Linksys E4200 Review
- Posted September 9th, 2011 at 19:08 EDT by Don Oliveira
- 17 Comments
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The Linksys E4200 is an upper-tier router for everyone. It certainly earns its "Maximum Performance" branding, as it's great for media streaming, and online gaming.
- Sleek minimalist design
- Great speeds at decent range
- Easy to set up
- A little on the expensive side
- Over-whelming customization options
It’s not every day that we review a router, but for reasons that I’m about to get into, we felt compelled to let you know about this one. We often hear about PlayStation 3 (or any other modern console) owners complaining about wireless connectivity. The general consensus has been that tethering your console to your router with an ethernet cable works best, and while that will almost always be the case, I’m happy to say the lines between wired and wireless have been blurred with the E4200.
Let me start off with the design of this new Linksys-branded piece of tech. Let’s face it -- as PlayStation fans, we’re used to Sony releasing eye-candy hardware. You may or may not care for it, but the design of PlayStation platforms have always struck home with many fans, being some of the slickest looking industrially designed systems around. That’s one of the areas that the E4200 shines the most, as it is the probably the single most aesthetically pleasing router I have ever seen.
Ditching LED displays on the front that would usually indicate status of internet connection, which ports are being used, and other traditional displays, the E4200 simply lights up the Cisco logo that sits atop this minimalist-designed router. The logo is lit-up when everything is fine, and blinks during boot, or an update (more lights can be located on the back panel). One look at the E4200 and you’ll be surprised that this router can pack such a punch while being this pretty.
Branded “Maximum Performance” for a reason, I wasn’t lying when I said this little guy packs a punch. The Wireless-N router supports a maximum speed up to 300 - 450 Mb/s, making it a prime choice for PS3 owners who use Netflix streaming, or stream any other type of content form a media server. I should mention that I never experienced any hiccups, or interference during streaming, as the E4200 held a steady and consistent connection for my network throughout rigorous usage. This is the first router I came across that doesn’t botch HD video streaming in some way.
The range of the E4200 is also nothing to sneeze at, with 802.11n technology, and Dual Band 3x3 MIMO antenna (built internally) providing excellent range around your home/office, allowing your PS3/PSP to connect from practically anywhere in a respectable distance with decent to strong signal strength.
Included in the box is a CD that installs Cisco Connect, which is both the setup and management software for the router. The setup is easy, being as user-friendly as possible, and the management can be accessed for experts (customization and fine-tuning can get quite over-whelming) to personalize the router to their liking.
The E4200 also comes with a USB port that works sufficiently enough, but don’t expect to run anything too fancy on it, as the port does not offer enough power to spin a 2.5 inch HDD (the same one your PS3 uses). Admittedly, this is a slight flaw that most won’t have to worry about, especially if you’d just like to focus on online gaming.
All this performance comes with a price though, as you’ll have to fork over anywhere in the region of $150 - $180 for this beast. This is a case, however, where you get what you pay for. The bottom line is that if you prefer your gaming console connected to the internet via Wi-Fi, or want to upgrade to a better connection, you can’t go wrong with the Linksys E4200.
AaronSOLDIER | AaronSOLDIER
- 2:15pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
I just recently bought the E2000 and if I'm downloading/uploading a lot for like an hour it slows right down.
- 2:39pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
All PS3 models only support 802.11b and 802.11g. Getting an 802.11n router for your PS3 does NOTHING to improve your speed. It will top out at 54 Mbps as this is the top speed of the wireless adapter inside the PS3. If you're getting a router for the sole purpose of connecting your PS3 wirelessly, save yourself some money and just get basic 802.11g router.
- 4:42pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
@wufei Does the wired connection have any limitations like that?
Gameoholic007 | Demented007
- 5:18pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
Im happy what got, specially when Im running 11 or more wireless devices, 7 of them being PS3's at full broadband speed. I have no issues, and I don't need to spend the $ for the E4200. I've put my equipment through the test when it come's to load, no problems at all.
TreKKiker | Helm_of_Darkness
- 5:39pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
Ok, I've ALWAYS wondered this.
What/Who is Cisco!?!?
I see Cisco on some things, and on different brand routers, as seen above.
Is it just that some of Cisco's technology is used in it, or what?
- 6:30pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
Like wufei said the PS3 does not even support Wireless N if you want a faster network connection between your ps3 and PC or NAS media servers get a cheap gigabit switch and network everything with cat 6 eternet cable. It wont help you stream Netflix better since the biggest choke point is always the ISP.
- 7:23pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
@2 You are correct in your statement that the speed will max out on a PS3 system at 54 Mb/s, however, you will see an increase in speed and reliability with a wireless N router vs a wireless G router. Why is that? Well because the wireless N router still sends a stronger signal regardless of the speed at which the G card inside the PS3 can transmit at. What does this mean for you? It means that your PS3 can actually attain the supposed 54 Mb/s tranfer speeds that you will never see with your wireless G router unless it is literally sitting next to your PS3, and at that point, why not just use a cable.
@4 I also have the DIR-655, however, even with this router, trying to stream 1080p content with PS3 Media Server will always produce lag. The router in this article uses dual band wireless N, which means it uses two different signals 2.4 and 5.0, both of which wireless G can talk to, which brings it back to the first point, the better your router can communicate to your PS3, the better possibility it will be that it can get to its maximum thoroughput.
@8 I'm currently running a FIOS connection to my home that is 150 Mb/s Down and 35 Mb/s Up, so no, the isp is not always the bottleneck.
- 8:50pm EDT - September 9th, 2011
I agree with wufei also...Bought a netgear dualband not realizing the g vs n limitations and my connection is no better then with my previous N router. 2.4 vs 5Ghz had no change either. My only question is what speeds are you guys getting when you just hardwire the stupid thing to the router? I am thinking of moving my PS3 and just running the ethernet cable straight in if it means no more lag in CoD or MK9 or any of the other ones I play.
- 2:39am EDT - September 10th, 2011
Destro2000 it depend on hardware! Router on the affortable side of the market will typically clock at 100/Mbps wired if you spend a lot more you can get a gigabit router that can clock at 1000Mbps.
But to achieve that sort of network speed you also need cat6 cable and gigabit network card on all the device networked. Not really a problem the PS3 is gigabit capable and in 2011 you can hardly find a motherboard that does not have a gigabit network ports. And if you do find a new PC that does not have it don't freaking buy it!!! No the PITA is finding an affordable gigabit router that why I recommend an unmanaged gigabit switch you can get them for dirt cheap just make sure you put a router between that switch and your modem.
- 12:27pm EDT - September 10th, 2011
@10 If you had a dual band wireless N router with your PS3 hooked up to it and you were still experiencing lag in COD, then the wired connection will most likely not help at all. As far as MK goes, that is a known issue with the MK servers that as far as I know have still yet to be fixed.
@11 PS3 Media Server is a free program that you install on your PC that enables your ps3 to stream content from your PC to your PS3. The other incredibly important thing it does, is convert files on the fly, which means if a file cannot be played on your PS3 system, if you have it on your PC and use PS3 Media Server, it will transcode the file, without you having to convert it. It's incredibly useful if you have about 4 TB of anime all in mkv format, which is not supported by the PS3, and want to watch it on your 55" in the living room. But to get lossless quality for files that are so large, it has so far proven impossible to do at 54 Mb/s in my experience.
@12 Do your research and you will find that there is very little difference in speed when using CAT5e cable vs CAT6. CAT5e is much cheaper than CAT6, so if you're on a budget, it's the better way to go. All of the equipment on my network is gigabit capable, connected to a gigabit router, my 4 PS3's never experience any lag, which is why I decided to go with wired. Until the PS4 comes out with dual band wireless N, you're never going to get a perfect experience when using wireless.
- 1:12pm EDT - September 11th, 2011
Sounds nice untill you realize one major issue let me explain i have comcast and everytime comcast decides to change there service they change which routers are compatible with that service so does centurylink and even verizon all do the same thing i have gone though 36 linksys routers in less then a year because they cannot handle the high speed correctly and short out and fail i purchased a belkin router that was suppose to be compatible it made it 2 months then fried i then purchased a d-link extreme n gaming router no issues at all i have had this router for 6 years no problems.
- 3:16pm EDT - September 11th, 2011
Hy Everyone! Can anybody explaine to me how can i play ps3 online without cable network connection ??? I have network usb flashcard - Huewie.
- 8:21am EDT - September 12th, 2011
Sorry if this sound noob, but if you are connecting the router to your PS3, it will recognize it as wired connection, doesn\'t it? I using wireless connection and never try wired connection so thats why I thought that if through wired connection (direct network cable / connect to router though cable) the speed will be faster than through wireless....
- 5:07am EDT - September 20th, 2011
Can't believe how dumb this guy is..PS3 is wireless g.
- 7:41am EDT - September 30th, 2011
For all of you who might be interested in a real review of the Linksys E4200, I\'ve just published my experience here: http://www.wlan-info.net/netzerk-news/linksys-e4200-testbericht - It\'s german, but you might want to translate it using Google Translate or something else. Short review: Great design and usability, but there are problems with the 5 ghZ channels and the output is anything but
- 11:15pm EDT - October 6th, 2011
Has anyone connected a PSP to this router? I can\'t get mine to work.
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