Cisco announced four new Linksys E-Series routers today, each one fitted with 802.11n support for fast wireless speeds. Some models also include UPnP AV Media streaming and a USB port for sharing storage devices. The prices range from $79.99 to $179.99 USD depending on which model you choose. They also include a model that uses Linux and is designed advanced users, which is helpful for people who like to run their own custom firmware and finely tune their router’s controls.

The Linksys E3000 router (the most expensive) features dual-band, allowing both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies to be used at the same time. By using two bands you are much more likely to avoid interference, especially when using 5 GHz. Only the E3000 and E2000 models offer Gigabit Ethernet for wired connection speeds. UPnP AV Media streaming is supported by all models except the E1000, providing the ability to stream content from a connected USB storage device. Useful if you have a compatible device such as an Xbox 360 or PS3 and want to share photos and videos directly to them.

Only the Linksys E2100L runs on Linux for full customization. You also get two detachable external antennas, while the other models only include internal ones. Sadly the E2100L does not include Gigabit Ethernet, but it does include the USB port for sharing as mentioned earlier. It will be interesting to see if custom firmwares such as Tomato or DD-WRT will support this new Linux-based home router. Both firmwares have support for a large array of routers, and are very popular for people who prefer the most control. For now it’s just good to see Cisco releasing more Linksys branded routers that run on Linux.