Routers are always tricky things to choose. There are so many options from a multitude of manufacturers that picking one which matches your requirements may end in you tearing your hair out. So if you want a router which is easy to set up and has every feature imaginable, then read on.
The Linksys E3000 is the newest router king from Cisco and is host to all the features you would expect from a high end product. It features dual-band support, Gigabit Ethernet, NAS (Network Attached Storage), Built-in Media Server and a great web interface. But for those who want to know all the important features of the E3000, take a look below.
- Enjoy the power of high-performance Wireless-N technology–optimized for wireless entertainment.
- Connect your computers, gaming consoles, Internet-enabled HDTVs and Blu-ray players, and other wireless devices at up to 300 Mbps of transfer speeds.
- Enjoy the benefits of simultaneous dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), including smoother HD video streaming, wireless gaming and file transfers.
- Share your files at home or on the Internet by connecting a storage device to the Linksys E3000′s built-in USB port.
- Stream video and media content via a built-in UPnP AV media server to an Xbox 360, PS3, or other compatible device.
- Use four Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps) ports for faster file sharing with other Gigabit-enabled devices, including computers, hard drives, and servers.
- Set up your wireless network in a few simple steps using included Cisco Connect software.
- Keep Wi-Fi freeloaders and Internet threats at bay with customizable security settings, including WPA/WPA2 Personal, WPA/WPA2 Enterprise, and SPI firewall protection.
- Give visitors password-protected Internet access on a separate network–so your visitors have access to the Internet, but not your computers or data.
- Use Cisco Connect’s Parental Controls to block specific websites and restrict Internet access during certain hours.
Now that all is said and done, let move on to the review.
Design& Build Quality
The E3000 is a beautiful thing to look at, it's sleek with curvy lines and has a UFO design. The antennae are hidden into the chassis to give it a sweet clean look. The black plastic shroud and the metal blue shroud gives it a futuristic look and will definitely have people asking you about it. Although I must say that the black plastic covering is a fingerprint magnet, you have been warned.
Completing the UFO design is the set of blue LED lights which keeps you informed of what’s going on with your internet and Wi-Fi connection.
As far as build quality goes, it's quality all the way through. No plasticky bits or flimsy parts which show compromise on Cisco’s part. No complaints here.
The E3000 is pretty impressive when hardware is taken into account. The E3000 packs a Broadcom BCM4718 that’s clocked at 480MHz with room to overclock to over 500MHz, 64MB of RAM, and 8MB of flash memory. In terms of specs, the E3000 is quite similar to the ever popular WRT610N, but with added horsepower.
The rear contains 4 gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 gigabit WAN connection and a USB Storage Link for your NAS needs. A god sent feature is the power button which can be used to power cycle the router, so you no longer need to unplug the power cord every single time a power cycle is required.
Once you have everything connected, The Cisco Connect software makes setting up your internet connection a walk in the park. All I had to do was input my username and password and within 7 minutes I was surfing the internet. The software makes it easy for non savvy users to set up their connection without going through the various options that advanced users are used to.
One major gripe I had was that I faced random disconnections; the connection would simply drop, only to reconnect 5 seconds later. The problem disappeared when I switched over to my old router.
The E3000 also has a nifty built-in media server, once you plug in a external storage device, you can share it over Server Media Block (SMB) for file transfer or an FTP Server. You can also choose what partitions or which directories you want to share.
For those who are worried about security, the E3000 employs Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA2) encryption as well as Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP) wireless security encryption in 64- and 128-bit versions.
Here is where the E3000 falls a bit short in my opinion; I have already highlighted the frequent disconnections, no matter what I did or which settings I changed, it just dropped the connection every 5 minutes.
The range on the E3000 is pretty good; it gave me 20% even though 40 feet away (horizontally, as I went down two floors). But I had placed it in an area with very low amount of wireless interference, so that might have helped it a bit. The transfer rates were very impressive for the 5 GHz band, but not so much when it came down to 2.4 GHz.
The media server also had its own set of problems. File transfer to storage link when using the “Media Server” feature was bad. My PS3 would play music just fine, but refuse to play video even when it could see them clearly. So there are some kinks which Cisco can work out in their next firmware update.
The Linksys E3000 is a great product which provides all the features that you would expect from a high end router. It provides good wireless functionality with impressive hardware. But the limited NAS capabilities and disconnection issues make it less than perfect.
The Cisco Linksys E3000 is available for Rs. 10,999 and carries a 1 year warranty.
A Wireless-N router with simultaneous 2.4 and 5 GHz bands designed to increase bandwidth. Optimized for smoother and faster HD video streaming, file transfers, and wireless gaming. Cisco Connect software has three simple steps to get you set up and your secure Wireless-Network is ready to go. A streamlined user interface allows you to choose from simple to advanced settings with no hassle. Cisco Connect software helps you customize your settings, quickly add multiple Internet devices to your network: Keep Wi-Fi freeloaders and Internet threats at bay with WPA/WPA2 security settings. Use the Gigabit Ethernet ports for quicker file sharing between other Gigabit-enabled devices like media servers, hard drives and computers. Built-in AV media server streams entertainment content. The USB port provides connectivity to storage devices for file sharing at home or over the Internet.
|Standards Supported||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, IEEE 802.3/u/ab|
|Operating Humidity||10 - 80%|
|Other Features||DHCP server|#|Wall mountable|#|Parental control|#|Quality of Service (QoS)|#|MAC address filtering|#|Firmware upgradable|#|Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI)|
|Operating System||Windows, Mac|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||226 x 180 x 35 mm|
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Published Date: Nov 22, 2010 12:50 pm | Updated Date: Nov 22, 2010 12:50 pm