Is there something EA4500 does better than EA6500?

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by Griffon, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Griffon

    Griffon Occasional Visitor

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    Hello,

    I asked for router buying advice in the relevant forum, and two of the candidates are the Linksys EA4500 and EA6500. There is about 30 $ price difference between the two.

    If I choose to go for the EA4500 (over cheaper options like EA3500 or a TP-Link), I might just as well spend the extra 30 $ to get Draft-ac capability and an additional USB port. However, I'm wondering if I would compromise on something by going for the EA6500.

    I checked the reviews of these two, and I think the EA4500 is a bit better at reads/writes to a USB drive, which are important for me (until I can purchase a NAS). I think the two routers are not too different regarding wireless range, wireless throughtput or LAN throughput. I'm also going to take a look at the wireless comparison tool.

    What do you think? If Draft-ac was no concern (the reviews say it's not really "future-proofing" as of now, and I don't have any ac devices) would you purchase the EA6500 over the EA4500, at about 30 $ price difference? Would it be worse than the EA4500 in any respect?

    Finally, the latest news about Cisco trying to sell Linksys makes me question spending 200 $ on a Linksys router. Do you think this insecurity is logical?


    Thanks in advance for the replies!
     
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  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    Make sure you are using the E4200v2 test results for the EA4500.

    The EA6500 has much faster routing speed. But unless your connection is faster than 200 Mbps, that doesn't matter.

    The E4200v2/EA4500 does have about 2X higher storage sharing throughput than the EA6500.

    When looking at the wireless results, focus on the results that matter the most to your devices. If you have no devices that support 450 Mbps link rates, don't look at the 3 stream results.

    I would also focus on the 20 MHz vs. 40 MHz results in 2.4 GHz unless you have no other networks in range.

    Why not buy both from the Linksys store and try them out? You have 30 days to return refurbs and 90 for regular product.
     
  4. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Very Senior Member

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    The Linksys business is a good line - but I think the main focus on Cisco looking to get out of the SOHO consumer business is in line with their other efforts (focus on the Carrier/Enterprise high margin business).

    I'm a bit surprised at the rumours of a sale instead of a spin-off to shareholders - there's not much overlap between the product lines and supply chains - Cisco has pretty much let Linksys run their show in any event. It's a decent brand with a decent product range, and good name recognition.
     
  5. Griffon

    Griffon Occasional Visitor

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    Hello again,

    Mr. Higgins, thanks for the reply. My connection is only 8 MBit, so I won't gain anything by going with the EA6500. The higher storage read/write is pretty important, though.

    As wireless clients I have an iPhone 4 and an old EeePC, I don't think either is multi-stream capable. I plan to get an iPhone 5 or an iPad, those could be dual-stream. I'm in Turkey, so sadly I cannot buy from the Linksys store or purchase refurbs.

    sfx2000, so I guess there is no reason to "abandon" Linksys products at present? I hope they won't stop support a few months after I purchase my router..

    In the meanwhile, I reconsidered my course of action. I need a new router for its Gigabit ports so I will be ready to get a NAS. I don't have any triple-stream devices and the NAS will handle the media server duty, so EA4200 or EA6500 will likely be overkill, and the saving can be put towards the NAS.

    I had considered the TP-Link WDR-3600, about the same price as EA2700, but I saw many user comments complaining about the (lack of) stability. Also, it's control console is quite rudimentary, and I would like to have a guest network.

    The EA2700 has a nice price, but lacks a USB port and "app support" (though from what I read, the apps are nothing to write home about).

    I think the EA3500 will be the "sweet spot" for me. Considerably cheaper than the EA4500, USB port with good speeds, good enough coverage and wireless throughput, and CCC / App capable.

    I plan to purchase the WD Live (single drive) as a NAS. I hope I can tell it to backup itself to a USB drive connected to the EA3500. I'd better read up on this.

    I would love to have an EA6500 + QNap/Synology NAS, but that would be way too expensive for me and I wouldn't use half the features. So I guess EA3500 + WD Live 2 TB would be "good enough" for me. Do you think that would be a good combo?

    Thanks!
     
  6. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    A disk connected to a WiFi router will usually be disappointing in terms of speed, etc.

    A small NAS, with backup, is a much better way to go, if you don't have an always-on windows PC to be a file server.

    When choosing a small NAS, be sure to look at Synology and QNAP - and their on-line demos. I'm not a supporter of WD and Seagate NASes - poor software.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  7. Griffon

    Griffon Occasional Visitor

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    Hello stevech,

    I agree it won't be a good idea to let the router act as a "primary NAS". I don't have a small PC to do the job, plus I really like NAS'es (those small, cute computer-like boxes :) ) so I want to get one, even though it's not a "necessity".

    At the moment I don't have much to stream photos/music/videos to, but I plan to keep all my media (including photos I have taken since 2005) in the NAS since I want to move to a computer with just an SSD in it. I will back it up, of course. In fact I'll ask a question about it in the NAS forum.

    I would love to get a Synology/QNap NAS; I read up their reviews and feature lists and hope to get one "one day". But at the moment they're way above my budget, especially since I want to get a NAS mainly out of curiosity and finding them interesting. I know the software won't be as good, but a Synology/QNap would be way overkill in my case.

    Thanks for the reply! What do you think about the Linksys EA3500? From its SNB review it was not a bad performer..
     
  8. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Look at using "second copy" software from Centered Systems. Low cost. Automates backups and versioning. Can run on schedules when your primary PC is on.

    Be very certain to have 3 copies of your irreplaceable files like family photos, financial records, etc. Each copy on different media and one could be a 32GB USB thumb drive that you keep out of the eyesight of burglars.

    IMO: don't over-buy on a WiFi router.
     
  9. Griffon

    Griffon Occasional Visitor

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    Hello stevech,

    I have a Mac, I don't know if Second Copy works on OS X. I think Carbon Copy Cloner is the preferred option for Macs?

    I would rather have the backup take place without the need of a PC. Is that not possible? AFAIK the "good" NASes can back themselves up to network shares/drives without a PC's intervention. Whether the WD can do it, I have yet to learn.

    I'm quite aware of the importance of backups (luckily not learned the hard way). At the moment my photos since 2005 are on my iMac, Time Machine drive, and 90% of them are also on a 320 GB 2,5" drive. However, they're all at the same location, so keeping one backup out of burglars' eyes is good advice.

    Regarding the final comment: I often desire the "top of the line" with more features/power than I need but I'll choose more wisely this time. The EA3500 seems to be a good "middle ground" I think. Good routing capabilities, I can use the "Cloud" features if I wish, and writes fast to a USB drive.

    The "higher" ones (EA4500, EA6500) have many features I won't need (there are no multi-stream wireless clients, and media serving / download will be handled by the NAS anyway) so I see no need for them except "looking for the best".
     
  10. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Backup without PC requires a NAS. My NAS does a time machine like backup, irrespective of MAC/PC.

    My buying strategy used to be buy what you need with the plan to toss it every 2 years or so.
    Currently, the 2 yr old 802.11b/g/n WiFi router I have has all I need (and way more), was $60, and I don't see a need to spend $ for quite some time
     
  11. Griffon

    Griffon Occasional Visitor

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    Hello again stevech,

    This "Time Backup / copies from x weeks ago" seems really useful. Still, I think I would be OK using the in-built Time Machine of the Mac at the moment, and letting the NAS copy itself as a whole to an external.

    Is your buying strategy different now? :) For electronics I have spent too much money on unnecessary features up to now, the first example probably being the top-end Walkman (with sophisticated recording features etc.) I bought on high school - and only used it for basic listening.

    I think the EA3500 will be plenty enough for me, at least until 802.11ac becomes a well-settled norm.

    Thanks!
     
  12. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Opinion alert: Hate to reiterate, but consumers' "spending too much money" is Apple's hardware business plan! The high premium for Apple hardware is more like a threefold-tithe.
     
  13. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Very Senior Member

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    Get what you pay for, lol...

    Seriously though, the Airport Extreme is price competitive with Netgear/DLink/Linksys when you compare features at the higher end.
     
  14. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    keyword-search these forums... I recall reading a dozen or so threads where people with Apple WiFi have trouble too often, making it interoperate with non-Apple WiFi devices. Now 802.11 should assure air link interoperability. From these thread discussions, and my own three or so times helping others with Apple, there are problems with things like pass-phrases for WiFi encrytion... where the math transform from pass-phrase to WPA/WEP hex digits (hidden from user) may differ in some pairings. Apple tends to hide details needed for troubleshooting, in an attempt to simplify. But it gets hard when you don't know how to "lift the hood".

    I also recall some people complaining that some Apple WiFi routers/APs have poorer range than top-quality non-Apple. Mayb hooey though.

    There is the Apple AirPort Express which, as I recall, does not have full AP/Router functionality. I think it's a client bridge and it confuses people, esp. those who connect it to a DSL/Cable modem.
     
  15. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Very Senior Member

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    Well known that Apple has dispensed with WEP, and pushed the community very hard towards WPA/WPA2 - is that a bad thing?

    Just like enforcing 20MHz channels in 2.4GHz - not just about WiFi, but Bluetooth - and you don't want your Airport Extreme interfering with your Microwave Oven correct? :D

    I suppose the ASUS RT-66U. I can be angry at them for interfering with my pizza slice warmups :D

    Current HW seems to be just fine... off-site review from a non-Apple Fanboi site...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4577/...nd-time-capsule-4th-gen-review-faster-wifi-/6

    Airport Express has always had full AP/Router functionality...
     
  16. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    Airport Express... a friend of mine has one... I tried to help him get it going. I now recall that yes, it is a router, but has only one LAN ethernet port. Needs a switch added in some use cases.
     
  17. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Very Senior Member

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    yep, the older models had a single ethernet port (typically WAN, but can be configured as a LAN port in a bridge config).

    The 2012 edition has a second port...
     

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