Computers / Hands-on Review

The Linksys E4200 Dual-Band N Router Pushes the Performance Envelope


If your old wireless router is causing problems, slowing down, is insecure or hard to manage, or if you’ve never had a wireless router before, then now is a good time to invest in a cutting-edge solution. The Linksys E4200 Dual-Band N Router is fast, secure, easy to set up and easy to manage. It’s the perfect router for those who engage in HD video streaming, online gaming and other high-bandwidth endeavors.

The E4200 uses dual-band technology to squeeze optimal performance from applications that use Wi-Fi connectivity. More specifically, the dual-band router uses both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands simultaneously to smooth the operation of applications such as HD video streaming, online gaming and other bandwidth-sensitive applications.

Combined with six internal antennas, the dual-band functionality provides unmatched signal strength and range, while Quality of Service (QoS) technology ensures that applications such as VoIP, HD video streaming and online gaming get the priority treatment they need for smooth, uninterrupted service. The E4200 is home theater ready and able to connect computers, TVs, game consoles, media players and other devices to your wireless network and to the Internet, while QoS prioritization ensures smooth streaming of video, music, gaming and VoIP.

The Wireless-N router is backwards compatible with older Wi-Fi standards, so any equipment that worked well with an older router will work even better with the E4200. A built-in UPnP AV media server enables seamless streaming of media files to UPnP-compatible devices such as Xbox 360s and PS3s.

The key to dual band technology is that it operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands at the same time. The router attains maximum performance of 300 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band and 450 Mbps in the 5.0 GHz band. When you check email and browse the Internet it’s done over the 2.4 GHz band, while HD video streaming and other bandwidth-hungry applications use the 5.0 GHz band. That prevents lesser-priority applications from interfering with high-priority ones.

The Linksys E4200 router is as secure as you need it to be, with WPA/WPA2 encryption and Stateful Packet Inspection (SPI) firewall to help thwart security breeches and prevent Wi-Fi freeloaders from enjoying your Internet connection. Although wireless connectivity is very convenient, it’s sometimes preferable to use a wired connection for security and performance reasons; sometimes it's just not possible to go wireless. That’s why the E4200 router also features four Gigabit Ethernet ports for fast and secure wired networking.

Another convenient feature of the E4200 router is its built-in USB port. The USB port lets you attach USB flash drives and hard drives to form shared network drives at home or over the Internet.

The Linksys E4200 router is easy to install and manage. A software-installation CD will have a wireless network set up in three easy steps, guiding you through the process of managing passwords, parental controls, guest access, security parameters and so on. The router is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.



Frequency Bands

Simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz


3 x 3


Maximum speed up to 300 + 450Mbps


6 Internal


4 x Gigabit

USB Port

Yes, Shared Storage, Virtual USB and Media Server


CD Install

OS Compatibility

Windows, Mac