Setting up the router was a simple process, involving only 2 key steps. Run the set-up from the CD and then follow the instructions, which included: ‘plug in router’ and ‘enter chosen Wi-Fi details’. It then proceeds to set-up the router automatically, and for us, it also completed a firmware update. We were connected to the router and had internet access all within a few minutes.
The Linksys EA6500 utilises the Cisco Connect Cloud, which means you can access your router from any location by logging in at www.ciscoconnectcloud.com or even by using an Android or iOS app. Once logged on we were met by this page, which features a simple layout with live widgets.
From the left-hand menu we can select a variety of options. These include seeing all the devices connected and adding more remotely on the Device List page, and enabling guest Wi-Fi access on the Guest Access page. The Guest Access page also allows you the option to limit the total number of guests who can access it at any one time, something we thought was a nice touch.
The next set of options were for parental control, which allows you to block computers individually, or at certain times of the day, as well as blocking certain sites. Another great option is the Media Prioritization, as this allows you to select a computer or other device. You can select more than one, to have a higher priority, meaning the router will deal with its requests first, giving you the best connection possible.
The EA6500 router incorporates a broadband speed test, which is great for checking everything is working as expected. As there are also two USB 2.0 ports on the router, they have added some USB Storage options, which would allow you to use the router as a media server or a print server.
The next set of pages, allow you to set-up the router as you want. The connectivity pages allow you to alter the basic router settings, internet settings, local network and routing settings as well as device settings. The troubleshooting page is great for seeing the status of the router and any devices connected as well as the router logs.
The final two pages allow you to set-up the wireless settings and the router security settings. There is another neat feature hidden here called SimpleTap which will allow you to set-up the Wi-Fi settings on the latest mobile phones (with NFC enabled) just by touching the provided card to the phone.
The Android app gives you a few basic widget-like boxes to alter the guest Wi-Fi access and view connected devices. It does also give you full access to all the normal router settings if you slide the black bar up from the bottom of the screen. Very convenient and easy to use.