Okay, before you read this telling, in-depth review of the Linksys E4200, you should know that my other (sometimes better) half wrote it. While he certainly doesn’t fit the “computer geek” stereotype by his appearance alone, give him a computer, gadget, or in this case, router, and he’ll start spewing all kinds of technological gibberish… If you don’t understand all (or any) of it, keep reading for my translation at the end. Now, straight to business…
Pros: PC and MAC compatible, easy setup and user interface, immediate internet connection without configuration, attractive appearance, status lights at Ethernet port connections.
Favorites: Available USB port for external hard drive, QOS service, dual band wireless network that can be separately configured to allow only specific wireless connections (A,B,G,N) , guest network restriction allowing access to the internet and not to network shared files, MAC filter, parental controls, increased security, and strength and reliability of wireless connection.
Cons: It’s really not a con but if I had one this would be it: Transfer speeds are significantly slower to an external hard drive connected to the E4200, but it’s to be expected.
The bright side is that you can always have a drive accessible on your network to back up your files and access them when needed, without powering on your PC or MAC. Again, not really a con, I guess I would say it’s eco-friendly. My recommendation: connect the external hard drive directly to your MAC or PC to transfer large video files and connect it to the E4200 for accessing files.
I’m neither an expert nor beginner [so modest, my hubby the expert], but I am very familiar with Linksys as I have owned and trusted Linksys products over the past 8 years as my brand of choice for routing and controlling network traffic. Setting up the E4200 and using it as my primary router to direct and control traffic on my network was dummy-proof.
Anyone familiar with connecting a CAT5/6 cable to an Ethernet port will have no problem getting this up and running without using the available software disc that comes with it. I recommend using the software to do the initial setup and avoid trying to setup the software on other computers once the initial setup is complete. The software wasn’t even required to even maintain an internet connection when disconnecting my old router (Linksys WRT54G) and connecting all the wires to the E4200. Internet connections maintained over the network were positive for the following operating systems and required no OS reboot; MAC OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, Windows XP Home and Professional, and Windows 7 (Sorry, I abandoned Windows Vista a long time ago so, sorry Vista users, no info about it). The user interface via Linksys’ setup page (by typing the address 192.168.1.1 address bar) is fairly simple and easy to manage for beginners yet complex enough for more advanced users. The manual is especially helpful for beginners in getting you through any of the settings. But if you’re not comfortable, the provided software is sufficient enough to configure your routers settings without using the 192.168.1.1 address.
Formatting the network drive connected via the USB port using FAT32 system was simple using the utility. This will also allow compatibility on both MAC and PC (for direct connection) without further formatting should you have that setup.
In terms of transfer speeds, transfer speeds for me were about two minutes for every gigabyte for file transfers across two computers via a gigabyte connection (e.g. 4.8 GB file took about 11 minutes before E4200 whereas after setup of E4200 it was about 9 minutes). I’m certain though that transfer speeds would increase even more if I used CAT6 cables instead of my current CAT5E cables.
My TRANSLATION (not because I understood any of that, but because of his smiling face): He REALLY likes the Linksys E4200 and was impressed with its overall functionality, which is saying a lot, because he is a computer (and all components/accessories/etc.) freak and can be very critical when things don’t do what they should (or what he expects)!
BUY: This Router would make a GREAT Father’s Day gift for the techie in your life! You can purchase your own Linksys E4200 Router online.
WIN: Cisco Linksys is going to give one lucky Moana Saves reader a Cisco Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N Router!