Linksys E4200 450Mbps router review: Fast is in

The new Linksys E4200 Wireless-N 450Mbps router by Cisco offers great performance and more.

Dong Ngo SF Labs Manager, Editor / Reviews
CNET editor Dong Ngo has been involved with technology since 2000, starting with testing gadgets and writing code for CNET Labs' benchmarks. He now manages CNET San Francisco Labs, reviews 3D printers, networking/storage devices, and also writes about other topics from online security to new gadgets and how technology impacts the life of people around the world.
Dong Ngo
2 min read
The new Cisco Linksys E4200 router sports a more eye-caching design than its predecessors.
The new Cisco Linksys E4200 router sports a more eye-caching design than its predecessors. Dong Ngo/CNET

As promised, the review of the Cisco Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band Wireless-N Router, the very first true dual-band Wireless-N router that offers a 450Mbps ceiling speed, is now up.

And the router is the fastest we've seen among Wireless-N routers. It's quite unfair to compare it with others, however, as it is the first router that offers the higher 450Mbps speed on the 5GHz band. The only other router that offers this speed is the Trendnet TEW-691GR, but it works only on the 2.4GHz band.

The Linksys 4200's 2.4GHz band, on the other hand, remains at 300Mbps. It was still very fast in our testing. Even faster than the TEW-691GR. On top of that, the E4200 is the first dual-band router we've seen that offers the same range for both bands: up to 290 feet in our testing facility, which is not exactly optimized for wireless range.

Note that to take advantage of the higher 450Mbps speed, the wireless clients need to support this, too. For now, you'll need to have a laptop equipped with an Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 or 5300 Wi-Fi adapter. In the future there will also be USB adapters and add-in cards that support this speed.

We actually tested the E4200 with 300Mbps clients and the scores were already noticeably higher. This only means that the E4200 will offer even better performance when used with 450Mbps-capable clients.

Other than the performance aspect, the Linksys E4200 comes with the Cisco Connect software that makes setting up and managing the wireless network a no-brainer, great for home users. What's better is that its Web interface now offers complete control over the router's settings and features, allowing savvy users to skip the software entirely, which is not possible with previous models in the E series.

For more information on whether it's worth the $180 price tag, check out the full review.