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I'm not sure if this is the proper site for this, I wasn't sure which StackExchange site to use for a question of this nature.

I am currently trying to compare the Linksys E3200 and the Linksys E4200. It appears the major difference is that the 3200 can achieve speeds of 300mbps, and the 4200 can achieve speeds of 450mbps.

However... it seems that most United States ISP's only provide upwards of 50mbps, for their highest packages. Can anyone explain why I would want to get the Linksys E4200, since it can go up to 450mbps, but wouldn't I only be able to actually achieve 50mbps from my ISP? (In reality I get 20mbps from my ISP currently)

Thanks in advance!

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Why do speedometers go into the 100-200 MPH range when there are few if any roads in North America where you can actually drive that? Why would you buy a Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster over a Ford Taurus? The major difference may be the speed, but what are the other differences? Does it have a better hardware firewall? Does it have better security capabilities? Does it have a more customizable firmware? –  Synetech Jun 7 '11 at 2:52
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Well the differences between the Linksys E4200 and the E3200 is pretty much only the speed. Interesting analogy though. Thanks. –  ardavis Jun 7 '11 at 3:01
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Pretty much only is not only. They certainly look different for one, but there are likely bug fixes. The E4200 also has a built-in media server. Besides, you may not need the extra speed for connecting to the Internet, but what if you had a LAN? You may like the extra speed for transferring large files between your home/work computers. Basically, if you aren’t using it to connect your computers together or aren’t going to share large files, and you don’t need a media server, then yes, you can save $30. –  Synetech Jun 7 '11 at 16:59
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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You are basically correct in your rationale, but there is a caveat I will list below. Unless the router gives you some other feature that you really want, or if it was close to your max WAN speed, it is probably overkill. There is always some loss off of the manufacturer's specs, but when you are that far over the max speed of your Internet connection, you are probably golden. You can compare those two and others here (For example, the top-rated router actually has a more professional level interface with more features and settings):

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/router-charts/view

I just checked further, and while you are right in terms of your Internet connection being a bottleneck, those numbers are for the wireless connection. So if you are transferring files from one computer to another in the house, it will make a big difference.

So for Internet to house no big deal, but if you do a lot of local file transfers, it might be worth it.

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