Pros Range, speed, it works, features.
Cons High price, but it works!
Summary Well, we needed a wireless router for a second location and the E4200 is our third router in three days as the other two, first the Linksys E2000 and then the Netgear WNDR3700V2, just would not give the distance or signal strength. All three were to be used in a ranch style single family residence with no second floor and no basement. Further, only two computers would be hooked-up, a hardwired computer and a laptop. The intended use of all three is for basic internet use, email, downloading, and movie streaming of Hulu and Netflix. The distance is through the house and outside to the back porch for the wireless connection through two bedrooms, a kitchen, and to the porch where I spend most of my time on the laptop. I would guess the distance between the laptop and the router is around 40-60 feet.
The first router we purchased was the Linksys E2000 because we did not need anything fancy and we did not want to spend the kind of money we did for another location which we use a Linksys 610. We do not need to hook up a printer for wireless use or use a router with a USB connection, so The Linksys E1000 at around $50.00 was our first choice, but the E2000 was only $10.00 more on sale so we went with that. The setup of the E2000 from the hardwired computer was very simple and I was very excited and had high expectations, until I went to the porch and saw only one bar out of five for signal strength. At this Poor connection, the laptop would either connect, or it would not; and if it did connect, the signal would drop and the connection would be lost. Rebooted router and moved router around a little for best results, but no change. Therefore, we did some research on the hardwired computer for "The best wireless router" and instantly noticed the Netgear WNDR3700 as the "Best" and off we went to "do it right this time" and we exchanged the Linksys E2000 for the Netgear WNDR3700V2.
The Netgear WNDR3700V2 was easy to setup on the hardwired and I was again excited to go to the laptop and finally be able to surf the internet and watch movies, but a quick glance at the signal strength and I was again disappointed as the 2.4ghz was only at 2 of 5 bars of signal strength and the 5ghz was only at 1 of 5 bars of signal strength. Rebooted router and moved router around a little for best results, but no change. Our laptop would connect at 2.4ghz, but only at a severely decreased speed which was VERY noticeable and severely lagging. The laptop would not connect at the 5ghz connection at all. Ok, now we are upset and very tired of this.
More internet searching revealed the same problems with the Netgear WNDR3700 that we were experiencing, which forced us to wonder why the WNDR3700 could even be considered a "Best wireless router" if it can not even be used at a distance of 40-60 feet? Now there are only two routers left, both from Cisco-Linksys, the E3000 and the NEW E4200. Professional reviews online show the E4200 is vastly superior to both the E3000 and the WNDR3700, so we went with this router even though it is WAY past what we wanted to spend, but the WNDR3700 was also WAY past what we wanted to spend.
The setup of the E4200 was the same as the E2000 we returned and is just super easy. After setup on the hardwired, I now walked cautiously to the laptop as I have already been disappointed twice. I sat down at the laptop, looked at the signal strength and was floored at the signal strength of 4 of 5 bars of signal strength! Internet searching, downloading, email, and movie watching is no different between the hardwired and the wireless.
In summary, we love everything about the E4200 except the price. Actually, we didn't like the price of the WNDR3700V2 either. However, without the E4200, we would not even have a connection so maybe I should not complain? I will say $130.00 to $180.00 for a router is stupid priced and I do not like it one bit. I wish the E2000 worked because it was only $60.00 on sale. The WNDR3700V2 was $129.99 and the E4200 was $179.99. In the end, we spent WAY more money than we wanted too for a distance of only 40-60 feet and the E4200 is the ONLY router to accomplish this seemingly simple task.
"Awesome router!"on by SpacePorker
Pros Very fast, no signal drops, and easy to set up. It's worth the price. I have nothing bad to say about the laptop-like power supply; it's nice to have a regularly-sized cord to plug into the wall or powerstrip instead of a giant AC adaptor.
Cons None so far. Will update.
Summary If you want to use the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands simultaneoulsy at an equally impressive range, this is the router for you.After using the router for two months, I have had no problems with it. If you put the 2.4GHz band on mixed mode (broadcasting b/g/n) the router runs a little on the warm side but runs at a perfectly normal temperature otherwise. Aside from this, I have not noticed anything concerning.
Updated on Feb 27, 2011
Pros Tons of features. I'm broadcasting 3 SSIDs one for A & N at 5 GHZ, one for B, G, & N at 2.4GHZ, and a 3rd guest SSID for B,G, & N at 2.4GHZ! Unlike my prior routers, the use of features doesn't seem to come at the expense of stability or relia
Cons I will miss the LCD display on my Belkin N1 Vision. Linksys, can we get throughput monitoring on the device or in the firmware interface? Else the device is the latest and greatest, sleek, stable, and very capeable.
Pros Works great with media devices.
Gigabit Ethernet ports
450 Mbps speeds
Cons Cisco Connect is for beginners and barely customizable, prefer web setup over it.
Summary Works great with media devices, I used AirPort Extreme and Netgear WNDR3700 did not work great with iPhone YouTube was slow loading and unwatchable.
"Disappointing."on by choochoo22
Pros Compact with nice styling. They finally put guest networking in the web interface. The USB port supports NTFS so media files larger than 4GB are OK.
Cons Unable to stream media 50' through wood walls. Weaker signal at the far end of my house than with an E3000 under the same conditions. Modern high-end router should have USB3 port & printer support. Hot. Not wallmountable. Activity lights not visible.
Summary Real world experience with a Cisco E3000, E4200, and Netgear XAVNB2001:
The objective was to provide wi-fi coverage for an iPad & iPod throughout our home and take the opportunity to connect the TV in our living room to the router in the office for media streaming and internet access. I purchased a Linksys/Cisco E3000 and Samsung TV wi-fi adapter for this purpose. The E3000 worked fine for the iPods since our DSL is so slow anyway but the signal to the TV was weak and too slow to stream media at a distance of about 50' through wooden walls and a floor.
I was concerned and somewhat confused about CNET's conclusion that the E3000 lacked the "Power" to stream HD from the attached USB storage. I wanted to be sure the problem wasn't the USB. Transferring files from a nearby computer through a gigabit wire, the Resource Manager measured 55 Mbps writing and 45 Mbps reading. While far from a gigabit, it successfully handled two HD, or one HD and two SD streams simultaneously so I am still confused about what CNET found lacking.
To confirm the bottleneck was wi-fi range, I moved the E3000 with disk to the living room and played files from the attached disk. Having no means to measure the bitrate, HD played perfectly both with a wired connection and wi-fi so the hardware was up to the task at close range. More wi-fi range was needed.
Relying on CNET's review showing greater range and speed, I purchased an E4200. This was very disappointing. The E4200 signal strength was consistently 1 "bar" lower than the E3000 under the same conditions even after moving it around. The 5 GHz band was so weak it intermittently disappeared. Apparently a wired connection was needed to get the signal to the living room.
I purchased a Netgear XAVNB2001 powerline kit with a wi-fi port at the far end. With a cable connecting the TV to the XAVN2001 and streaming through the powerline from the computer, the Resource Monitor measured 10 Mbps, not quite enough for the 12 Mbps file and far short of the 56.2 Mbps measured by CNET. Connecting the TV to the XAVN2001 through the wi-fi link was substantially slower even at a 3' range which suggests that the wi-fi capability of the XAVN2001 is inadequate for HD regardless of the powerline bitrate. The XAVN2001 w/wi-fi connection did not seem any faster than the weak E3000 signal 47' further away.
At this point I gave up throwing money and time at this project. Everything but the E3000 for the iPad is being returned and a media connection for the TV will have to wait for better working products.
As a personal observation; it is ludicrous that real world and even lab tests of networking products fall VASTLY short of specs and everyone just accepts that. What happened to truth in advertising? If the XAVNB2001 for example, had performed at just 10% of its rated 200 Mbps it would have worked fine. Suppose you bought a car rated at 30 MPG and it got less than 3 MPG? Would you accept that? The box advertising on all of these products said they were designed to do exactly what they all failed to do.