Cisco Linksys EA4500 Review, the Smart Wi-Fi Router
The Cisco Linksys EA4500 is one of the next-generation router from Cisco having “smart” capabilities in the sense that you can download and use apps for it to extend its functionality. Also for the first time, this router tied up to the Cisco Connect Cloud to allow users to control their router remotely.
The fully-equipped dual-band Linksys EA4500 router looks absolutely just like last year’s Linksys E4200, well except for the model number below the Cisco logo. Otherwise you’ll get the same smooth, futuristic, featureless curved chassis along with six antennas inside.
At the back you’ll get four LAN ports, your DSL port, a refresh button, a USB 2.0 port for printer or storage sharing (not for 3G), reset pinhole, power out and the switch.
Inside, the Linksys EA4500 is equipped with six internal antennas for strong signal on a wider range. This router is also capable of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz with three-stream MIMO so you can be sure that multiple file transfers within the network won’t affect the normal internet use.
Setting up the EA4500 is a simple affair with the use of the setup wizard on the included CD. Modify you basic LAN settings like Network Name, admin password, encryption keys and SSID. If you’re the experienced type, you can still set it up going to the default IP (192.168.1.1) and password (admin).
What makes this a smart WiFi router is that you can also control it via the Cisco Connect Cloud so you can do some remote management. A useful feature if you’re troubleshooting your parent’s router. You can manage parental controls, USB storage settings, guest access, and prioritize media if you want to play a lag-free game while your sister is watching YouTube.
Third-party apps are also available for this router to add new management features or make them more easy and user-friendly. For example 3rd-party app Block the Bad Stuff by Fresh Consulting allows you to set security for blocking malicious websites from being accessed by devices connected to your router. HipPlay by Axentra lets you easily do media streaming of content to and from any devices in your home network. If you have an IP camera connected to your router, you can monitor the feeds from it on your iOS device with the use of Gemini IP Camera Viewer.
Performance of the EA4500 is just average at best for a 802.11n router. Wireless transfer between two laptops got me over 10 minutes for almost 6GB worth of videos. Effective range for the EA4500 is quite good. Even at 150 feet, I was still hitting 62 Mbps transfer.
The reason why you’re getting the Cisco EA4500 router is because you want its flexibility to control your home network even when you’re not at home, without having to be a techie or installing additional components on your computer. The performance of this router is perfectly acceptable in today’s standards. It’s the add-ons that can extend this router’s capabilities that makes the EA4500 worth the hefty Php8,988 price tag.
|Cisco Linksys EA4500 WiFi Router Specs|
|Dual-Band N900 Router with Gigabit and USB|
|10/100/1000 Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet)|
|2.4 and 5 GHz|
|WEP, WPA, WPA2 Security|
|Supports FAT, and NTFS, and HFS+|
|# of Antennas: 6 (3 per band)|
|Ports: Power, USB, Internet, Ethernet (1-4)|
|8.86” x 0.98” x 6.30” (225 x 25 x 160 mm)|
|12.7 oz (360 g)|