The Linksys E2500 is an economical dual-band router by Cisco. It is an elegant and compact router in the E series of Wireless-N routers introduced by the manufacturer. Compared to the higher-end E3200 and E4200 models of the same series, the E2500 lacks some features, such as a USB port, a Gigabit Ethernet port and support for 450Mbps wireless speed. But the lower price explains the missing features.
The E2500 is a stylish router suitable for home use. It comes with Cisco Connect software that makes it easy for users to connect to a network. It offers a limited range and is suitable for small spaces, such as an apartment. Its speed is also comparatively slow. For users seeking a powerful router, the E4200 would make a better choice.
Other than the missing USB port, the E2500 and E3200 have the same design. It has a flat design with internal antennas. It is intended to be placed on a flat surface and cannot be mounted on a wall.
It has one WAN port and four LAN ports towards the back of the router. The power connector and the Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button is also found on the back. The E2500 doesn't have any status LEDs on the front. The only indicator light observed in the E2500 is the LEDs on the network port.
It doesn't come with a user manual. A CD is enclosed in the box for installing Cisco Connect software. The software provides basic setup as well as ongoing maintenance of the network.
Ease of Use
When you run the CD to install the software, it will provide a tutorial on connecting the router to an Internet source, such as broadband Internet. The software automatically configures the router's settings to connect to the Internet. The installation does not take more than 5 minutes. You will need an active Internet connection for the installation to complete. If you have any problem in the setup, the software will explain how to contact Cisco's support team.
When the router is successfully connected to the Internet, the software will designate a name and password for your wireless connection. You also have the option of changing the name and password. The name will be the same for 2.4GHz as well as 5GHz bands.
Cisco Connect is also used to turn the guest network on and off. The guest network is only available in the 2.4GHz band. Speed test tool and parental control features are also accessible from Cisco Connect. For advanced features, such as accessing network storage or setting up the router to a network that isn't connected to the Internet, you will have to log on to the router's Web Interface by clicking the "advanced setup" link in Cisco Connect. If you haven't setup the router using Cisco Connect, the default password to log in to the router's Web interface is "admin" whereas the username field has to be left blank. If the router has been configured, the username will be "admin" whereas the password will be that of your wireless network.
The E2500 supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands and a third guest network on 2.4GHz band. Guest networking allows you to share Internet with others without giving them access to local resources on the network, such as printers and files.
Overall, the E2500 is an easy to use router with a decent look and reasonable price, making it suitable for an apartment or small home.