Just two short weeks ago, DadWagon reader Max Yang hit the jackpot with a $100 BestBuy gift certificate from our sponsor, Linksys. As Max so elegantly wrote in response, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.”
Well, we are officially raising the stakes on that chicken dinner. It is now a full filet mignon. Because this week Linksys is giving away a E4200 router, retail value $179.99 (yes, that’s almost 80% more than $100).
But figures are not important. Before passing this on to one of you (rules for the contest below), we needed to be sure this thing works. So Linksys was good enough to send us a router to test drive. We hooked it up at DadWagon’s secret laboratory somewhere in the five boros, and we can now tell you this. It works. It works, in fact, much better than any router we’ve used in our civilian lives before.
Ease: We are a dadblog, written by men who wish there were still typewriters on earth (one of the four co-founders, for example, left to write a book about Polaroid cameras, of all things). We don’t code, we’re not good with cables. This router did not ask this of us. Put in the CD, stick blue cable into orange port, and you’re basically done. As bruised veterans of the 2010 War with the Wireless Repeater that Would Not Ever Ever Register on Any Network Ever (a riveting story to be told another time), we are glad for ease of use.
Power: This is not scientific, but the walls of our test-space are made of concrete that is, according to our measurements, hellathick. We were nervous at first about the range of a device that has no antenna (see the sleekness in the photo). That’s because we are the type of suckers who used to believe that a cellphone wouldn’t be any good unless it had an antenna (again, we are Luddites). As it happens, though, this router blasted (in a very invisible and non-damaging way) through any and all obstacles, and we were quickly able to download enough Dora the Explorer cartoons to have our children reading Don Quixote in the original before lunch.
Options: As part of the easy setup (see above), the router automatically established a guest network with a separate password for us. We hadn’t thought we’d need a guest network, but it would sure be handy if we were running an AirBnB hostel in the home, or if our house guests might steal our data, or if we want to keep our wives away from our passwords (kidding!). Granted, we don’t get a lot of visitors since we brought two incontinent yelping young things into this world. But the function is actually pretty cool. Bonus: USB capability, so you can plug a external hard drive directly into the router and store from your wireless devices. We live, as many fathers do, in a ceaseless whirlpool of digital photos and video, both personal and for work. We are, in essence, data-drowning. We applaud anyone who can give us a little life raft.
The Giveaway: Same rules as last time. Comment on this post on our Facebook page and in one week’s time we, with the help of the genius algorithms of Random.org, will pick a lucky winner. Even Max Yang is eligible.