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Showing 1-10 of 1,112 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,152 reviews
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 September 19, 2017
I was having a lot of wi-fi connectivity issues with my WNR2000 that I purchased years ago. After quite a bit of troubleshooting I figured it was time for a new router.

Sure enough immediately after setup on my network all of my issues were resolved. Connectivity on all devices has been solid and working well. I haven't setup any bandwidth priority devices yet, but I'll update this review once I do.
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on September 20, 2017
There are so many options out there but I went with this reasonably lower priced one for my college kid. Works great and all he needs for dorm room. My older kid who is a computer whiz recommended it since he used the same one in college and said there is no need to spend lots of money when this router works perfectly. He was right.
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on August 13, 2017
Work fabulously when they work but I've returned two now. First one appeared to have power supply problems, the LEDs were all working but quite dim. The second one worked for a day and then caused messages like "Internet connection very weak". All the usual reboots failed and a router borrowed from work restored everything. Amazon are taking it back, I'll order a NON refurbished in future.
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on February 22, 2014
After putting it through its initial paces with the out-of-date Linksys firms (1.0.5), I found out that, in fact, the throughput speeds of this unit were higher than the E2500 I bought in 2012 (which is still functional). Why replace one unit of the same model with another? As of this writing (02/14), the major outlets that report on the industry (PC World, Slashdot, Ars Technica) have all come out with advisories about the inherent insecurities of many routers, among them ASUS and Linksys models. (There's even some comment from Brett Glass, who publicized some of the malware problems). All these articles identify Home Networking and the wireless routers as "THE" security issue of 2014. And, all of these articles target poorly written firmware as a primary culprit.
One solution to the problem is to go Open Source, and install higher quality, better maintained Open Source firmware. The major choices are DD-WRT and Tomato.

Of the two, Tomato is preferable because it supports the 5GHZ band on the E2500, which DD-WRT does not. So, not having flashed Open Source firmware before, I decided to use this refurbished unit as my guinea pig. (If I bricked the unit, at least I had my original unit).

Flashing the E2500 with Tomato was easy. A bit of fiddling with the settings (after reading various recommendations on those settings, online) brought my throughput speed up to 150mb, which is an enormous improvement. And, the router is more secure, flashed with much better firmware code.

If you want to read, generally, about firmware problems, and the kinds of problems we may all face, there's a good and short general explanation by Bruce Schneier, in Wired, in an article title "The Internet of Things is Wildly Insecure -- And Often Unpatchable." One way of reducing that insecurity is to patch decent hardware (such as the E2500) with better firmware code.

And that is my advice to you. The hardware is fine. The software, well, with a little bit of research and patience, it, too, can work well for you. And that is how it is, now, with this E2500.
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on July 12, 2013
I was worried because it was factory refurbished, but everything has been working great for the 2 weeks I've had it setup.

I was having a lot of wi-fi connectivity issues with my Netgear WNR2000 that I purchased years ago. After quite a bit of troubleshooting I figured it was time for a new router.

Sure enough immediately after setup on my network all of my issues were resolved. Connectivity on all devices has been solid and working well. I haven't setup any bandwidth priority devices yet, but I'll update this review once I do.

Devices connected:
Wi-Fi
iPhone 5
Retina iPad
Epson XP 400 (Printer)
3DS
PS Vita

Hardwire
2 x PCs
PS3
Xbox 360
Denon AVR 1912 (Receiver)
Panasonic TC-P50VT25 (TV)
Dlink DNS 323 (NAS)
2 x TP Link TL-SF1005D (Switch)
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on July 17, 2015
I now own two of these routers and I've installed tomato shibby on both of them. The process is extremely straightforward as tomato shibby can be flashed onto the router directly from the stock firmware and then you just need to clear the NVRAM when done.

http://tomato.groov.pl/

What you should note is that currently if you install tomato shibby the 5Ghz band will show up but you won't want to use it because it seems to cause the router to reboot randomly without error messages. However, the 5GHz band is, in my opinion, effectively useless because my devices don't generally connect to the 5GHz band unless they are within about 5 feet of the router. So, this makes no difference to me.

The router is excellent if you disable the 5GHz band and use the 2.4GHz with wireless N. Please note that you should use wireless N with AES encryption as that is the only supported encryption for wireless N, if you don't then you will decrease the performance of the router greatly.

For the price tag this is a great deal. If you want something more than the basics then consider a different wireless N router or an AC router but for the basics this is a steal.
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on February 8, 2015
I live in a studio apartment, generally use my laptop at my desk, and didn't really see the need for a wireless router here until I had a hip replacement, because sitting for long periods in restricted positions is a drag. The refurbished price was right, reviews pretty good, the warranty removed the risk, and for 27 bucks I'd have been happy if it just lasted a few months through my recovery. Incidentally, I also purchased this Drive Medical hospital table for meals and for my laptop in bed:
http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical-Overbed-Table-Walnut/dp/B002VWJZ3S/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1423404702&sr=8-2&keywords=drive+medical+hospital+table

This makes a great laptop desk (adjusts high enough to stand if you want) and looks kind of mid-century modern in the version with the chrome (the other color is currently cheaper). I may put a more glamorous veneer on top, but it's solid, wide enough and even handy in the kitchen when I need extra space. (off topic, I know, but so much better than a lot of the crappy laptop desks I'd seen in stores)

As for the router, I'm not a techie, and it installed easily on both my old and new computers (don't forget to put the password somewhere safe), and my upstairs neighbor was able to use it as well for several months until he got his own internet service. Also, I haven't had much need to use wifi on my phone, but my older iphone 4S does seem to pick up the network (thanks to updates?).
I have been using this for a year and a half and it's worked out very well for me.
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on October 17, 2013
As far as bad routers go, this is one of them.
I've had this for over a year now and i've come close to throwing it in the garbage on more than one occasion.
I probably got better signal from my old linksys b router than this one.
While the area I live by is congested with Wi-Fi signals, I barely have signal past 2 walls on a distance of 25 feet. tried all channels and disabling the 5gh band to no avail. While 50kb-100kb might be acceptable to some, it isn't for me. Also it would randomly drop connection at times. usually a full reboot by unplugging would do the trick which lasts about 4 weeks before the problem recurs.
This is now used as a wireless bridge. Not having to handle any dhcp work seems to help it be less buggy. My new router that replaced this one is also an N router and has a signal that connects great at 4 times the distance of this one (it does have dual antennas though).

There are better routers on Amazon for the same or less than this routers' current price ($40)

This one goes in the buyers regret column!!!
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on February 3, 2014
As other reviewers have mentioned "dual band" does not mean that you can replace your old router in the basement with this product and expect to get a signal up in your bedroom on the 2nd floor. Physics is still at play here. That being said, out of the box the router is sleek, simple to setup (via Cisco HomeConnect) and has the capability for a built in guest network for added security when you have guests over.

If you want to get a little nerdy with it this router is capable of having DD-WRT's firmware loaded onto it. For the uninitiated this means that you can change the software on the router from the one provided by the factory to a 3rd party solution. This is like taking your computer that came with Windows and putting Linux on it.

With router firmware in security news from time to time with vulnerabilities exploited by the bad guys, loading this 3rd party open-source firmware onto the device will not make you 100% secure but puts you a step closer since a large group of people can look at the code and check it. You can't do that with Cisco's software. Also, it gives you a little nerd cred to be able to say that you hacked your router and loaded some crazy firmware on it. Enjoy.
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