John Galea's Blog

My blog on Gadgets and the like

Linksys E3000 router review

When I upgraded my internet I ran into a problem that my old Linksys WRTG54G running DDWRT couldn’t keep up and became a bottle neck. I tried an older DLINK my Dad had given me but I had nothing but trouble with the wireless connection to one of the machines in the house. A friend of mine Lance had bought this exact router after doing some extensive research so I decided to follow his lead.

Right off the bat this router has an odd physical design. The lights are on the top unlike most routers and the top is so highly polished it looks like it will scratch easily. I have to say I am not fond of the physical design.

Initial setup of the device uses a program you load onto your machine called Cisco connect. While I applaud Cisco for trying to help people setup their devices they did a poor job of this program. The minute you use the web interface to configure your router by the web interface it breaks Cisco connect. This seems really dumb to me. And it turns out there are features ONLY available to Cisco connect such as managing the guest account and “Easy Key setup”. Once you have used the web interface the ONLY solution is to restore the router to factory defaults, uninstall Cisco connect and reinstall it. Unbelievable. Initial setup also insists on having an internet connection. I wanted to setup the router upstairs at my dining room table. Oooo no, you have to set it up where the internet connection is which for me is the laundry room. Another dumb mistake. Overall Cisco connect is a travesty. I have not seen code this bad since dealing with ATI. Wait, maybe they hired Ex ATI programmers đŸ™‚

I went to the Cisco web site and found an update to the firmware and an update to the Cisco connect. This fixed a number of the issues and eventually got me online. With a reset to factory default and an uninstall/reinstall of course.

This particular router is a Hi speed one. So that holds promise. The router had no trouble at all keeping up to my 15Mb/s cable connection which is a MUST.

The router comes with 4 ports and they are Gig which is great.

Wireless on this router is quite flexible. It can simultaneously and independently broadcast on 5GHZ (for A and N) and 2.4GHZ (B,G.N). I found the wireless to be good but no better than my WRTG54G from a signal strength point of view. The wireless supports easy setup which I would have to say I was impressed with. Based on a PIN you enter it connects to the router downloads settings and away you go. Much easier to setup. There is even a guest mode that allows people that you give the password to log on like you would in a coffee shop hotspot. Nice add …

The unit includes a USB port which allows you to add a USB hard drive and share it out to Windows machines or use it for an SFTP server. The file sharing is quite slow. It takes a while to initially come up on the client and then is slow to stream. On a drive capable of 24MB/s I only attained 4MB/s sustained. Of course because this is a fairly dedicated function this is pretty uninterrupted. I played a couple HD movies off of it and they played just fine. Of course dumping to that is going to be quite slow. By comparison the same file shared off a Windows server yielded 21MB/s. In a most bizarre over sight Linksys gave you the ability to read and write the drive but no ability to delete? Just in case you might be thinking, “surely he missed something” here is a screen shot to prove it. I too thought I must have missed something. So in the end the only way to delete from the drive is to remove it from the router put it on a real computer delete and then put it back. Your kidding right?

Coming from DDWRT I expected to be underwhelmed when it came to the web interface and under achieve they did. Don’t be looking for detailed status, detailed bandwidth charts, wake on LAN features, router CPU/memory stats or any of these advanced features/charts. What you get is basic controls. Yawn. For the kind of money I paid for this to my thinking they have under delivered.

The router does support IPV6 from a DHCP support so that’s nice.

All in all I would have to says Linksys have done a terrible job of the software on this router. Out of the box the code was so bad I almost took it back after hacking with it for almost 2 hours. I decided to keep it ONLY because the wireless worked well and was quite stable. If I was to buy again I would buy one of the lesser models without the USB and save the money.


March 28, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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