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Cisco-Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance - is NOT Maximum Performance

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Showing 1-25 of 35 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 28, 2011, 9:00:06 AM PST
RamN says:
I purchased Cisco-Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance recently and replaced older Netgear. I was hoping to increase throughput and get solid performance to connect Laptop as well as TV. Based on my experience so far Cisco-Linksys E4200 did not live up to claimed performance. At one point performance was slower than my older router based on Wireless network monitors. Box claims "Award winning 24/7 Customer Service". However I was disappointed that there was no telephone number printed anywhere. I wasted almost half an hour chatting with Cisco offshore support who was of not much help. Finally I could get their support telephone number 1-800-326-7114 from him though. US based telephone Tech support was helpful. However the claimed "maximum performance" is only a theoretical possibility based on other factors. Use of dual channels does not help boost the signal if you are away even by 10-15 feet. Your performance is YMMV and that too you if you want to sit on the computer connected to the router and keep playing with different channels and other settings and see what works! :( I must mention that the set up and configuration was easy and almost automatic. Based on my experience I would not recommend spending premium money on Cisco-Linksys E4200 router, instead as recommended by PCMagazine and CNet, would be better off with other dual channel routers. I am seriously thinking of returning this router and buy one of the following mentioned.

PCMagazine review:,2817,2375972,00.asp -
..Cons:.. Didn't show expected throughput. .. , it may be overpriced and unnecessary.

Cnet review:;contentBody;1r#reviewPage1 -
...For a slightly cheaper router with similar features, we'd recommend the Linskys E3000 or the Linksys E2000."
Your reply to RamN's post:
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Posted on Feb 28, 2011, 10:43:13 PM PST
Sassan Karai says:
I had high hopes for this router - regarding better coverage than it's older sibling the E3000. The wireless card I use mostly is the Intel Wifi Link 4965AGN with current Intel drivers (to allow for more specific settings) on various hardware (Dell, Lenovo, Acer etc.) and OS platforms (Windows XP. Vista. 7 i386, x64 professional or better)
The first apparent difference(s) is/are the expected diagnostic/status indicator(s) for power, internet and wireless radio status on the front of the router - surprisingly they are all gone. The router will signal readiness by a white illuminated Cisco logo on top which switches from pulsating during boot up to solid when ready. Another changed feature- link and traffic lights on the wired ports in the back. The rear diagnostic/status port lights can be switched off in the router status page ports tab. The speed of the 4 hardwired switch ports as well as the internet port can be seen - graphically represented as as filled check boxes for either 10/100 Mbps or 1 Gbps in the router status page under the ports tab. This would indicate that the Internet port could run at 1Gps which some customers with according other hardware might be able to make use of. Why features were added for the hardwired ports while expected features on the wireless side were removed is unclear to me. I prefer manual router setup and use the 5Ghz band exclusively for N traffic with 40 Mhz channel width with traffic mostly between 240- 300 Mbps to the clients at distances up to 30 feet away, 240- 80 Mbps up to 50 feet away in a small office building.
The E4200 does not run as hot as the E3000 given same traffic flow and pattern. No wall mount points in the bottom or table top upright positioning included/possible - unless you come up with your own.
I am expecting to see further improvements via future firmware updates overall a different router with a currently higher price point in comparison to the E3000 which is a well performing, wall mountable router just running hotter.

Posted on Mar 3, 2011, 1:32:20 PM PST
WSNoMan says:
Agreed. I owned 2 and both were the worst router I ever owned.
Bought both from a retail store. I had previously owned a 6 yr old linksys b/g router with VoIP. It had external antenna and I had my router cabinet in my basement office. I had little problem with reaching the second floor of the house with the old router. There were a few dead spots but generally I had high through put on G base.
I bought the new Cisco thinking I needed greater speed and range.
running 3 laptops, a couple apple Ipod and I phone devices, a Wii and on wireless desktop. All fairly modern and new.
One floor up and 20 feet away from the new 4200 router my connection speeds would bounce all over the board from 9 Mbs to 44 to 144.. then stick at 5-6 mbs. forget trying to pic up a signal on the second floor.
After considerable time with Tech support chat configuring they told me to return the device.
The second device wasnt much better. (same store). much the same story. bouncing signal. couldnt stream video. in the same room I could get speeds up to 450 mbs on my laptops but forget going up stairs. After more chat sessions and messing with config settings I returned the 4200 for a Netgear 600. Now I have great range. I can pic up a 2 ghz signal across the street on my iphone. and streaming is working fine.
Just my experience.
I thnk they released the device too soon. Perhaps a 3rd party firmware would help but at the price I dont feel like I should have to go in search of a solution to make the product work.
Good luck with this one. If they can work out the switching bugs and the range it could be a good device.

Posted on Mar 16, 2011, 10:32:58 AM PDT
BookMan says:
I guess most people tend to post negative comments about products in the hopes that they will serve as a warning to others. For what it's worth, my experience with the E4200 has been nothing but outstanding. Not sure what operating systems everyone on here is running, but this unit is stellar for Mac OS X, which is what I had read in a few Mac reviews. I'm running 3 Macs, one with 10.6.6 and the others with 10.4.11. The set up disc took me through the process flawlessly and was clear and easy to understand. I replaced my older Linksys g system, which was cutting out during long downloads, especially. Contrary to the other posts, I find the range of the E4200 to be exceptional. I have the router located in my recording studio/office at the far end of our house. It reaches everywhere in the house (2000 sq ft), but amazingly, the signal is full strength for the Mac in our outbuilding barn studio, which is easily 200 ft. away. Go figure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 16, 2011, 2:38:11 PM PDT
Matt says:
Thanks for sharing

Posted on Mar 27, 2011, 4:51:57 PM PDT
Not only is the wireless performance of this router questionable, the UPnP media server is completely unusable. Visit Cisco's site first and look at the incredibly short list of external drives they will support before even considering purchasing this product. I have one of the supported drives, and even though it supposedly supported the performance is terrible... you can not stream media from it in any sort of HD format even with the media player (in this case an XBox 360 or high end Dell laptop) directly wired to the router. The router constantly loses connectivity with the external drive and requires constant rebooting, a drive that works perfectly plugged directly into any PC it's used with. I have been able to get no support for this, there are numerous threads on the support site about these problems and absolutely zero acknowledgement that there is even a problem. I have worked with Cisco commercial products for 15+ years now as an IT consultant and am generally speaking very happy with Cisco, but this product is a complete bust if you intend to use it as a UPnP media server. They also won't commit to it being DLNA compliant.

Posted on Apr 10, 2011, 7:46:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 10, 2011, 9:26:16 AM PDT
I have had one for a few months now and love it.
- results 'A' with zero packet loss and minimal jitter and latency (my older router got B's)
- No wireless disconnects at all!!! That alone can be annoying with some router wireless adapter / OS combos
- Great wireless performance in a decent size house even one floor down and on the far opposite side of the house.
- Easy to set up and a ton of advanced features.

- It also includes a guest network that allows users to surf the web but not access the network resources (shared files etc.).

In 20 Mhz mode (needed since I have an 802.11g Logitech media device - Squeezebox), which is limited to 150Mbps by design [40MHz is needed for 300Mbps], I am getting at least 104 to a 130 Mbps link rate on the far opposite end of the house one floor down from the router location).

I love mine and also love the looks.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2011, 4:50:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 17, 2011, 5:08:04 AM PDT
GillRigged says:
Finally. Jeez. This router is meant for the newest of wLAN products & protocols which are very specific. Most of my stuff I prefer to be routing through my SMC 24-port Gigabit dual-backplane SmartSwitch via CAT6. However, some of my stuff moves around and are pet projects of mine that have the latest & greatest wLAN technology. Some things work great and some nodes have issues but all-in-all, if you know what you're doing and computers are Windows 7 then everything is smooth. A little secret: DHCP Reservation helps avoid A LOT of issues. Bridging your modem to the e4200 and then setting LAN/wLAN IP's like a Static IP. This is a great way to setup remote connections without setting up an actual Static IP network. Another one: NOT using Vista. With Mac, I don't know. Haven't had any enter my LAN/wLAN yet BUT there's a feature that allows you to allow visitors to join with restricted guest access without knowing any keys. For laptops, notebooks, netbooks, latest smartphones & other wLAN devices use three antennas which will either put you in a 300Mbps range (=<270Mbps) OR, 450Mbps which REALLY varies with distance. wLAN devices with two antennas are at BEST good for 130Mbps. The AP part of the e4200 has SIX internal antennas to have multiple lanes of wLAN traffic. If you want this thing to work than you have do some learning if you don't already know what you're doing. There's guys that can change brakes and then there's automotive technicians. Firmware/version upgrades will improve performance and backward compatibility. ;-)

Posted on Apr 26, 2011, 10:50:00 AM PDT
Cisco linksys E4200 is definitely not maximum performance.
I am totally disappointed. Due to the location of one of our computers, the router wireless reception is unreliable. After reading Cisco's claim of extra range, etc., I bought the E4200.
The performance is no better than my Intellinet, which cost 1/7th of the price. The other features are of little interest. Don't waste your money.
N Walters

Posted on Apr 27, 2011, 12:28:49 PM PDT
Momsclub says:
NOT MAX PERFORMANCE. We have owned 4 linsys routers in 10 years. We have been pleased with most, but this E4200 is MOST DISappointing. Our previous linsys wrt router was hardwired to our 2 yr old hp deskjet printer, and we could print wirelessly. We have used this setup for the previous 3 routers. In order to get the same setup, Linksys wants to charge a $30 technical support fee for guiding me in the process. The E4200 does not recognize the HP printer when connected, as the linksys routers had in the past. If this is MAX Performance, I don't want to know what Min Performance is. I should have just replaced the router I had and not tried to upgrade! Do Not Purchase E4200, not worth $.

Posted on Apr 30, 2011, 2:42:55 AM PDT
F.C. says:
Ok, obviously I don't know the details of any of your setups, but since so many of you are complaining about the lack of speed, I thought I'd repeat a basic, but often overlooked piece of info:

To get the benefits of faster wifi ('n', as opposed to 'g'), both your router AND the devices your router is connecting to have to be n-compatible. So, if you have an old g-router and an old g-laptop, just upgrading the router to a newer 'n' model WILL NOT get you 'n' speeds. You'll need to either upgrade the laptop as well, or just buy an 'n' usb wifi adapter to stick into ur laptop.

Posted on Jun 6, 2011, 9:52:28 PM PDT
Bruce Morris says:
As with any wireless router, YMMV. My experience has been very positive. My old router is a Linksys WRT54G, about 6 years old, with the large Linksys +6db optional (extra purchase) antennas. I was surprised that the E4200 with its small internal antennas was able to give similar results all over my house in the 2.4 GHz band, even 3 floors below and underneath a reinforced concrete (wire mesh) garage floor. The 5.0 GHz radio didn't have similar range (or throughput at the far ends of the range) but that is to be expected. I haven't tested WAN to LAN routing throughput, but I have no reason to suspect it is anything but good. (I have Comcast Internet running at 16 mbps - very fast, but still too slow to test the limits of the E4200.)

I had earlier purchased an E3000 which performed terribly. Wireless dropouts, really poor range, and WAN to LAN interface was noticeably slower than what the old WRT54G could deliver. Defective? Perhaps. The WAN speed issues were definitely suspect, but the wireless issues could simply have been that the physical orientation of the E3000 just wouldn't work in my environment. I returned it and waited a few months for this one to be available on Amazon.

So... don't blame the router for everything. Wireless can be really finicky. Be sure you purchase from a place where you can return it, and test within the return period.

Posted on Jun 7, 2011, 9:51:40 AM PDT
paper tiger says:

I currently have a Cisco-Linksys WRT54G2 Wireless-G Broadband Router for my home network and it works great. I have a desktop (wifi n), netbook, laptop, a few iPods, and an HP Wireless Printer. As my current router is wifi "g" I wanted to upgrade to an "n" to boost my speed and stability. I am hearing that some people are having trouble connecting their printers to their wireless home network. As I use my printer quite often, this could cause an issue. My printer is the HP Photosmart Premium All-in-One Printer (CD055A#ABA) and right now everything is working great having this as a shared wireless printer.

Will the Linksys E4200 provide the same setup capabilities as my current router? I simply want to swap out my routers and enjoy the simplicity and slight speed boost. I see that a firmware update will be available this summer for shared printer use. Is that also including a wireless printer hookup? My printer is no where near my router, thus it is not physically connected. Hopefully this will not cause an issue if I were to upgrade to the E4200.

Any help is very much appreciated. Thank you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 15, 2011, 7:56:43 PM PDT
CNET does not state that you would be better off with other routers. In fact, this is the bottom line from the CNET review:

The Linksys E4200 is a major upgrade to the Linksys E3000; it has a better design, faster performance, and a Web interface that encompasses the functionality of the easy-to-use Cisco Connect desktop application.

Read more:

Posted on Jun 16, 2011, 4:42:42 AM PDT
paper tiger says:
Thank you Daniel for the information.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011, 8:48:04 AM PDT
The best WiFi setup for the Linksys E4200 is to set it to do N-only, and have an older router (I have an older Linksys WRT54GL) set up with the routing turned off and functioning as a WiFi access point with WiFi set to do G-only. So older iPods and laptops in our household that could do only G connect to the Linksys WRT54GL, but newer iPods, iPhones, laptops that could do N connect to the Linksys E4200. WiFi traffic is spread and optimized onto these 2 devices.

Posted on Aug 9, 2011, 1:51:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 9, 2011, 1:52:43 PM PDT
qo says:
The Setup disk does not work with Mac OS X Lion (10.7). The reason, I suspect, is that Rosetta has been removed from Lion so legacy apps are not going to work. Ironically, the Setup app instructs you to UPGRADE to a later OS :-) Sigh.

I bought the E4200 to replace an Apple Airport Extreme. Once the router was configured, things were great until it tried to renew its DHCP lease with Comcast. This failed, requiring me to reboot the E4200 (I'm running 1.0.01 firmware, and I hear the 1.0.02 firmware is even worse). There's a fairly long discussion about this problem on Cisco's support forums... just Google E4200 DHCP.

While I like the extra speed vs the Airport, I can't live with constant disconnects from my ISP. So, I'll await a FW upgrade and revert to using the Airport for now. But, I have to wonder, with Cisco's massive layoff concentrated in their Consumer business units, whether an upgrade will be forthcoming or if this is a dead end product.

Bottom line, I would not recommend this router.

Posted on Nov 18, 2011, 1:19:21 PM PST
J. Restrepo says:
I never review anything I buy, ever. But this router has to be the worst piece of junk that I have ever bought. I honestly feel scammed, that's right SCAMMED. Wireless signal drops out frequently, by frequently I mean every 10 minutes or so. Packets are dropped at a rate of 20% or more. This so-called product, is an embarrasment for a company like Cisco to be selling. Please don't waste you money, or don't say I didn't warn you.
If you feel like getting a second opinion just Google "e4200 dropped packets" and read for yourself.
Oh and by the way, this is the 2nd e4200 router I've bought, because I thought my fist one was a dud (bought in Best Buy). What are the chances of getting 2 bad routers from different suppliers.... either 10000:1 or they are all plain broken.

Posted on Nov 29, 2011, 11:48:30 PM PST
S. Tu says:
Sadly I am never able to find the right combo of wifi-station + affordable and high performing router; so I had frankenstein a solution together. After researching many reviews on a wifi-station/AP and routers, I end up buying two. Link E4200 became my router with wifi radios DISABLED. After reading through I decided to use this purely as a ROUTER only. The CPU + RAM built into this router and at a 149-159 price range made it a good buy. Connected to this router via GigE are my wired GigE switch for my wired connections, and my Netgear WNDR3700.

This was a decent pairing, the E4200 cPU and RAM allowed it to handled hundreds of thousands of streams... and never crashed as I punished it. --- though I have to admit, I NEVER used it as a wifi access point so I do not know how to wifi performance holds. The WIRED/routing performance was excellent.

The WNDR3700 was decent for N speeds, and gave me 4 channels, 2 standards and 2 guests... impressive... What I don't like about Netgear (and the previous Netgears I own for wifi) is that every time you make most changes, it reboots each time; disconnected all of my wifi clients for minutes. This is very inconvenience as you need to add mac addresses to your access list --- each time; reboot...

I owned a d-link gaming edition wifi-router before; and I was able to make changes to firewall rules, and mac addresses without any rebooting. Only major changes required rebooting on that old d-link router. If Netgear doesn't fix this inconvenient, I might consider d-link again next time!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011, 7:45:14 PM PST
Can you please tell me how the double routers are wired into the system? I nee to do this same thing but can't figure out the wiring... Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011, 9:23:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2011, 9:25:25 PM PST
GillRigged says:

Are you refering to having another router in a different room/location to extend wireless and/or add additional ethernet ports? If so, you'll need to connect to the additional router/switch directly from a computer that isn't connected to anything else. From there, you'll disable the DHCP Server on the first Setup (Basic) page. That should be all that you have to do. The default configuration for the second router should be "Automatic". As far as wiring goe, the second router just plugs into one of the available ethernet ports on the primary router that acts as the DHCP Server. There's wireless ways to bridge but that is more complicated and not all routers support those options. Hope this helps. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011, 9:35:26 PM PST
I was responding to another post concerning the 2.4 and 5 Ghz problems. He had used one router to send 2.4 and another to send 5 because he had devices of varying age requiring different signals.... I am having a terrible time with a new E4200 kicking me offline when I had previously used a linksys SRX 400 very successfully for years but it quit and I replaced it with the E4200 (wrongfully thinking that I was buying the best available router). Now I can't keep an internet connection. I have spoken to 2 different Cisco techs and they have given different advice (1 said he fixed the problem by updating the software but it didn't help) mI am at my wits end with this.... I plan to speak to a supervisor tomorrow....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011, 9:43:32 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2011, 9:44:10 PM PST
GillRigged says:
I have mine setup on Manual mode, both on Mixed. 5GHz is set to 40MHz Only, Auto (DFS) with 2.4GHz on Auto (20MHz or 40MHz) and Channel set at 9 - 2.452GHz. That gives me no problems with dropping signal AFTER I strategically placed my router in the right area of the house AND in the proper position (leaning up against the wall high up on a speaker shelf.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011, 9:51:41 PM PST
How are they hard wired? I purchased another Linksys SRX 400 (new on eBay) to add to the E4200 but it has not arrived yet.... We need the E4200 for our new iphones but I guess we need the SRX 400 for our older laptops and PS3 and Wii.... I did not know about the different types of signals until I started having all these problems... The E4200 worked well intermittently until the past few days when it really started dropping frequently and even not booting at all a few times... I am so frustrated...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 24, 2011, 10:01:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 24, 2011, 10:07:54 PM PST
GillRigged says:
The E4200 broadcasts both simultaneously along with an additional 2.4GHz Guest account. However, if you have two seperate wireless routers to broadcast two seperate signals then one of the routers needs to do the job of routing and DHCP. Wiring is as simple as plugging the second router into the primary router's one of four ports. From there, the second router acts as an access point (ethernet and wireless) - essentially a switch which needs to have DHCP turned off. Does that help? But I must say, you really shouldn't need an additional router unless you have many levels in your home. The 2.4GHz on on the E4200 should work on the items you mentioned unless the laptops are VERY old. On the "Wireless" tab within the device setup page you should be able to do as I mentioned before and get both signals to broadcast. However, if the router is having power problems then, THAT sounds like a defective device.
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Participants:  20
Total posts:  35
Initial post:  Feb 28, 2011
Latest post:  Jan 1, 2012