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on 8 September 2016
sent is back poor download speed
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VINE VOICEon 1 September 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was looking forward to using this router as I have had very good experiences with the E2500 version. Unfortunately the experience is not so good and this is mainly down to Wifi speed. With the E2500 I could easily get up to 130Mbps using 'N' in the 2.5Ghz range, this router I could only get up to 56Mbps (in the 2.4Ghz range) which is 'G' and not 'N' at all (I can't test the 5Ghz range as I have no other Wifi equipment capable of using it). I tried changing the channel settings but nothing appeared to matter - it would not go above 'G' speed.

The set-up for this router is the same as the E2500, either use the supplied Cisco CD and Cisco Connect software or plug it in via an ethernet cable to your PC and goto 192.168.1.1 and change the settings from there. I chose the latter and was up and running in a few minutes.

Overall easy to set-up but very disappointed with the Wifi speed, so, at the moment I won't be using this to replace my current Wifi router.
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on 13 November 2012
I had previously worked with an E4200 unit and liked it (as I have a few of the Linksys/Cisco wireless routers I have owned over the years), so I was concerned when reading that people were complaining that you could only configure the EA4500 via the Cisco software on their CD/website and that there was not the familiar web based interface of old.

Without doing any further research I took a gamble and bought one. The software on the disc was useless to me, none of it was compatible with my OS, however the PDF user guide alluded to the trusty old web interface still being around, so I tapped in the default IP address and I was hit with a page directing me towards installing and using the Cisco software... however at the bottom of the page I found a small link asking me if I wanted to continue unsecured (or something of that nature), clicking that, then clicking OK/Continue on the next warning message box brought up the login interface I was used to, and using the usual default Linksys username/password combo got me in to the configuration interface I know well.

15 minutes from opening the box my old router was replaced and the new one was configured exactly how I liked it.

TL;DR: It is possible to use the old web configuration interface, just look for the 'unsecure' link at the bottom of page (at 192.168.1.1) you see at the device's very first boot up.

Firmware version: 2.0.36 build 126507
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on 10 March 2013
Set up was quick and easy, though ethernet connection on Windows 8 always requires a new IP address each time I turn on the PC (the wireless connection is unaffected).

But I'm sending it back after discovering this router has a built in limit of 8000 files that it can deal with on the media server.
For example, I have a 1TB hard drive with music and photos that I want to be shared across the home network. Unfortunately, the TwonkyMedia used on its media server only reads the first 8000 files.

There is, so far, no way to get around this. Get another router.
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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 31 July 2012
Hi,

Firstly I'd like people to know I'm a very technical guy and have been working with all kinds of home and business networks, firewalls, wireless, ADSL and ISDN devices for years.

I bought the EA4500
a) because of the two separate Receiver / transmit modules so you can use both 5GHz and 2.4GHz at the same time.
b) the promise of Cisco Connect Cloud - and the proposed ability to integrate into home devices. I'm keen to manage my home as a virtual device pool, the PC's, iDevices, Denon 3310, Media Centre etc
c) strong security
d) expected high freatures - inbound rules, port forwarding etc
e) ability to remote RDP from the internet to my personal PC.
f) the USB NAS server - so I can turn off my Media PC most of the time

This has been a horid experience so far. What I knew through working with devices before has needed to be reconsidered because of the terminology and lack of forethought by Linksys - sorry, I should say Cisco.

Good points:
The wireless works okay, not as well as I'd expect, probably a third of the speed. Good reception, doesn't drop, but not that fast - I've tried the iPad2, Samsung PC, Dell PC, iPhone - all stable but slow wireless
GB networking works well - consistent high speed. Hurrah!

Average points:
Cisco online support - I've realy needed them. Their knowledge is limited.
The NAS server works but is pretty flakey. Set it to scan Music for DNLA and it misses files and directories out. Sometimes I've needed to unplug and replug my external Seagate 2TB drive for it to be recognised. When it's scanning the external drive the overall router performance is poor - yet I thought the 1.2GHz processor was supposed to have fixed that over the EA4200?

My challenges:
Bridge to me means a layer 2 bridge. Not in Cisco parlance, as this connection mode is used to add in additional network cables to a second online backup modem/router.
I did try it and although it worked the performance was diabolical. After contact with Cisco online support I was advised to use use Automatic DHCP - and if there were the same IP's either side of the router it would layer 2 bridge automatically and keep all the features. This is actually not true - the router assigns you a random 172.x.x.x internal network. Cisco support did not know this and I spent hours trying to get this to work and eventually went back to different IP's either side of the router. 10.1.1.1 LAN - 192.168.1.2 WAN talking to my Sky ADSL modem on 192.168.1.1.

Both IP ranges are private addresses ( no choice here ) and therefore you need to somehow setup routing from the 'real' internet, however, the EA4500 does not support RIP and will not accept inbound connections to the WAN interface - scuppered there..

So to get my desired config Cisco have now told me to disable DHCP on the EA4500, and move the WAN cable from my sky router to the LAN side - i.e. Essentially I've lost the the WAN port as an additional port to plug my devices into and any routing.
So 4 devices - Sky HD box, Media PC, Denon, and extension to a GB switch for PC's in the study over GB is the setup. I'd only therefore have 3 usable LAN ports now the WAN cable has moved and the Media PC has to be on wireless - at slow speed. D'Oh!

Using this config I've also lost any firewall rules, media control, and the very thing Cisco drove me to using - Cisco Cloud Connect.

As this device will not route inbound rules I cannot setup RDP connections through the Cisco device, they are now controlled only by rules on the Sky router - exactly as it was before...

Cisco Cloud Connect at this time is very slow to login and use. Even if you login to the local LAN IP it redirects to an Internet page which takes forever to load. You also have to create a cloud login to be able to configure the device. Yes, you have some features available whilst you're out on the Internet, however with a simple Dynamic DNS entry to locate your router you can have exactly the same without CCC.
Cisco Cloud Connect is not an open standards framework which will help us integrate devices, it's a simple network tool with simple features which you shouldn't need to setup more than once, so what really is the point - you actually lose a lot of functionality by using it over more traditional localised firmwares from other manufacturers.

All in all this device is fairly average, no rubbish is a better description. I had a simple Linksys 54g router a few years back and it was flakey. This EA4500 is not fit for the market yet.

My advice is let Cisco sort themselves out a decent firmware in 6-9 months after all the customer complaints before buying this hardware - I'd suggest there are better and cheaper alternatives. They are trying to dominate an as yet undefined 'Home Cloud' market using their brand name with a load of marketing hype and not delivering the goods...

This is the first time I've felt strongly enough to take the time to write a review. I hope you find it useful before taking this path! If you'd like a cheap second hand EA4500 let me know.
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on 8 May 2016
Love this device,I have recently set this up in a cafe to provide an open wifi area with guest access with ease. I did notice that someone had mentioned that it doesn't work with BT infinity but this was not the case for me. I've successfully run it off an HUB5 with sync of 80 meg. From the HUB5 I ran it to the cafe area on 175 meters of CAT5 and in the cafe I did a through speed test and was getting 75 meg. The CD guides you well through the set up and remote logging is a dream. I confidently handed this system over to the owner of the cafe who is a tech phoebe knowing that she will be able to log in and make changes without having to come back to me. I will be purchasing more of these for future projects.
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VINE VOICEon 29 August 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm frequently unimpressed with current routers and modems. So many have an equal amount of pros and cons, but Linksys had produced a cute little model with this EA4500. It maxes out at 450mbs per second, but that's still quite high and more than enough for online gaming, but not quite sufficient enough for HD movie streaming. Some other users have criticized the lack of software support but I didn't have any problems setting it up. I simply swapped it with my main router and it was good to go. Remember, this is just the router with no modem built in so your download speed with still be dependent on the modem (and your connection package). The EA4500 can still be part of a great set-up if your other components are up to scratch. Four Ethernet ports, a USB port, and a handy on/off switch are built in to the rear. In a world of ugly-as-sin routers, it's also a nice shape.
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on 29 March 2013
I have now had two of these devices as Linksys originally thought it might be a hardware fault, unfortunately the replacement device now has to go back as it is also incompatible with my FTTC broadband connection. Looking at the Linksys forums it appears I am not alone.

The issue itself is very strange. I connected the router as per the instructions and ran the install disk. Everything appears to work fine and the process completes correctly, however the problem becomes apparent as soon as you are prompted to visit the Linksys smart wifi site to register. The page fails to load correctly with only some text links displayed. Most other sites either display similar behaviour or fail to load at all. Strangely this is not true for every site however, for example the BBC site loads ok. Further testing confirms what other users have found, in that the issue seems to relate to MTU and the fact that MTU is greatly reduced through the device on these type of connections.

I can only confirm this behaviour on FTTC type connections through ISPs other than BT (other reviews seem to indicate BT Infinity connections work as well as Virgin Media).

Linksys support have been pretty much useless with their only advice being to reset the router several times. A case has apparently now been raised to their engineering team but I have given up waiting to see if they can a) find the fault and b) fix it.

I also spoke to my ISP support team who were great as always and they confirmed that they had seen similar issues for FTTC connections with a previous version (EA3500 I think) and as such no longer stock Linksys devices.

If anyone does have this router working on a FTTC type connection please leave a comment.
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on 21 July 2013
My requirements were a router to set up a VPN in my home to connect all my appliances to behind a VNP network. As VPN is mentioned in the details and it is more recent model than the Linksys E2000 I thought I would treat myself and get a better model with the EA4500. BIG mistake. So if you require a VPN network set up forget this router, it does not work for this. For anything else I can not fault it and it even seems to provide me with a better internet connection experience on my Mac. It feels like I have a quicker and cleaner connection, it is very easy to set up, basically plug an play. Attractive to look at so not an eyesore in your home.

The 4 star instead of 5 is because I felt the description misled me in to spending good money on something I can not use for the purpose for which I purchased it and now have to look for something else. I would also like to mention that the online chat support by Cisco the manufacturer was excellent. Even though he could not help me in the end he tried his best.
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