Product Linksys E4200 WiFi router
Specifications Dual-band, dual-radio 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi router, 4 x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports, 1 x Gigabit WAN port, dimensions 225x25x160mm, weight 355g
LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AGO Cisco redesigned its flagship consumer router, the Linksys E3000. Now it has refreshed the entire Linksys range and pushed the E3000 rudely off its perch with the E4200, the first router we've seen that supports 450Mbps 802.11n speeds.
Gone is the UFO-like styling of the previous generation, replaced by a plain charcoal and silver livery that looks quite stylish, albeit a bit like an upmarket chocolate box.
The E4200 router's 2.4GHz WiFi is driven by a 2x3 MIMO chip from Broadcom, a BCM4718 router-on-a-chip. This chip also has a 5GHz radio, but it's disabled. Instead, there's a Broadcom BCM4331 chip with a 3x3 three-stream 5GHz radio. The observant among you will realise that this means the magic 450Mbps speeds are confined to 5GHz connections, and then only with a suitable 3x3 adapter in the client. This dual-chip wireless approach means that the E4200 router has six internal antennas.
At the back of the E4200 are four Gigabit LAN ports, a Gigabit WAN port and a single USB port for storage devices. The power switch is welcome, but all status lights have been replaced by a white glowing Cisco logo on the top of the router. Rear port lights can be turned off in the settings menu.