The Linksys EA4500 is a sleek router that offers a number of unique features aimed at improving networking. While far from being a robust router, it is an economical device designed primarily for the average home user looking to get decent performance from a router that is easy to use. Cisco also introduced the Cisco Connect Cloud software with the release of the Linksys EA4500, which is an excellent software that seeks to improve home networking experience.
It is similar to the Linksys E4200 v2, featuring a sleek design and dual-band support. It supports up to 450Mbps Wi-Fi speed on both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. It also has a powerful processor for network storage when connected to an external hard drive via a USB port. It allows you to connect up to 50 clients. It lacks support for 802.11ac though. Other than logging in to the Cisco Connect Cloud account, there is no other way for managing it. The performance on the 2.4Ghz band also needs improvement.
That said, it is still a decent router that is appropriate for home network and quite affordable compared to other routers with similar capabilities. However, if you are concerned about having to remain connected to Cisco at all times while using this router, you should consider a routing device from another manufacturer.
It resembles the EA4200 in design. It comes in the shape of a jewelry box with smooth finish on the top. It features 4 gigabit LAN ports. One gigabit WAN port is also available to connect it to an Internet source. There is a button for Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) feature. It also has USB2.0 support for connecting to a printing or storage device. A reset button is also found on the rear of the device.
Owing to the transition to Cisco Connect Cloud software, you are required to set up a free account with the company to access the router's settings. It also requires you to stay connected to Cisco at all times in order to access the Internet. It has a new interface, and users may take a while to find out where things are on the new version.
There are generally two parts of the new interface, router settings and apps. Apps are the features included in the router whereas the router settings include the basic wireless configuration.
For router setup, you are required to access the default IP address of the router, log on to the Cisco Connect Cloud account and link the router to your account. To edit settings or manage the router's features, you can sign in to Cisco Connect Cloud from a Web interface or a mobile app.
It does allow you to access only the router settings without connecting to Cisco Connect Cloud. However, you must also disconnect form the Internet in order to achieve this. Also, if the Cisco Connect Cloud portal is offline, you cannot access the router settings and features.
It is a dual-band router with two separate access points for 2.4Ghz band and 5Ghz band. Each band delivers up to 450Mbps of Wi-Fi speed. The USB port can connect to an external storage device of any capacity. The contents of the connected hard drive can be shared across the entire network. It delivers decent performance even at ranges longer than 100 feet. Other routers with similar capabilities generally show slower connectivity at such range.
The Linksys EA4500 is a useful router for home networking needs. It offers fast Wi-Fi speed, decent range, and a stable connection.