Although it's not as widely reviewed as the Cisco Valet (*Est. $45) and Valet Plus (*Est. $40), the Linksys E3000 provides simultaneous dual-band networking at a budget price and is well received. This updated version of the successful Linksys WRT610N now comes with the highly rated Cisco Connect software for easy installation, and operates in the standard bands of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Dong Ngo of CNET calls it the "first advanced router for both novice and experienced network users."
The E3000 has the same four GbE ports and one USB port as other high-end routers, but doesn't support USB printers. In tests at SmallNetBuilder.com, the unit's throughout speed was slightly slower than that of the Netgear WNDR3700 (*Est. $80) in the 2.4 GHz band. The routers' speeds were more comparable in the 5 GHz band, but the WNDR3700 outperformed the E3000 in low and medium signal locations. In fact, Ngo calls the Linksys E3000's performance average.
In contrast to the Valet and Valet Plus, the Cisco Linksys E3000 has network storage capability. However, both Ngo and Tim Higgins of SmallNetBuilder.com say the built-in feature lacks speed. Ngo finds that the parental control content-filtering feature is "simple but robust," and he likes the router's sleek chassis. The unit's guest networking capability supports only 10 guests.
The Cisco Linksys E3000 appears in two professional reviews, where experts test its setup and put it through its paces to evaluate its ease of use and performance.
Calling the Cisco Linksys E3000 the first advanced router for both novices and experienced network users, Dong Ngo highlights its setup, ease of use and feature set. However, he rates its performance as average and says it has limited guest networking capabilities.
Review: Cisco Linksys E3000, Dong Ngo, Oct. 6, 2010
2. Small Net Builder.com
Tim Higgins calls the Cisco Linksys E3000 "a decent router," but says it's not as good as the Netgear WNDR3700. He likes its easy setup through Cisco Connect, but finds it slow when sharing data.
Review: Cisco Linksys E3000 High Performance Wireless-N Router Reviewed, Tim Higgins, May 7, 2010