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Cisco Linksys X2000 review: Cisco Linksys X2000

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Sadly, all of this work on building client-side software means that Cisco's web interface has remained unchanged. It's functional, sure, but the organisation of features could sure do with a spring cleaning, and the interface with some prettying. There's nothing, feature-wise, to make the X2000 stand out, offering the usual DDNS, port forwarding, reserved DHCP, wireless and networking settings et al. Its parental controls do offer time-of-day scheduling for internet access, but are otherwise insufficient; you can only block up to eight inappropriate sites, otherwise you need to choose whether you want it to block sites that are inappropriate for a "teen" or "child". Cisco offers absolutely no explanation of what these settings block, expecting the user to trust its judgment.

Finally, maybe we can't find the secret squirrel hole it's hidden in — but how do you exactly log out of this device? Or are you expected to wait for the session to time out?

Performance

After analysing the spectrum with InSSIDer, the clearest 2.4GHz channel is chosen for wireless testing. Usually, the router is restricted to the 20MHz band if the option is available.

We used iperf to determine throughput, running eight streams, with a TCP window size of 1MB and an interval of one second. The test is run for five minutes in three different locations, on two separate occasions. The locations are in the same room as the router, one floor down around spiral stairs and with concrete walls and floors and two floors down, under the same conditions.

The wireless throughput is tested using three chipsets (the Atheros AR5008X, the Ralink RT2870 and the Intel Ultimate-N 6300), and then all of the results are averaged.

2.4GHz throughput (in Mbps)

  • Billion BiPAC 7800N
  • Cisco Linksys X2000
  • AVM Fritz!Box 7390
  • Netgear DGND3700
  • Location one (same room, no obstructions) 107.5399.7084.3769.20
  • Location two (one floor down, some obstructions) 114.338366.3064.63
  • Location three (two floors down, some obstructions) 53.2744.9044.3038.23

(Longer bars indicate better performance)

It might be only a 2.4GHz router, but wireless performance was excellent across all three areas and chipsets, beating out even some of the top-tier routers.

Warranty

Cisco only offers a one-year warranty with the Linksys X2000, which is disappointing compared to Billion's two years, and AVM's five years.

Conclusion

Cisco's Linksys X2000 is a simple modem/router aimed at those who just need wireless access to the net, and it manages to pack in excellent wireless performance along the way. The security concerns that come with using its included software are worrying, though, and we suggest that you skip the easy set-up and do things manually through the web interface.

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