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Wireless Reviews

Routing Performance

Routing throughput running the latest v2.0.00 build 027 firmware and our router test process measured 93 Mbps WAN to LAN, 93 Mbps LAN to WAN and 154 Mbps total with up and down tests running simultaneously. The IxChariot composite plot in Figure 4 shows up and download speeds pretty evenly matched in the simultaneous routing test.

The maximum simultaneous connections test ran all the way up to our test maximum of 34,925.

X2000 wired routing performance summary

Figure 4: X2000 wired routing performance summary

Wireless Performance

The X2000 is Wi-Fi Certified but did not properly default to 20 MHz bandwidth mode on power-up. I asked Cisco to explain this and will update this when I receive an answer.

I successfully ran a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) session with my Win 7 client by entering the WPS code found on the X2000's bottom label. The WPS session completed quickly and resulted in a WPA2/AES secured connection. All tests were run with this secured connection using our latest wireless test process.

I ran a 2.4 Wireless Performance table (Figure 5) for the X2000, E1200 and E1000 so that you can compare the X2000 with other Cisco entry-level single-band routers.

Highest 2.4 GHz throughput for the X2000 of 67 Mbps was measured using our wireless test process in Location C running downlink with the client set to Auto 20/40 mode. Running simultaneous up and downlink tests yielded 82 Mbps in Auto 20/40 mode, but in Location A. So you don't really gain a whole lot by using the bandwidth-hogging Auto 20/40 mode for single connections.

Linksys X2000 Wireless Performance summary - 2.4 GHz

Figure 5: Linksys X2000 Wireless Performance summary - 2.4 GHz

While there are some differences shown in the table, I think you'd be hard-pressed to see any significant difference in wireless performance in the real world.

The IxChariot plot in Figure 6 shows some occasional large thoughput dropouts, which I also saw from time to time in other tests. I also saw link rate shifting and cycling during some of the testing in lower signal level locations.

X2000 IxChariot plot - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz, downlink

Figure 6: X2000 IxChariot plot - 2.4 GHz, 20 MHz, downlink

Here are links to the other 2.4 GHz plots for your reference:

Closing Thoughts

DSL combo routers tend to be created primarily to sell directly to service providers, so it's interesting that Cisco is taking a direct-to-consumer route with the X2000.

This is the first DSL-inside router I've looked at, so had to do some checking to see if its $90 street price is a good deal. A quick check of similar products turned up the D-Link DSL-2640B for $55, but with an 802.11b/g radio, and the Actiontec GT784WN for $77, which has a b/g/n radio, but four 10/100 LAN ports. Neither of these other routers, however, also have an Ethernet WAN port.

Typical consumers, though, are unlikely to need the WAN connection type flexibility that the X2000 provides. And whether they're willing to pay a premium for it, is even a better question. It would be useful only if you had one flavor of connection and planned to switch to another. And since the X2000 doesn't auto-failover between WAN connection types, it can't be used to provide more reliable Internet service for those willing to pay for two Internet links.

You can further explore and compare the X2000's performance using the Router Chart and Router Finder.

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