Over the past year I’ve actually been running two WiFI networks at home – one is a Linksys Velop mesh for around-the-home WiFi and the other using Linksys WRT32X for gaming and high-speed connectivity in my bedroom, where my PS4 Pro and PCs reside. There were two main reasons why – the first is that the Velops have very basic connectivity (a single LAN port), while the WRT32X has a four-port LAN and USB ports to connect my NAS, PS4 Pro and portable drives. The second reason is that as the WRT32X isn’t a mesh router, it is not compatible with Velop and requires a different browser-based set-up to customise.
Linksys Singapore recently they passed me the new MR8300 Max-Stream Tri-Band Mesh WiFi AC2200 Router, which as the name suggests, is a hybrid router that combines higher-performance Max-Stream capabilities with Velop Mesh, and while obviously not as powerful as the WRT32X in terms of optimising for high performance gaming, does work seamlessly with the Velop and has a 716 MHz quad-core processor to improve MU-MIMO performance and lower latency to multiple devices.
In a Velop mesh network setup the MR8300 works as the primary node with four-port LAN connectivity as well as a USB3.0 port (disabled until a future firmware patch). Set-up is simple via the Linksys App, which takes about ten minutes to run its sequence. After connecting the MR8300 you can then use the app to add Velop nodes – in my case I did a factory reset of my existing three tri-band Velop nodes and left them in place.
As a standalone WiFi router the MR8300 is it’s a simple way to boost the gaming performance of your mobile devices at home, especially if, unlike me, you are still using a basic router that’s a few years old. If you are already using a Velop mesh network the addition of the MR8300 gives you a performance boost for gaming and streaming while staying on a single WiFi mesh network and using the Linksys App. The MR8300 also comes with a six-months free premium subscription to WTFast, a Gamer Private Network for optimised connection to gaming servers, worth US$54.
The MR8300 may seem a little bit basic but it’s meant for general consumers who need a simple but powerful WiFi router to handle the increasing load of multiple IoT and smart devices in their average household. It does need a bit more on-device security, which Linksys will make available in early 2020.