The Linksys MR9000X-AH is branded as a router targeted for gamers.
As gamers, the most important thing that we value when gaming online is speed. Wireless or wired, it’s always the difference between an enjoyable gaming experience, or a stuttering, laggy debacle.
I’ve personal experience in this. I used to just be content with the crappy standard router you get when you sign up for fibre broadband. It could BARELY reach my room (when I used to stay in a 3-room HDB) and my wife constantly had issues connecting to it when a lot of other devices were online.
I’ve since moved to a bigger house (and an ASUS ROG GT-AX11000) but I’m curious to see how Linksys’ offering stacks up.
Read on to see what I discovered.
What is the Linksys MR9000X-AH?
The Linksys MR9000X-AH AC3000 is a tri-band (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) gaming mesh WiFi 5 router. It’s capable of up to 3000 square feet (287 square meter) coverage, supports up to 28 simultaneous device connections (from 802.11a all the way up to WiFi 5 enabled devices) and is capable of speeds up to 3Gbps.
Its MSRP is SG$399, though you may be able to find it cheaper.
Here are the specs for the router.
The machine’s a compact rectangular box with four adjustable antennas, made out of hard plastic. It’s pretty dainty and lightweight (especially when compared to other gamer-centric ones). It’s certainly not blinged out like ASUS ROG routers, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your tastes.
If you’re into unassuming looking boxes that will fit in whether it’s in an office or a living room, the Linksys MR9000X-AH is perfect. With its solid construction, it certainly looks the part.
On my review unit, all of the antenna were tight and stood in place when fully erected. It’s not a big deal but something I make a note to check.
On the back of the machine, you get your usual array of ports.
Due to the small size of the router, the ports are a bit cramped, which can potentially be an issue if you’re using all of the LAN ports. I personally use wired connections when possible and I had some issue removing my cables from the ports when packing up the device after using it.
There’s also a smaller WPS switch at the side of the router. It’s not raised or anything, which makes it a bit hard to locate when you’re going just by feel. However, since most people won’t even need to use it, it gets a pass.
I really like that the router shows its status via LED on the top of the machine. It makes it really easy to diagnose what’s the issue without needing to fiddle with the machine itself.
I’d also like to point out that the router has pretty good grip, owing to its humongous (and weirdly cute) rubber feet.
It’s definitely a plus point if you’re putting the router out in the open where pets or kids, can easily bump into it. At least with the huge feet there’s a chance it won’t be moved much (if at all) if something hits it.
Connecting to the router is incredibly simple, even if you have no tech experience. Plus, the router’s built with a firmware auto update function, meaning you’ll always be on the latest one without needing to do anything.
Everything’s done by the intuitive Linksys mobile app that you can download via the Apple or Google Play store, depending on your device.
My setup was quick and painless, with steps that were detailed (but easy to understand throughout). Once you’re up and running, you can then use the app to manage your connected devices.
The Linksys MR9000X-AH is billed as having a huge coverage area and from my testing, it certainly lives up to its claim. I tested it in my home, a 4-room HDB unit. Connection strength was full in the living room (where the router was) though my study, the spare bedroom and the master bedroom (the room furthest from the device) had 3 out of 4 bars. It didn’t matter at all if the doors were closed or open, the signal strength never wavered.
I also did 3 different speed tests; two via the mobile app and one via Speedtest.net.
The first test (in the first image) was done in my master bedroom, with the door closed and the router in the living room. The second was done in my study, again with the door closed.
Finally this screengrab was done on my laptop, which was in my study. Unlike the two others, this was done via Speedtest.net. This is a more accurate test, as you’re connecting to an outside source and not just to the router directly.
All of the connections were on 5Ghz, on a 1Gbps line.
In comparison, here’s my speed done with my usual router, the ASUS ROG GT-11000AX.
The download speed’s nearly identical but there’s a definite difference when you take a look at the upload speed. If you’re somebody who constantly uploads videos or other HD (or even 4K content), that difference will certainly be felt.
The Bottom Line.
If you’re a gamer (or content creator) and need a premium router, you could certainly do worse than Linksys’ MR9000X-AH. True, it doesn’t look like much but it’s performance is certainly on par with the big boys.
Setup and management is incredibly simple via the Linksys app, which means anybody can easily customize it to their liking.
Its SG$399 MSRP might not be for everybody, but for a premium router, it’s certain not as expensive as offerings from other manufacturers.
Great router that’s easy to set up and customize.
- Great performance.
- Lightweight and relatively small.
- Very intuitive app.
- Looks boring.
- Price might be an issue for those on a budget.