Advertisement
Advertisement

Cisco Linksys E4200 review

Barry de la Rosa
18 Mar 2011
Cisco Linksys E4200
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
170
inc VAT

Capable of amazing speeds, and set to get even faster when compatible laptops appear, but it's not enough to justify the inflated price.

Advertisement

Specifications

802.11n dual band, 4x 10/100/1000Mbit/s Ethernet ports

Cisco's new router doesn't include an ADSL modem, but it can connect to an external one and is ready for use with Virgin's cable internet service. It promises speeds of up to 450Mb/s, but as with all claims of wireless speed, this is purely theoretical. Its six antennas mean that it can use 3x3 MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) technology to boost range and signal strength, although to benefit from this, you'll need an adapter at the other end that supports the same speeds.

Sadly, the only adaptor capable of handling 450Mb/s speeds is Intel's Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 chipset, and we didn't have a suitably-equipped laptop available for testing. Speed tests using our Centrino 2-equipped laptop and Cisco's own WUSB600N adaptor (£27) were impressive, though. On the 2.4GHz band, Cisco's adaptor did better, reaching 62Mbit/s at close range. At 5GHz, we reached a colossal 81Mbit/s at close range with both adaptors, and 37Mbit/s at long range with Cisco's adaptor.

Cisco Linksys E4200

The unusually stylish design with its rubberised finish and lack of distracting indicator lights won't look out of place in the living room. With support for Gigabit Ethernet and USB storage devices, it has all the features we expect from a modern router.

The setup procedure is geared towards installing Cisco's own network management software, which we found frustrating. Using the router's web interface even throws up an ominous warning that changing settings may cause the network to stop working. There'd be less need for software if more effort had been made with the interface, but sadly it resembles pages of technical data.

Those who know what they're looking for will find a wealth of features including QoS, Dynamic DNS, a DMZ and a guest wireless network. The firewall's filters are limited, but there are parental controls and advanced port forwarding. Storage devices attached via USB become available on the network, and music can be streamed to any UPnP device.

With its dumbed-down software and arcane web interface, the E4200 offers little else but speed. With such limited availability of the Intel 6300 wireless chipset in laptops, there's currently no point in investing in the E4200, especially at this launch price.

Basic Specifications

Rating**
Modem typenone
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
Draft 802.11n supportyes
Draft 802.11n 5GHz supportyes
MIMOyes
Stated speed450Mbit/s

Security

128-bit WEPyes
WPA2yes
Firewallyes
MAC address filteringyes
DMZyes

Physical

Size29x224x157mm
Antennas6
Internal/external antennasinternal
Upgradeable antennano
Number of WAN ports1
Ethernet ports4
Ethernet connection speed10/100/1000Mbit/s
Other portsUSB
Wall mountableno
Power consumption on5W

Other Features

Dynamic DNSyes
Universal Plug and Play supportyes
DHCP serveryes
MAC spoofingyes
Port forwardingyes
WDS Supportno
USB device supportyes
QoSyes

Buying Information

Price£170
Warrantytwo years RTB
Supplierhttp://www.amazon.co.uk
Detailswww.linksysbycisco.com