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Cisco Linksys E3000 High Performance Wireless-N Router Reviewed

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Updated 10/21/2010: Corrected component info and routing performance comment

Cisco Linksys E3000 High Performance Wireless-N Router

At a Glance
Product Cisco Linksys E3000 High Performance Wireless-N Router (E3000)
Summary Broadcom-based dual-band, dual-radio N router with Gigabit ports and USB drive sharing and media serving. Rebrand of Linksys WRT610N V2
Pros • > 200 Mbps routing throughput
• Gigabit ports
• Bundled easy setup utility that works well
Cons • Jumbo frames not supported
• No guest WLANs
• No repeating / bridging
• Slow USB storage sharing

By now, you should know that Cisco has thrown out its entire consumer wireless line and replaced it with Valet and Linksys branded offerings. As I detailed in Inside Story: Linksys E-series and Cisco Valet, the "new" routers are all rebrands of the old line.

In the E3000's case, it's a WRT610N V2 with a new name and a bundle of the Cisco Connect (details here) easy installation software (on CD, not flash drive) thown in.

For those completely unfamiliar with Cisco's top-of-line N router, it's a dual-band simultaneous (two radio) design with Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB port that can share a USB drive via SMB / CIFS or FTP. The USB Storage feature can also serve up media files via a UPnP AV (but not DLNA) media server.

Internal Details

The Inside Story article linked above has all the details you need on the innards of all Cisco's new consumer offerings. I'm including the board shot below in Figure 1, which proves my WRT610NV2 clone point.

Linksys E3000 (and WRT610 V2) board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 1: Linksys E3000 (and WRT610 V2) board
Updated 10/21/2010: Corrected component info

The component summary is:

- CPU: Broadcom BCM4705 Broadcom BCM4718 @ 480 MHz
- Switch: Broadcom BCM53115
- RAM: 64 MB
- Flash: 8 MB
- 5 GHz: In BCM4718
- 2.4GHz: Broadcom BCM4322 Intensi-fi Single-Chip 802.11n Transceiver


The E3000's feature set is essentially unchanged from the WRT610N and the WRT600N before it. You can find admin interface screenshots in the WRT600N review, or just download the user manual. Here's a feature summary if you're really in a hurry:

  • DHCP, Static, PPPoE, PPTP, L2TP, Telstra Cable WAN types
  • Built-in Dynamic DNS clients for TZO and DynDNS
  • Static and dynamic routing
  • SPI firewall disable, multicast, WAN ping and IDENT filtering and Proxy, Java, ActiveX and Cooking blocking
  • IPsec, PPTP and L2TP VPN passthrough (enabled by default)
  • Single port forwarding and Port Range forwarding and triggered ports
  • HTTPS admin access, remote management (HTTP / HTTPS) enable with IP range restriction and port setting
  • Incoming, outgoing, Security and DHCP onscreen log access with support for Linksys Logviewer recording
  • Access Restrictions with 10 deny or allow-based policies, each with its own list of clients and day/time schedule
  • Uplink (LAN to WAN) only QoS with High, Medium, Normal or Low Priority that can be applied to specific applications (divided into Application, Online Game and Voice Device groups), physical switch ports or specific MAC addresses.
  • WMM (Wireless MultiMedia) (enabled by default)
  • SMB/CIFS file sharing, FTP access and UPnP AV media serving from attached FAT-formatted drive

The last bullet bears a bit more coverage. The Storage features are described pretty well in the WRT600N review, so I won't repeat them here. The one difference I found is that you can now set the Windows Workgroup name (default is Workgroup). I still could not get an NTFS-formatted drive to work and the Storage > Disk tab even reported its File System as *. I was able to mount, read and write to a FAT-formatted drive and got 5.7 MB/s write and 4.8 MB/s read.

Moving on to wireless features, the E3000 defaults to 20 MHz bandwidth mode for both the 2.4 and 5 GHz band radios and to using Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) for automatic wireless setup. If you switch to manual mode, you'll see the settings shown in Figure 2.

E3000 Wireless settings
Click to enlarge image

Figure 2: E3000 Wireless settings

Other 5 GHz radio modes are A-only, N-only and disabled, while the G radio modes are B/G only, B only, G only, N only and disabled. Figure 2 shows the Advanced wireless settings, which include Transmission rate and power control.

E3000 Advanced Wireless settings
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: E3000 Advanced Wireless settings

Cisco hasn't changed its consumer router wireless feature set in some time and it has fallen behind the competition. For a top-of-line router, the E3000 is missing key features that its competition has on much less expensive offerings, including guest network support, WDS bridging / repeating, AP mode and even something as simple as scheduled wireless enable / disable.

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New To The Charts: Cisco Linksys E1000 Wireless-N Router
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Cisco Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Wireless-N Router Reviewed

User reviews

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Average user rating from: 10 user(s)

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Best Solution for in-home computer and internet TV/DVD

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Frito
May 08, 2011
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Ever since we purchased an internet TV as well as internet DVD, we have had to constantly re-phase our prior router - which forced us to disconnect at least one device. Apparently we could only support 4 devices max.

With our new E3000, set-up was a snap (no more hard wire connection for set-up), USB set-up key is great, and all of our devices can be connected and fully supported simultaneously. This is 2 laptops, 2 desktops, printer, TV and DVD. Also allows for guest login.

Thrilled to finally have device connection issues solved and to have full access to my service - 2.9297MB in 5.632 seconds.


Linksys 3000

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by prince
March 09, 2011
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I live in a three story house where my router and adapter are on different floors and this router seems to be the answer.

It is customer service that would turn you off Cisco Linksys. Watch out for their technical support salesmen. I had a foreigner convince me I needed a $39.95 service agreement which I never used and realized the following day I should not have paid for it. I was told if I purchased a new router I would receive $15 credit against the service agreement amount. That was after it went through a supervisory review which took days. It is a very time consuming process to obtain $15 and they never sent me the form I needed to mail in and receive it. This company has one focus - PROFIT; not customer service!

Although I am pleased with the router I will never order another Linksys product. Their technical people are obviously paid to sell products or service instead of assisting you with what you purchased.


Linksys E3000

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by Keith J
January 10, 2011
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Had to beat for the price bang for the buck is a 10



Overall rating: 
Reviewed by AKA
January 05, 2011
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I bought this router based on this review and past experiences with Linksys/ Cisco.

I was glad to see that this router has an automatic Guest net setup on both radios (2.4 and 5ghz) providing a login page for just internet access!

Also connecting 2 Netgears WNHDE111 bridges didn't give any issues using WPS. Manually adding an Android, XBOX360 slim line and Samsung TV with wireless dongle worked without any problems.

I dont have any lags or hick ups when gaming on my PC connected through a WNHDE111 and watching 8 gig mkv's on my TV works fantastic.

Only downside I can find that the range with some concrete walls in between but only 20 feet away from the router is only 3 stripes out of 5.... But still a lot more then I would get with my old WRT54G :D


False Advertising

Overall rating: 
Reviewed by BikesRBetter
November 26, 2010
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I bought one to replace and old linksys. The box and software claim to support gaming systems as well as handheld devices.
After spending much time trying get a PS3 and 2 iPhones connected I spent several hours with Cisco support and could not connect either.
I will be returning this pos for something that actually works.

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