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Wireless Reviews

Features

The E4200's feature set is essentially unchanged from the E3000's. You can find admin interface screenshots in the WRT600N review, or just download the user manual. Here's a quick feature summary:

  • 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 with and without 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, NTFS or HFS+ formatted drive

Although it's not essential for now, at least in the US, the E4200 doesn't support IPv6.

The E4200 comes with a CD that installs Cisco Connect. This setup and management software first appeared in the Valet models' USB Easy Setup Key, but is now shipped on CD with all Linksys routers. Craig covered the Easy Setup / Cisco Connect features pretty well in the M10 review, so I won't repeat them here.

In the E3000, you had to use Cisco Connect to access the wireless Guest Access and Parental control features. But in the E4200, you can get at both via the web interface. Figure 5 shows the Guest Access screen, which enables access for the 2.4 GHz radio only.

Wireless Guest access via browser

Figure 5: Wireless Guest access via browser

I also installed and checked Cisco Connect, but it has the same limitation. Guest access is Internet only and "guests" can't see each other, either.

Parental Controls now can also be set from the browser. But it looks like Cisco has omitted the automatic age-specific web-filtering offered in the Valet series. The E4200's Parental Controls only allow up to eight URLs to be blocked for up to five computers / devices along with setting Internet access windows (Figure 6).

Parental Controls

Figure 6: Parental Controls

If you need finer control, then you can switch to using the Internet Access Policy controls shown in Figure 7. This mode also allows you to set access times and URL blocking (only four URLs), but also enables blocking of specific web applications by port.

Internet Access Policy

Figure 7: Internet Access Policy

Moving on to wireless features, the E4200 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 8.

Linksys E4200 Basic Wireless settings

Figure 8: Basic 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.

Channel selection defaults to automatic for both bands and Channel Width to 20 MHz only. Channel width can be set to Auto (20 / 40 MHz) or forced to 40 MHz for the 5 GHz radio, but only Auto (20 / 40 MHz) for 2.4 GHz.

If you don't like the wireless controls seen here, that's too bad. Apparently part of designing a "Maximum Performance" router includes not letting you futz with controls like those the E3000 provides (Figure 9).

E3000 Advanced Wireless settings

Figure 9: E3000 Advanced Wireless settings

Don't go looking for WDS bridging / repeating, AP mode or scheduled wireless enable / disable, either. There is also not a physical radio on/off switch.

More Wireless

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