THE GOOD The Amped Wireless RTA2600 Athena High Power Wi-Fi router delivers solid performance, especially when multiple devices using various Wi-Fi technologies are connected. It's also compact and easy to use.
THE BAD The RTA2600 has less features and slower performance than its competitors and is more expensive. Its storage feature doesn't support media streaming or Time Machine backup for Macs.
THE BOTTOM LINE The RTA2600 is a solid router that excels with multiple connected devices, but its competitors are faster and less expensive.
Wireless routers already have a crazy amount of jargon attached to them, but apparently there's always going to be room for more. The latest piece of Wi-Fi tech to enter the vernacular is MU-MIMO (pronounced "moo-meemoh").
With a typical router, Wi-Fi devices (like your smartphone, laptop or media streamer, and so on) of a lower Wi-Fi speed tier will adversely effect the performance of higher-speed devices in the same network. MU-MIMO routers like the Amped Wireless RTA2600, on the other hand, are much more efficient when doling out data, giving each connected device just as much as it needs; no more and no less. This means that with a MU-MIMO router, you can connect multiple devices at once without seeing a drop in speed for any of them.
The problem is that, in order to get the full benefit of this technology, both the router and the connected device need to support it. And right now there are very few devices that use MU-MIMO. In fact, the Linksys A8500 is currently one of only a few other routers that also supports MU-MIMO. The Linksys EA8500 is also faster and has more features than the RTA2600 and currently costs $40 less.
In addition, compared to traditional routers (the fastest of which range from $150 to $200), at $280 the RTA2600 is too expensive, doesn't offer as many features, and isn't as fast.
That said, for the alternatives that might better meet your budgetary and performance needs, check out CNET's list of the best home routers.
Edited by Night Hunter, 30 August 2015 - 07:24 PM.