Reviewing the Edimax BR-6478AC V2 AC1200 Gigabit dual-band Wi-Fi router
Edimax is a Taiwanese company that makes affordable smarthome devices, including wireless routers. Their top wireless router at the moment is Edimax BR-6478AC V2 which is by no means, expensive. It costs around 70 USD and it promises to offer quite a lot of bang for the buck. While the hardware specifications of this router don't seem impressive, the feature list is quite long for a device that's priced so reasonably. We received the Edimax BR-6478AC V2 for testing for about a week and, after several measurements and tests, we are ready to share our conclusions about this device, in this review:
Unboxing the Edimax BR-6478AC V2 AC1200 Gigabit Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router
The packaging used for the Edimax BR-6478AC V2 wireless router looks good. On the front you can see a picture of the device, together with a list of its most important features.
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On the back you can see some information about all the modes in which this router can function and information on how to quickly setup the router. Inside the box you will find the following elements: the router, the power adapter, an Ethernet cable, a disc with the USB Device Server tool, the manual and the Quick Installation Guide in several languages, the printed Quick Installation Guide, the warranty and some other leaflets.
The unboxing experience is very simple and straightforward, as you would expect from a device this affordable. We enjoyed the fact that on the packaging you can find not only marketing speak but also useful information for the users of this router.
The Edimax BR-6478AC V2 wireless router has a Mediatek MT7620A processor at 580 MHz, 64 MB of RAM and 8 MB of storage space for the firmware.
It has two external antennas which broadcast the wireless signal for the 2.4 and 5GHz frequencies. As with any modern router, Edimax BR-6478AC V2 offers support for the following wireless networking standards: 802.11ac, 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n. The maximum, theoretical bandwidth is of 300Mbps for the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps for the 5GHz, leading to a total of 1197 Mbps.
On the back of the router, you will find the Power port, the LAN port for connecting the router to the Internet service provider, four Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting your devices to the network, a Reset/WPS button and a USB 2.0 port.
In terms of size, the router is not very large, even though it has two rather tall and thick antennas. Its size is of 190.2 x 172 x 42 mm or 7.48 x 6.77 x 1.64 inches in width, depth and height. The router is also very light, at 322 grams or 11.35 ounces. It has a large air vent on the front and two smaller ones on the back, which you can see below. This makes for an efficient cooling system.
If you are interested to learn more about the official specifications of this wireless router, go to this page: Edimax BR-6478AC V2 Specifications.
Setting up & using the Edimax BR-6478AC V2 AC1200 Gigabit Dual-Band Wi-Fi Router
The setup process for the Edimax BR-6478AC V2 wireless router is a rather lengthy one and it involves many steps. First, you set the mode in which the router works: router, access point, Wi-Fi range extender, Wi-Fi bridge and WISP (wireless Internet service provider).
Then you set whether you want to use the iQ Setup wizard (the configuration wizard) or you want to configure all the settings manually. If you go ahead and use the wizard, you are asked to connect the Ethernet cable from your Internet service provider to the router, enter your connection details and configure the wireless networks that are broadcast by the router.
Applying your settings will take a bit more work than with other routers and this is a weak spot of Edimax wireless routers in general. When changing any setting, the router needs to restart in order to apply your changes and this makes the configuration process slower than with routers from other manufacturers.
Once the initial setup is over, go ahead and change other settings manually. For example, you should set in more detail how the wireless networks work, change the default username and password for the admin account (to improve the security of your network), enable the extra features that you want to use and so on.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the user interface is a bit more spartan. It's definitely not about the looks but about giving you access to the configuration options that Edimax has made available.
In terms of multi-lingual, support, Edimax offers its user interface in 16 languages, which you can see below.
There is some Help documentation available directly in the user interface but that's not exactly complete in terms of explanations. If you need help, you are best served by the user manual that's available on the Edimax website. That one has a lot of information available about all the settings. Unfortunately, the complete user manual is available only in English.
Speaking of settings, Edimax BR-6478AC V2 offers many manual settings for just about everything, with one exception: you cannot customize the standard used by the wireless networks that it is broadcasting. Other than that, we were able to configure anything we wished. The 2.4 GHz wireless network offered by Edimax BR-6478AC V2 broadcasts using the 802.11 b+g+n standards while 5GHz wireless network broadcasts using the 802.11 a+n+ac standards. You cannot set these wireless networks to use only one standard.
Unfortunately, the language used by the Edimax user interface is on the technical side of things. Casual users will have to consult the user manual if they want to fiddle with everything this router has to offer . Experts and IT professionals will manage though, without consulting any manual. Another downside of the user interface is that it is on the slow side to respond to your click and commands. If you have some advanced settings to change, arm yourself with a bit of patience until all the configuration options load on the screen and your settings get applied, after a restart. On average, a restart takes about 90 seconds to finalize.
One step that we recommend that you go through is a firmware update. During our testing, we updated to the latest firmware version available at the time: 1.09. Luckily, Edimax does a good job at releasing regular firmware updates which fix bugs and improve performance.
After setting up the router, we started connecting all our devices from the network: desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, consoles, smartphones and wireless printers. We had no issues connecting any of them and network sharing, media streaming, and other networking-related tasks worked smoothly, without any issues.
However, we did notice several practical aspects you should be aware of:
- Edimax BR-6478AC V2 doesn't offer a system for mounting it on walls
- This router is a dust and magnet because of its shiny surface
- Edimax BR-6478AC V2 doesn't heat too much, even after prolonged periods of use, which is great
- There is no button for turning off the lights and no software setting
- You have one LED for both wireless networks and it's not clear if both work or just one network works. The other available LEDs are for the Power, Internet and USB.
Read the next page of this review to learn about the performance offered by this wireless router.