Linksys E1200 Review
The Linksys E1200 (starting at $44, Amazon) may not be the fastest router in the budget segment but reviewers value its affordability and ease of use. An expert Linksys E1200 review by CNET praises the E1200 for its stability and user-friendly setup software while cautioning that its range is relatively short (about 175 feet) and its speed somewhat slower than competing models. The review reports throughput at about 36Mbps, sufficient for basic home networks although lagging the 50Mbps that other good low-cost routers can manage. PC Mag is very impressed with this router, in part because its Linksys E1200 review tested throughput at about 54Mbps, far superior to the results from CNET. The combination of speed, simple setup and low, low price earned the Linksys E1200 an Editor's Choice award from PC Mag. The majority of reviews posted at Staples concur with the experts about the router's usability and overall value. A handful likewise agree that it runs a bit slow and one asserts that the signal is too weak to cover two floors of a house.
The Linksys E1200 is a 2.4GHz single-band wireless-n router with four 10/100Mbps Ethernet ports. It includes WPS support and a firewall, and uses WPA/WPA2 encryption. The router lets you set up a separate Wi-Fi network for guests -- an appealing extra -- but lacks a USB port. It also boasts a parental control feature that can shield young eyes from questionable websites.
If you simply need a cheap, basic router, you can't go wrong with the Linksys E1200. It doesn't have a lot of extra features, but it gets casual computing jobs done well. It's easy to configure and use, a big boon to wireless newbies setting up a network for the first time. This router isn't ideal for bandwidth-hungry activities, however, so if you plan to stream a lot of video, plan to spend more on a faster router.