Linksys EA4500 £127
5th Oct 2012 | 08:30
Prepare to think about (and use) your router in a completely different way
The Linksys EA4500 isn't like a normal router. It's more like a glimpse at the future of networking. The specification list includes dual-band Wireless-N, DLNA certification and support for gigabit Ethernet - although the imminent ratification of 802.11ac does cast a shadow over the EA4500.
But its innovation isn't down to the underlying technology. The reason the Linksys EA4500 shifts the game so much is down to its interface. This router supports the Cisco Connect Cloud, which means you can access your router from a website, anywhere you like - at home, at work, or out and about.
On top of that it supports apps as well, so you can control your home network using your iPhone or iPad. At the moment there are 12 apps available, six created by Cisco and six more from third parties.
These apps cover everything from disconnecting machines from your network and setting up IP cameras, to giving priority to streaming movies and pushing content to your smart TV.
There's great potential for more interesting apps as well. Setup is straightforward and performance is solid too, although you'll need dual-band Wireless-N devices to make the most of the wireless network.
Admittedly it is on the expensive side of things, and 802.11ac is on the way, but the web interface and apps makes this tempting all the same.