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

If you have a bunch of devices sharing a network, the bandwidth can get bottlenecked. For new Linksys routers, Cisco is solving that problem with Connect Cloud, 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.


It's not exactly fancy or particularly aesthetically pleasing.

Using It

A desktop portal (or a mobile device app) meters bandwidth to different devices, runs speed tests, manages parental controls, or does troubleshooting.


The Best Part

Remote access to any device on the network. A parent can shut off a teenager's device's connection. Or a teenager can run tech support for a parent. Does mom need help with wireless printing? Do it through this portal.


Tragic Flaw

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


This Is Weird...

When Connect Cloud emerged a couple of weeks ago, Linksys automatically updated those three routers with the software—along with stringent terms of service (no more porn). Cisco has since apologized and made Connect Cloud opt-in.


Test Notes

  • You must have a Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router to use it.
  • Setup took like 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 doesn't really make sense if you live alone. But, if you have several people in one household on a boatload of devices, it's not a bad idea.
  • Cisco Connect Cloud on Linksys EA4500

  • • Output: One ethernet port, 802.11a/b/g/n
    • Simultaneous users: 50
    • Printer sharing: Yes, via USB
    • Weight: 11.2 ounces
    • Size: 6.9 inches by 1.1 inches by 7.5 inches
    • Price: $200 (with a router)
    • Gizrank: 4 stars

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