Pros Industy first, Cisco has a jump on the Cloud copy-cats to come
Best looking router UI I've ever seen
Parental Controls from anywhere
Apps for greater control
Easy and powerful
Cons Needs a topology map, like the Network Magic app they used to sell.
Summary Absolutely spiffy! This is the most excellent network software I've ever used.
I'm constantly juggling responsibility for my home network and the classroom LAN for the school where I teach. Now I can manage both from either location, or on the road with my Android phone.
I always hated the archaic BIOS-looking configuration UIs routers used to have. Cisco has won a fan for life. I will be recommending the EA series routers to all our parents, whose children participate in online learning.
Pros Remote Access from any browser.
Free Mobile App.
Hands-down, no contest, the most beautiful interface for router configuration ever created.
Very user-friendly, better than the desktop-based Cisco Connect.
Room to grow: promising 3rd party apps.
Cons Totally different approach to interacting with your router; uncomfortable at first.
Cisco/Linksys has a history of giving up on v1 products with great potential: does this last?
Summary My road to Cisco Connect Cloud love was a rocky one. I went to start my Cisco Connect app on my PC yesterday and got a message telling me to go create an account. I don't like share my Email or info with anyone one and was immediately annoyed that this was standing between me and tweaking Parental Controls on my network. Cursing Linksys under my breath, I begrudgingly complied.
Still steamed at my router manufacturer for taking the same tact as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and the rest of the Cloud crowd (HW companies shouldn't do this), I began click through the browser UI. My devices, Guest Access, Parental Controls, my network settings, they were all there. And, in a slick presentation that loaded quickly and made sense.
My anger with Linksys quickly faded. I actually began wondering who I should thank for this forced upgrade. Next I installed the complimentary app on my iPhone and the need for a Cloud account to manage my network suddenly made sense. I can log in from work and manage my network. I can send enable Guest Access and change other settings from my phone App when walking the dog.
Brilliant! This company knows exactly what they're doing. Routers and Clouds do work better together. My compliments to the innovators at Linksys for delivering a phenomenal product, even if you did kind of shove it down my throat :-)
Pros Flawless setup, easy administration, nice design (both software and hardware), media prioritization, great overall control and visibility of network. Routing experience as good or better than top Netgear model, so far. Remote access!!
Cons This didn't happen to me (probably because I just bought this router and never saw the old software), but I've heard some people say the update to a new software was forced. That would be uncool, unless it was for security reasons.
Summary THANK YOU, CISCO FOR FINALLY PULLING NETWORKING HARDWARE INTO THE CURRENT CENTURY!!
I'm a Netgear guy, but the negative buzz I've heard around Cisco Connect Cloud, from some so-called expert forums, intrigued me to learn more. (No such thing as bad publicity.) I picked an EA4500 Thursday night at Best Buy and within 6-7 minutes had retired my Netgeat N600 and had fully functioning Linksys network w/Cloud account!!
I am so pleased with the admin UI. Agreeing with other reviewers, here. It is absolutely unbelievable we as customers have put up with that crappy looking firmware GUI for years. Never again!!
I've done some experimenting with the Media Pri stuff and it really does seem to make a difference. I had parental controls for other routers, but with remote access this really becomes much more practical. The mobile app for and repmote access for iphone is really the cherry on top for an awesome product. I'm really looking forward to what new apps will be available in the future.
I'm saying 5 stars based on the software/cloud. if I was just reviewing the hardware, I'd say 4 because it is good but not vastly better than my old netgear router.
Netgear, Belkin, and company had better take note of the revolution Cisco just started. If they introduce cloud managed routers as well, I will check them out. But I will never buy another old-school firmware-only router again. There is no going back, baby. Let's move forward and see what this cloud can do!!
Pros very easy to figure out and use.
Cons really none. but, i would like to be able to customize my guest network address page.
Summary did not experience any of the update pain others have mentioned. the setup was no problem for me, even easier than setting up a facebook account. i can now administer my network myself without the need to know some ip address or geeky terminology. i feel very empowered!