My family got our first wireless router about 5 years ago. It was state of the art at the time, and has worked well for us. But as we get more and more wireless devices it seems like we need a better router. When we first got a wireless router the only wireless device we had was one laptop. Now we have 1 laptop, 2 netbooks, an iPod Touch, a Nook, one cell phone, a blueray player and probably a few other things I am forgetting on our network. So when I had the chance to test out a new Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router I was excited to give it a try.
The E4200 is a high tech router, and here are some of the features it offers:
- Transfer rates between 300-450 Mbps
- Dual-band N (2.4 and 5 GHz) designed to reduce interference and maximize throughput
- High quality antenna encourages high speeds across greater distances in oneâ€™s home
- WPA/WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall for network protection
- Gigabit Ethernet ports
- USB Port
- UPnP Media Server
So what does all this mean in practical terms? Well the dual band is great, and one of the biggest pluses as far as I am concerned. Many common household devices run on 2.4 GHz, like cordless phones, baby monitors and so on. The 5-GHz band is less crowded, so it is better equipped for intensive uses like gaming and file streaming. We stream movies to our TV all the time, so less interference is better.
The N Router has a stronger signal than our old G Router. We keep our router in the basement, and with the old one the signal did not reach the far end of the house. In practical terms this just meant my 15 year old daughter didnâ€™t have wireless in her bedroom, which didnâ€™t bother anyone but her. But with the new router we have wireless throughout the entire house, which is a big benefit as far as my daughter is concerned!
The extra speed the router provides doesnâ€™t make much difference in our house. Although its data rates of 300-450 Mps are much faster than the old router our internet service only provides 7 Mps, so we canâ€™t use the extra speed. But when the internet service gets faster we will be all set with a router that can handle it, and it is good to know we wonâ€™t have to upgrade for a long time.
One of the best features of the router is the Cisco Connect software. It is extremely easy to set up and can be connected in about 5 minutes. Best of all the software provides customizable parental controls. So we can set the router up so that even though my daughter has wireless access in her bedroom now she canâ€™t access the internet on her iPod Touch at midnight. We tried to set this up with our old router and were never able to get it working right, so we are glad to see that this capability is included.
This is a great device which has an innovative, good looking design and is clearly well thought out. I like the fact that it has a reset button, since I had to reset our old router about once every two weeks and the only way to do it was to pull the plug, which is annoying and inconvenient. Hopefully this router wonâ€™t hang up as often as the old one did, but if it does at least I can just press the reset button. If you are looking to build a home network with a quality router that will serve you for years this is an excellent choice.
You can buy a Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual Band N Router at Amazon and many other stores, and it would make an excellent Holiday gift. Cisco has generously offered to giveaway an E4200 Router to one of my readers. This is a prize worth $180.
Entry Method: Please use Rafflecopter form for all entries. There is no mandatory entry. This giveaway will end at 11:59 pm on November 28th. Open to residents 18+ of U.S., and the winner cannot have won the Linksys router in any other contest/giveaway in the last 6 months.
Disclosure: I received a product to review, all opinions are my own.