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on April 15, 2011
Setting up this router using the included software (Cisco Connect) was a breeze. Within 20 minutes, I installed Cisco Connect, named my network, set my password, secured my network and connected my desktop (hardwired), wireless laptop and bluray player. Setup was a breeze.

The E2500 replaces my Refurbished Linksys WRT160N, which stopped working less than a year after I bought it. That was difficult to use from the start(btw, dd-wrt didn't fix the problem).

The E2500 is lightening fast. I tested streaming video and it worked great wirelessly on my laptop and bluray player all over my house. I recommend using the Easy Setup Key via Cisco Connect to connect a laptop, it was a breeze to use. You can have a Guest Network that has a separate password and doesn't allow guests access to certain files on the network. This is easy to setup via Cisco Connect and easy to turn off or on. Using Cisco Connect can replace going to the web-based router setup browser page for all of the basic setup needs and more.

The unit runs hot, but dint burn a whole in surface its on. There are no lights on the face of the router like prior model designs. The E2500 looks much sleeker.

So the router is FAST, was EASY TO INSTALL and I had 3 devices CONNECTED WITHIN 20 MINUTES.
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VINE VOICEon May 17, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I recently did my own a router head-to-head comparison, acquiring a number of different routers and trying them out: this EA3500, some cheap netgears, Amped Wireless High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Router (R10000G) (skip it), Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (an older cousin of this router), ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (my favorite so far).

I'm also an I/T professional, so I had a lot of fun puting this thing through its paces.

[Update November 9, 2012 - I modified this review slightly to eliminate confusion between my comments about the EA3500 and the older E4200. They're very similar devices. The big difference is that the EA3500 has a big faster top speed than the E4200, and there are ipad/android apps available for wizard configuration.)

Range is the most important part of a router to me, especially because signal strength is the biggest factor in speed. Even though the maximum speed advertised for a Wireless-N device is far higher, you can be sitting next to an B-wireless router and beat the pants off of an N-wireless device 100 feet away.
Linksys routers seem to abhor the idea of external antennae, which I always feel hurts them. Compared to the Asus RT-N66U, this system tended to be underpowered. My office registered the Asus at -45dBm, while this was at -55dBm. That might not sound like much, but remember that decibels are a logaritmic scale, meaning that the Cisco EA3500 signal is about 1/10 the strength of the Asus.

The 750Mb/s is a bit of bad marketing that eveyone participates in. The highest consumer bandwidth options I've seen is 50Mb/s (up & down) from FIOS, which just about any modern router can handle, so if you expect to get better performance from Netflix or Skype, this router problable won't help.
Furthermore, the 750 is 450 on the 5Ghz N channel, and 300 on the 2.4 Ghz N channel, but you can only do one at a time, so the best you'll actually see is 450 (which is darned good). 5GHz N can be faster, but is very susceptible to distance, so from my experience, you pretty much have to be in the same room to get those speeds. That said, if you have your TV come into a slingbox Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100, and then sit in that room with your iPad, you will be able to stream that video with great reception. But of course, one has to wonder why you don't just turn on your TV. When in other rooms, you'll get up to 300Mb/s over 2.4N, or 54Mb/s over 2.4G. Still good enough for streaming, but it takes the shine off of this device versus other less costly ones. This, however, is a general industry issue, and not specifically related to this Linksys. This specific model did indeed demonstrate the ability to connect to it at the advertised speeds... when my laptop was a foot away.

App - If all you have is an IPad or Android tablet, but no laptop, then having an app that allows you to configure the router is useful. Personally, I have no issues going in through Safari and using the web interface, but if you're not a geek, you might.
Disk - the great thing about the Linksys E series is the ability to easily mount an external hard drive. This is a great feature, and allows you to save hundreds versus a cloud storage system like Dropbox or iCloud (the interface isn't as nice, nor does it have disaster recovery).

Room for improvement:
The ASUS has a few features that I really like but are lacking on the Linksys
No repeater mode - The Asus will allow you to set it up as a repeater for a wireless system. Linksys insists you buy a different device
No DoS protection - I discovered that I am the frequent victim of Denial of Service attacks, though I have no idea why. I suspect everyone is. Amped Wireless and Asus both have configs that let you fight DoS attacks, Linksys does not.
No VPN - The ASUS is also my OpenVPN server, which allows me to be out of the house and securely get access to things on my home network without having to set up a bunch of port forwarding, which is a security risk. Both iPhone/iPad and Android phones & tablets offer native OpenVPN clients.

On my e4200, I had frequent issues with the 5Ghz radio to the point where I had to turn it off. I don't know if that's any better on this EA3500. It seemed to be okay, but only continued use would show it... but my main router is (currently) the ASUS. This one went onto one of my shelves, so I wouldn't really know.

All in all, it's a decent router, but nothing special. I'd likely either get a cheaper router like Netgear WNR2000 N300 Wireless Router, or spring for the Asus. I have my cable modem coming into the Asus, use Netgear XAVB5004 Powerline Network Adapter to get signal into all my rooms, and then have a bunch of devices similar to the WNR2000 for the wireless endpoints.

***UPDATE 12 OCTOBER 2012***
I've actually thrown out my powerline in favor of Actiontec Ethernet to Coax Adapter Kit for Homes with Cable TV Service (ECB2500CK01). the Powerline stuff would occasionally conk out for no apparent reason, which eventually became too frustrating to deal with. The Actiontec takes advantage of the fact that my whole house is wired for Optimum Cable. I get great speeds, and haven't had any drops since it was installed.

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on December 6, 2011
I have been in technology for many, many years, and my expertise concerns Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and telecommunications in general. I work remotely from my corporate office, and I use an IP phone to talk to my co-workers.

I have been dealing with the call quality issues that our customers experience mostly due to poor-quality routers for most of my career. I've put hands on just about SOHO device out there, and Linksys has always been a great product for the small office.

The best part of this line of Linksys devices is that Cisco bought the company but kept the easy-to-use software management in tact, only changing the brand name.

All of these Linksys devices for the past decade have generally built on the same competent administrative interface, which means that every time you upgrade, you have a familiar experience waiting for you.

One of the nicest features for me is the QoS settings. You can create policies by IP, port, protocol, and MAC address, and then assign a High Medium Low value to that device for Quality of Service.

In an office environment, if you had hard IP phones (like Polycom phones), you would want to put in the MAC of each phone and set it's QoS to High so that the router would automatically prioritize traffic from these devices over PCs and network storage, printers, etc.

For a home office, you would still want high priority for your phone, or if you were using a softphone on your computer you might give your laptop priority. Of course, assigning the priority to your laptop would mean that youtube would compete with your voice conversations, so in this case it might be better to establish a port and protocol QoS policy.

Many Amazon customers may not find this level of technical detail helpful when considering which device to purchase, but these are the things that matter to me when evaluating a router for my home office.

Linksys / Cisco do some great things with repeaters, making it easy to have this device as your central router and then smaller access points throughout your home to extend the wireless range. All that stuff works really well if you know enough to configure it.

One really cool thing Linksys / Cisco has been doing for the past few years is the guest access SSID for wireless. You can have a secured wireless name for your family, and then a guest access that has it's own password or no password at all for friends or neighbors stealing your wifi. But these separate SSIDs allow you to create policies restricting access so that a cunning neighbor cruising on your wifi wouldn't have access to your entire home network, and you don't have to give our your primary password to a friend who is staying the weekend.

This model of router goes a step further with simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz transmissions. Since the 2.4 GHz spectrum is so crowded (cordless phones, all manny of wifi router, etc.) sometimes you are in an apartment location where everyone has wifi and all the available channels have been used, so you get poor performance from your device due to the crowded airwaves.

With the dual 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz transmissions, you get tons of air space, and you can even have certain devices on 2.4 while others are on 5 in your own home to reduce the chatter on a particular channel.

I have my laptop and iPad on 5 GHz, but the iPhones in the home are on 2.4 GHz. I don't honestly think I've improved anything - we're only talking about 10 devices all told - but it's nice that this is a feature. Plus certain devices that have older B/G antennas can't use the super-fast N antenna, but this router serves both devices equally.

In our home, we have two iPads, three iPhones, three Macbooks, one xbox 360, one Apple TV (2nd Gen), and one Samsung Smart TV (with wifi or LAN cable access).

I have all of these devices networked through the router, and just to be a jerk I decided to start video streaming on all of them at once, then try my VoIP phone (laptop) to see if quality was affected - no issues at all.

If you have the $190 for the high-end model with 6 antennas - get that one. I didn't want to spend the cash.
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on April 22, 2011
***UPDATE February 7, 2013: Still working and no issues have come up to date.

***UPDATE June 27, 2011: Nothing has changed thus far...the router is still working perfectly fine.***

Let me begin by pointing out that I just purchased this yesterday, so I can't comment on the long-term reliability of this router. That being said, I had to post a review given that I'm very satisfied with the process thus far. I'll update this as time progresses.

This router was a replacement for my old WRT54G that served me well for about four years, but was acting up (dropping signal, slow connections, low range, etc). So I decided to purchase this model (E2500 as a replacement).

The whole time before this new router arrived I was dreading the prospect of setting it up given my experience with my old WRT54G router. As soon as it arrived, I followed the instructions in the packaging and then put the CD into my macbook to launch the installer. The installer itself simply involved pressing a few buttons and then it did the rest! My network was up and running in about five minutes- with the installer doing all the work for me.

What I did notice was that the installer created a guest account that wasn't protected like the main one. This concerned me, so I logged-in to the advanced settings using the router's IP address at using my browser (you should preferably use the computer you used to setup the network because it's already connected to the network). I think the default is to leave the login name blank and to use your default network password as your login password. Once I was inside, I disabled the guest account, but it turned out that there was a password in place- it's just that it's browser-based apparently (your guests will be able to login to the network itself, but will only be able to access the internet by typing in the password in the browser). So if you want to leave the guest access available, simply write down the default password that shows up on-screen or setup a new one. I also changed the default password used to login to my router in here as well (under the "administration tab"). So, to clarify, the address brings up a menu where you can modify your router's default settings to your liking. I think this was a criticism of the "easy" setup- that it doesn't let you customize your router. I actually see this process in reverse- the "easy" setup configures your router to work properly given your circumstances. Once it's setup, you can modify whatever parts of the setup that you want to. In my case, I only modified the router password, guest access, and my network key.

Once it was setup to my specifications, I proceeded to update all of my computers with the new network key. I also connected all my other devices to the back of the router (there are four slots).

In regards to performance- my macbook that wasn't getting a signal with my old router works perfectly now. That being said, it's a new macbook, so it's able to utilize the "n" band. My sister has a 2006 white macbook next door that only utilizes G though- she's having no problems either.

Overall, I'm happy i made this purchase and highly recommend it to others. I don't own any other n-routers, so I can't comment on how much "better" this is relative to others. I can only say that I'm happy I made the right choice with this one. I'll make sure to update this review should issues with reliability surface.

EDIT: You actually don't have to login to the router's IP address to access the features I mentioned above. You can simply use the "Cisco Connect" software that came with it. The only issue I can think of is that if you use this software, you can only run it through the computer you setup the router with. The IP method above will work from any computer connected to the network (after logging in with password). The con of the IP method is that it's not as "user friendly" as the "Cisco Connect" method. Ultimately, you should weigh the pros and cons yourself and decide which is best for managing your router. I'll be choosing the "Cisco Connect" method in the meantime just because it's easier to use, but I'll go back to the IP method should anything happen to my computer (where the Cisco software is installed).
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on April 15, 2012
Just installed this new router yesterday and could not be happier. We live in a relatively large home with multiple wireless and wired electronics and was having difficulty with having all electronics running at the same time and signal not getting to all areas of the home, even though previous router was also N band. Now signal is much stronger and can have multiple wireless computers and a Roku going on at the same time with no delay. Set up was very easy, it recognizes and I can label the different electronic equipment and very simple set up for guest account. Highly recommended.
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on April 22, 2011
Did extensive speed and ping tests definitely faster and more stable with this router. I still lose Mbps through walls in my apartment. Even with my older WRT54G2 router in same room I couldn't get similar speeds over wi-fi as hardwired, this router does it with ease. Set up was super easy took me less than 5 min. Overall, the router is great for what you pay for, if you have never owned the N model it's an alternative.


- speedy, leaves WRT54G2 way behind

- easier Set-up interface over previous Linksys model

- new matte surface, looks nice next to the PS3 slim

- no annoying flashing lights

- friendly with Docsis 3 modem

- no unexpected signal drops ( note: need more time to fully evaluate}


- speed slightly degrades through walls not as severe as before with the G model.
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VINE VOICEon June 25, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you want a powerful and speedy, no frills wireless router, this router will fit the bill! This is the fifth Linksys router I have owned and similar to my past Linksys routers, the E2500 is reliable and very easy to set-up. Most recently I owned the Linksys E1000 Wireless-N Router, which is a similar but older 2.4 GHz Band router.

For this E2500, out of the box, you have the router, Ethernet cable, power cord, and set-up CD. The first you do is pop in the CD, and 8 minutes later, the router is fully-setup and functions seamlessly! Unlike older generations of Linksys routers where one had to adjust the admin settings through a web-browser in addition to the software CD, with the newer generation Linksys routers, including this E2500, the CD sets up everything. The "Cisco Connect" program automatically detects the cable modem and router and allows the user to secure the network flawlessly! Within minutes of the "Cisco Connect" program configuring the router, the secured wireless network is ready to go and the user can start adding computers to the network!

If this wasn't enough, the E2500 has a "guest password" option where the user can set a guest password for guests on the network, which is separate and independent from the normal network password. This functionality allows the network owner more control over who has permanent versus intermittent access to the network. Overall, the E2500 is an excellent router with great reliability and super-fast and easy setup. In addition, Linksys has fantastic technical support, if one needs it (although with the easy setup of this router, you probably will not need to contact tech support!).

The only gripe about the E2500 is that there are no indicator lights on top of the router (such as power, connection, etc.), unlike the prior E1000 model, which had such indicator lights. However, this is a minor inconvenience, because you'll never pay attention to the indicator lights because the router will be functioning normally for a long time.
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on October 10, 2011
I purchased the E2500 to replace a D-Link DIR615 when D-Link's 802.11N function went wonky. I picked the E2500 because it promised simultaneous dual band networking. Like most people, I have legacy 11b and 11g devices in my home, so the concurrent band feature was important to me. I was OK with the ethernet connections only being 10/100.

At least in my home/RF environment this router was a total disappointment. The range on the 5Ghz side was very, very poor. The only time speed on the 5Ghz side was noticeably better was if the wireless device was within 10 feet of the router. Range on the 2.4 GHz side was noticeably worse than the older D-Link it replaced. No amount of setting tweaks or channel selections seemed to improve the router's performance. Throughput on the either band was - at best - sub par.

On the plus side Cisco let's you setup the router with a "hand holding" approach or you can opt out and go a more advanced setup mode.

This router might be good for someone in a small apartment or open loft.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
UPDATE: 3/28/2013 Cisco has apparently changed their policy on this in late 2012 due to public outrage. I am leaving my original review intact as a record of what transpired. There are many companies making routers... only you can decide with whom you can trust moving forward. And quite honestly, the performance of this router is not that great or reliable. I've been using a Netgear R6300 for the last month and it is phenomenal.

UPDATE: 7/11/2012 - Cisco surreptitiously updated the firmware of the router on 6/26/2012... my router, your router if you own this and basically every 3500 and 4500 router. The terms of this update, which no sane human being would ever agree too, completely changed my opinion of this router and of Cisco.

AVOID this router and the EA4500 at all cost.

The firmware upgrade, that was done without my knowledge or permission, essentially turns this router into a privacy nightmare.

It is evil.

Just Google Cisco Cloud Connect Privacy and read all about it. You will be shocked and angered.

For historical reasons, I will leave my original review intact, below. But please know that I do not recommend anyone purchase either this EA3500 or EA4500 router unless you have no concerns about Cisco's privacy policy.

There has been such outrage over this that Cisco has released information on how to downgrade the firmware to the previous version. Although this mitigates the problem for the time being, I would not trust this as a lasting fix and would completely avoid Cisco routers. They have lost my trust.


The Linksys EA3500 has a decent feature set, is easy to setup and provides excellent performance.

Although you can setup the router without using the provided setup CD, I'd recommend using the setup CD. The Setup CD makes the installation and initial setup of your router painless. The entire setup process takes only about 5 minutes. Having said that, I would then manually go in to the web based interface and make a few changes. Notably, you will want to change the admin password to the router so it will not be the same as the wireless passphrase. Having the same password for both is a clear security weakness.

Speaking of security vulnerabilities, you may want to Google "Wi-Fi protected setup security vulnerability" and read up on that. For further information, be sure to listen to episode #337 of the podcast Security Now with Steve Gibson.

Getting back to the setup, it is nearly hands-off. All you need to do is launch Cisco Connect, attach the power cord to the router and plug in the ethernet cable when instructed to do so and then about midway through the process you can either accept the SSID name and password or type in your preferred name and password. It's that easy.

There are quite a few features that will appeal to many users. The Guest Access is great (although not that secure.) You can setup your router to have a separate login for guest access to the Internet. You can specify how many simultaneous guest connections you'll allow. The Guest access password is different (or should be different) than the admin password for access. Another issue I have though is that you cannot change the SSID for Guest Access. It will always be named the same as your main SSID with the addition of "-guest." So if your main SSID were "OurHouse," the Guest access SSID would be "OurHouse-guest" and that cannot be changed to anything else.

The router has gigabit ethernet ports for equipment that is capable of utilizing gigabit throughput.

A USB port on the router allows the user to attach a hard drive for shared across the network access. You can assign users and privileges easily. At the time I made my video review, I had not yet attempted to hook up an external drive but since then, I have. It is really awesome to be able to have network attached storage that all or specified users can access. You can use it for network wide backups of your other connected computers or simply for file storage to keep things off your primary hard drive. It's a great feature that I've never had before and I love it. However, it is not without it's issues either. At this time, you are unable to use automated backup solutions, like Time Machine. A real bummer.

There is an iPhone and Android app you can get to allow you to manage the router with a limited number of options. The app is called Connect Express and it gives you the ability to do certain things such as edit guest access, change the Router network name and password, view what devices are connected to your network, and a few other "advanced" settings. You can even check for firmware updates for the router. It's quite handy to be able to do this from your iPhone but not as full-featured as it should be to be completely useful.

The router itself is quite small and runs quite cool. Actually the bottom of the router gets warmer than the top of the router. I like that there are no protruding antennas, yet coverage and signal strength in my house was excellent. I've got a 2000 sq ft house and the router is on the second floor in my office. The signal reaches all areas of my house with very good to excellent signal strength.

There are no obnoxious blinking lights on this router. Only on the back of the router will you see LED activity which you can use for troubleshooting to make sure you have data moving.

Parental Controls may be helpful for some but it is quite limited in what hours you can block. You can block access by device name with each device having a different schedule. You can block out chunks of time on "School nights" and/or "Weekends" between the hours specified. But what is weird is that you can only start blocking between Noon and Midnight and you can only stop the blocking between the hours of 12:30AM to 11:30AM. If you wanted to block access starting at 9AM until 3PM, you could not specify that time.

It's also possible to block specific URL's but you are limited to only 8 blocked URL's. When you attempt to go to a blocked URL, the browser displays a warning page that the site is blocked and allows access only if the parental control password is entered. You can also completely block access to a specific device by choosing the "always" option. It's basic protection but better than none I guess. It's just not that robust.

My final thoughts: The security issues are troubling. Maybe in a home situation you can let some of these slide, but you certainly would want to consult with a security expert before considering the use of this router in a business setting.

The iPhone app, although better than nothing I suppose, leaves much to be desired in what you can really accomplish with it.

The web interface that Linksys uses has a very tired look to it. It's looked this way ever since I started using Linksys routers and while there is something to be said for familiarity, it really could use a serious updating. In my opinion, Netgear has a much nicer user interface and their newer routers also have a slick application for managing the router that offers more control of router functions and settings.

Overall, It's a decent router, if not a little pricey, in an attractive, compact and unpretentious package.
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The manufacturer commented on this review (What's this?)
M. Erb, We appreciate your taking the time to share with us your concerns regarding security, and we would like to assure you that Cisco takes security and privacy very seriously.

Please note that Cisco Connect Cloud and Cisco Linksys routers do not monitor or store information about how our customers are using the Internet and we do not arbitrarily disconnect customers from the Internet. The Cisco Connect Cloud service has never monitored customers' Internet usage, nor was it designed to do so. Please visit Cisco's Privacy Statement below as our Cisco Connect Cloud terms of service have been updated:

You do have an option to continue using Cisco Connect Cloud, or roll-back to the classic interface as Cisco will continue to support both local and cloud management options for our customers. To learn more about Cisco Connect Cloud and available options, including rolling back to the classic firmware, please visit

Should you have any question or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Technical support at 1-800-326-7114
On behalf of Cisco, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
To set the stage for my review, all of my wireless access points are 802.11n (I've been upgrading over the years) with some being dual-band, and my wireless router for the past two or so years has been a Qwest Actiontec Q1000. The Actiontec broadcasts all 802.11 protocols like this Linksys, but the two differences are that it works over a single 2.4GHz band and does not allow a USB device to be attached and accessed over the network. I wanted to see if the second band at 5GHz would increase my throughput. I use wireless for both internet access (on a ~25 Mbps network speed) and streaming HD video to my PS3 (which is wired to an 802.11n access point).

Overall, I think that this is a good router with good performance. I can't compare this against any of the other routers available today, but the following might help you make your decision.

Initial, basic setup was incredibly easy. Just follow the instructions in the box (load the included CD, plug in the router, run the software) and things should work smoothly. Advanced setup (such as not broadcasting your network SSID, running two different networks from the two bands, running 802.11n only) was a bit more time consuming for me because there were no included instructions on how to do it. There is a good manual available in PDF form on the manufacturer's website (it just took me a while to find it) that includes recommendations on improving performance and talks about how to set things up. I wish that they would have at least included the link to it in the box (maybe they did, but I didn't see it). As an aside, the browser-based setup on the Actiontec is a lot more graphically refined and a bit easier to use, IMO, than the browser-based setup on the Linksys.

With my Actiontec, I was achieving wireless speeds around 70 Mbps. After hooking up the Linksys and going through the setup, my speeds were also around 70 Mbps. So, whatever is limiting my Actiontec is also limiting the Linksys. I had hoped that the newer design, better antennas, or dual-band would have boosted it. However, it is no worse and is still plenty fast for my needs. The online manual recommends splitting the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands into two networks for increased performance, which I did. I still have yet to see if that provides me with overall better performance (as I'm surfing the web on my laptop over 2.4GHz while streaming video to my PS3 over 5GHz).

I connected a USB drive to the Linksys and am able to access it from my PC and from my Mac. This is my first network drive, so it took me a while to figure out how to map it to both - but once I did, it worked smoothly. Unlike another reviewer, I could see the entire contents of the drive from both computers. I had messed around with the router settings for sharing the drive before I figured out how to map it, so that might have done something, but I'm pretty sure that I ended up with the original settings when it was all done. I do wish that my PS3 could see the drive, but if I understand correctly, I would need to step up to the EA4500 for the DNLA support.

I tried running the network drive as a Time Capsule drive with my MacBook that is running Lion. Unfortunately, I received an error like many Lion owners that the drive doesn't support a newly imposed protocol. Perhaps a firmware update will allow it to work with Lion, but for now, it won't. Older Mac OS's might work with it, though. Linksys doesn't advertise that it will work with Lion Time Capsule, so I'm not upset - I had just hoped that it would.

I might be missing something, but I think that this just refers to the app available for Android and iOS devices to control the router. I downloaded it to my iPad and checked it out. It works just fine with this model and allows you to change some settings.

- Dual-band that can be set up as two separate wireless networks (one on the 2.4GHz band and one on the 5GHz band)
- Four gigabit ports for wired connections
- Sleek hardware design with all antennas being internal (the Actiontec antennas are externally attached)

On my wish list:
- Updated firmware to make it compatible with Mac OS X Lion in regards to using an attached USB drive as a Time Capsule drive
- Inclusion of the user manual on the CD, or inclusion of a link in the box as to where it is located on their website
- Mounting holes, or an included base stand, to mount it vertically to free up some desk space
- A more refined browser-based setup
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