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Linksys EA3500 App-Enabled N750 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router with Gigabit and USB
Linksys EA3500 App-Enabled N750 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router with Gigabit and USB
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Dual-band wireless supports high bandwidth applications such as video streaming or file sharing
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|Product Length:||2.64 inches|
|Product Width:||12.76 inches|
|Product Height:||10.08 inches|
|Product Weight:||0.0 pounds|
|Package Length:||12.6 inches|
|Package Width:||9.3 inches|
|Package Height:||2.6 inches|
|Package Weight:||1.1 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 302 reviews|
Dual-band wireless supports high bandwidth applications such as video streaming or file sharing
Wireless-N technology uses multiple radios to create a robust signal that travels farther and faster, with reduced dead spots.
Two spatial streams (2TX and 2RX) for 2.4G band and three spatial streams for 5G band (3TX and 3RX).
Up to 300+450Mbps Wireless Data Rates. 1 x 10/100/1000M WAN; 4 x 10/100/1000M LAN
|Average Customer Review: ( 302 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
748 of 774 found the following review helpful:
Decent, but nothing special. May 17, 2012
By Michael A. Behr
I recently did my own a router head-to-head comparison, acquiring a number of different routers and trying them out: this EA3500, some cheap netgears, Amped Wireless High Power Wireless-N 600mW Gigabit Router (R10000G) (skip it), Cisco-Linksys E4200 Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (an older cousin of this router), ASUS RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless-N900 Gigabit Router (my favorite so far).
I'm also an I/T professional, so I had a lot of fun puting this thing through its paces.
[Update November 9, 2012 - I modified this review slightly to eliminate confusion between my comments about the EA3500 and the older E4200. They're very similar devices. The big difference is that the EA3500 has a big faster top speed than the E4200, and there are ipad/android apps available for wizard configuration.)
Range is the most important part of a router to me, especially because signal strength is the biggest factor in speed. Even though the maximum speed advertised for a Wireless-N device is far higher, you can be sitting next to an B-wireless router and beat the pants off of an N-wireless device 100 feet away.
Linksys routers seem to abhor the idea of external antennae, which I always feel hurts them. Compared to the Asus RT-N66U, this system tended to be underpowered. My office registered the Asus at -45dBm, while this was at -55dBm. That might not sound like much, but remember that decibels are a logaritmic scale, meaning that the Cisco EA3500 signal is about 1/10 the strength of the Asus.
The 750Mb/s is a bit of bad marketing that eveyone participates in. The highest consumer bandwidth options I've seen is 50Mb/s (up & down) from FIOS, which just about any modern router can handle, so if you expect to get better performance from Netflix or Skype, this router problable won't help.
Furthermore, the 750 is 450 on the 5Ghz N channel, and 300 on the 2.4 Ghz N channel, but you can only do one at a time, so the best you'll actually see is 450 (which is darned good). 5GHz N can be faster, but is very susceptible to distance, so from my experience, you pretty much have to be in the same room to get those speeds. That said, if you have your TV come into a slingbox Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100, and then sit in that room with your iPad, you will be able to stream that video with great reception. But of course, one has to wonder why you don't just turn on your TV. When in other rooms, you'll get up to 300Mb/s over 2.4N, or 54Mb/s over 2.4G. Still good enough for streaming, but it takes the shine off of this device versus other less costly ones. This, however, is a general industry issue, and not specifically related to this Linksys. This specific model did indeed demonstrate the ability to connect to it at the advertised speeds... when my laptop was a foot away.
App - If all you have is an IPad or Android tablet, but no laptop, then having an app that allows you to configure the router is useful. Personally, I have no issues going in through Safari and using the web interface, but if you're not a geek, you might.
Disk - the great thing about the Linksys E series is the ability to easily mount an external hard drive. This is a great feature, and allows you to save hundreds versus a cloud storage system like Dropbox or iCloud (the interface isn't as nice, nor does it have disaster recovery).
Room for improvement:
The ASUS has a few features that I really like but are lacking on the Linksys
No repeater mode - The Asus will allow you to set it up as a repeater for a wireless system. Linksys insists you buy a different device
No DoS protection - I discovered that I am the frequent victim of Denial of Service attacks, though I have no idea why. I suspect everyone is. Amped Wireless and Asus both have configs that let you fight DoS attacks, Linksys does not.
No VPN - The ASUS is also my OpenVPN server, which allows me to be out of the house and securely get access to things on my home network without having to set up a bunch of port forwarding, which is a security risk. Both iPhone/iPad and Android phones & tablets offer native OpenVPN clients.
On my e4200, I had frequent issues with the 5Ghz radio to the point where I had to turn it off. I don't know if that's any better on this EA3500. It seemed to be okay, but only continued use would show it... but my main router is (currently) the ASUS. This one went onto one of my shelves, so I wouldn't really know.
All in all, it's a decent router, but nothing special. I'd likely either get a cheaper router like Netgear WNR2000 N300 Wireless Router, or spring for the Asus. I have my cable modem coming into the Asus, use Netgear XAVB5004 Powerline Network Adapter to get signal into all my rooms, and then have a bunch of devices similar to the WNR2000 for the wireless endpoints.
***UPDATE 12 OCTOBER 2012***
I've actually thrown out my powerline in favor of Actiontec Ethernet to Coax Adapter Kit for Homes with Cable TV Service (ECB2500CK01). the Powerline stuff would occasionally conk out for no apparent reason, which eventually became too frustrating to deal with. The Actiontec takes advantage of the fact that my whole house is wired for Optimum Cable. I get great speeds, and haven't had any drops since it was installed.
68 of 70 found the following review helpful:
Great router update Apr 15, 2012
By Pedro J Cardona
Just installed this new router yesterday and could not be happier. We live in a relatively large home with multiple wireless and wired electronics and was having difficulty with having all electronics running at the same time and signal not getting to all areas of the home, even though previous router was also N band. Now signal is much stronger and can have multiple wireless computers and a Roku going on at the same time with no delay. Set up was very easy, it recognizes and I can label the different electronic equipment and very simple set up for guest account. Highly recommended.
43 of 48 found the following review helpful:
Overall, a nice wireless router Apr 25, 2012
By Adam Wood
To set the stage for my review, all of my wireless access points are 802.11n (I've been upgrading over the years) with some being dual-band, and my wireless router for the past two or so years has been a Qwest Actiontec Q1000. The Actiontec broadcasts all 802.11 protocols like this Linksys, but the two differences are that it works over a single 2.4GHz band and does not allow a USB device to be attached and accessed over the network. I wanted to see if the second band at 5GHz would increase my throughput. I use wireless for both internet access (on a ~25 Mbps network speed) and streaming HD video to my PS3 (which is wired to an 802.11n access point).
Overall, I think that this is a good router with good performance. I can't compare this against any of the other routers available today, but the following might help you make your decision.
Initial, basic setup was incredibly easy. Just follow the instructions in the box (load the included CD, plug in the router, run the software) and things should work smoothly. Advanced setup (such as not broadcasting your network SSID, running two different networks from the two bands, running 802.11n only) was a bit more time consuming for me because there were no included instructions on how to do it. There is a good manual available in PDF form on the manufacturer's website (it just took me a while to find it) that includes recommendations on improving performance and talks about how to set things up. I wish that they would have at least included the link to it in the box (maybe they did, but I didn't see it). As an aside, the browser-based setup on the Actiontec is a lot more graphically refined and a bit easier to use, IMO, than the browser-based setup on the Linksys.
With my Actiontec, I was achieving wireless speeds around 70 Mbps. After hooking up the Linksys and going through the setup, my speeds were also around 70 Mbps. So, whatever is limiting my Actiontec is also limiting the Linksys. I had hoped that the newer design, better antennas, or dual-band would have boosted it. However, it is no worse and is still plenty fast for my needs. The online manual recommends splitting the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands into two networks for increased performance, which I did. I still have yet to see if that provides me with overall better performance (as I'm surfing the web on my laptop over 2.4GHz while streaming video to my PS3 over 5GHz).
I connected a USB drive to the Linksys and am able to access it from my PC and from my Mac. This is my first network drive, so it took me a while to figure out how to map it to both - but once I did, it worked smoothly. Unlike another reviewer, I could see the entire contents of the drive from both computers. I had messed around with the router settings for sharing the drive before I figured out how to map it, so that might have done something, but I'm pretty sure that I ended up with the original settings when it was all done. I do wish that my PS3 could see the drive, but if I understand correctly, I would need to step up to the EA4500 for the DNLA support.
MAC TIME CAPSULE
I tried running the network drive as a Time Capsule drive with my MacBook that is running Lion. Unfortunately, I received an error like many Lion owners that the drive doesn't support a newly imposed protocol. Perhaps a firmware update will allow it to work with Lion, but for now, it won't. Older Mac OS's might work with it, though. Linksys doesn't advertise that it will work with Lion Time Capsule, so I'm not upset - I had just hoped that it would.
I might be missing something, but I think that this just refers to the app available for Android and iOS devices to control the router. I downloaded it to my iPad and checked it out. It works just fine with this model and allows you to change some settings.
- Dual-band that can be set up as two separate wireless networks (one on the 2.4GHz band and one on the 5GHz band)
- Four gigabit ports for wired connections
- Sleek hardware design with all antennas being internal (the Actiontec antennas are externally attached)
On my wish list:
- Updated firmware to make it compatible with Mac OS X Lion in regards to using an attached USB drive as a Time Capsule drive
- Inclusion of the user manual on the CD, or inclusion of a link in the box as to where it is located on their website
- Mounting holes, or an included base stand, to mount it vertically to free up some desk space
- A more refined browser-based setup
52 of 60 found the following review helpful:
Secret firmware update compromises privacy in a big way. May 01, 2012
By M. Erb
Watch Video Here: http://www.amazon.com/review/R1CZIPBYACRE4H UPDATE: 3/28/2013 Cisco has apparently changed their policy on this in late 2012 due to public outrage. I am leaving my original review intact as a record of what transpired. There are many companies making routers... only you can decide with whom you can trust moving forward. And quite honestly, the performance of this router is not that great or reliable. I've been using a Netgear R6300 for the last month and it is phenomenal.
UPDATE: 7/11/2012 - Cisco surreptitiously updated the firmware of the router on 6/26/2012... my router, your router if you own this and basically every 3500 and 4500 router. The terms of this update, which no sane human being would ever agree too, completely changed my opinion of this router and of Cisco.
AVOID this router and the EA4500 at all cost.
The firmware upgrade, that was done without my knowledge or permission, essentially turns this router into a privacy nightmare.
It is evil.
Just Google Cisco Cloud Connect Privacy and read all about it. You will be shocked and angered.
There has been such outrage over this that Cisco has released information on how to downgrade the firmware to the previous version. Although this mitigates the problem for the time being, I would not trust this as a lasting fix and would completely avoid Cisco routers. They have lost my trust.
The Linksys EA3500 has a decent feature set, is easy to setup and provides excellent performance.
Although you can setup the router without using the provided setup CD, I'd recommend using the setup CD. The Setup CD makes the installation and initial setup of your router painless. The entire setup process takes only about 5 minutes. Having said that, I would then manually go in to the web based interface and make a few changes. Notably, you will want to change the admin password to the router so it will not be the same as the wireless passphrase. Having the same password for both is a clear security weakness.
Speaking of security vulnerabilities, you may want to Google "Wi-Fi protected setup security vulnerability" and read up on that. For further information, be sure to listen to episode #337 of the podcast Security Now with Steve Gibson.
Getting back to the setup, it is nearly hands-off. All you need to do is launch Cisco Connect, attach the power cord to the router and plug in the ethernet cable when instructed to do so and then about midway through the process you can either accept the SSID name and password or type in your preferred name and password. It's that easy.
There are quite a few features that will appeal to many users. The Guest Access is great (although not that secure.) You can setup your router to have a separate login for guest access to the Internet. You can specify how many simultaneous guest connections you'll allow. The Guest access password is different (or should be different) than the admin password for access. Another issue I have though is that you cannot change the SSID for Guest Access. It will always be named the same as your main SSID with the addition of "-guest." So if your main SSID were "OurHouse," the Guest access SSID would be "OurHouse-guest" and that cannot be changed to anything else.
The router has gigabit ethernet ports for equipment that is capable of utilizing gigabit throughput.
A USB port on the router allows the user to attach a hard drive for shared across the network access. You can assign users and privileges easily. At the time I made my video review, I had not yet attempted to hook up an external drive but since then, I have. It is really awesome to be able to have network attached storage that all or specified users can access. You can use it for network wide backups of your other connected computers or simply for file storage to keep things off your primary hard drive. It's a great feature that I've never had before and I love it. However, it is not without it's issues either. At this time, you are unable to use automated backup solutions, like Time Machine. A real bummer.
There is an iPhone and Android app you can get to allow you to manage the router with a limited number of options. The app is called Connect Express and it gives you the ability to do certain things such as edit guest access, change the Router network name and password, view what devices are connected to your network, and a few other "advanced" settings. You can even check for firmware updates for the router. It's quite handy to be able to do this from your iPhone but not as full-featured as it should be to be completely useful.
The router itself is quite small and runs quite cool. Actually the bottom of the router gets warmer than the top of the router. I like that there are no protruding antennas, yet coverage and signal strength in my house was excellent. I've got a 2000 sq ft house and the router is on the second floor in my office. The signal reaches all areas of my house with very good to excellent signal strength.
There are no obnoxious blinking lights on this router. Only on the back of the router will you see LED activity which you can use for troubleshooting to make sure you have data moving.
Parental Controls may be helpful for some but it is quite limited in what hours you can block. You can block access by device name with each device having a different schedule. You can block out chunks of time on "School nights" and/or "Weekends" between the hours specified. But what is weird is that you can only start blocking between Noon and Midnight and you can only stop the blocking between the hours of 12:30AM to 11:30AM. If you wanted to block access starting at 9AM until 3PM, you could not specify that time.
It's also possible to block specific URL's but you are limited to only 8 blocked URL's. When you attempt to go to a blocked URL, the browser displays a warning page that the site is blocked and allows access only if the parental control password is entered. You can also completely block access to a specific device by choosing the "always" option. It's basic protection but better than none I guess. It's just not that robust.
My final thoughts: The security issues are troubling. Maybe in a home situation you can let some of these slide, but you certainly would want to consult with a security expert before considering the use of this router in a business setting.
The iPhone app, although better than nothing I suppose, leaves much to be desired in what you can really accomplish with it.
The web interface that Linksys uses has a very tired look to it. It's looked this way ever since I started using Linksys routers and while there is something to be said for familiarity, it really could use a serious updating. In my opinion, Netgear has a much nicer user interface and their newer routers also have a slick application for managing the router that offers more control of router functions and settings.
Overall, It's a decent router, if not a little pricey, in an attractive, compact and unpretentious package.
15 of 15 found the following review helpful:
My Last Purchase from Cisco Aug 03, 2012
In my first review I gave the router a poor rating as I encountered numerous problems: router warrants daily resets to maintain the maximum speed; if you like to work from home and use corporate VPN features, it will disconnect you from the network every 2 minutes; even my wireless printer didn't want to properly function with this router, printing all of the pages only from a close proximity; and the overall signal strength was worse in comparison with my old Linksys WRT320N that I've been using for +3 years.
To try to work these issues out, I visited several forums to get some ideas on how to resolve my listed problems. I started by rolling back the firmware to Classic EA Series Cisco Connect Firmware (Non Cisco Connect Cloud) available from the Cisco website. After, I went through the[...] Setup, and made sure I disabled (default: enabled) "WMM Support" under "Applications & Gaming" - "QoS". Now, the router is working as advertised. I'm very happy with the purchase.
After working for approximately one month, the router stopped broadcasting wireless access points. Every other feature was working as advertised, but the access points were no longer visible. I spent 3-4 hours on the phone with Cisco, and also used their chat feature (the worst!) to prove that the router malfunctioned. Here is a little excerpt from the chat: "I do apologize, but according to the system your product is outside of its 90 days Complimentary Support Period which means that we have a few options for you. The first option is $29.99 which is a per incident plan. It means I could assist you further with the issue that you're having today. It comes with a 14-day grace period so you can call or log in to Linksys Live Chat Support anytime if you're still experiencing the same issue. The second option is $39.99 which is a 6-month plan. I could also assist you further with the issue that you're having today. It also comes with a 14-day grace period so you can call or log in to Linksys Live Chat Support anytime if you are still experiencing the same issue or need additional configuration." ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I called the Support line, and told them that the router was functioning fine before, and that it was now 100% defective. They issued me an RMA, and I sent back the router I recently paid +$100 for. What did I get in return? A refurb with a 90 day warranty. Thanks Cisco! This was the last transaction we will ever have.
See all 302 customer reviews on Amazon.com
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