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3.5 out of 5 stars38
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 March 2013
As expected from Linksys, easy to setup and reliable Wifi. I bought this to replace the dire Virgin SuperHub stuck that into modem only mode (where it belongs !) and added this. Took 10 mins to setup, have got the 2.4 and 5.0 channel working fine along with a guest channel that guests need to authenticate through a website. A very fine and good quality product. Futher features (such as parental controls) can be controllled via apple/android apps using your smartphone.
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on 7 November 2012
These units were ordered to provide a wifi accessible media server for a large ship's crew. They had to deal with steel decks and bulkheads masking the signal and multiple users up to 40/50 at any one time. They have performed excellently. They were extremely easy to set up, the range was far better than expected in some cases penetrating two or three decks. They also look very good. Well worth the extra cost over similar units
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on 27 February 2013
I though I was different and tried the cloud software. That was several hours of my life wasted. Battled to get the unit back onto the old software. Features are clearly missing in the cloud version. On the non-cloud software its been running for months without a reboot. I expected better coverage but overall stability is impressive.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Two quick warnings: first, be aware that this is a router and not a modem-router so if you want to use it with a standard ADSL broadband connection you'll need a separate ADSL Modem too - I'm using a Netgear DM111P Ethernet Modem on a BT Internet connection. Secondly, the 'easy-setup' installer can actually make setup more difficult, it's a bit confusing and if you deviate from the default settings it can actually fail to complete the process, getting you nowhere.

The main confusion is that there are two firmware versions available for the EA4500, one called 'Cisco Connect' which ships with the router and works in the traditional way - you to log into the router via a built-in webpage to change settings. The other, more recent, firmware is called 'Linksys Smart WiFi' and this also allows access to the router via the internet which enables special iPhone app's to add extra features or to change the router's settings. Once you've decided which system you'd like to use it's best to download the most recent installers and updaters from the Linksys website - they're available for both Windows and Mac - and if you change your mind later it's possible to switch from one to the other. I didn't bother with Cisco Connect and upgraded straight away to the more-capable Linksys Smart Wifi, because I wanted to try out the app's, so this review is based on using that system.

To use the Smart WiFi system you need an online account with Linksys (so they can link to your router) and so you might want to register that with them before beginning the installation routine. When you run the installer I'd recommend just clicking straight through the setup process without changing any of the suggested settings (unless you really have to) because when I tried to change the SSID (the network name) it basically stalled the entire process - best to stick with the defaults during installation and personalise things later. When complete the installer will try to connect to the router via a live internet connection and although this works it's important to know that you can also connect using a more conventional 'local' connection, which doesn't need a working internet connection. Look for a link on the login page for this local connection (it doesn't always appear for some reason) or just type in the local IP address (defaults to 192.168.1.1) and do it that way.

Once logged in you're presented with the best user-interface I've ever seen in a router, it's all very nicely presented with a widget-style front-page and access to all the configuration options you'd hope for in a top-rank dual-band router. You can see which devices are currently connected (but not what they're doing), setup parental controls (with options to block access at certain times or to certain websites), set media prioritisation options (which tries to keep smooth playback on streaming video devices like smart TVs), run a speed test for your current broadband connection, set up and manage a guest connection (which lets visitors use your internet connection but keeps your devices private) and finally you can manage the USB device settings. The option to connect a USB storage device, like a flash-drive or hard-drive, to the router and share the contents across your home network is one of the best features of the EA4500 - I've had routers which did this before but none gave as many options or as much control over it. There are actually three file-sharing systems onboard and you can use them in any combination to suit your needs. First there's simple file-sharing on your local network, with the option to allow/block access to certain folders to certain users. There's also an FTP server onboard, which allows you to share your files across the internet. Finally, there's a UPnP/DLNA media server onboard (based on Twonky) which shares music and video across your home network to compatible devices like smart TV's or games consoles.

There are only a small selection of compatible iPhone app's at the moment, mostly concerned with blocking access to certain types of content, and they're all chargeable (though mostly quite cheap) except for the 'Linksys Smart WiFi' app which is free and is also the most useful. The Linksys app lets you access all the major features and settings of the router so, for example, you can grab your iPhone and immediately give your visiting friend access to the internet by switching on the guest-access option. Or you can switch on Parental Control and quickly block internet access for any device, with the option to block individual websites - so goodbye Facebook, hello homework?

In truth once you get it up and running the EA4500 is a very capable and effective router - the wi-fi footprint and throughput speeds seem very good and some of the onboard features and the option to control it via your iPhone are really excellent. If you're already familiar with setting up and managing routers then it's a no-brainer, you're getting a great quality (and incidentally a great-looking) piece of kit, but less experienced users might find the initial setup a bit more confusing than it needs to be.
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on 13 January 2013
Seriously, this router has caused me more headaches than any piece of equipment ever.

The cloud based management software, which does look "pretty" has less features than the original. I almost flung the thing out the window trying to get the router to work in bridge mode with this firmware.

In the end, I spent 2 hours trying to get the firmware downgraded to the non-cloud based version. Although the web interface happily allows you to load the zipped firmware file you just downloaded... it just sits there and does nothing (except flash, and flash, and flash). You need to unzip and load the embedded file as the firmware. You would think that would be mentioned on the instructions for firmware downloads. Even better, it should not allow you to even load the file.

Once you downgrade the firmware though, you will have more options and bridge mode actually works. The interface now does look like the LinkSys routers of the 90s though.

However, I then tried to setup a share using the USB port. Total. Waste. Of. Time. You cannot edit permissions on the shares! I can see the menu, but it disappears before you can change the options. So, all shares can only be accessed via read only guest access, unless you input the admin username/password on devices that need access. Total pain.

Oh, and don's stick in any USB devices with data on it. I did and it wiped them. Nice.

In summary, this thing is not worth the hassle and is being returned promptly.
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on 19 November 2012
Excellent router. Running 1 laptop, 2 desktops, 2 mobile phones & movies streamed to TV never any connection problems no matter how many walls in the way. Setup was extremely easy, had it up and running in under 15 minutes.
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on 12 August 2013
I work in the tech industry and it annoys me so much when equipment like this is so hard to install..but this is so easy

Its a great router and the performance and coverage is excellent
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VINE VOICEon 25 August 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really wanted to give this high praise and a five star review.

Once working this is a very good router. Working on two bands it's signal is the strongest I have experienced yet. Using it with my Mac, iPad, iPhone and Playstation 3 the output is incredible and where as I had a few minor issues in the past when joining friends in a game lobby room on my old router, with this it is seamless. As a router it works very well.

As to the design it is sleek and well crafted. A beautiful piece of hardware that looks great sat on top of my computer.

Now to the bad part. And I have thought about this. this is why it shall be stars instead of five to highlight an issue that won't effect many, but for those it will effect it can be very annoying.

It has not been designed to work with the latest operating system Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion. I understand that at the time of writing this review Mountain Lion has only been out a little over a month and so they might not have updated the disks in the packaging they send out with this router. But this should not have been a problem. I should have ben able to go onto the website and download updated software. So when I tried to install from CD it told me it did not recognise my OS and listed off a whole load of previous MAc OS' it did work with. Then when I went to their website it was very poor to navigate. Not clear in what can be downloaded and after quite awhile trying to find a download I instead discovered they had not even bothered to update yet for Mountain Lion. Something that surely would be a relatively simple thing considering Mountain Lion is just an improvement on Lion.

After discovering this and spending several hours trying to figure out how to secure my connection I finally managed to lock down the router myself when it hold have taken a few minutes at most. And I have lost the benefits the packaging speaks of of being able to have an APP on my iPad I can control the settings for my route from.

For PC users, and mac users of an older operating system this is a great product. and it would be 5 stars. For those who keep up to date with the Mac OS this is a pain in the backside that should have been easy to set up but instead ended up being hard.
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on 19 January 2016
Cisco cloud is absolutely rubbish, thank God you can downgrade it to classical firmware. Apart from than good router. Range could have been higher, but in an apartment I live it is sufficient
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on 2 March 2013
I thought our original Linksys was a good router hence when replacing I wanted to remain with them, this has probably been the best decision I've made the router is excellent.
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