Recently, I purchased and installed the Linksys e3000 router at my home office. I was using a Linksys WRT54GS with SpeedBooster. The WRT54GS served me well, but recently it was having connection issues, so I decided it was time to upgrade.
Overall, I have been very happy with the e3000 and can’t wait to try streaming video from it to my Roku HD-XR player.
Pictures in the wild & my notes are located below.
(4/1/2011) Update – Since posting this article, there have been better pictures and more reviews added to sites like Amazon.com and Newegg.com. Please be sure to research this product carefully before purchasing. My Linksys e3000 still works great, but some people have reported Internet connectivity issues (See Forums Tab). ~ Treye
I. BACKGROUND RESEARCH
I did some product research on Google and read the reviews on Amazon before buying. Most of the reviews on Amazon were positive, 4 or greater.
The highlights that convinced me to buy:
- Similar manual set up is still possible by going to the default admin IP address: 192.168.1.1
- Broadcasts in dual bands simultaneously, one for the 5 GHz n and the other for the 2.4GHz mixed a,b,g
- Ethernet ports up to 4 x Gigabit speed
- 6 internal antennas for greater range
- Most people noted a speed increase (I have noted mine below)
- You can connect a shared drive via a USB connector on the back of the e3000, then map this drive to any computer on your network
- The 5GHz N band is better for streaming video to a Roku HD-XR Player ( which I just purchased)
Some of the complaints:
- Some people had trouble with the included setup CD
- Just like any other piece of computer hardware, this one gets hot. It’s shorter legs don’t allow for enough space for the heat to dissipate from underneath
- The e3000 needs a firmware update to correct some of the problems that people noted
- A very short power cord!
CAUTION. BEWARE. CONTINUE AT YOUR OWN RISK! I am not responsible for any stress, heartburn, damage or otherwise done to your new hardware, computer, home, etc. I am very anal and research all of this carefully before messing with my technology. I suggest you do the same. My set up is listed below. Use this information at your own risk! I am also not an IT expert! If you are having problems, use the Live Chat on Cisco’s support website. You can get to this by going to the link below. If you are unsure, use the included Cisco Connect CD and instructions. I did not use the included CD because I am already familiar with the Linksys admin menus.
II. MY SET UP
A) FIRMWARE UPGRADE
First, before disconnecting my old router, I downloaded the firmware upgrade and user manual from the Cisco Support website.
I also printed the firmware upgrade instructions.
(or you can Google: linksys e3000 firmware)
Once those had been downloaded to my PC’s desktop, I unplugged my old router.
At this point, I also shut down all of my other computers and devices, except for the desktop PC that I was going to use to set up the e3000.
I connected the Ethernet cable for my desktop PC into the new Linksys e3000 router. Then I connected the power cord and turned it on.
I waited about 30 seconds for it to boot up.
Next, I opened a browser window and went to the admin IP Address: 192.168.1.1
The default username is admin and the password is admin.
Once logged in, I went to: Administration > Firmware Upgrade.
I browsed to the location of the firmware upgrade file that I had downloaded earlier and clicked the Start Upgrade button. It took a couple of minutes for the upgrade to complete. Once completed, you should see a success message in a white box on a black background. Then I closed my web browser. Finally, I held down the reset button located on the back of the e3000 so it could reboot with the new firmware upgrade. All of these instructions are listed on the Cisco support website.
Once it had rebooted, I went back to the admin: 192.168.1.1 and logged in using the same credentials noted above.
B) MANUAL SET UP
1. Upon login to the admin menu, I went to: Wireless > Basic Wireless Settings
I selected the Manual radio button.
Next, I changed the Network Name (SSID) for both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. My preference is to use my phone number. For the 5GHz band SSID I put an ‘ n ‘ at the end of the number.
5GHz band SSID: 5125555555n
2.4GHz band SSID: 5125555555
All other settings were left at their default values.
I clicked the Save Settings button and noted these values on a sheet of paper.
Writing these values down is extremely important. Keep this paper in a safe place that you can get to easily when guests visit.
2. Next, I went to: Wireless > Wireless Security
I left the Security Mode as the default WPA2/WPA Mixed Mode setting.
Important!!! I entered the same Passphrase for both bands…5GHz and 2.4GHz. I did this because I read that some people had problems using different passphrases.
I clicked the Save Settings button and noted these passphrases on my sheet of paper.
3. Finally, I went to: Administration > Management
I changed the Router Password. This password should be different than the Passphrase you used for access to your wireless connection.
I clicked the Save Settings button and noted the Router Password on a sheet of paper.
4. Go to: Status > Router and note the values listed here for later use.
C) CONNECT e3000 TO MODEM, TURN ON AND CONNECT COMPUTERS
After my manual set up was complete, I closed the browser window and unplugged and powered off the Linksys e3000 router.
I also unplugged and powered off my cable modem.
I then plugged the power cable back in to the cable modem and let it reboot for about 1 min.
Next, I connected my cable modem to the e3000 using the supplied Ethernet cable.
Finally, I plugged the power cable back into the e3000 and turned it on…yes, there is now an on / off switch on this model!
Once it had rebooted, I confirmed my internet connection to my pc by opening a browser window and going to the Google homepage.
Next, I connected the remaining 2 desktop PCs and my Canon MX700 printer.
Finally, I went to each laptop and my iPhone to set up the wireless connections using the new SSID and passphrase.
All devices were able to connect successfully and I was able to print to my network printer.
Sigh of relief.
III. MY MODS AND GRIPES
Overall, the Linksys e3000 router is excellent and I have not had any issues.
Like all other computer hardware, it gets hot. Unfortunately, the “legs” aren’t long enough to raise it up to allow for the heat to dissipate from underneath. I used a suggestion from a reviewer on Amazon and attached 8 super sliders to the underside to raise it up. This seems to help.
The only other gripe I have is that the power cord is too short. I had to move the e3000 to a lower shelf so the chord would reach from my surge protector located on the floor.
IV. SPEED IMPROVEMENTS
I have only tested the speed improvements on my desktop pc and 2 laptops at different ranges from the e3000.
I used the Speakeasy Speed Test located here:
Once I get my Roku HD-XR player connected, I will report notes here. I plan on streaming video from the e3000 to the Roku HD-XR box to watch videos from Netflix.
1. Desktop PC, Windows Vista64bit, Ethernet Connection
Download speed before: 18.97 Mbps
Download speed after: 24.78 Mbps
Upload speed before: 1.9 Mbps
Upload speed after: 1.93 Mbps
2. Laptop, Ubuntu Linux, Wireless Connection, range 8ft
Download speed before: 15.62 Mbps
Download speed after: 24.69 Mbps
Upload speed before: 1.9 Mbps
Upload speed after: 1.91 Mbps
After install, I tried more ranges using this laptop…sorry, no before
range 50 ft
Download speed after: 11.08 Mbps
Upload speed after: 1.91 Mbps
range 100 ft
Download speed after: 1.62 Mbps
Upload speed after: 1.87 Mbps
3. Laptop, Windows 7, Wireless Connection, range 25 ft
Download speed before: 12.39 Mbps
Download speed after: 16.63 Mbps
Upload speed before: 1.91 Mbps
Upload speed after: 1.92 Mbps
Click a picture below for a larger version.