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Linksys E3200 High-Performance Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router
Linksys E3200 High-Performance Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router
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The Linksys E3200 offers superior wireless speed (up to 300 + 300 Mbps), optimal range, and simultaneous dual-band technology to create a powerful network designed for home entertainment. Simultaneous dual-band Wireless-N technology allows for smoother and faster HD/3D video streaming. A built-in USB port lets you add external storage and printers* to share files across your network. An enhanced MIMO antenna array offers superior range and reliability. Plus, included Cisco Connect software gets you set up in three easy steps and offers powerful tools for ongoing management of your network.
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|Product Length:||6.69 inches|
|Product Width:||7.48 inches|
|Product Height:||0.98 inches|
|Product Weight:||0.48 pounds|
|Package Length:||12.6 inches|
|Package Width:||9.9 inches|
|Package Height:||2.7 inches|
|Package Weight:||1.95 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 447 reviews|
Enjoy the power of high-performance, simultaneous dual-band Wireless-N technology (80211n) ideal for home entertainment
Connect Internet-ready TVs, Blu-rays, game consoles and other devices at superior speeds up to 300 + 300 Mbps
Double your network bandwidth with simultaneous dual bands
Connect an external storage device to the built-in USB port to share your files at home or on the Internet
Connect a printer to share among the computers on your network
|Average Customer Review: ( 447 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
289 of 300 found the following review helpful:
Routing Heaven... almost Jun 03, 2011
By A. Dent
The Linksys E3200 is, without a doubt, an impressive product. It's one VERY easy to set router that appears to operate reliably and even comes with a couple of notable bells and whistles. However, some of the 'high performance' claims proved to be slightly exaggerated and I wasn't impressed by the quality of user support.
SETUP (5 of 5)
One question most of us ask ourselves before proceeding to set something as intimidating as a new router is 'will I be able to make it work for me?' The good news is that in this case the answer should be 'probably or most likely yes.' For a basic setup, you simply plug in the router, run the Cisco Connect app provided on a CD on a computer equipped with a Wi-Fi adapter and... you are connected.
Cisco Connect is a well-organized app that will help you add devices to the network - and once the router is app and running most devices will add themselves once you provide the password - allow for limited 'guest' access on a separate network, set parental controls, test your Internet connection speed and directly manage your router if you need to split your network for better performance, configure DNS and DHCP, advanced wireless settings, security, manage the attached disk if you have one, set access policies and so forth.
It gets as sophisticated as you need it to be and the good news is that both Cisco Connect and the router's Web interface are are well organized and are backed by a very well written and quite detailed manual. I will post the link to the downloadable PDF as a comment to this review.
My basic setup completed in a couple of minutes and it took a couple of minutes more to register individual devices: laptops, desktops, printers, portable gaming devices, home servers, Internet radio. Anything that has a wired connection (4 10/100/1000 Mpbs ports are available) does not need any setup. The more sophisticated tasks, such as reserving IP addresses for printers and a media hub and 'splitting' the traffic into 2 separately named networks mapping into the router's 2 frequency bands (2.4 MHz and 5 MHz) were equally easy and well covered by the manual.
It's important that Cisco Connect is installed on one of your computers if not on all because the first thing it does when you start it is checking the router's status and attempting to fix whatever problems if it detects any. To get 'the latest' I installed it from Cisco's site and I didn't experience any issues during or after the install completed.
PERFORMANCE AND RANGE (4 of 5)
Depending on your clients, the router can provide as much as 2 x 300 Gbps - this was a major improvement over the 802.11g router it's replacing. This is a lot considering that the best I am getting from my ISP is 15 Mbps downstream and 2 Mbps upstream but today's home networks have a lot of internal traffic if you use NAS devices, media servers or home servers that are set to run backups.
While the router supports 802.11 a/b/g/n the manual warns that best performance can be achieved when all clients support 802.11n and that one single 802.11a client can slow the entire network if present.
In practice I got consistent 150 Mbps on the 5 GHz band while in the same room at about 30 ft. from the router (except for a few minutes each day when the 5 GHz signal drops for no apparent reason - see the posted screenshots). With one floor in-between, 90 Mbps was possible but the 5 GHz band wasn't as reliable or I could get a steady stream of 54 Mbps, sometimes better on the 2.4 GHz band. With 2 floors in between (router in the basement and my computer on the second floor and at the other end of the house, some 70-80 ft. away) the 5 MHz band became practically unusable (I will post some inSSIDer shots) and the 2.4 GHz band would get me 6-24 Mbps, still okay for Web browsing. The computers on the second floor right above the router get a steady 50-70 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz band.
I would like to note that, while the router broadcasting on 2 bands does have its advantages the 5 GHz signal works best when you have line of sight to the router or one thin wall/floor in between. It's not as good at passing through walls as the 2.4 GHz signal. It is possible to maximize performance by using a combination of wired plus 2 segregated bands but some testing and good planning is needed.
RELIABILITY (4.5 of 5)
The E3200 has been remarkably stable so far if I don't consider the random signal loss on the 5 GHz frequency on the second floor. It's fair to state that, when the default settings are kept, the router will automatically switch between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and between the available channels on each band to maximize performance and minimize interference. Since I don't have neighbors, I can't say how the router would perform in a more crowded environment.
Due to a number of violent storms, we lost power for seconds at a time several times in the past few days. Whenever that happened, the router came back on its own and I was able to resume work without having to reestablish a VPN connection or the chat session on WebEx with a Cisco support rep.
EXTRA FEATURES (4.5 of 5)
The E3200 is chuck-full of advanced features including strong security and encryption and the ability to optimize it for gaming (not tested yet) and, of course, the most visible being the USB port through which you can share files off an attached disk with control over access level on the local network and over the Internet.
On my features wish list... I wish it was possible to actually control the signal strength because the 5 GHz band is clearly underpowered. Also, while it is possible to remotely reboot the router, it would have been nice if a physical 'off' switch was available.
WARRANTY AND SUPPORT (2 of 5)
There is a 1 year more or less standard limited warranty. The full terms are posted at Cisco's site so I'm not going to go into details. My experience with routers - and this is my 4th or 5th wireless - is that, if they work, they last forever.
The support... I can't say that I had a happy experience. Before I Googled for '5 GHz signal strength' I thought I'd ask a Cisco support person about it over a chat session. I also wanted to ask about the on and off loss of connection over the 5 GHz band. What followed was a long, sterile and at times absurd 58-minute chat session (Cisco did email me the time-stamped transcript) with an offshore person struggling with a script and asking me to perform meaningless activities instead of telling me that 'yes, the 5 GHz signal is weaker'. Eventually she did say that 'yes, the 5 GHz signal is weaker' but only after I asked the question several times. As for the occasional connection drop, I got the standard 'install the latest firmware update' even though she knew that I had the latest firmware version for the router (one of the first things she asked) and she knew that the router was set to automatically download and install firmware updates.
I believe that my chat was part of the initial 90-day live free support that Cisco provides. In addition, of course, there are posted FAQs and discussion boards. Cisco also offers some 'paid' support but they don't say whether it's coming from offshore underpaid workers or from technicians who can actually help solve problems. My view is that the manual is so well written and the quality of the router is so high, not much support should be needed.
The quality of human support and the over-hyping/marketing of the dual band capability (nice to have but not a quantum leap into super-high performance) are dragging down my rating into the 4 star territory. By the way, 4 stars means 'I like it' but not 'I love it'. Fact is, I almost love it because this is a very good product but... not perfect.
This may not be the best n-router out there - Cisco does sell a higher model for a few dollars more - but I suspect it's all the way there at the top. I can't see how you can go wrong with this one.
TIME CHECK: 11 MONTHS SINCE INSTALLATION
May, 2012: almost one year of nearly-flawless operation proved that the E3200 is stable and dependable and its operation comes close to 'zero maintenance'. It rarely needed rebooting while operating under sometimes extreme stress with multiple devices doing 'video', VPN and online gaming. I am now replacing the E3200 with the slightly more capable (larger bandwidth) EA3500.
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<
94 of 99 found the following review helpful:
fought with other Linksys models, this one nailed it May 03, 2011
By David Ceremuga
If you only knew the troubles I had with the E3000 and E4000, even trying the better firmware versions offered by DD-WRT. Constant lock up's and disconnects. I was about to throw in the towel with Linksys. Then, I tried the E3200. Easy setup, the Access Controls MAKE SENSE for the first time in Linksys history, and it handles a very heavy workload of video streaming and data. We saturate our 60meg internet connection from many different sources and NO PROBLEMS. Range is great. FINALLY, I'm willing to give Linksys a thumbs up (FOR NOW) on this router. Best available.
112 of 120 found the following review helpful:
Replacing an old Linksys router? Be aware... Jul 25, 2011
Are you replacing an old Linksys router? If so, be prepared for weaker performance. I bought this to replace my 8 year old Linksys WRT54GS, but the G and N performance on the new router was not as good as the range and speed of my old G router. This was frustrating and I spent hours with Linksys support confirming this. Why the new Linksys routers are not better than their 8 year old routers is beyond me.
I wound up returning the router, and "cascading" a Linksys E2000 with my old Linksys router. I chose to use two routers simultaneously so I have the old one for demanding tasks, and the new one as a backup and for hard wired, always on devices. The E2000 is a year older, less expensive, and performs better than all the new Linksys routers, as CNET documented in the test results table: [...] - you can compare this to the E4200 review - Linksys's current best, most expensive router - to see that the E2000 beats it in the 2.4GHz frequency.
Don't spend your weekends troubleshooting routers like I have. If the weekly rebooting of your old Linksys is driving you to buy newer router like me, be aware that the newer Linksys routers (and even Belkin N600 HD - I tried that too) are not as good as the older routers.
Details: I have a Motorola DOCSIS 3.0 modem, Comcast 22MBPS cable internet service, and measured speed using speedtest.net and range using an iPod touch for 2.4GHz G signals, and a Dell 15R laptop for 2.4GHz N signals.
81 of 88 found the following review helpful:
Router performance is good - USB drive has limitations (updated) Jun 03, 2011
By Sree K
I see the comments mentioning that Sep 2011 firmware update is fixing the max size limitation of attached USB drive. I verified this from release notes of firmware update from linksys website [...]. While I don't have a higher capacity drive to test this out (using NAS drives now), I' updating this review to 4 stars based on the release notes and user comments. The router is still going strong without any issues.
The router performance is good and I'm happy with the speed/bandwidth compared to my older Linksys wireless N router. But, the USB drive connectivity for file sharing/backup has it's limitation. I have a 3 TB harddisk, but the router detects only 750 GB of the space. Chat with customer service confirmed that they have not tested this router for 3 TB capacity drive. So, it appears to be a limitation right now. Perhaps, a firmware upgrade might fix this in future. But, as of now, my rating stays at 3 stars for false/incomplete advertisement about the Product.
24 of 24 found the following review helpful:
Not as good as I expected. Update: all network drives bricked May 29, 2011
(Updated December 2011)
After having a Cisco-Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Router for years with rock-solid performance I expected similar performance from this model.
Connectivity, however, is mediocre. The router drops the (AT&T (Ameritech/SBC) DSL) Internet signal at random intervals and takes quite a while to reestablish communication (10-15 minutes). As you can imagine, this is very frustrating if you are working on a deadline. More significantly is the inability of this router to maintain connections with network attached storage units, including drives directly attached to the router via the USB port. Units will initially connect only to be dropped at seemingly random intervals. Reestablishing connections is a tedious, time-consuming process and as it requires power cycling to the drives is no doubt reducing the lifetime of those units.
Hopefully a firmware update will fix those issues. (The last update, in September, did not.)
Over time the speed of all devices using this router have dropped significantly. I am now averaging only 75MB/sec on my N devices at 10-20 on G devices. This is about half the speed I was getting from the unit when it was new.
Range is very good, especially without an external antenna. I get a strong signal in all areas of the house. There has been no drop-off in performance in this area.
Security is easy to enable and set up on each computer. You can configure one device and then save an executable to run on all your other devices (including Macs).
Since I expect a router to last at least five years I would recommend checking out a more reliable unit even if you have to pay a bit more for it. I'm really disappointed in Cisco for releasing such a dog of a unit after producing such a gem with the WRT45G.
Update December 2011: Either the router itself bricked all the network drives in my LAN or allowed a virus to do so. (The odds that ALL of them failed simultaneously is near zero.) Every drive I had directly attached to the network or to the router are dead, as in bad boot-block dead. I can't even reformat them. This includes a WD 1.5 TB network drive, an IOMEGA 2TB drive (both directly connected to the LAN) and a WD 300GB hard drive connected to the router via USB.
I switched to a $20 dLink router which is running just as smoothly as my old WRT54G router did, though not as quickly as the E3200 did when first installed. I really can't recommend the E3200 at any price, for any user.
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