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Linksys E1200 review

An older model, we only recommend buying the Linksys E1200 if you're operating a basic, budget PC set-up.

Linksys E1200 review
(Image: © Linksys)

Our Verdict

An old AC1200 router, which doesn't even have a 5GHz option. This model was popular back in 2011, but has since been replaced by better, newer routers from Linksys. Serious budget option only.

For

  • Very, very cheap
  • Works with PC and Mac

Against

  • Extremely outdated
  • No 5GHz channel
  • Slow throughput

When we originally reviewed the Linksys E1200 after it first launched, it was easily one of the best wireless routers at the time. Having been superseded several times since, we can't recommend it any more, unless you're looking to run an ultra-basic PC set-up with a much older home computer. The Linksys E1200 simply doesn't have the chops to handle more modern connections, and if you pair it with one of today's best laptops, for example, you'll be sorely disappointed. We've edited our review, and the score given, to reflect this, but left a rundown of the core features intact for your reference.

The Linksys E1200 has five Ethernet ports: one for internet access and the rest to support clients on a local area network (LAN). All modern wireless routers conforms to 802.11n Wi-Fi specifications with a theoretical data throughput of 300Mbps and  above, although most manage much more. Wireless n was a step forward from the previous 802.11g specification, which had a theoretical speed of 54Mbps. Wireless n is backward compatible with wireless g, so wireless g clients can connect to a Wi-Fi network enabled by the Linksys E1200. Even though the router supports dual streams, if a wireless g client connects, it can only access the 20MHz channel, which will result in a theoretical data throughput of 150Mbps.

One downside is that the router will only operate at 2.4GHz, and doesn't feature a 5GHz output, for faster transfer over longer distances. So, it's very limited compared to most modern routers.

Available for about $30, the E1200 is a great budget-friendly wireless router option. If you are not on a budget, then by all means purchase an 802.11ac router. If you want to save money, though, the Linksys E1200 should tide you over if your set-up is on the older side.

With the E1200 home wireless router, parents have a great deal of specific control over how and when children can surf the web. It is possible to block internet access always or never, or at specific times such as on school nights or weekends. Parents can also enter the names of specific sites to block.

Linksys E1200 review

(Image credit: Linksys)

Visitors can have their own password-protected internet access. Armed with the name of the guest network and the password, guests can connect to the internet, but they cannot print to any printer that is connected to the local network. Guests cannot access any files on networked computers or see the host's personal data.

Encryption exists in the form of Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2). Legacy encryption, Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP), is there for clients that adhere to older versions of the Wi-Fi standard. WEP is also necessary if the router is connected to a RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) server, which is a system that authenticates users and devices prior to granting network access. The firewall supports Network Address Translation (NAT) and Stateful Packet Inspections (SPI). NAT presents a single IP address to the internet to represent the entire local area network. SPI detects malware and spyware by examining data packets for threat signatures.

You can create an Easy Setup key with the wireless settings on a USB flash drive to connect additional computers. A browser-based utility is another way to manage the router configuration settings. In this case, you use a web browser to configure advanced settings. This option is for advanced users who know their way around router administration. People who connect to the network can manage this home wireless router remotely from any external IP address by configuring a remote management port.

After the router is configured, you can save the configuration in backup form to restore the configuration at a later date, if necessary. It is possible to upgrade the router's firmware, which will require reconfiguration. Universal Plug and Play makes it easy to allow Windows to automatically configure this home wireless router to support internet applications for videoconferencing and gaming. A Wi-Fi Protected Setup button simplifies the process of adding and configuring client devices.

If it becomes necessary to restore the factory default settings for any reason, there are two methods. One way is to use the browser-based utility to restore the factory defaults from the Administration tab. Another way is to press and hold the reset button for five seconds.

The router has four rubber feet on the bottom for horizontal placement. If it is more convenient for you to mount it on a wall, the bottom panel also has wall-mount slots.

The Linksys E1200 is covered with a one-year warranty, plus one year of free technical support by telephone or online chat. The website hosts a community forum, knowledge base, product guide and frequently asked questions. The company also has a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, giving you additional ways to communicate with them and learn more about their products.

It's old, so we wouldn't recommend picking up the E1200. There are newer, better routers out there, for roughly the same price, and they will last much longer.