-Fi network management and monitoring tools, from wherever you happen to be. With Linksys Smart Wi-Fi you can do things like quickly check your Wi-Fi network status, check who’s online and (if needed) kick a device off or even prioritize a device so it is guaranteed to get the best throughput possible. 

If your Wi-Fi network isn’t up to the demands of all your connected devices, don’t put up with laggy, frustrating performance. Upgrade to a new 802.11ac router and while you’re at it, consider taking a big step forward with the Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream for butter smooth media streaming and online gaming.

Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. After 13 years as a product manager with a leading Canadian tech company, I transitioned into a full-time career of writing about technology. I’ve contributed to a range of publications and websites including Forbes, Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, About.com, MSN Money, the Winnipeg Free Press, InvestorPlace Media, Shaw Media and—combining technology and my three kids—I’ve been a Core Contributor to the award winning GeekDad blog since its launch in 2007.