Linksys E4200 Review
With the Linksys E4200, one can say that Cisco has put its best foot forward—albeit a little too soon. However, in a rapid-changing field such as wireless technology, one can never be too early, and this router would sooner be a trailblazer rather than a blaze-trailer.
Cisco’s routers are known to ditch the traditional status LED lights and place its glowing logo in their stead—and the E4200 is no exception. However, this router sports a new look that’s as sleek and compact as the previous ones and makes it look almost like a small netbook. Some point out that this new design and vinyl-hooded RJ45 cables don’t mix well, but that’s a minor issue that can easily be overshadowed by its other awesome features.
It supports all wireless encryption standards and has SPI firewall to keep unwanted guests out. It also comes with Cisco’s VPN PassThrough support so you can access your office network even at home. There’s also the Gigabit Ethernet to boost all wired connections to your network and its true dual-band wireless-n with impressive performance and range.
What you’ll really get for the extra bucks you’re paying is its 450Mbps wireless-n standard compatibility in the 5GHz bandwidth. This means that instead of two spatial streams allowing 150Mbps on each, it has three. Consequently, more spatial streams theoretically means faster, more stable and longer-ranged wireless connection. That sounds great, but here’s the catch: you’ll only enjoy this feature if the devices connected to your network support this standard, as well. And frankly, this technology is relatively new, heck, most devices aren’t even 802.11n compliant, yet. But on the brighter side, gadgets are expected to follow suit in a few months time, and when they do, you’d be thankful to have the E4200.
To top it off, the E4200 can now connect to a printer via the USB 2.0 port and has NTFS drive support. These are welcome additions, but like Cisco’s lesser models like the E3000 and E3200, this router still is not so competent when it comes to large-scale video streaming and NAS transfer speed.