Review: Cisco Linksys E2500 Router

By Wayne Webb

From the first time I saw the sleek and sexy design for the E2500 router I knew I was going to like it, even if only from an aesthetic point of view. It’s slim with a modern design and simplicity that goes against the expected boxiness of most networking devices.

Sure enough when it was plugged into my wall and tucked away in a corner it did look very nice indeed. That got me to thinking – why it was so nice to look at? It is a wireless router, it should be invisible – that’s part of the appeal of wireless. To be fair it’s also about distance and freedom from the tyranny of Cat. 5 cabling, too..

It was easy to set up with a program that nicely discovered my setup, and allowed me to connect multiple devices and platforms to it with no conflicts or confusion. In short order I had an iMac, a Windows PC, an Apple TV and an iPhone all connected and working. The speed tests I ran on each device were no better or worse than my current setup with my off-the-shelf ISP modem/router. However the Apple TV suffered less buffering and performance issues on a 720p HD file, operating more efficiently than the standard set up. With SD files the performance appeared the same, but the experience was notably improved on the Cisco for wireless video and audio streaming.

The one criticism is that the device is aimed at a home and office market – but does not contain a modem and router function, just the networking piece. With so many modem routers available I can see the appeal if you have an existing connection and want to add a network or improve your out-of-the-box solution. It would be better to have one device instead of two and I’d be happier if it was serving both functions.

The other great feature is the guest pass system, which you can configure so that visitors to your home and office can easily jump onto your network at varying levels of access that you set. This means you can avoid fussing with access and passwords and just assign guest accounts and then give the appropriate password out. Nice touch for the small office or busy home with connected guests.

Pros: Improved video performance, sleek attractive design, easy set up, guest pass system.
Cons: No Internet modem on board.

4.5 Shacks Out Of 5