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Friday | August 14, 2020
Linksys WRT1200AC Review

Linksys WRT1200AC Review

Last year Linksys released the WRT1900AC, a high end Wi-Fi router which looked back into their history for its external styling but packed the inside with the latest tech and exceptional performance. It turned out to be one of our favourite routers of all time and deservedly won our Gold Award. Recently Linksys released another product in the same family, the WRT1200AC which has similar features and design but is targeted at a more mainstream section of the market. Today we feature that router in our Linksys WRT1200AC Review.

Linksys WRT1200AC Review – Packaging and Bundle

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For anyone who has seen the WRT1900AC the packaging used for the 1200 version will be fairly familiar. Its a nice box design which does exactly what we would want, gives a clear image of what we are buying, provides a quick rundown of the key features and lists the main specifications on the other sides. Inside the router is well protected and bundled with it is product documentation, two antenna and a mains adapter.

Linksys WRT1200AC Review – The Router


Anyone looking at the WRT1200AC, which runs a dual core 1.3GHz ARM CPU, could easily mistake it for WRT1900AC, externally they are identical apart from one change. The number of antenna used. More on that in a moment. For now looking at the design we get that cool, retro blue and black, angled casing with LED panel on the front which provides plenty of information on the status of the routers various connections.


Flipping the WRT1200AC over we see that the perforations continue across the bottom surface, ensuring good airflow to assist the single cooling fan inside and there are four rubber feet on the base which will keep the router stable on our desk. Also worthy of note is that the WRT1200AC will stack nicely with the SE4008 8 port ethernet switch that Linksys offer.

Looking along the back of the router we see that there are two antenna on this model which allow us to connect using 867MBPS ac, 400 MBPS n. Between the two antenna we find an on/off rocker switch, power input, reset button, USB/eSATA combo port, USB 3.0 port, Internet in, 4xGB LAN ports and a WPS button.

Linksys WRT1200AC Review – Setup

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Setup of the WRT1200AC begins with screwing on the antenna and the connecting the mains power and cable from our modem. With that done we can connect to the router via a network cable or Wi-Fi to begin the software configuration. If connecting by Wi-Fi we can either enter the password noted on the base of the router to create a secure connection or press the WPS button on the back of the router. Once connected for the first time the configuration wizard launches in our browser and the router checks for any firmware updates before applying them and asking if we want to auto-apply future releases. Naming our networks is next, along with choosing a new password to access both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

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Next up we choose a new admin password and finally Linksys confirm all of our details to ensure they are correct. At this point our router is ready to use and Linksys allow us to set up an account with them, allowing remote access and even the ability to manage other peoples networks (for example those of an older, less tech savvy family member).

Linksys WRT1200AC Review – Software

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For those who want to get a little more in-depth with their router configuration Linksys offer an admin control panel with plenty of flexibility. On our first screen we get a summary of the router status as well as quick enable/disable options for guest access and parental controls. We can take a look at the network map which is a handy way to see which devices are connected and a speed test lets us confirm if our connection is performing correctly. The parental controls allow us to restrict specific devices from accessing sites and this can be configured down to specific times of day too.

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File sharing, print sharing, media prioritisation and VPN configuration are all available as is a panel which allows us to manually update firmware, disable the LEDs or tweak our security. Troubleshooting assists us with solving any issues that may develop and we can also configure the routers firewall as well as configure how it behaves with specific apps/games, prioritising those heavy eSports sessions, as one example.


It is also worth noting that the WRT1200AC, like the WRT1900AC also supports open firmware meaning end users can tweak the code and share it adding features that specific user groups may find useful. Mobile apps are also available, allowing us to manage the router from our phone/tablet etc.

Linksys WRT1200AC Review – Conclusion

Back when we reviewed the WRT1900AC we noted that the retro styling was a real selling point and despite it not being new here, it’s still pretty great. We love the older aesthetic of this series and it is great to see that despite this being a lower cost model, the same solid casing is used on the WRT1200AC and we even get the same LED panel and port layout.

Feature wise, the WRT1200AC uses the same setup, the same software/control panel and uses beamforming, dual core CPU and option for open source firmware. The only significant difference is the antenna configuration and associated speed. On the WRT1900AC we get 1300MBPS/600MBPS, on the 1200AC it’s 867/400MBPS. The saving for this is around $100/£75 but what does that mean to you in real world use? Well the 1900AC ensures maximum signal strength in larger buildings, or across multiple floors and is more likely to handle multiple devices being used at the same time without noticeable performance impact. For those who maybe  only use a couple of systems at any one time in an average sized house the 1200AC will offer a great experience for that lower cost.

Summary: Great styling, good build quality and excellent software/stability. Ideal for the average consumer who doesn’t need the enhanced signal strength and extreme multiple device connectivity/usage of the more expensive model.

Recommended Award

About Author

Stuart Davidson


  1. zer0ops

    Can you cover the custom firmware options?

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