The Storage features are unchanged from the E3000, i.e. SMB file sharing, FTP and UPnP AV media serving. FAT32, NTFS, and HFS+ formatted drives are supported and there is a built-in FAT formatter. But if you're looking for iTunes serving, Torrent downloader, AFP or Time Machine support, move on.
Figure 10 is the main disk management menu showing an attached FAT-formatted drive. Other screens allow you to create users and groups, set access permissions and create shares.
Figure 10: Storage Disk settings
Media server controls are very simple with only server naming and scan controls (folder select, scan time [2 (default), 6, 12, 24, 48 hours], manual scan and folder delete). A twonkymedia.db folder auto-created on the USB drive was a giveaway. But I couldn't find general Twonkymedia server controls on either port 9000 or 9001.
I was able to successfully mount and test filecopy performance for both FAT and NTFS formatted drives. The Win 7 Filecopy windows shown in Figures 11 and 12 show speeds in the 5 to 7 MB/s range during the NFTS copy of a 1 GB file in a mixed filesize folder. Speeds for a FAT-formatted drive were similar.
Figure 11: Filecopy speed to NTFS formatted USB drive
Figure 12: Filecopy speed from NTFS formatted USB drive
Routing performance for the E4200 using our standard test method and 1.0.00 firmware is summarized in Table 1. Even though the E4200 is using the same BCM4718 as the E3000, the E4200's routing performance has been goosed a bit.
Throughput - (Mbps)
Throughput - (Mbps)
|WAN - LAN||
|LAN - WAN||
|Maximum Simultaneous Connections||34,925||12,277|
Table 1: Routing throughput
Routing throughput ranks among the top 5 and in some cases is more than 3X the E3000's performance, including simultaneous sessions.
Figure 13 is a composite IxChariot plot of the three routing tests.
Figure 13: E4200 routing throughput
Use the Router Charts for more comparisons.
Wireless Performance - 2.4 GHz
I used our standard open air test method to test the E4200's wireless performance. As usual, I set the 2.4 GHz radio to Channel 1 and the 5 GHz radio to Channel 36. I've recently changed to running performance tests using WPA2 / AES encryption instead of no encryption, because that's how Wi-Fi gear should be secured today. So that's how the E4200 was tested and I left all other router defaults in place.
The test client was an Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 AGN mini-PCIe card. I used an Acer Aspire 1810T notebook running Win 7 Home Premium and Intel's Win 7 22.214.171.124 driver for the Intel card, because I recently switched to that platform, again to more accurately reflect current usage patterns.
I skipped checking fallback to 54 Mbps link rates when using WEP 128 and WPA / TKIP because the E4200 is Wi-Fi Certified and their test suite confirms that. I did run a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) test using the PIN mode supported by Win 7. It completed successfully on the first try, setting up a WPA2 / AES connection.
Figure 14 shows the IxChariot aggregate plot for all 2.4 GHz band downlink tests using 20 MHz channel width. Throughput variation is moderately low and generally free of large, long dropouts. I also generally found downlink throughput higher than uplink in the 2.4 GHz band, but more evenly matched in 5 GHz.
Of particular note is the 20+ Mbps throughput in the weakest signal test locations E and F and 62 Mbps throughput in medium-low signal location D. I suspect this is why the folks posting over in the forums are seeing the E4200 outperform the WNDR3700 (more later).
Figure 14: Cisco E4200 wireless throughput - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz mode, downlink
Best case 2.4 GHz performance was 84 Mbps running downlink in 40 MHz bandwidth mode. I also measured a total 107 Mbps in 40 MHz mode running simultaneous up and downlink tests.
Here are links to other IxChariot wireless test plots if you'd like to explore further:
- 2.4 GHz / 20 MHz uplink
- 2.4 GHz / 20 MHz up and downlink
- 2.4 GHz / 40 MHz downlink
- 2.4 GHz / 40 MHz uplink
- 2.4 GHz / 40 MHz up and downlink
User reviewsView all user reviews
Average user rating from: 16 user(s)
NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.
|User Rating [Back to Top]||Overall:||3.4||Features :||3.8||Performance :||3.3||Reliability :||3.1|
Tomato Shibby firmware saved this router from the garbage
February 08, 2013
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My ratings reflect my experiences with the Cisco firmware. The Cisco firmware for this router had one problem after another. The only somewhat reliable version was 1.0.01, but this version had the WPS security hole. I could not use any of the Cisco firmware newer versions as they always broke some feature, such as compatibility with my VOIP device. As my network got more complex, this router became less reliable needing daily reboots. Cisco's firmware is complete garbage in my opinion.
Thankfully I tried Tomato Shibby firmware and this has completely transformed this router. With the Tomato firmware, Features get a 5, Performance still a 4 (because of the limited range of the internal antennas), and Reliability now a 5.
If you have one of these, do yourself a favor and install Tomato Shibby:
Be sure to clear the NVRAM after installing before you configure the router.
February 29, 2012
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As a caveat, it is quite fast when working properly. however a majority of the time this sh*t crashes CONSTANTLY. not worth the $150
I must be crazy - i keep buying these useless devices
January 18, 2012
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There must be something wrong with me, I keep buying product from Linksys but they ALWAYS let me down. the latest E4200 after 6 months has suddenly started hanging and has cut throughput from my internet connection from 30MbPS to about 3MbPS. When they work they are fine but how can a company this large get away with building such fragile products?
Even though these jokers offer 12 months of hardware support there is only 90 days of telephone support so you have to pay to get this useless hardware working despite the hardware warranty. So after countless WRT54G's, two E3000's and now the E4200 I paid my money to Apple and bought an Airport. It may not have all of the fancy features of the Linksys but I have a feeling it will be working in 6 months time.
Any suggestion for what to do with my Linksys graveyard of 6 dead wireless routers?
August 04, 2011
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Not impressed. Maybe the reviewer got a golden sample. The range on my first one was about 30 feet before signal dropped off massively. Straight shot down the hall of my house, no metal. The second one, after RMA, was better for the first day until it had a chance to heat up (overheat?) then it's range dropped off as well. THAT seemed very telling to me. I live in a cool region of the country, and this thing still gets very hot here. Designed with no thought to heat dissipation, the top is cup shaped, holds heat in. If it lasts long enough to be out of warranty I'll drill holes in it to let heat out. They could have put unobtrusive lights on the top to indicate cable connectivity, just make them muted and unblinking, like my 5-port D-Link switch. Antenna design is poor, but maybe the best you can do in a saucer shape?
Easy to set up
Separate 2.4 & 5GHz SSIDs.
Looks swoopy like a flying saucer
Can run DD-WRT
RMA process was quick. (something of a pro, I guess)
Short radio range
HOT, HOT, HOT
No lights on top, you wonder if your cable is plugged in, no?
I think it would have great radio range straight above and straight below it, just based on the antenna design. Do you live in a tall, thin, tower ? Put it on the top floor and try it out !!
I would also keep in mind that my perceived radio range is affected by the laptops antenna design as well, maybe I just have a crappy laptop.
Best router I have ever owned
August 02, 2011
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I owned a DLink 855 that was a simultaneous dual band device. However the 5 gHz range was so low that I couldn't use it practically, I would get about 6 mbs connection that constantly dropped out. This router gives me a solid 120 mbs with stability. That pretty much says it all for me.
Latest firmware (126.96.36.199) does support IPv6 even though Tim Higgins review says that it doesn't.
Amazing routing speeds thanks to Cut Through Routing and Fast NAT (this is even faster than the OpenSource firmwares available for it)
Great wireless range and speeds on both, 5gHz and 2gHz
Compatible with many OpenSource Distros.
Logging is very poor.
NAS, FTP and DLNA features, why bother! The CPU really is not up to the task for smb protocol hence poor transfer speeds, much the same with the DLNA (Twonky) server and no value in having an FTP server these days.
Tim highlights guest access as a con. Probably so for the niche number of people who genuinely need it on the 5gHz channel.
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