software
Brought to you by

Cisco Connect Cloud Review: Manage A Network's Competing Connections

If you have a bunch of devices sharing one network, the bandwidth can get bottlenecked. Cisco is solving that problem with Connect Cloud for selected Linksys routers, a platform that lets you manage all of your connections from anywhere.

What Is It?

It’s support software available for new Linksys routers. Get full control over how you use an internet connection! If you need that kind of thing.

Who’s it For?

Anyone owns several gadgets competing for a limited amount of bandwidth.

Design

It’s not exactly fancy or particularly aesthetically pleasing.

Using It

A desktop portal or mobile device apps meter bandwidth to different devices, run speed tests, manage parental controls or run troubleshooting.

The Best Part

Remote access to any device on the network. For example, you can cut off someone on your network, run tech support for grandma, or set up wireless printing for mum. It’s all done through this portal.

Tragic Flaw

Only works with three routers at this point — the Linksys EA2700, EA3500 and EA4500.

This Is Weird…

Just because you have one of the three routers doesn’t necessarily mean you have to use this service. And because of that, there’s been a bit of a controversy. It had made it the default platform for managing the EA series of routers, and people weren’t exactly pleased with the very stringent terms of service that block porn and certain sites. Cisco has since apologised and made Connect Cloud opt-in.

Test Notes

  • You must have a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router to use it (EA2700, EA3500, EA4500).
  • Setup took around 10 minutes.
  • It can connect up to 50 devices at the same time, so expect it to be popular with computer labs and communes.

Should You Buy It?

It’s really not for everyone. Because I live alone, it doesn’t really make sense for me. But if you have several people in one household on a boatload of devices, it’s not a bad idea.

Cisco Connect Cloud (reviewed on Linksys EA4500)

• Output: one ethernet port, 802.11a/b/g/n
• Simultaneous users: 50
• Printer sharing: Yes, via USB
• Weight: 318g
• Size: 6.9 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
• Price: $299.95 RRP in Australia