Customer Review

39 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad router, but not great either., April 27, 2012
This review is from: Linksys N600+ Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router with Gigabit Ports, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA2700) (Personal Computers)
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I've used countless routers over the years, even some of the very first built by Linksys. There weren't many options and Linksys always seemed to be one of the best. They've come a long way since the old 802.11b routers. But they seem to get to a point where they are so fast and add on so many features, it leaves an open market for the low and mid-range products. This brings us to the "mid-range" where the Linksys EA2700 N600 Dual-Band 802.11n Router ends up.

While I don't have any of my really old routers any more, I will compare this two that I currently have. Which is the currently slightly more expensive ASUS RT-N56U and the Netgear N900 WNDR4500. The Netgear is of course much more expensive, but its here for comparison anyways.

The Hardware:

First, out of the box, the EA2700 looks very plain and minimalistic. The antennas are internal and the chassis looks and feels like cheap plastic. But if it's something you're never going to look at, I doubt you're going to care. Personally I have to keep mine in an open area, so it's nice if it looks nice. :) In the box, you've got the router, a network cable, and CD. No real instructions other than to put in the CD.

Setup:

Since I wanted to go through the "normal" process, I decided to throw in the CD and try the wizard. Unfortunately since I wasn't going to use a "standard" configuration, the wizard just flat out didn't work and just kind of left me at a dead-end. Basically I have my modem connected directly to a dedicated physical desktop/router, not an access point. Because of this, this completely threw off the setup process.

So off into the advanced configuration I go. I was able to easily find its unusual IP of 10.39.48.59 and guessed the login/password (admin/admin). I found myself in a familiar but not-so-intuitive Linksys setup menu. They honestly haven't changed a whole lot here over the years. Which is good and bad. You have lots of advanced features to play with. But if you're not all that tech savvy, it's very easy to get lost in there.

And yes, that's why they have the Cisco Connect software. However, if it fails or can't connect to the AP for some reason, you don't have many options. Most new routers have this stuff built-into the router itself. It adds an extra step by explaining how to access it via the browser, but it really is a better approach for new and experienced users. In Cisco's defense, the software wizard did claim to handle virtually all of the standard setup for you. So in a normal setup environment, there shouldn't really even be a need for instructions. Just follow the wizard and off you go.

Features:

The Linksys EA2700 is not only right in the middle of price, but features as well. You'll note that you do get a respectable 300Mbps (which is always much lower in the real world) connection, Guest access, Firewall, 802.11n, all of the normal security features, and of course Dual-Band. They even throw in Gibabit ports which are handy if you also have a few desktops nearby.
What isn't included are things found on higher end devices. Such as 450Mbps speeds, overall faster throughput, longer range, USB ports hosting data, print server, and "CD-Less" installation (ie. Netgear, ASUS, etc).

Speed:

First I should point out that if you are only going to surf the web, this is all rather pointless. :) Just buy the cheapest reliable router you can find and run with it. The whole point of having fast speeds is for bandwidth intensive tasks, such as transferring large files, streaming Hi-Def media, or even Local gaming.

For my test, I copied several large MKV files to my notebook and walked around the house to see how it compared to my other routers. I also tried both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Overall, the speeds were fairly good, but not quite as fast as the others. Right next to the router, it was about 10% slower across the board. And the further away I got, the more that deficit increased. This is about what I expected considering this is a cheaper device.

I also transferred a few files over the included GB ports and was able to get the same speeds I get on my normal wired switches. Nothing too surprising there.

Pros:

+ Good wireless performance
+ 4 Gigabit ports
+ Cisco Connect Software for standard setup
+ Advanced Linksys setup options

Cons:

- Limited Cisco Connect software
- Average features and performance
- No built-in wizard
- Cheap design/build

Conclusion:

So overall for the price and features, this is really not a bad product. It does everything it says it will, but not a whole lot more. You'll have to step up to a more expensive model from Linksys (or another brand) if you want extra's like USB storage or top-of-the-line performance and wireless speeds. And given that I'm not exactly a huge fan of the cisco connect software, I'd recommend doing just that.

Not to mention if you shop around, you can get "high-end" performance and features for not a lot more.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 26, 2012 2:47:52 PM PST
Hai Gang says:
N600 is supposed to be 300+300 Mbps, as shown on http://home.cisco.com/en-us/products/wirelessrouters?icid=global-header-products-link;
yet your review states as if it is not dual band. Isn't this unintentional error?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 3:09:46 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 26, 2012 3:10:34 PM PST
Wayne says:
Hmm, I skimmed over my review again and don't see anything implying a lack of dual band. I mentioned that this was a dual band router, supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It's even in the description of the product. :)

I did note that it doesn't support the faster 450Mbps speeds the higher-end APs do, but that's about it.
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Location: Round Rock, TX

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