Buying the Right E4200 – Linksys Cisco E4200 V1 vs. V2

Just about every day, we receive a message from a customer just like this.

I ordered a Linksys E4200v1 (Version 1) from ABCD website and when it arrived E4200 V2. I contacted customer support and they said they could not guarantee router version. This is the third router I’ve tried to order. Are you sure that your E4200 routers are V1?

– John Q. RouterSeeker, Sheboygan WI

Our response is always to customers like John (that is not his real last name) is yes. Yes, it is. And one for time for good measure, all E4200 routers available on are Linksys Cisco E4200 V1 devices.


The reason we know that all of our Linksys E4200 Routers are of the V1 variety is because our technicians check each router individually as soon as a shipment arrives. We do this for a very simple reason. Every router that we sell comes with a DD-WRT open-source firmware upgrade and only the E4200 V1 is compatible with the upgrade.

We are very aware that some sites either don’t tell you whether the E4200 is a V1 or V2 either because they don’t appreciate how important it is or else they don’t care.  But rest assured that when FlashRouters ships out your Linksys Cisco E4200v1 it will be decked out with the best that DD-WRT has to offer.

Why Do Users Want a Linksys Cisco E4200 v1 vs E4200 v2?

So what is the difference between between the two E4200 models? Why is one preferred over the other?

Most notably, the E4200 v1 is capable of being upgraded to open-source firmware upgrades because it is based on a Broadcom System on-a-Chip (SoC). Broadcom has long been the most popular chip in wireless routers so it is no surprise that the development side behind these customized firmware upgrades and advanced options have long focused on devices powered by them. Part of creating firmware updates and changes is access.

Touted as a maximum performance Cisco router, here are some of the most highly sought after and desirable features on the Linksys Cisco E4200v1 DD-WRT Router:

  • Maximum Dual Band Wireless Speed up to 750 Mbps (300+450 Mbps).
  • Superior Wireless HD Streaming Video via  Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, and more.
  • 6 Powerful Internal Antennae. Full 3×3 MIMO antenna array. 
  • Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless N/G/B/A (2.4 & 5 GHz).
  • 4 high speed Gigabit Ethernet ports & 1 Gigabit WAN.
  • Router-based USB port for sharing data, backups, music/video files, or creating a networked printer.

For additional specs, visit our E4200 V1 DDWRT Product Page.

The E4200 V2 runs on a Marvell chip which is not supported at this time by the DD-WRT developers (and is not planned to either), making the Linksys E4200 V2 incompatible with the upgraded DD-WRT options.

This means that the E4200 V2 cannot be upgraded with popular DD-WRT options like PPTP & OpenVPN client and server integration, NoCATSPLASH and other WiFi HotSpot features, Repeater Bridge & Wireless Client Bridge Options, WPA2 Radius Authentication, Advanced Bandwidth Monitoring and many other desirable advanced setups such as 3G WAN Failover. Check out our full DD-WRT Advantages & Benefits for a more complete breakdown for the plentiful new features that a DD-WRT upgrade can provide.

Update: We now have the E4200 v1 available with Tomato firmware, with fully working OpenVPN support for VPN service providers.

Tips for Finding a V1 E4200 Cisco Router

For some reason, Cisco makes the process of figuring out which device is a V1 and V2 very confusing, and with some if the packaging, nearly impossible. But while the case for the routers may be exactly the same, the products on the inside are worlds apart.

The E4200 comes in a multitude of different boxes and variations that retailers are not willing to confirm because they do not want to go through each device or box to help you find exactly what you want… but we do!

Looking to go out hunting for a V1 on your own? By all means. Here are some general hints that we have stumbled upon regarding the external differences of E4200 V1 and V2 from our experience.


  1. On the image above the E4200 serial number beginning is circled. If the serial numbers begins with 01C10C, most likely you have a V1 routers. Serial Numbers beginning with 01C106 are the E4200 V2 router.
  2. If the router is new and in a box, it is most likely a V2, as new V1s have long been out of production and are practically impossible to locate.
  3. If the new E4200 router is in a box with a red stripe in the front, it is very likely a V2. If it is a grey stripe, it could be a V1 or a V2.
  4. On the bottom of the router: If it says E4200 V2 as the model it is a V2. If it says just E4200 it is likely a V1.
  5. For E4200 refurbished units which all have brown boxes and are not differentiated on the outside, try to find the version through the serial number.
  6. New E4200 routers purchased on Amazon are almost always V2 unless otherwise stated and even then it is a crap-shoot.
  7. Before attempting to flash the router with open source firmware, we would recommend turning on the router and checking the Cisco Router firmware version. If it is not version 1.0, it is very likely that the router is a V2 as well.

Sound confusing and not worth the hassle? Then you might want to skip the chase and get to the goods! Buy a guaranteed Cisco E4200 V1 with a recent, stable big/mega DD-WRT build or E4200 with Tomato firmware straight from us which includes basic DD-WRT Internet setup guide, free online support and free VPN service integration for just about any VPN PPTP setup guide.

6 thoughts on “Buying the Right E4200 – Linksys Cisco E4200 V1 vs. V2

  1. Alejandro lowe

    What is the power source of the e4200 v1 dd-wrt? Is it a dual 110v and 220v? Or just one or the other? We live in a 220v nation, which is why I ask.

  2. Slyster

    Just a note about your box information on point 3 which I suspect is a typo. If the box has a red stripe on the front then it is a v1 not a v2. If it has a grey stripe then it could be either. Some grey boxes don’t say “e4200” and others say “e4200v2”. If it says “e4200” it still could be a v2. Best bet it to search for one in a a red stripe box!

    Another v2 serial number is 0C136.


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