I have never been a technically savvy person. In fact, I am pretty sure I belong to the idiot category because technical details bore me to death. What's important to me is that everything works well so that I get what's needed done without a hiccup. As a hardworking blogger who blogs everyday, it is especially essential to me that my internet connection works perfectly so that I get truckloads of photographs and videos uploaded at the fastest speed possible. Mummies don't have a lot of spare time, you know? =P
So when I was approached to review the latest model of router in the market, my initial reaction was like, "What?? I can't even connect a router in the first place, let alone review one!" Thankfully, I was quickly assured that I was not expected to go all technical and jargonised about the whole review. The most important thing is my honest review from a mummy's (and blogger's) point of view. That, I can do!
Of course, it doesn't make sense if I make no mention about the technical specifications of this product here at all, so I'm just going to cut and paste all the information that you techies out there would be able to understand. Once that's done, I'll share how I really feel about the product.
Introducing the Linksys EA4500!
What are the key features of this router, you ask?
1) It connects all your devices wirelessly.
2) Allows HD video streaming on tablets, TVs and mobile devices.
3) Connects USB storage devices, printers and other devices.
4) Comes with CISCO Connect Cloud* - Get anywhere, anytime access to your home network from a browser or mobile device!
5) Maximum speed (up to 450 + 450Mbps) for ultra fast wireless transfer rates.
6) Simultaneous dual-band to maximise throughput and help avoid network interference.
7) Gigabit Ethernet ports for speeds up to 10X faster than standard.
8) Top range and reliability with full 3X3 MIMO antenna array.
9) USB Port & Built-in DLNA Certified media server.
What attracted me most about this product is the fact that it allows PARENTAL CONTROL FUNCTIONS over internet content that my kids are viewing. This is especially important to me because I am sure once Joey goes to Primary school next year, she would be tapping a lot more on the internet resources. Having a control on the contents that she can view on the internet would be very useful to me as a mum. I am sure this is also a concern for many of you parents out there.
The *Cisco Connect Cloud is the latest technology whereby users can access their home network from anywhere in the world. We can edit the control settings of our router on the move, and that includes giving guest access when need be, or editing the parental control functions etc. For a working mum like me who may not be at home all the time, this technology would give me some form of flexibility when the need arises.
Installed the new router in my home, and I am glad that the installation instructions are clear and simple enough. The router looks sleek and is very light-weight.
I was initially quite worried about the installation because we spent quite a lot of time setting up our previous router. This one was easy enough to install, and we managed to connect all our devices without much of a problem. The CISCO Connect leads the setup process with a series of simple steps and at the end of it, my router is setup and my CISCO Connect Cloud account is created and linked to my network.
Speed-wise, I don't know if it's a psychological thing, but it does feel like surfing the net and uploading & downloading seem faster. I tried uploading a video onto Youtube, and it was done in a jiffy. There was also no issues when we have many devices (3 laptops, 1 IPAD and 1 iphone) all tapping on the network at the same time. The network remains strong even when I shift to my kitchen, which was previously the area with the weakest signal. For that, I give a thumbs-up!
At this point, my kids are not accessing the internet yet, so I do not have to use the parental control functions as yet. But that is definitely a useful function for me starting next year, and I am happy that I have the option to monitor and control what my kids receive from the internet.
TWITTER CONTEST & GIVEAWAY!
Good news to those of you who wants to win a set of this new Linksys EA4500 router (Retails at $299)! All you need to do is to take part in this twitter contest and you may just be the one who will walk away with one!
Compose and send a tweet about the new router (highlight its functions) with the following hashtag '#hubofmyhome' and @klessis
and you'll be eligible to take part in this giveaway. Simple right?? Be as creative as you can be within the 160 characters and you might just catch my eye! Contest will run till 30 July 2012!
* For bonus points, click the LIKE button on this blog entry and share it on your Facebook!
Tweet away, people! :)