Linksys

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Linksys
Type Subsidiary
Founded 1988
Founder(s) Victor Tsao and Janie Tsao
Headquarters Irvine, California, United States
Key people Ned Hooper (President)
Products Network hardware for home and small businesses
Employees 700+ (as of March 2007)
Parent Belkin
Website www.linksys.com
An 802.11g wireless Linksys router

Linksys is a company selling data networking hardware products mainly to home users and small businesses. Its products include wired and wireless routers, Ethernet switches, VoIP equipment, wireless internet video cameras, audio visual products and network storage systems.

The Linksys company was founded in 1988. It is currently owned by Belkin, who bought it from Cisco, its owners from March 2003 to March 2013.[1][2] Its products were branded as Linksys by Cisco when it was part of Cisco.

Linksys products are sold to consumers off-the-shelf from consumer electronics stores, internet retailers, and big-box retail stores such as supermarkets. Significant competitors in the home and small business networking market segment include D-Link, TP-Link and Netgear.

Belkin has announced its intention to keep the Linksys brand and release new products under its name.[3]

History[edit]

Linksys was founded in 1988 in a garage in Irvine, California. The founders, Janie and Victor Tsao (who received a master's degree in computer science from Illinois Institute of Technology in 1980), were immigrants from Taiwan who held second jobs as consultants specializing in pairing American technology vendors with manufacturers in Taiwan.[4] The company's first products were printer sharers that connected multiple PCs to printers. From this it expanded into Ethernet hubs, network cards, and cords. By 1994, it had grown to 55 employees with annual revenues of $6.5 million.[4]

The company received a major boost in 1995, when Microsoft released Windows 95 with built-in networking functions that expanded the market for its products. Linksys established its first U.S. retail channels with Fry's Electronics (1995) and Best Buy (1996).[5] In 1999, the company announced the first Fast Ethernet PCMCIA Card for notebook PCs. In 2000, it introduced the first 8-port router with SNMP and QoS, and in 2001 it shipped its millionth cable/DSL router.[5] By 2003, when the company was acquired by Cisco, it had 305 employees and revenues of more than $500 million.[4] That was also the sum paid by Cisco for the company.[6]

Cisco expanded the company's product line, acquiring VoIP maker Sipura Technology in 2005[7] and selling its products under Linksys Voice System or later Linksys Business Series brands.[8]) In July 2008, Cisco acquired Seattle-based Pure Networks, a vendor of home networking-management software. Pure Networks had previously provided the tools and software infrastructure used to create the Linksys Easy Link Advisor.[9]

Cisco announced in January 2013 that it would sell its home networking division and Linksys to Belkin, giving Belkin 30% of the home router market. Belkin pledged to continue support and honor warranties for existing Linksys products.[10] As of January 24, 2014, however, Linksys no longer provides support or firmware for models not currently in production.[11]

Products[edit]

Routers[edit]

Main article: Linksys routers
  • BEFSR41 Ethernet router
  • BEFSX41 Ethernet router
  • WRT54G was notable for having firmware based on the Linux operating system. Subsequently, a relatively large open-source community dedicated to modifying Linksys router firmware developed, with the 54G model being the commonly modded component.[citation needed] Since version 5, flash memory is reduced from 4MB to 2MB, and VxWorks was used instead of Linux. The original Linux model with 4MB is now available as WRT54GL.
  • WRT54G2 Router was an easy-to-set-up router that enables the user to use their internet connection without running wires. It contains a firewall that protects the user from some unwanted hackers that may try to take access to the network.[12] This router supports the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless standards.
  • Wireless-N (draft 802.11n) series products.
    • WRT150N featured a 4-port 10/100 switch and claimed three times the range and nine times the speed over a standard wireless-G router.
    • WRT310N featured a 4-port 10/100/1000 switch and claimed four times the range and twelve times the speed over a standard wireless-G router.
    • WRT610N featured a 4-port 10/100/1000 switch, broadcasts simultaneous dual (2.4 and 5 GHz) wireless bands, multimedia streaming features, and a USB 2.0 storage link to accommodate an external hard drive.[13]

Modems[edit]

LinkSys ADSL modem AM300
LinkSys ADSL modem AM300 backside showing ethernet, USB, and phone line ports.

WAG200G has a 211 MHz AR7 MIPS32 CPU with 4 MB of flash memory and 16MB of DRam on the PCB. The WAG200G measures 5.5×5.5×1.25 inches (14×14×3.2 cm) (W×H×D) and weighs .77 pounds (.35 kg). The WAG200G all-in-one device functions as a high speed ADSL2+ Modem, a Wireless G Access Point, router and 4-port Ethernet switch. The built-in wireless Access Point function complies with the specifications of the 802.11g standard, which offers transfer speeds of up to 54 Mbit/s. It is also backwards compatible with 802.11b devices at speeds of 11 Mbit/s. The Access Point can support the connection of up to 32 wireless devices. It also offers 4 built-in 10/100 8P8C ports to connect Ethernet-enabled computers, print servers and other devices

USB wireless[edit]

  • WUSB54G series of USB wireless adapters use the Ralink RT2500 chipset.[14] They support the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless network standards, and have Open Source drivers available for Linux.[15] Drivers are also available for use on Macintosh systems. Only the Version 4 contains the Ralink chipset. Modification of the driver to work with Macintosh was discovered by Kramer2k.[16]

Powerline network adapter[edit]

Linksys by Cisco Powerline Adapter Kit

Linksys offered a variety of HomePlug-based Ethernet-to-Power line communication products:

  • PLTE200 – Powerline Network Adapter
  • PLTS200 – Powerline 4-Port Network Adapter
  • PLTK300 – Powerline Network Kit
  • PLE300 – Powerline AV Network Adapter
  • PLS300 – Powerline AV 4-Port Network Adapter
  • PLK300 – Powerline AV Network Kit

Network attached storage[edit]

Main articles: NSLU2 and NAS200

The NSLU2 is a network attached storage device with 8 MB of flash memory, 32MB of SDRAM, a 100 Mbit/s Ethernet port, and two USB ports. The NSLU2 was discontinued in 2008. The NAS200 added SATA ports.

Network media hub[edit]

Linksys by Cisco Network Media Hub 400 Series

The Media Hub 300 and 400 series are network attached storage devices that allow users to share digital media across a network. Once the Media Hub is connected to the network, it searches for media content residing within the network and aggregates it into one centralized location, including all UPnP devices found. The Built-in Media Reader can directly import photos from compact Flash devices, SD cards and memory sticks without the need of a computer. Memory capacity options are 500GB or 1TB, with an extra empty bay.

The Media Hub's GUI gives a holistic view of the media located on the network regardless of where the actual file is located. Albums are consolidated, artwork, track numbers, and other metadata are downloaded, and all information can be sorted by a variety of different criteria. Automated backup software that helps preserve the data through continuous storage backup.

VoIP[edit]

  • Linksys PAP2 (and PAP2T) is an analog telephony adapter (commonly referred to as ATA), which allows for the connection of one or two “normal” telephones to a VoIP provider using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) protocol. The product is based on the SPA-2000 ATA, made by Sipura Technology, which was acquired by Cisco in 2005. The PAP2 was discontinued in 2012.

The SPA2102 is a gateway router with two FXS ports and SPA3102 is a gateway router with both a FXO and FXS port.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ngo, Dong. "Belkin completes acquisition of Linksys from Cisco". CNet. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Cisco acquires Linksys for 500M, Clint Boulton, March 20, 2003
  3. ^ Belkin Completes Acquisition of Linksys
  4. ^ a b c "Entrepreneurs of the Year". Inc.com. January 2004. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  5. ^ a b "About Us". Linksys by Cisco. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  6. ^ http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/01/cisco-to-sell-linksys-to-belkin-will-exit-home-networking-market/
  7. ^ "Cisco Systems to Acquire Sipura Technology". Cisco System. April 26, 2005. Retrieved 2009-03-08. 
  8. ^ "Cisco Small Business IP Phones (Linksys Business Series)". 
  9. ^ "Cisco Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Pure Networks". Cisco press release. 2008-07-23. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  10. ^ "Belkin buys Linksys home router business from Cisco, giving it 30 percent of the market". The Verge. Retrieved January 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ Personal access of support services.
  12. ^ Wireless-G Broadband Router
  13. ^ WRT610N Support
  14. ^ "Ralink chipsets based wireless devices". rapla.net. 8 Jul 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  15. ^ Marc Abramowitz (2007-02-20). "Setting up a Linksys WUSB54GC WLAN adapter in Ubuntu". Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  16. ^ Kramer2k (2006-05-22). "WUSB54G working!". insanelymac.com. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 

External links[edit]