Linksys E4200 Dual-Band N Router - Testing and Conclusion
|Linksys E4200 Dual-Band N Router|
|Features and Specifications|
|Basic E4200 Setup|
|Web Interface Setup|
|Testing and Conclusion|
Network Performance:As far as performance goes, we fired up iperf to do a little benchmarking on this router. Iperf results show bandwidth that the network is actually capable of. In the real world, you won't see wired transfer rates approaching 1000mpbs because hard drives are barely fast enough to read and write at this speed. Also, CPU overhead becomes an issue when transferring this much data. We use iperf with confidence as it shows how good the network hardware actually is and if it can perform anywhere close to its rated specs.
For reference we have compared the E4200 to the Trendnet TEW-691GR & TEW-672GT as well as the Linksys WRT610N and D-Link DGL-4500 & DIR-655. While some of the wireless adapters have changed over the years, we have been using the current equivalents throughout these tests to keep everything as close to realistic as possible.
We ran through several instances of iperf and each instance transferred data for 5 minutes. The results were averaged are displayed above. As you can see the E4200 has a pretty strong showing but in the end the king of the wireless performance actually goes to the Trendnet TEW-691GR. While the wired performance of most of these products is within a couple of percent, the wireless performance is what is really starting to set some of these products apart. While we had real-world performance of over 90Mbps through the E4200, we managed 50% faster with the TEW-691GR router.
Overall the E4200 is a pretty decent product from a well-known company. It is currently their high-end consumer product and it brings a lot of features to the table. While some Linksys products have had a horrible track-record in the past (WRT120N/WRT160N) and have required constant reboots and more, the quality of the E4200 seems to be pretty solid. We had no issues with it during our month of testing and it performed everything we wanted it to do without any issues.
As far as performance goes, it's a bit of a mixed bag. The wired performance is right on par with other Gigabit routers and there are no issues or disappointments in that regard. I did expect better wireless performance - especially when compared to the much cheaper Trendnet TEW-691GR router.
The E4200 doesn't come with a lot of extras, but the software CD that it includes contains a setup utility that is surprisingly well thought out and offers a lot of setup options that anyone can use to configure and secure their network. Overall, other than a cable, there isn't much else to expect in a router bundle, but the software adds some bonus value in this case.
As referred to above, the software made setup and installation a breeze. If you do need to setup more pointed parental controls, port forwarding and other advanced features, a quick click over to the E4200 web-interface can get you going. Linksys hasn't done a lot of changes to this interface and it is simple to navigate and is quite familiar if you've used any of their products over the past few years. While I still like the feature in the DGL-4x00 series from D-Link where you don't have to reboot every time you change a setting, the E4200 offers pretty fast restarts and doesn't take too long to setup.
Linksys offers this router on their site for about $180. This is extremely overpriced for what you get. That being said, you can find this router online for $100 at quite a few places, and at that price, it's a pretty solid value for sure. For $100, I don't think you'll find another brand-name router that offers this many features with this easy of setup. I'm pretty happy with it overall.
- Excellent software for fast, easy setup
- Simultaneous dual-band wireless with separate configuration
- FTP, UPnP, Media and more through the USB port
- Excellent performance on wired network
- QoS Features seems to work well
- Mediocre wireless performance for the money
- There are other faster products for less money
I'd like to thank Linksys for sending us up the E4200 Router. If you have any questions, comments, or general feedback, please leave it at the "Comments" link below.