When we first reviewed the Cisco Linksys E4200, this smart-looking router was the first three-stream, 450Mbits/sec wireless model we’d seen. It’s now been joined by two other routers, however, and doesn’t have things all its own way.
The faster speeds are available only in the 5GHz frequency band, with the 2.4GHz offering slower two-stream performance. But performance at close range over 5GHz was great.
We recorded an average file transfer speed of 22.6MB/sec, which puts it second overall in that test. At long range over 5GHz speed was acceptable, and USB NAS performance over Gigabit Ethernet was also good, with an average transfer rate of 5.8MB/sec; although that’s still a long way behind the speed of the award-winning Asus RT-N56U.
Unfortunately, however, 2.4GHz speeds were very disappointing. At close range, an average rate of 10.1MB/sec put the E4200 in eighth place overall, while at long range it was tenth of 12.
The price has dropped significantly since launch, falling to $207, but it still looks short on features, with no printer sharing or 3G dongle compatibility, no ADSL port and no way to use the router to extend another wireless network.
That, coupled with the disappointing 2.4GHz performance, rules it out of contention for an award in this month’s Labs.