The Cisco Linksys E1200 is a low-cost, no-hassle, single-band wireless-N router. It has no advanced connectivity options, not even a single USB port, and users shouldn't expect marvelous performance. Still, the E1200 is more than adequate for home users who don't want much more than to set up a basic Wi-Fi network.
Comfortable for beginners. For what the Cisco Linksys E1200 lacks in fancy extras, it makes up for with ease of use. Experts say installation is a breeze; the router comes with Cisco Connect software, making setup fast and straightforward. CNET editor Dong Ngo calls the Linksys E1200 "underpowered but super-easy to use," highlighting the router's role as a starter unit with no bells and whistles. If you do run into issues, however, things aren't quite as rosy; some users say at Amazon.com that they aren't completely satisfied with Cisco's technical and customer support.
Mixed reviews for speed, range. The Linksys E1200 gets mixed reviews for performance. PCMag.com's Samara Lynn says it has "excellent throughput and range for a single-band, consumer router." However, Ngo says the router "has nothing to show off when it comes to performance," and it's one of the slowest N-series units he reviewed. Tim Higgins at SmallNetBuilder.com describes wireless performance as "unimpressive."
Hundreds of owners who post comments at Amazon.com and Newegg.com are generally pleased with the E1200's performance, although many say its range could be better.
Limited connectivity. The Cisco Linksys E1200 has regular Ethernet ports versus the much faster Gigabit Ethernet found on more expensive routers. It also lacks a USB port, so you can't share a printer or access content on an external hard drive wirelessly. Parental controls allow restricted access during certain times and for up to eight URLs, but you can't block sites by specific keywords. The parental control software can interfere with other third-party software installed on your computer, Lynn adds. Security options include a "hackproof" firewall, and a setting to restrict guests from accessing connected peripherals and data.
Ngo tests the Cisco Linksys E1200 and gives it 3 stars out of 5, calling it a "good entry-level Wireless-N router for home users." He says its biggest drawbacks are its slow throughput and short range.
Review: Linksys E1200 Monitor N300 Wireless-N Router Review, Dong Ngo, Aug. 29, 2011
The Cisco Linksys E1200 wireless router earns an Editors' Choice nod as well as 4.5 stars out of 5 at PCMag.com. Lynn praises its "excellent" throughput and range for a single-band router, but says the parental control software may conflict with other third-party software.
Review: Cisco Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router, Samara Lynn, April 13 , 2011
3. Small Net Builder.com
In this shorter review, Higgins favorably compares the Cisco Linksys E1200 to the more expensive E1500 model, saying the latter's SpeedBoost feature isn't worth the extra cost. He adds that throughput stability is good, but not perfect.
Review: New to the Charts: Cisco Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router, Tim Higgins, April 26, 2011
The Cisco Linksys E1200 gets 3.9 stars out of 5 from more than 850 Amazon.com users. While the router's ease of setup and use earn praise, several owners complain about the company's tech support and customer service policies.
Review: Linksys E1200 Wireless-N300 Router, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2013
More than 80 users post comments on the Cisco Linksys E1200 here, and almost 50 percent give the router 5 eggs out of 5. Some owners like its ease of installation and reliability, but others complain that the router died after about a year.
Review: Linksys E1200 Wireless-N300 Router, Contributors to Newegg.com, As of July 2013