Thursday 19 July 2012

How to open a Cisco Linksys EA4500 router

When testing routers, I usually try and take them apart to get a photo of the insides. Frequently I have to give up as I would end up damaging them, something I always feel guilty about. The favourite trick for manufacturers is to hide the securing screws for the case, usually under rubber feet or warranty labels. But with the latest Cisco Linksys EA4500 (and, I think, the E4200 v2, which is identical), I found the sneakiest trick yet.

On the underside are four small feet that look as though they are part of the case moulding. At least that's what I thought, and I spent a while trying to unsuccessfully prise open the case. After scouring around for help, I spotted some FCC internal photos over at  Infodepot and noticed four screw holes in the base. Peering more closely I realised that the feet are actually plastic plugs cunningly disguised to match the moulding. Prise these out (they are not glued and come out quite easily using a fingernail) and remove the screws, and the top comes off easily.

And in case you're wondering, once you have the top off, this is what you will find inside:

The inside of the EA4500 doesn't reveal much apart from the 6  folded metal antennas. All chips are covered by heatsinks


  1. Brilliant - saved me from cracking the case the first time. Have extended antennas to install - this helped me greatly!

  2. Is installing just one (out of six) as an external antenna would cause problems? I want to improve my signal and I was wondering if taking out one or two of the antennas as external (using pigtail connectors) would help me or not.

  3. Those are not heatsinks, those are RF shields.

  4. The RF shields also act as heatsinks, according to the Small Net Builder article.