Product Guide

Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Wireless-N Router review

Cisco Linksys E4200 - Built for the Fast Lane

Stable throughput and connectivity
Practical features
Stylish design
Sluggish Cisco Connect setup
Lacks print server services

Performance - 2.4GHz

Test Setup

To create a wireless network scenario, our routine test setup typically includes a desktop PC, the reviewed router, and a wireless client. The desktop system (with a Gigabit Ethernet port) is designed to simulate a host machine, while the router in question acts as the gateway. And lastly, a notebook plugged with a dual band Wireless-N USB adapter fulfills the role of a wireless remote client.

To gauge the router's peak potential and to prevent any possibility of varying wireless standards used, the evaluated router is locked down at the 802.11n-only mode for both bands. The QCheck application provides an indication of the wireless throughput (TCP) and streaming (UDP) finesse between the host and client endpoints. TCP throughput is measured against a 1MB data packet, whilst any significant packet loss is registered with the UDP test. On the other hand, NetIQ's Chariot benchmark offers a more detailed account with average throughput and response time readings recorded over 30 seconds, based on a High Performance throughput script. Range is determined by the distance between the router and wireless client. Now, let's run through the results proper.

Chariot and QCheck Performance Testing 

Cisco Linksys E4200 Wireless Performance Results - 2.4GHz Band
Average Downlink Throughput (Mbps) - Chariot Average Uplink Throughput (Mbps) - Chariot Downlink TCP Throughput of 1MB (Mbps) Uplink TCP Throughput of 1MB (Mbps) UDP Streaming (kbps) Time to transfer 1GB Zip file
45.343 48.599 45.714 60.150 997.034 (0.0% loss) 2 min 57 seconds
45.447 56.050 36.199 37.736 998.285 (0.0% loss) 3 min 21 seconds
31.078 36.142 17.279 28.674 996.991 (0.0% loss) N.A.
2m with WPA2-Personal
51.964 57.295 47.619 45.977 995.156 (0.0% loss) N.A.

On the 2.4GHz band, it is apparent that the E4200's specialty lies with its stable throughput performance rather than impress with blistering speeds. As you can tell from UDP streaming figures, packet loss across all distances were almost non-existent as well. On average, the router clocked a healthy downlink speed of 45Mbps at 2 meters and a decent 31Mbps at 25 meters. Results improved slightly with WPA2-Personal enabled. We also observed that uplink speeds were marginally higher than downstream figures in most instances. Transfer of a 1GB file was completed in just under 3 minutes, although the ASUS RT-N56U only required a minute and 52 seconds to accomplish the transfer. On the other hand, the E4200 was able to match the N56U in the long range department, with both routers hovering around the 30Mbps mark.