Review: Cisco EA3500 (N750) Smart Wireless Router

I bought the Cisco/Linksys N750 a couple of weeks back for our new home as our old wireless N router had a number of issues with connectivity. And the overall conclusion I have come to is that Linksys/Cisco have gone down hill massively since the time I owned a WRT54G2 three years ago.

I’ll start with the biggest problem; the admin system, after initial setup, you can no longer login locally. Upon accessing the admin via local IP address, I click the “for local access, click here” link, then it asks for the router password set on initial setup; you input your password and click login and absolutely nothing happens. So I sign up for a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi account, but I still can not login as it returns me to the local password screen, which again does nothing when you click “Login/OK”, the only way I can access the local admin is by rebooting the router, which is totally unacceptable, I should not have to disconnect all clients on my network to access the router administration panel!

Additional; after calling the useless Cisco Linksys technical support, I discovered that I can only access the router administration panel while the router is not connected to the internet. Which would explain why I can access immediately after a reboot as the N750 takes upto 45 seconds to acquire an internet connection! What use is a wireless router if you can’t access the admin while connected to the Internet? after the call to tech support; I find myself fuming, more on that later!

The N750 is [supposedly] designed to send more bandwidth to streaming media devices like the PS3, Xbox, Roku etc; at first I didn’t enable the “Media Prioritization” feature and everything streamed absolutely fine, after enabling the feature suddenly playback on both the PS3 and Roku box was jerky and often dropped completely. The USB port is also not much use, any files that are created on a hard disk attached to the Cisco EA3500 USB port can not be modified or deleted as Unix Root User is the owner, again, pointless, what use is a hard disk where you can not modify files? I had to connect the hard disk to my PC directly and retake ownership of the files through Windows. I’m a former network admin, so I know my way around permissions, but most will not have this knowledge!

Everything else about the router is decidedly average, does about as good a job as the router it replaced, which cost a whopping $80 less. I would not recommend the N750 (EA3500); go an get an equivalent Netgear wireless N router; don’t be fooled by the Cisco name; the products have gone down hill massively since the days of the WRT54G, I will never buy another Linksys or Cisco product!

As mentioned earlier, the Cisco customer service is atrocious, I’m so angry and frustrated by their piss poor service, that I am writing a separate article about it! [Read my review of Cisco Tech Supt]

One thought on “Review: Cisco EA3500 (N750) Smart Wireless Router

  • Lawrence Pyser
    August 1, 2013 at 09:33

    You must insist on speaking to someone who does not have marbles in their mouths and does not read from a script……I used Tech support, to this route and got a qualified person to resolve a connectivity….NETGEAR is not the answer……They have a bunch of people who are totally horrible eating their rice while talking to you.

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