Edimax BR-6478AC review
The best-value 802.11ac router we've tested – and nippy, too – but it’s basic in terms of features
For anyone looking to make an early break into the world of 802.11ac routers, the Edimax BR-6478AC looks like a tempting buy. For £111, you get not only a dual-band 802.11ac router, but also the USB dongle that accompanies it. To buy the equivalent Netgear bundle – a D6300 with an A6200 – you're looking at well over £200.
The price isn't the only advantage the BR-6478AC bundle holds over its rival. The AC1200 adapter included is a USB 3 device, theoretically eliminating the USB 2 speed bottleneck that hobbles Netgear's A6200 adapter.
In practice, the router and adapter combination isn't as strong as that of the Netgear. At close quarters, over 5GHz, we measured an average file-transfer rate of 18.7MB/sec with our embedded 802.11n adapter, rising to only 21.6MB/sec using the bundled 802.11ac adapter. The Netgear achieved 26.6MB/sec and 25.1MB/sec respectively. In the long-range test over 5GHz, we failed to get a good enough signal to carry out the test with either the embedded 802.11n adapter or the bundled 802.11ac adapter.
In the 2.4GHz band, the results were more impressive, with speeds of 18.1MB/sec close up and 5.9MB/sec at long range, both beating the Netgear D6300.
However, the Netgear wins with its overall balance of performance, and its far more impressive features. The Edimax is only a cable router, while the Netgear boasts both ADSL and cable capabilities. The Edimax has no USB port, while the Netgear has two, and the fastest USB storage performance we've seen in a wireless router to boot. And, although we like the simple layout of the Edimax's web UI, there are no advanced parental controls or accompanying apps.
If you really want 802.11ac performance, but can't face spending £200 plus, the Edimax BR-6478AC is the way to go. It's a great-value bundle, and the router itself has speed to burn. However, do bear in mind that in doing so you’re sacrificing many useful features.
|802.11 draft-n support||yes|
|Gigabit LAN ports||4|
|10/100 LAN ports||0|
|MAC address cloning||yes|
|Wireless bridge (WDS)||yes|
|WPA Enterprise support||yes|
|WPS (wireless protected setup)||yes|
|MAC address filtering||yes|
|Port forwarding/virtual server||yes|
|Web content filtering||no|
|Dimensions||195 x 134 x 141mm (WDH)|