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The Linksys EA4500 Wireless Router Review

The Linksys EA4500 is Cisco’s latest step towards modern networking. Like the previous Linksys EA series, the EA4500 prides itself on its high-end wireless performance, throughput utilization and its cloud-integrated software, which provides maximum control, anytime, anywhere. I’ve been given a chance to play around with this router and this is what I think:


Design, Dimensions and Visuals
Cisco routers have one thing in common when it comes to design; simple but classy. The Cisco Linksys EA4500 features a very professional looking design with it’s smooth top layer with a metallic strip at the center that adds visual content to its structure, making its layout seemingly adaptable to any kind of environment (home, office, etc) wherever you may put want to put it. The Cisco logo at the bottom of the strip features a soft white light which tells the power status of the router.

It’s also noticable that there is no antenna in sight, quite a common feat on Cisco routers, which, in my opinion, greatly decreases the messy look that most routers in the market offers. The whole structure looks pretty solid.

The back of the router consist of 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, an RJ-45 WAN port and an added USB 2.0 port for sharing printers or files from USB storage devices.


In-Depth: Software

Installation
An installation CD is included upon purchase of the router. Installing and setting up the router via the wizard is quite simple and easy to understand considering that you’re setting up a wireless network. Even complete novices may setup the router quite easily via the installtion wizard (basic settings). After installtion, you can create a free account by accessing the admin interface at www.ciscoconnectcloud.com. You may manage your router on the site anytime, anywhere. You can also access the admin interface by accessing the IP 192.168.1.1.

 

Interface
The admin interface tries its best to simplify things by making the interface as easy to understand as possible. This is a great way to reach out those who are not that into networking but needed a network connection anyway, unlike the interfaces of older router models. The downside to this, in my opinion, is that the interface is very “flashy” that sometimes it can be a little unresponsive and slow.

The admin interface features full control over your router from the very basic settings to the more advanced ones. The interface’s “Apps” are neatly organized depending on the purpose of the administrator such as parental controls, connection permission, USB storage settings, prioritization and, my personal favorite, a built in internet speed test application. There are other built in apps on the device from third party developers such as web filtering and blocking tools, and multimedia streaming. The apps can also be downloaded and accessed on iOS and/or Android mobile devices.

Performance
The first thing that I noticed from the router after I set it up is its range. However, file transfer is just slightly average. I haven’t tried streaming 1080p through the wireless but 720p movies runs smoothly. I personally like the USB 2.0 port addition on the router for, at last, I can easily share the files on my external hard drive (solid state) and USB sticks on different computers wirelessly.

 

Full specs is right here  — http://home.cisco.com/en-eu/products/routers/ea4500

Pros:
-Cloud based! Manage your router/internet access anytime, anywhere.
-Sleek hardware design.
-Easy to understand! No background needed to setup or use.
-USB 2.0 port, easy wireless sharing
-Can be accessed on mobile (iOS/Android)

Cons:
-Not that much change on file transfer speed
-Occassional unresponsiveness of the admin interface
-Fairly expensive (SRP: PHP8,998)

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