Belkin

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Belkin International, Inc.
Type Private
Industry Consumer electronics
Founded 1983
Headquarters Playa Vista, Los Angeles, California, USA
Key people Chet Pipkin, Chairman, Founder, CEO
Employees 1000+[1]
Website www.belkin.com
Belkin headquarters in Los Angeles

Belkin International, Inc., is an American manufacturer of consumer electronics that specializes in connectivity devices. Headquartered in Playa Vista, Los Angeles, California,[2] it sells various consumer and commercial product lines, including routers, iPod and iPhone accessories, mobile computing accessories, surge protectors, network switches, hubs, (USB and computer network) cables, KVM switches, racks and enclosures, and other peripherals.

History[edit]

Belkin was founded in 1983 in Hawthorne, California, by Chet Pipkin. It has twice made Inc. magazine's list of 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. It has major offices across the globe, including in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Australia.[3]

Product range[edit]

  • Networking: Routers
  • iPhone, iPad, and iPod accessories: cases, FM transmitters, chargers
  • Energy-saving accessories for the home
  • Notebook and netbook accessories: cases, cushions, cooling pads, power adapters
  • Data center accessories: racks and enclosures, KVM switches
  • Surge protectors
  • USB hubs and other connectivity peripherals, like the Easy Transfer Cable
  • Copper and Fiber Optic Cables

Linksys Acquisition[edit]

According to a PCWorld News article,[4] Belkin officially completed the acquisition of Linksys on March 15, 2013. Belkin will maintain both its own brand and the Linksys brand into the future, according to Mathieu Whelan, a Linksys marketing manager who now works for Belkin.

Awards[edit]

Belkin was in the "Inner City Top 100" list for six consecutive years, and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” list for five.[5]

Belkin was awarded iLounge's Accessory Maker of the Year Award for 2007 and its TuneFM was awarded iLounge's FM Transmitter of the Year Award.[6]

Belkin's TuneBaseFM was awarded iLounge's Car Accessory of the Year Award for 2008. [7]

  • CES Innovations Awards:
    • 2009 "Best of" in Multi-Room Audio/Video Category: FlyWire [8]
    • 2008 "Best of" in Portable Media Accessories Category: TuneStudio [9]
    • 2006 "Best of" in Video Category: Nostromo n52 [10]
  • IDSA Design Awards Ranking – Belkin ranked in top list of corporations [11]
    • 2002 IDEA / BusinessWeek Award: GOLD – Belkin OmniView SoHo Series KVM [12]
    • 2009 IDEA Award: BRONZE – Belkin Powerline AV+ [13]
  • Multiple iF Design Awards; in 2009, Belkin placed in the Top 50 of all company rankings for the number of IF awards won.[14]
    • 2008 TuneStudio and SportCommand [15]
    • 2007 Clamp-On Surge Protector, Compact Surge Protector, Conceal Surge Protector, Flip KVM [16]
    • 2006 TuneBase and TuneBaseFM, MediaPilot [17]
    • 2005 USB 7-Port Hub, PureAV Home Theater Power Consoles, PureAV Home Theater Power Conditioner [18]
    • 2003 USB Media Reader Writer [19]
  • 2005 Business 2.0 Bottom Line Design Awards – Belkin PureAV Power Console [20]

Community work[edit]

Belkin is involved in the local Compton community through the ASAP (Advanced Surveillance and Protection Plan) program with the LASD (LA County Sheriff’s Department) and the Everybody Wins reading program. Belkin supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fight breast cancer through its pink ribbon iPod cases that have helped raise $350,000 for the organization.[21] In 2007, Belkin made a holiday donation to the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative.[22]

Criticism[edit]

In 2003, Belkin released a home use wireless router which would occasionally replace users' HTTP requests with an advertisement for Belkin's filtering software. Belkin received some intense criticism for this from technically literate customers and others who described it as a man-in-the-middle attack or a form of session hijacking. Belkin initially treated this as a public relations problem rather than an inappropriate action on their part, but later relented and issued a firmware update deleting this functionality from the product.[23][24][25][26][27]

In early 2009, a Belkin 'online sales representative' was discovered paying Amazon.com, Newegg and Buy.com users to manipulate reviews of a notoriously buggy Belkin router. Belkin's President, Mark Reynoso, responded to criticism, saying that the company does not engage in unethical practices, noting however that 'one of our employees' may have been responsible.[28][29][30] On January 19, 2009, gizmodo.com published a letter from an anonymous Belkin worker, where the employee claims that for years all workers were pressed upon to "do whatever is needed to get good product reviews and good press", which included "sending blog writers a device with custom firmware that hides known bugs", "faking hardware logo certifications", as well as "writing poor reviews of competitors products".[31][32][33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About Belkin". Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Belkin. Retrieved on July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ "Belkin / About Us". 
  4. ^ Linksys Brand Name Survives as Belkin Takes Over From Cisco
  5. ^ "Belkin". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  6. ^ "iPod Buyers Guide". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  7. ^ "2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers Guide". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  8. ^ "CES. 2009 Innovations Honorees". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  9. ^ "CES. 2008 Innovations Honorees". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  10. ^ "CES. 2006 Innovations Honorees". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  11. ^ "5 Years of IDEA Winners". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  12. ^ "IDEA / BusinessWeek Awards, Complete List of Winners". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  13. ^ "IDEA Award". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  14. ^ "iF Rankings 2009". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  15. ^ "iF Design Awards 2008". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  16. ^ "iF Design Awards 2007". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  17. ^ "iF Design Awards 2006". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  18. ^ "iF Design Awards 2005". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  19. ^ "iF Design Awards 2003". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  20. ^ "Bottom Line Design Awards 2005". Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  21. ^ "Belkin Accessorizes for a Good Cause". Popgadget. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  22. ^ "Belkin Gifts OLPC in my Name - Thanks!". Archived from the original on 23 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  23. ^ "Help! my Belkin router is spamming me". The Register. 7 November 2003. Archived from the original on 28 July 2005. Retrieved 2005-08-02. 
  24. ^ "Belkin Routers Route Users to Censorware Ad". Slashdot. Retrieved 2005-08-02. 
  25. ^ "CastleCops – Web hijack riles Belkin router users".  080205 castlecops.com
  26. ^ "Web hijack riles Belkin router users". CNET News.com. November 10, 2003. 
  27. ^ "Web hijacking by router – a new method of advertisement by Belkin".  080205 merit.edu
  28. ^ "Belkin Amazon Rep Paying For Fake Online Reviews". Slashdot.  090117 slashdot.org
  29. ^ "Exclusive: Belkin’s Development Rep is Hiring People to Write Fake Positive Amazon Reviews".  090117 thedailybackground.com
  30. ^ http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/01/18/belkin-replies-to-mechanical-turk-shilling/ Crunchgear: Belkin replies to Mechanical Turk shilling. Retrieved on 18 Jan 2009.
  31. ^ Chen, Jason (19 June 2009). "Belkin Employee Sheds Light On Belkin's Supposedly Dirty Practices". Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  32. ^ Berndtson, Chad (20 January 2009). "For Belkin, Are Fake Reviews For Real?". CRN Magazine. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  33. ^ Weintraub, Seth (19 January 2009). "Belkin's response to the 'pay for good review' scandal is bad news". ComputerWorld. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 

External links[edit]