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Linksys E8450 Router Review: A Flawed Budget Wi-Fi 6 Goodness

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Linksys E8450 Dual-Band AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 Router is a breath of fresh air. This new Wi-Fi 6 router harkens back to when Linksys was one of my favorite home networking vendors, thanks to its traditional local web interface.

Indeed, it’s the first in a long time that’s no longer part of the “intelligent mesh” trend that deliberately neuters the hardware’s functionality to coerce users into surrendering their personal information via the Linksys mobile app. You buy it, and it’s yours. Pure and simple.

Unfortunately, the Linksys E8450 is far from perfect—even severely so. That’s partly because of its relatively low-end hardware and mostly due to the buggy firmware. As a result, other than the reliable Wi-Fi performance, there’s not much you can count on.

But at the current sub-$150 cost, this new Linksys Wi-Fi machine is still an excellent deal for a small home. Get it.

(The E8450 is a better version of the even lower-specced Linksys E7350 AX1800 that’s slated to be slower, albeit with the same firmware and feature set.)

Linksys E8450 has a shiny front face
Linksys E8450 has a cool new design with a shiny front face.

Linksys E8450: Out with the new, in with the old

From the look, the Linksys E8450 seems to be a new router. It comes in a unique, eye-catching design that looks like a standing book with a shiny face. The all-plastic body, especially the front, attracts dirt easily. Not a huge deal.

At the core, the E8450 is a standard and simple router. Despite the support for Wi-Fi 6, it comes with old hardware. Really old in some aspects.

For example, besides the usual four Gigabit LAN ports and one Gigabit WAN port, the router also has a USB 2.0 port on its back. This is ridiculous, considering USB 2.0 first came out more than 20 years ago.

And there’s more.

Linksys E8450: Hardware specifications

The Linksys E8450 supposedly comes with a Wi-Fi 6 5GHz band that caps at 2408Mbps, suggesting that it’s either a 4×4 band (at 80MHz) or a 2×2 band (at 160MHz).

On the setting page, though, the router only allows for switching between the narrow 20MHz and 40MHz channel widths. It’s the only Wi-Fi 6 router I’ve seen that doesn’t have 80MHz as an option.

So, the E8450’s specs are a bit of a mystery, and Belkin is quite vague on this front.

Model E8450
Full NameLinksys Dual-Band AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 Router
(Without Antennas)
6.14 x 3.03 x 8.66 inches
(15.6 x 7.7 x 22 cm)
Weight1.41 lbs (.64 kg)
Wi-Fi TechnologyDual-band Wi-Fi 6 
AX3200 (800 + 2400 Mbps)
5GHz Wi-Fi Specs4×4 AX: Up to 2408Mbps
Channel Width: 20/40MHz
2.4GHz Wi-Fi SpecsUp to 800Mbps
Channel Width: 20/40 MHz
Backward Compatibility802.11a/b/g/n/ac 
Wireless SecurityWPA2 / WPA3
Web User InterfaceYes
Mobile AppNo
Login Account RequirementNo
Bridge ModeYes
AP ModeNo
USB Port1x USB 2.0 (Storage)
Processing Power1.4 GHz Dual-Core CPU,
512MB RAM,128MB Flash
Gigabit Port4x LAN, 1x WAN
Link AggregationNo
Multi-Gig PortNone
Linksys E8450 Dual-Band AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 Router’s hardware specifications

In testing, my 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client managed to connect at 1.2Gbps (1200Mbps) of negotiated speed at best, so maybe the 80MHz was implied. (More in the performance section below.) Still, this is more like an AX2000 router than an AX3200.

That said, even the E8450’s total bandwidth is also old—low, that is. Many old Wi-Fi 5 routers can deliver more on paper.

A standard router with a good dose of nostalgia

But the old notion is not all bad. In fact, I was delighted to find out that it now uses the traditional local web user interface accessible via the router’s default IP address, which is

As a result, you can set it up and manage it like any standard router. And the setup process was indeed straightforward. It took me less than 10 minutes to get the E8450 up and running.

All I had to do was open a browser from a connected computer, navigate it to the IP address and then follow the self-explanatory onscreen wizard.

It’s safe to say if you have worked with a standard router before, you’ll have no problem with this Linksys. Also, here’s the good news: The interface has all the goodies, including the ability to back and restore the router’s settings—Belkin removed this function from most recent Linksys routers.

Linksys E8450 Interface Setup
The Linksys E8450’s web interface allows for easy ongoing management and setup, which includes a wizard that walks you through the steps, including updating the router t the latest firmware.

What’s more, the interface brought back a sizable dose of nostalgia, for me at least. It’s similar to that of Linksys’s best Wi-Fi routers in its heyday, such as the WRT1900AC.

Indeed, the web interface was part of why I used to love Linksys’s routers when it was still an independent company and during the time Cisco owned it, from 2003 to 2013. (Subsequently, Cisco sold it to Belkin, and Foxconn bought it in 2018.)

But, again, the E8450 seems dated, and the interface itself has nothing new. Those who have never used an old Linksys router will find this menu-based UI rather primitive and tedious.

However, if you’re tired of the mobile app and login shenanigans in Linksys routers in the past couple of years, you’ll find the E8450 a welcome change. This retro approach is a push in the right direction. I hope it’ll get better in this direction.

Linksys E8450: Detail photos

Linksys E8450 Box
The Linksys E8450’s retail box.

Linksys E8450 Box Content
The router includes a small power adapter and network cable out of the box.

Linksys E8450 Front
The Linksys E8450 comes in an eye-catching design with a shiny front.

Linksys E8450s right side
The Linksys E8450 from the side.

The Linksys E8450 is a light weight router.
The Linksys E8450 is a lightweight router.

Linksys E8450
The Linksys E8450 has the usual number of LAN and WAN ports on the back. There’s also a USB 2.0 port.

Linksys E8450s underside
The underside of the Linksys E8450. You’ll find here its default settings.

Linksys E8450 is a relatively compact router
The Linksys E8450 is a relatively compact and light Wi-Fi 6 router.

Compatibility-favored Wi-Fi settings, buggy firmware

The Linksys E8450 doesn’t have a lot of features. It comes with a standard set of settings found in most Linksys routers, including support for Dynamic DNS, port-forwarding, VLAN, etc.

Linksys E8450 Wi Fi Settings
The Linksys E8450’s Wi-Fi section doesn’t allow for performance-favored settings, nor does it have 80MHz and 160MHz channel widths.

The router’s Wi-Fi settings are a bit backward. Specifically, you can’t customize the hardware to deliver the best performance, just the best compatibility. It also doesn’t support WPA and older encrypting methods—you won’t be able to use many legacy clients with the E8450.

The biggest issue I experienced was the bugginess. Indeed, many of the router’s settings and features didn’t work as intended.

Let’s take the Parent Controls, dead simple yet the only notable feature, as an example. Supposedly, you can manually block up to 8 websites (such as,, etc.)

I tried it out, but it didn’t work at all. As it turned out, I had to restart the router before the changes were applied. But then it also blocked the sites that were not on the list at random. I had to turn it off before I could use the router more predictably.

The Linksys E8450 doesn’t allow for using channel bandwidth higher than 40MHz, and you can’t customize the setting to favor performance.

Other aspects of the router also didn’t work out well in my testing. Hopefully, this will change via firmware upgrades.

Linksys E8450 Interface Parental Control
The Linksys E8450’s Parental Controls feature is too buggy to be useful.

Linksys E8450: Reliable Wi-Fi performance

The Linksys E8450 did as expected in my testing. Without the support for the 160MHz (or even the 80MHz at times) channel width, you can’t expect it to be fast. But within its hardware constraints, the router did quite well.

For one, it proved reliable, as long as you use it mainly with the default settings—among other things, don’t use Parental Controls. I passed my three-day stress test with no issues at all.

Linksys E8450 Wi-Fi 6 Performance

The range was decent, too. If you live in a small home of 1600 ft2 (149 m2), it can cover every corner. But Wi-Fi range always depends on the environment, so your mileage will vary, even by a great deal one way or the other.

Good Wi-Fi throughputs

And the Wi-Fi speeds weren’t bad at all, either. My 2×2 Wi-Fi 6 client, on the 5GHz, could connect at 1.2Gbps and registered sustained speeds of between 685Mbps and 875Mbps from up to 40 feet (12m) away.

Linksys E8450 Wi Fi 5 Performance
Linksys E8450 Wi Fi 5 Performance

The router did OK with Wi-Fi 5 clients, too, averaging some 660Mbps at a close range of 10 feet (3m) and some 440Mbps at 40 feet away.

On the 2.4GHz band, the Linksys E8450 did about the same as similarly-specced Wi-Fi 6 broadcasters, topping at some 85Mbps in the best-case scenario.

Linksys E8450 2 4 GHz Performance
Linksys E8450 2 4 GHz Performance

Considering the lackluster hardware specs, the Linksys E8450 did slightly better than my original expectations. It had nothing to wow anyone but enough to deliver good Wi-Fi speeds, fast enough for most sub-Gigabit Internet plans, in a small home.

Horrendous NAS performance

On the other hand, calling the Linksys E8450’s NAS performance when hosting a portable storage device via its USB port “terrible” would be an understatement. It was a joke in my testing.

Linksys E8450 USB Freature
The Linksys E8450’s USB-related feature is a no-go.

I tested it with a couple of portable SSDs, including the WD My Passport SSD, and the sustained speeds (both read and write) never exceeded 2MB/s—that’s two megabytes per second. To put things in perspective, 20MB/s is still quite terrible for NAS performance.

Don’t bother to use this router’s USB port at all.

Linksys E8450's Rating

7.4 out of 10
Linksys E8450s front
7.5 out of 10
7 out of 10
Ease of Use
8 out of 10
7 out of 10



Reliable Wi-Fi, good coverage

Traditional local web interface, no login account required

Compact and pleasant-looking design


Only supports 20MHz and 40MHz channel width in Wi-Fi settings

Lacking and buggy firmware

No multi-gig network ports, Dual-WAN or Link Aggregation

USB 2.0 port with horrendous NAS performance when hosting a portable drive


The Linksys E8450 AX3200 Wi-Fi 6 Dual-band Router is a little push in the right direction by Belkin. The new router is as straightforward to use as a home router should be. It also poses no privacy concerns.

In its particular case, though, the shoddy firmware weighs it down, and the low-end hardware doesn’t help. Hopefully, things will get better via a firmware update. For now, still, you can think of its as a reliable, frill-free Wi-Fi 6 machine or a relatively small area. Get one if that’s all you need.

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20 thoughts on “Linksys E8450 Router Review: A Flawed Budget Wi-Fi 6 Goodness”

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  1. This wouldn’t be a true forum without some trolls and those who want to insult your intelligence or prove you wrong. Where are their reviews or websites?
    Great review, written very well, easy to understand and follow and the flow was great.

  2. suggestions for an ssd and router combo to take the place of my kaput Time Capsule. I want to run Time Machine via WiFi. Want a 2-3TB SSD. My router requirements are minimal — 500 mbs in a 1500 sf house. Want 4 ethernet ports out.


  3. I have recently installed 2 of this Linksys E8450 in my own house. The only issue and thing that i do not like is you have to login to either 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz network.

    Asus routers with AI-Mesh seems much better since they can be set to auto toggle between 2.4G or 5G in a single network login. I run a AX88(main router) and AC88(node) in my parent’s house.

  4. I have to point out the error in E8450 spec posted here – 5G indeed is 4×4 WiFi 6, but 2.4G, it is 4×4 802.11n, not WiFi 6. 2.4G is from the built-in WiFi of MTK 7622B…

    • They are 5GHz and 2.4GHz, Ding. And I got the specs from Linksys. I literally copied the datasheet from them and generally vendors always exaggerate or mislead…

      • You meant WiFi 6 on both 5GHz and 2.4GHz radios?

        I am sure Linksys hardware spec would not have said that.

        The chipset vendor, Mediatek, specifically referred this product, as hybrid WiFi 6, because only 5G is WiFi 6, not 2.4G.

        Last, try to calculate the PHY rate – if 2.4G was WiFi 6, the product would not be just AX3200, it would be AX3600 or AX3500 depending on rounding up or down 2.4G PHY rate.

        • I meant it should have been “GHz” instead of “G” in your first comment since you seemed so adamant about accuracy. 🙂

          • I thought I offered some useful info about the 2.4G radio of E8450. Apparently you don’t like how it was presented by going for GHz vs G, which is a common wording in this industry. Okay, it was not an “error”, but something Linksys intentionally didn’t state clearly – it is completely understandable “802.11n” is not liked in the WiFi 6 product spec.

            Therefore, 2.4G performance does not need be compared to WiFi 6 products, but to the 2.4G radios in those WiFi 5 products…

            Also, no need to guess 80MHz or 160Mhz from 2400M PHY rate, MT7915A is 4×4, 80MHz.

            I have to say I had a different expectation of the response to my comment…

  5. The dual core 1.4GHz MediaTek CPU with AES capability on this router is an OpenVPN dream when Wireguard is not an option. The 128MB flash and 512MB memory are generous. Lacking USB3 can actually be a smart modern design choice: USB3 is notorious for causing 2.4 GHz WiFi interference when home users who don’t know that plug in old poorly shielded cables. The way to get fast NAS is to plug an actual NAS into an ethernet port. Plugging a drive or stick into USB2 is fine for casual file sharing in a home – beyond that use case, a real NAS is in order anyway. The buggy featureless firmware with no 80 MHz channel width option? Who cares? This thing was made for OpenWrt 😉 80 MHz width all day long…

      • Dong, you fail to see the value in these commenters and have responded in a very critical manner. Your review is boilerplate, but at least a couple of commenters on your site have provided valuable information about the radios and OpenWRT ability.

        As a first time reader who discovered your site looking for more info about this Linksys, I’m dismayed at how you would respond to your readers.

        I’m not sure anything you say can redeem yourself. At the very least, you owe an apology to two of your commenters here.

        • Nice email address, Eli. And it’s a bit judgy of you as a first-time reader. Spend a bit more time, and you might see things differently. Or not.

    • Hi Counterpoint,

      Would you be able to report how your download speeds compare when using the OpenVPN client (with AES-256-GCM encryption) and without?

      Was considering replacing my Asus RT-AC86U (which has AES hardware acceleration for great OpenVPN speeds) with a Raspberry Pi 4 or Intel X86 router so I can use OpenWRT. But then I’d need a separate dumb access point.

      If the Linksys E8450 (aka. Belkin RT3200) has good speeds while connected to VPN it may simplify my setup considerably

      • I just did a speedtest while connected to an AirVPN server with OpenVPN using the CHACHA20-POLY1305 cypher and got 175Mbps download speed. Not bad! 🙂 Without VPN my download speed is 300Mbps.

        With AES-128-CBC the highest I got was almost 175Mbps and with AES-256-GCM I got max 114Mbps. So in conclusion, best to use CHACHA20-POLY1305 for OpenVPN with this router!

        The CHACHA20-POLY1305 speed of the Belkin RT3200/Linksys E8450 is very good. Even in comparison to my ASUS RT-AC86U with AES hardware accelration. On that one, with AES-256-GCM, I get about 160Mbps.

  6. Using 2 E8450 as wireless bridge , performance is really good.
    Main router is MX5300. My ps5 gets over 750mbps @ speedtest.

      • Thx Dong, MX5300 is good enoguh for my small apartment.

        Just need 2 wireless bridge to connect my consoles & uhd player in bedroom and AV Cabinet in living room.

        Was about to buy Netgear EAX series, but i studied the user manual of E8450 and knowing that it supports Wireless bridge mode.

        Finally i gave it a try and there is no regret. 🙂
        Remark : And they are much cheaper than EAX20/EAX80 as well. 🙂


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