New arrivals: Linksys EA8500 Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router

Linksys has launched the world’s first MU-MIMO enabled wireless router. Available from 4 August at Challenger and subsequently at other retail stores and online for S$399.

The new Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500). RRP in Singapore: S$399.

The new Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500). RRP in Singapore: S$399.

The new Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500) leverages the 802.11ac Wave 2 MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) technology, which helps ensure uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity to all the devices in the home and function as if multiple devices have their own dedicated router.

“MU-MIMO technology revolutionises the wireless experience in the home. The average home has more than 8 devices connecting to the Internet, and they’re not used for just sending emails and tweets. We’re streaming movies and TV shows in high definition, we’re video chatting with our friends and family, and we’re playing video games against competitors around the globe, all on different devices and often at the same time,” said Mike Chen, vice president of product management, Linksys.

With MU-MIMO, the entire household can stream movies, play video games, listen to music, shop, check email and more – all at the same time.

The Linksys EA8500 router incorporates Qualcomm® MU | EFX MU-MIMO technology+, which helps to provide up to 3x faster speeds* compared to current W-Fi.

The combined 2.53 Gbps Wi-Fi speeds (up to 1733 Mbps for 5 GHz and 800 Mbps for 2.4 GHz‡) help minimise buffering and enable faster downloads.

A supercharged 1.4 GHz dual-core CPU and four Gigabit ports offer blazing-fast speeds perfect for heavy-bandwidth wired gaming.

Users can attach devices to the USB 3.0 port and a combo USB 2.0/eSATA port for uninterrupted personal cloud content streaming or to share data across their network.

The four removable external antennas are adjustable for maximum coverage, while beamforming technology concentrates the Wi-Fi signal to each device for stronger, better performance and increased mobile speed and range.

MU-MIMO, or Multi-User, Multi-Input, Multi-Output. Having a MU-MIMO router is like having an individual router dedicated to multiple devices in your home.

MU-MIMO, or Multi-User, Multi-Input, Multi-Output. Having a MU-MIMO router is like having an individual router dedicated to multiple devices in your home.


In an IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by Linksys, titled The Home Network, the Neglected Workhorse, IDC surveyed participants in the US that had at least 3 wireless access users in their household to understand the behaviors of wireless Internet use and how MU-MIMO can benefit multi-user/multi-device households.

The research project found that people are doing more on their home networks but are using older wireless technology that is not suited for the type of wireless households today – which are multiple-user/multiple-device households:

  • 84% of the respondents said they were streaming movies/TV and another activity such as streaming music, playing games, or surfing the Internet at the same time.
  • Nearly 50% still use routers running versions of Wi-Fi at least 12 years old.
  • 2/3 of the respondents said they had at least 5 devices connected to the Internet and in use at the same time.
  • More than half of survey respondents said they frequently or always experience buffering, interruptions or other performance issues on their home network.
  • 84% of survey respondents cite performance as a key attribute to their router buying decision, far out-distancing range, security and even price.
  • Average selling price of routers is growing too – respondents said they would spend an average of $84 MORE on a router to eliminate performance issues.
  • People want their Wi-Fi: Wireless Internet access ranked #2 of the things that people would not live without. Food ranked #1, followed by Wi-Fi, Smartphone and Sex.

The trend of multi wireless device ownership is also prevalent in Singapore.

“To have dedicated bandwidth for their devices simultaneously will enhance the users’ experience so they won’t see that buffering icon when streaming a movie or listening to choppy music or worse, playing games with lag. We are so confident in the experience that MU-MIMO provides that we will be expanding our product line in the future to include more MU-MIMO routers,” added Chen.

A survey by GlobalWebIndex indicates that Singaporeans own an average of 3.29 devices per person, which is one of the highest average observed in APAC markets.

This number looks set to increase, with the global average for number of devices used to access the internet having risen 31.6 percent, from 2.12 devices in 2011 to 2.79 devices in 2014.

In today’s digital age where surfing speed is intricately linked to quality of life, the demand for high performance internet connection that enables people to connect multiple devices simultaneously without performance issues is definitely on the rise.

The Linksys AC2600 MU-MIMO router targets these issues customers are having today.

Consumers can future-proof their home wireless networks as MU-MIMO becomes the next generation Wi-Fi technology in the market.

The datasheet for the Linksys Max-Stream AC2600 MU-MIMO Gigabit Router (EA8500) can be viewed/downloaded below.

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