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on January 26, 2012
About buying a dual-band router
Based on the reviews here, it seems that a lot of people have unrealistic expectations of what a dual band router will do for them, so I wanted to start my review by addressing the expectations you should have when you buy any dual band router. Many people seem to think that the 5GHz frequency band is inherently newer and better than the 2.4GHz band. That's simply not true as both bands have been around for a long time (802.11a ran at 5 GHz) and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

Some reviewers here have discovered one of those, noting that they didn't get as much range from the 5 GHz channels as the 2.4. That's exactly right. Higher frequencies do not travel and penetrate obstructions as well as lower ones, so we'll all get more distance from running in the 2.4 GHz band.

Another consideration is that many 802.11n devices run only on the 2.4 GHz band and won't even see a 5 GHz network. (The iPhone, for example, see only 2.4 GHz, while the iPad 2 sees both.) [Update 8/2/2013: Some commenters have noted that the iPhone 5 (released after I wrote this) does support both bands. They are, of course, correct... my iPhone 5 does see both networks.] Even if your router runs at 5 GHz, it's useless if the device you want to connect doesn't also run it. Before investing in a dual band router, it's a good idea to check out what you want to run and be sure it will work. I'd call the ubiquity of 2.4 GHz devices an advantage for that band.

Two advantages 5 GHz does have over 2.4 are that 1) it carries more data and 2) there's generally less interference at 5 GHz, so its more likely to achieve its potential to carry that extra data. There is a lot more 2.4 GHz traffic out there (cordless phones, microwaves, other wireless networks) so you can end up with slower access if these are causing interference. This is especially an issue in densely-populated areas of big cities. In contrast, the 5 GHz band is generally quite sparsely populated.

For most people, the reason to buy a dual-band router is that you want to watch HD movies or play video games wirelessly. The 5 GHz band is excellent for those data-intense applications, but your router has to be located well to give a good signal. A good setup for those people is to put your video and games on the 5 GHz channels and to run your regular Net surfing and email devices on the 2.4 GHz. Many dual band routers, like the Lynksys E2500, can run those simultaneously so that they don't interfere with each other.

Of course, you're still limited by the speed of the broadband coming into your home, but local traffic (like streaming a movie from a local server) will benefit. People who don't need to stream high bandwidth data, and who just want to check email and surf the web, will do just as well with a less expensive 2.4 GHz router (though this reconditioned price is low enough to justify the purchase even if you don't end up using both bands).

About my Purchase
I'm not usually a fan of buying refurbished products, but I had two 6-month-old Asus rt-n56u routers that both failed and I needed something to use while they were being repaired. (A month later, I'm still waiting... not happy with Asus.) Since I figured it was a temporary solution, and I didn't want to blow a lot of money on it, I picked up this refurbished E2500 and it has worked out great. It's been much more reliable than my Asus routers (even when they were working), so I'm seriously considering just ordering another one of these to put my network back together and just selling the Asus ones if they ever come back from repair. I spent nearly three times what this costs, each, for the Asus routers and what did it get me? I'm coming around to refurbished products. If they don't work when you get them, Amazon is great about returns. If they only last 6 months... well, I'd rather be out $40 for a 6-month lemon than $120, as I was with each of the others.

Update 2/16/2012
I did go ahead and buy another of these and it's working great. The only downside of these versus the ASUS routers is that these won't let me use the 'Internet' port on the second router to connect it to the first, so I have to use up one of my four wired device ports to make the second one into an access point. Still, the signals are strong and they've been reliable. I'm still waiting to get my ASUS routers back from their service center (terrible service), but I'm sticking with these when I do. I'll just sell the ASUS ones when they get back.
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on December 19, 2011
If your refurbished router still has the name/password from the previous owner, use a pin or paperclip to push the "Reset/Reinitialisation" button on the underside of the router. Hold the button down until all the lights on the back go solid and it is reset. Then reboot the router and start the software program over again and all should be well.

Aside from that one little hitch I just set up the router and it works fine.
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on October 20, 2016
This was to replace a linksys E2000 so I could get 5Ghz along with 2.4Ghz. I have an access point on each floor (another E2000 and an Actiontec) and this was on the ground floor. It regularly refuses to allow a device to connect to it. Throughout the day it reboots itself. All our equipment (PCs, laptops, phones, etc.) will end up being attached to the other, further away, access points even when I confirmed that they originally attached to this refurbished E2500. I had not noticed the problem, probably because I have redundant access points, but my wife kept complaining that she would get access and then it would go away and then come back. The closest access point to her desk was the E2500. I tried various tweakings to settings and firmware, but its fate was sealed when I simply turned it off and complaints about access went away. It seems to work fine for awhile after any reboot but it is clearly intermittent and unreliable. Too late to return to Amazon but it is still in the 90 day refurbished warranty window, so I'm going to go the warranty route. Wish me luck.

Update 11/3/2016 - warranty return by Cisco/Linksys process is fairly horrible, it has taken multiple hours over multiple days talking to multiple people and getting multiple case IDs. Website just refreshes when it doesn't recognize a valid case ID. All this for a $25 piece of refurbished but defective equipment. If I wasn't so optimistic I would assume this horrible process is intended (not improved with feedback) to discourage warranty service.
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on March 30, 2017
Got this today and noticed a small area on the silver part where the finish is rubbed off showing the black beneath. Not a huge concern as long as it works. Plugged it in and all of the LED's flicker dimmly. No connectivity what so ever. Thanks a lot Linksys Q.C. dept.

follow-up... Amazon replaced the router with another "refurbished" unit that this time at least turns on. It still looks used though with paint rubbed off the same spot. This one worked fine for almost 2 months and is now failing. I contacted Linksys since I'm past the Amazon 30 day return policy and they want me to jump through all kinds of hoops to get it replaced. I'm now waiting the results of my better business bureau complaint with Linksys on this paper weight of a router.

buy new and don't bother trying to save a few bucks on the refurbished. It may have been good quality in the past. Hence the amount of good reviews but that ship has sailed now.
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on February 20, 2015
Great router with a lot of secuirty options that won't conflict with you experience. However, it took some configuration and playing with the settings to make it work.

Pros: Sleek design and easy to use features. QoS (Quality of Service) can prioritize gaming or streaming as well open ports needed for certain applications to make them quicker. Has a 5ghz bandwidth which isn't as common as 2.4ghz and won't conflict with other electronics as much.

Cons: MUST READ!!! If your having problems like i this. My wifi could not stream videos on a 50MBS connection because of a configuration issue. Being savy Info Tech guy I tried all the basic tricks to speed it up as well as lower the security by disabling VPN's and Firewalls but it was still extremely slow. It was capped at 17MBS which was still pretty fast but for some reason it wouldn't stream videos. I found out there is a feature called "WMM" in the QoS section in setup which "states" it prioritizes your wifi and improves stream but it does the opposite in some system setups. This is the last thing i tired because it stated it would improve my streaming so it took a while to figure this out. Disable that WMM feature and then reboot your router and it should work fine after that.

To disable WMM and reboot your router: Type or in your web address bar and press enter. This should bring up a prompt for username and password. By default (if you didn't change the password on setup) it should be username: Admin and Password: Password or password. If that doesnt work look at the back of your routher for UN and PW. When your in setup click on Applications and gaming and in the subtabs (not highlighted white) there should be a option for QoS to the far right. Click on QoS and the first option for wireless section is WMM support. Disable that feature. Now to reboot your router; click on the set up tab which is a main tab in white on the top left and go to the way bottom and click reboot. This should fix your streaming videos and slow pictures issue.
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on February 4, 2015
I purchased this for $26.50 as an opportunity to install the Shibby Tomato software and see how well it works. The E2500/Shibby Tomato combo works so well that I've installed it in 2 households and will soon place it into a third.

Shibby Tomato can be downloaded from:
The specific directory for the E2500 is at:
Where build5x-vvvv-EN is the directory. vvv=124 is for version 124, EN is for the English language version.
I've downloaded and installed: tomato-E2500-NVRAM60K-1.28.RT-N5x-MIPSR2-124-Max.bin

Don't be put off that the website is in Polish. You can navigate it easy enough to get what you need.

Installation was simple. On the stock firmware, go to the Administration->Firmware Upgrade tab and select the Shibby Tomato firmware that you downloaded. Press the "Start Upgrade" button and wait. DON'T STOP TO PROCESS ONCE IT'S STARTED OR YOU WILL BRICK YOU ROUTER

Both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless work using the Shibby Tomato Firmware.

You can try to install DD-WRT but from what I read, the download seemed much more difficult and DD-WRT only supports 2.4GHz wireless. I'm also finding that I like the user interface better for the Shibby Tomato then for the DD-WRT.

I've had good luck purchasing these refurbished units. All 3 have worked right out of the box without any problems. One of the units has been in a house for 2 years that goes down to 0 deg F for most of the winter and it still runs. I know because I log into it daily.

Please don't forget to donate to the Shibby developers. They're the ones that bring real value to this device.
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on December 12, 2014
Comments section was very helpful in installing this router. I have been loyal to Cisco products since the first routers for home use came out since they invented the technology. Now that I know Belkin has bought them, not sure I would be so adamant in sticking with Linksys. Bought this along with Cisco Linksys Factory Refurbished RE1000 Wireless-N Range Extender and while install was not a breeze in upgrade from Linksys 160N router, I avoided some of the pitfalls by reading the comments section here. Extender really works great for us. I still have a problem that this router wants all my wireless devices to log in on Guest account - but not sure I'm going to bother to figure out how to fix that.

The one recommendation I would add is that you don't use the CD and just download the latest install package straight from the linksys site and open on your hard drive. I have found in the past that what usually is included on the CD's of most products are outdated versions. Also sprung for the SquareTrade since it was just about $3.00 more.
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on August 25, 2016
Here's the deal, this router was a real pain in the side.

The firmware was outdated so I had to update that. The issue was that it would cancel the update mid way. Eventually I had to set up my old router, connect to the internet, hard wire this E2500 into my computer and update it that way.

That was just the beginning...

Your name and password for this router are "Admin"

The CD it came with would not find the router. I had to manually set it up.

Second Problem: The DNS server wasn't working for some reason. I set up GoogleDNS and that seemed to resolve that issue.

Third Problem: The SSID was broadcasting but the Internet connection was not there. After cloning the MAC Address. Changing the MTU to 1,300. And then Disabling Block Unknown Connections. I got it to work.

I had to manually configure the 5ghz band as well.

If you have no clue what I just wrote.. don't buy this router.

If $50 is worth saving you the hassle and the time. Don't buy this router.

I'm happy with it now that it works, but I was just about to return this item. MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!

Best of luck..
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on November 1, 2013
I've been using this router for a couple months now, and I couldn't be happier. It was REALLY easy to set up, and has worked flawlessly since I first turned it on.

Other reviewers can fill you in on the technical details and comparisons to other products, but I would like to point out one particular benefit I have found: this will help with interference from digital baby monitors.

The problem we ran into with our old single-band router was that at night, we couldn't use our Apple TV or iPad to watch Netflix because playback would stop almost every minute, and was difficult to restart. I believe this was because our digital video baby monitor was causing interference.

With this dual-band router up and running, the iPad and AppleTV now work flawlessly when streaming Netflix, even when the monitor is sitting right next to us. Interestingly, my wife's laptop still has playback issues, because its wireless card does not take advantage of dual frequency.

I'm no tech guru, so this could all be coincidence, but if you're having issues with your Internet connection and use a digital video baby monitor that uses the same frequency as your current wireless router, it couldn't hurt to give this dual-band router a try!
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on April 12, 2016
I use this router as my go to backup internet gateway and I sometimes use it as an Access Point when that need arises. It supports DDWRT and Tomato among others if you want to use Open source firmware which I highly recommend. Note. It's not the fastest router nor is it the most powerful device in it's competitive product line.. And as far as signal goes, it's average and nothing to write home about. I gave it 5 stars because for it's proven reliability. The e2500 for me I have found is truly stable and has been for over 4 years now; it performs well and the device is extremely easy to use and or configure. It's also quiet and all the lights are located on the back of the router. Nice feature to have if you want to put this on your book shelf in your bedroom and or living room and don't want to see annoying activity lights blinking perpetually after hours.
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