Deal consolidates large percentage of US home networking market
Computer accessory manufacturer Belkin revealed on Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to purchase Cisco's home networking business unit, including the Linksys brand and all associated products. Belkin intends to maintain the Linksys brand, and will continue to support all of Cisco's products in the sector, including warranty support and replacement.
Cisco expected to fetch far less than $500 million on the sale
According to industry sources, Cisco Systems has hired Barclays to find a buyer for its home networking division Linksys. Reportedly, Cisco is planning on divesting itself of the home router manufacturer as part of its strategy to exit consumer-level businesses while expanding in technology services, and other corporate solutions.
Invites developers to design apps for cloud platform
In a trio of related announcements today, Cisco unveiled a new next-generation Wi-Fi router, a media sharing hub, and an ecosystem meant to support both devices. The new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router and Universal Media Connector will work in conjunction to allow users greater device interoperability, at speeds up to three times faster than current Wi-Fi routers. Cisco hopes that the two new devices will find support from developers, and the company has also rolled out a new community aimed at nurturing an app ecosystem to take advantage of the two new devices' capabilities.
Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers get speed and software
Cisco's Linksys badge unveiled a trio of new Smart Wi-Fi routers with updates both for software and the pure technology underneath. The EA4500, EA3500, and EA2700 all support apps that link into the Cisco Connect Cloud web portal to not just administer the router from outside the home network but control attached devices. Cisco has suggested home theater devices like TVs, and even home appliances, could be controlled as long as they're on the same router.
WPS allegedly resisting brute force attacks
The Wi-Fi Alliance has responded to word of security exploits in Wi-Fi Protected Setup with a statement alluding to a fix. It claimed to The Verge that its test routine and certification now made sure that Wi-Fi devices "effectively resist" brute, PIN code-based attacks. How that would resolve the gap, and whether or not a patch would be available for those devices that had already shipped, wasn't mentioned.
Linksys Powerline AV gets 3 new models
Cisco's Linksys badge brought out three new powerline networking kits for those who prefer or need mostly wired links. The PLEK400 one-port kit, PLSK400 four-port kit, and PLW400 wireless extender all run on the HomePlug standard and can reach up to 200Mbps. Linksys is vowing a small design that makes it practical to hook up other devices to the local wall outlet.
Cisco outs $130 dual-band home theater bridge
Cisco on Tuesday introduced its new Linksys WES610N 802.11n Wi-Fi dual-band entertainment bridge. The device will bring together any home theater device with an Ethernet port onto a home wireless network, be they set-top boxes, HDTVs or games consoles. It can offer speeds up to 300Mbps and has multiple antennas for greater range.
Linksys and WebEx may be on the block
Cisco on Wednesday denied that it was planning to sell off Linksys. While it said it would cut the Flip line as part of its return to a "network-centric platform strategy," it told the Register that it wouldn't confirm or deny rumors. The company also didn't discuss talk that its WebEx web conferencing service was also up for grabs.
Cisco kills Flip camera line
Cisco today axed its Flip camera division in a bid to bring the company back into shape. The company provided few details but said its new "network-centric platform strategy" meant the former Pure Digital group had to be closed. Those on the FlipShare service would be supported through a "transition plan," though Cisco didn't say what that was.
Cisco remakes rest of lineup with new design
Cisco today revamped the rest of its E-series routers and SE-series switches to match the design aesthetic of the E4200. The E1200 and E1500 make up the baseline and provide 300Mbps 802.11n Wi-Fi only on the 2.4GHz band along with four 100Mbps Ethernet ports. The E1500 adds a SpeedBoost function along with a third receiver and an external signal amp to get the signal faster.
Cisco claims speed on fringe with Linksys E4200
Cisco undertook a major rethink of its Linksys home Wi-Fi routers on Wednesday through the E4200. The design is a major restyling with a more upscale, conservative look but also focuses much more on performance. It can peak at 450Mbps on the 5GHz 802.11n band and has six antennas along with amplifiers that provide faster speed at the edges of the wireless range.
Cisco buys Moto to improve design for home gear
Cisco on Tuesday said it had bought out Moto, the well-known San Francisco design firm. The company was already responsible for designing some of home devices, such as the Flip cameras. Neither company was explicit with their plans, but Cisco hoped to speed up its fledgling home electronics business.
Cisco Valet and Linksys E series routers arrive
Cisco completely overhauled its router lineup on Wednesday with seven new models, including its first purely Cisco-branded routers for the home. The 100Mbps Ethernet and 802.11n-equipped Valet and the gigabit-toting Valet Plus both avoid the network setup process entirely through their namesake valet key: a small USB adapter plugs into a Mac or PC and cuts the setup process down to three steps. They keep the connection data intact and can port over to other computers.
BDP-N460 adds Netflix, YouTube
Continuing its home theater launches for CEDIA, Sony tonight added its first truly network-aware Blu-ray player. Although earlier players have had BD-Live features, the BDP-N460 can stream videos from Netflix and YouTube as well as get music streams from Slacker, regardless of the attached TV. In a unique touch, the movie player is specifically optimized for Linksys' (Cisco's) WET610N Ethernet-to-Wi-Fi bridge and improves the stability of streaming over the wireless connection.
Cisco WRT160NL Router
Cisco today aimed its Linksys routers at the open-source community with its first modern-era, 802.11n Wi-Fi router using Linux. The WRT160NL gives power users more control over the operating system driving the network device without having to resort to hacked firmware. It's also more flexible in hardware, the company says, as the antennas are mounted externally and on removable connectors that let users choose either stronger antennas or simply rotate the pre-supplied ones into an ideal position.
Cisco Buys Pure Digital
Cisco on Thursday said it would buy Pure Digital for $590 million in stock. The deal puts the camera maker into the same Consumer Business division as Linksys and gives the larger company control over Pure's lineup, which includes the Flip Mino HD and other Flip devices. Cisco describes the buyout as a way of branching into "visual networking" and that it will "quickly expand" the Flip line as a result.
Cisco May Buy Pure
Multiple claimed sources have said network device firm Cisco has or will buy Pure Digital. The value of the deal is estimated by TechCrunch to be over $500 million and would give Cisco control over the Flip line of pocket video cameras, such as the Flip Mino HD. Buying the still small, young Pure is believed part of a larger strategy to encourage heavy Internet use that would justify its network equipment.
Cisco intros Wi-fi routers
Cisco on Thursday announced the release of a trio of new 802.11n Wi-Fi networking products, with the WET610N Ethernet Bridge, and WRT400N and WRT320N routers. All operate on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. The WET610N provides the faster wireless link to devices that only have an Ethernet port, such as the Xbox 360 or some network media hubs. It prioritizes data packets for smooth video delivery that nearly eliminates dropped frames due to interference Cisco claims.
FSF sues Cisco over Linux
Networking giant Cisco Systems has been sued by the Free Software Foundation, a report reveals. Filing with the help of the Software Freedom Law Center, the FSF has accused Cisco of violating the General Public License under which the Linux operating system is distributed. Companies that want to use Linux can typically do so for free; the GPL stipulates, however, that any changes made for a Linux variant must be shared with the public.
WRT610N Wi-Fi router
Just days after announcing Mac OS X-specific support, Linksys has announced its WRT610N Wi-Fi router, which offers wireless connectivity for 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n devices on two separate spectrum bands simultaneously -- effectively doubling available wireless bandwidth. Designed so all types of wireless devices can achieve maximum bandwidth, the "Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router" is packaged in Linksys' new, low-profile glossy black housing and offers Draft N performance on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz spectrums. Users can connect high-bandwidth 802.11n devices (such as video hubs, media extenders, etc.) to the higher-performance, 20-channel 5GHz band, which coincidently also has less interference from devices such as microwaves, other 802.11g networks, etc. The more crowded 2.4GHz band can be used to connect both devices that don't require as much bandwidth and older 802.11b devices.
Linksys-setup Wizard - Mac
Linksys has announced its Linksys EasyLink Advisor (LELA) Setup Wizard for configuring its wireless routers on Mac OS X. It will ship with all new products and will be available for download for select current routers, including the WRT310N, WRT160N, WRT110N and the WRT54G2. Linksys is committing to expanding its support for Mac customers using Linksys products. "Linksys is launching LELA setup and technical support for Mac OS X because we recognize the need to better support the ever-growing number of Macs users," said Greg Memo, vice president and general manager, Linksys Consumer Business Organization.
Four new Linksys routers
Cisco subsidiary Linksys has released four new Wi-Fi routers, using designs which mark a significant departure from previous products. Whereas the company had typically used a signature box shape, often in blue or silver colors, the new routers are thin and curved, and almost exclusively shelled in glossy black material. Common features are said to include firewalls and 256-bit encryption, automatic push-button configuration, and MIMO antennas that improve reception and minimize dead spots.