I have a TiVo. The only way for TiVo to function properly is with internet access. However the TV is miles (OK not MILES – but far) away from the cable modem that resides in the office, and there is no way I’m going to run a 50 foot long Ethernet cable through the house. The only alternative is to go wireless. Wireless modems, like the Linksys E4200, provide convenient internet access for my TiVo, my laptop, and even my iPod.
Wireless internet is also a great bonus for families with middle school and high school students. Oftentimes the older kids like studying in their own rooms, where they can get away from the noise and activities of the house. With wireless access, they can grab the laptops and study in the quiet and comfort of their own rooms.
About the Linksys E4200
Linksys E4200 Specifications
For my fellow nerds – here are the technical specs for the Linksys E4200.
Model: Linksys E4200
Bands: Simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Transmit / receive: 3 x 3
Antennas: 6 Internal
Ethernet ports x speed: 4 x Gigabit
USB storage port: Yes, Shared Storage, Virtual USB and Media Server
Wireless internet wasn’t always a “given” here. Friends would come over for LAN parties (hey – I’ve said I was a nerd!) and we would literally have to power cycle the router every time someone needed to connect to the internet. That meant that we’d all have to lose internet, and then one by one, reconnect. It was a pain. Power cycling the router became a regular things. Not fun.
Ever since we upgraded to the new Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N Router, I haven’t had to power cycle the router once. The internet connection hasn’t been lost and friends can get internet access just by connecting to my router’s guest user account. Not only that, but now I can get internet access in every single room of the house – from upstairs to even the closet in the back room furthest from the office. How’s that for “internet accessible”?
It’s very easy to set-up the Linksys E4200:
Step 1. Insert the included Set-Up CD into your CD-ROM
Step 2. Set up your router.
Step 3. Follow the on-screen instructions.
In a matter of minutes, your new router is set-up with internet access and ready to go. Let’s take a closer look at the router and the on-screen instructions.
The Linksys E4200 box includes the router, power cord and power adapter, one Ethernet cable, and the welcome CD.
Upon taking a closer look at the back of the router, you’ll see (from left to right) the 4 Ethernet ports, Internet port (internet in), a Wi-Fi Protected Setup button, USB port, Reset button, and the power port.
After you insert the CD, it’ll prompt you to make sure that the router is connected. Simply plug-in the power, then connect the router to both your modem and to your computer.
After your connected, you’ll move through a series of prompts to help you set-up your router. Then the router will enter the set-up process. A progress bar will show you where the router is in the process.
After the set-up is complete, you’ll be able to name and set the password for your network. Then comes the really fun part – Cisco Connect.
From the Cisco Connect application you are able to control the computers and devices that are connected to your network, set parental controls, set-up guest access, and personalize your router settings.
I really like the Parental controls feature since it allows you to monitor and control the times and websites that your kids can visit. If you’re out at work, you can make sure your kids are NOT on the internet looking at things they shouldn’t be.
The nerdy side of me also really likes the Speed Test you can run through your Router Settings menu. You simply launch the test and it will show you the download and upload speeds for your connection.
Another great feature is the ability to create an Easy Setup key. Simply plug a USB drive into the port, then create an Easy Setup Key. Once the key is created, you can take that USB drive to any other computer on the network and it’ll automatically connect that computer to your wireless network. No remembering WEP passwords or accessing Network Connections. It is THAT easy.
For our LAN parties, I love that there is a separate guess login that allows you to control the number of guests connected to your network (up to 10) and also creates a separate password that you can give to allow them to connect.
If you’re more technical, you can still access the advanced settings through the routers IP address, including port forwarding, firewall settings, and additional security options.
The Linksys E4200 Wireless Router is hands down the most user-friendly router I’ve used. It is incredibly intuitive to set-up and it makes it very easy for even non-technical folks to set-up the security and protections that every network should have.
Linksys E4200 Online
The WiC Project Linksys E4200 Wireless Router Giveaway
One winner will receive a Linksys E4200 Wireless Router of their very own.
This giveaway ended on Sept. 5, 2011 and is now closed.
Disclaimer: This post consists of my (and/or fellow tester) opinions only. Your experiences may be different. No compensation was given for this review/giveaway. I did receive a free product from the manufacturer or their representing PR agency to use and test for the purposes of this review. This did not affect the outcome of this review.