Linksys E3000 dual-band wireless router
Linksys E3000 review: An 802.11n router with simultaneous dual-band operation and Gigabit Ethernet
- Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi
- Good speed and reliability in our tests
- Easy to set up
- USB storage port is of limited usefulness
- LEDs are too bright
The Linksys E3000 is a good quality router that can simultaneously run 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless networks. It performed well in our tests and we found it to be reliable throughout our test period. It has good features and it's easy to set up.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
The E3000 is one of Linksys' high-end consumer routers, featuring simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi, Gigabit Ethernet and a USB port for attaching external storage devices. It retains the sleek styling of past Linksys routers that we've reviewed and it's easy to set up through its Web interface.
The E3000 sits above the E2000 and just below the E4200 in the current Linksys range of home routers. The E3000 differs to the E2000 in a couple of significant ways. Most importantly, the E3000 can run its 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously (with three antennas for each band), while the E2000 allows you to run only one or the other. This makes the E3000 perfect for those of you who want to create two networks to segregate traffic for different devices. You can have one network dedicated to your computers, with the other dedicated to your gaming console to maximise its network performance.
However, to use the 5GHz band you will need 5GHz-capable devices. Many mid-to-high-end laptops have dual-band networking by default, but gaming consoles and most media streamers don't. For devices that don't, you can always invest in an Ethernet-to-wireless bridge that's capable of running at 5GHz.
The other feature that differentiates the E3000 from the E2000 is the addition of a USB storage port. This port allows the E3000 to turn in to a media server. You can also set it up for FTP access and remote Internet access, and you can create users and groups to control access to individual folders. However, you can't use an attached drive like a network attached storage device — it doesn't show up as a network drive in Windows.
By enabling the UPnP media server function in the router, you'll be able to serve music and videos off an attached hard drive to devices such as gaming consoles or media streamers. In our tests, the USB port worked fine with basic USB keys, and also with desktop-style external USB drives that have their own power supply. It didn't work with pocket USB drives that draw power from the USB port. We plugged in two different pocket drives and weren't able to access either of them.
The E3000 doesn't have a modem built in to it, so you'll have to use your own; we used Billion's little 5200S RD ADSL2+ modem. We attached the router to two PCs using Gigabit Ethernet and connected another couple of laptops and a media streamer using Wi-Fi. It managed the flow of traffic through all of the devices without any problems and its performance was quite good, too.
For our wireless tests, we transferred video files from our standard test PC to our standard wireless laptop, at distances of 2m and 10m away and using both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Using the 2.4GHz band, the router recorded an average rate of 8.84MBps (megabytes per second), while at 10m it recorded 7.1MBps. Using the 5GHz, the router recorded 11.5MBps from 2m away and 8.05MBps from 10m away. Its 2.4GHz results aren't as fast as the results we achieved with the E2000, but its 5Ghz results are faster. We managed to get a useable signal up to approximately 38m away from the router. The distance and speeds you get will vary depending on your environment, but compared against other routers we have seen, the E3000's performance and reliability is very good.
During simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz tests, we achieved a transfer rate of 10.2MBps on the 5GHz band, while at the same time transferring data over the 2.4GHz band. This highlights the usefulness of running two networks, especially if you live in a shared household with lots of devices, as both networks can run at their full speed.
It's very easy to set up the two different networks; the Web interface allows you to enable both networks from the same configuration page, and from another page you can enable encryption (up to WPA2-PSK). If you're familiar with wireless networking (and let's face it, if you're considering this type of router you should be), then you should shun the easy install CD that the router ships with and just go straight through the Web interface (192.168.1.1). We had the router up and running within a few minutes of getting it out of the box and we didn't have to troubleshoot it once.
Physically, the router looks good and it has the same sleek design we're accustomed to seeing from Linksys routers. It has a big blue wing on it, which signifies that it's a high-end product, it doesn't have external antennas, it has a power switch on its rear and a Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) button on the front. The one blemish on its physical design is that it has overly bright status LEDs which can be very annoying in a dark room.
The E3000 has a recommended retail price of $249, but if you shop around online you'll be able to find it for well under $200. We think it's a good unit for anyone who wants to set up a dual-band wireless network. It performed swiftly and reliably in our tests and it's easy to set up.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Apple recalls AC wall plug adapters
- This Asus router is a powerful rebuttal to Google OnHub's stark simplicity
- iiNet unveils Social Post at Perth Arena
- Telstra officially launches its national Wi-Fi network
- Vulnerability found in Samsung smartphone keyboard
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Research Data ProjectNSW
- CCProject Manager IT infrastructureACT
- CCSharepoint AdministratorVIC
- FTInsight / Customer - Data ScientistNSW
- CCFront End Developer - MelbourneVIC
- CCBusiness Analyst - Digital -PenrithNSW
- CCProject AdvisorNSW
- FTWintel EngineerACT
- CCBilling Assistant / AdministrationACT
- CCSenior Server EngineerNSW
- CCCommercial Manager - Strategy / Big Data - Telecommunications -NSW
- CCProducts and Markets Business AnalystNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectNSW
- FTLead Software Developer- Complex Tax & Superannuation SolutionsNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - AdventedgeVIC
- CCOracle Developer - 3 month contractSA
- CCMultiple Senior Business Analyst opportunitiesSA
- CCProject ManagerACT
- CCContract System Analyst (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160205/SA/881Asia
- FTSecurity ArchitectWA
- CCSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTIT Cyber Security Requirements ConsultantACT
- FTSenior Linux Sys AdminNSW
- FTProject Manager | SharePoint, Office 365 SkillsVIC