Linksys

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Linksys
TypeBrand
IndustryNetworking equipment
Founded1988; 34 years ago (1988)
FoundersVictor Tsao
Janie Tsao
Headquarters
Irvine, California, United States
ProductsRouters, DSL/Cable Gateways, Switches, Wireless Access Points, Storage and security IP cameras
ParentIndependent (1988–2003)
Cisco Systems (2003–2013)
Belkin (2013–2018)
Foxconn (2018–present)
Websitewww.linksys.com

Linksys is an American brand of data networking hardware products mainly sold to home users and small businesses. It was founded in 1988 by the couple Victor and Janie Tsao, both Taiwanese immigrants to the United States.[1] Linksys products include WiFi routers, mesh WiFi systems, Wifi extenders, access points, network switches, and WiFi networking. It is headquartered in Irvine, California.[2]

Linksys products are sold direct-to-consumer from its website, through online retailers and marketplaces, as well as off-the-shelf in consumer electronics and big-box retail stores. As of 2020, Linksys products are sold in retail locations and value-added resellers in 64 countries and was the first router company to ship 100 million products.[3]

History[edit]

In 1988, spouses Janie and Victor Tsao founded DEW International, later renamed Linksys, in the garage of their Irvine, California home. The Tsaos were immigrants from Taiwan who held second jobs as consultants specializing in pairing American technology vendors with manufacturers in Taiwan. The founders used Taiwanese manufacturing to achieve its early success.[4] The company's first products were printer sharers that connected multiple PCs to printers. The company expanded into Ethernet hubs, network cards, and cords.[5] In 1992, the Tsaos began running Linksys full time and moved the company and its growing staff to a formal office. By 1994, it had grown to 55 employees with annual revenues of $6.5 million.[4]

Linksys 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). In the late 1990s, Linksys released the first affordable multiport router, popularizing Linksys as a home networking brand.[5] By 2003, when the company was acquired by Cisco, it had 305 employees and revenues of more than $500 million.[4][6][7]

Cisco expanded the company's product line, acquiring VoIP maker Sipura Technology in 2005[8] and selling its products under Linksys Voice System or later Linksys Business Series brands.[9] In July 2008, Cisco acquired Seattle-based Pure Networks, a vendor of home networking-management software.[10]

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.[11][12][13][14][15]

In 2018, Belkin and its subsidiaries, including Linksys, were acquired by Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics firm and the largest provider of electronics manufacturing services, for $866 million.[16][17]

On June 4, 2021, Harry Dewhirst was appointed as CEO. [18][19] In September, cybersecurity firm Fortinet made a $75 million investment in Linksys.[20][21] Their focus is on the security of home networks for remote workplaces.[22] On September 24, 2021, Fortinet invested an additional $85 million in cash for shares of Series A Preferred Stock of Linksys.[23] Mark Sanders became CFO in October.[24]

Products[edit]

A Linksys Wi-Fi router

Linksys initially sold connectors for PCs and printers before newer forms of connecting home and business networks through wired Ethernet and wireless technologies.[25][16] Its networking products include Gigabit switches, WiFi routers, Intelligent Mesh WiFi systems, WiFi extenders, WiFi access points, and networking components.

Linksys Aware was introduced in 2019 as a first-to-market home monitoring system that alerts users to movement in their home through the Velop Triband system.[26] In 2020, Linksys released Linksys Shield, a parental control subscription service for the Velop AC2200 Triband that allows users to manage or block online content.

The company also announced its Linksys Cloud Manager 2.0, which included a configurable captive portal.

Routers[edit]

Linksys released its first WiFi router in 2001 and has maintained early router releases for newer generations of WiFi.[25]

In 2017, Linksys launched the Velop line, a multi-unit tri-band mesh router system that uses three WiFi radios.[27][28]

WRT54G was notable for having firmware based on the Linux operating system. Since version 5, flash memory is reduced from 4 MB to 2 MB, and VxWorks was used instead of Linux. The original Linux model with 4 MB is now available as WRT54GL.

WRT54G2 router was a restyled version of the WRT54G containing the expected firewall features that protect from hackers that may try to access its network.[29] It supports the same 802.11b/g wifi standards.

First announced in 2020, Linksys began marketing home-based Linksys smart routers and Velop Mesh WiFi.[30]

In April 2021, launched its first WiFi 6E-certified systems, including Hydra Pro 6E router and the Atlas Max 6E mesh system. [31] In January 2022, Linksys launched Hydra Pro 6, a scaled-back version of the 6E model. [32]

WiFi systems[edit]

The Linksys Intelligent Mesh line, Velop, combines Linksys software and hardware to provide higher connection speeds throughout a location by using nodes with dynamic networking capabilities. Linksys in 2019, with the Linksys Aware line, was first to release mesh nodes as motion sensors, utilizing WiFi signals without having to rely on other sensor devices.[33]

Linksys markets WiFi extenders that work with most WiFi and ISP routers, including dual or tri-band units, and plug-in devices that eliminate WiFi dead zones by wirelessly communicating with a router.[34]

In 2020, Linksys debuted 5G mobile hotspots, modems, mesh gateways, and outdoor routers.[35][36]

Linksys markets mesh WiFi routers built for WiFi 6 capacity, offering four times the speed and capacity of WiFi 5. The mesh Velop WiFi 6, announced in October of 2019.[37]

At CES 2021, Linksys announced a line of Velop mesh systems and routers that support WiFi 6E.[38]

In 2018, Linksys released its cloud-based WiFi management for business-class access points, the Linksys Cloud Manager.[39]

HomeWRK[edit]

HomeWRK is a two-node, mesh-enabled WiFi 6 router. The appliance provides separate wireless networks for personal and business traffic. Fortinet’s security stack runs on the device, blocking malware, ransomware, and filtering content.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Score Another for Team Tsao".
  2. ^ "Linksys brand name survives as Belkin takes over from Cisco".
  3. ^ "Linksys and Qualcomm Launch the First 5G and Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Hotspot in Korea and Hong Kong".
  4. ^ a b c "Entrepreneurs of the Year". Inc.com. January 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  5. ^ a b "2014 CE Hall of Fame: Victor and Janie Tsao".
  6. ^ "Cisco buys home networker Linksys".
  7. ^ "Belkin Acquires Linksys From Cisco".
  8. ^ "Cisco Systems to Acquire Sipura Technology". Cisco Systems. April 26, 2005. Archived from the original on April 27, 2005. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
  9. ^ "The New Linksys Voice System 9000 Provides a Complete SIP-Based Multi-Line Phone System for Small Businesses".
  10. ^ "Cisco Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Pure Networks". Cisco press release. July 23, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  11. ^ Ngo, Dong. "Belkin completes acquisition of Linksys from Cisco". CNet. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  12. ^ "Belkin buys Linksys home router business from Cisco, giving it 30 percent of the market". The Verge. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  13. ^ "Cisco to sell Linksys to Belkin, will exit home networking market".
  14. ^ "Linksys sheds merger blues: Irvine firm that once dominated router industry has returned to its roots after years under Cisco".
  15. ^ "Foxconn buys Belkin, Linksys and Wemo for $866 million".
  16. ^ a b Jacob Kastrenakes. "Foxconn buys Belkin, Linksys, and Wemo".
  17. ^ "Linksys is changing hands again with Foxconn buying Belkin for $866 million".
  18. ^ "Linksys names Harry Dewhirst as chief executive officer".
  19. ^ "Linksys names Harry Dewhirst new CEO".
  20. ^ "Linksys names Harry Dewhirst as chief executive officer".
  21. ^ "Fortinet invests $75 million in Foxconn subsidiary Linksys". Tech Observer. March 31, 2021.
  22. ^ "Linksys and Fortinet Announce Strategic Alliance to Deliver Enterprise-Grade Performance and Security for Work From Home Networks".
  23. ^ "FIT Hon Teng : Nasdaq-listed Fortinet Eyes Bigger Stake in Foxconn's Linksys with $85 Million Deal". MarketScreener. August 3, 2021.
  24. ^ "Linksys names new CFO". Telecompaper. October 1, 2021.
  25. ^ a b Ian Mount. "Entrepreneurs of the Year".
  26. ^ Barbara Krasnoff. "Linksys' mesh routers can now detect motion using Wi-Fi".
  27. ^ Jacob Kastrenakes. "Linksys announces a mesh router system to envelop your home with Wi-Fi".
  28. ^ Anthony Karcz. "Linksys Launches Into The Mesh Networking Scrum With Velop".
  29. ^ "Loading..." www.linksysbycisco.com.
  30. ^ Chance Miller. "HomeKit integration begins rolling out to Linksys Tri-Band mesh routers".
  31. ^ Mariella Moon. "Linksys' first WiFi 6E routers are now available to buy".
  32. ^ Mat Gallagher. "Linksys Hydra Pro 6 is a fast and affordable Wi-Fi 6 router".
  33. ^ Andrew O'Hara. "Hands on: Linksys Aware is a useful software feature for the Velop router".
  34. ^ John R. Delaney. "Linksys Velop Plug-In Review".
  35. ^ Thomas Ricker. "Linksys combines 5G and fast Wi-Fi 6 networking in new gear".
  36. ^ Jeremy Horwitz. "Linksys debuts 5G hotspot, modem, mesh gateway, and outdoor router".
  37. ^ Jon Porter. "Linksys announces Wi-Fi 6 Velop mesh router, starting at $399".
  38. ^ Ry Crist. "Linksys unveils a next-gen router that senses motion in your home".
  39. ^ E-Channelnews. "Linksys Launches Cloud Networking Management for SMB Networks".
  40. ^ Tobias Mann. "Fortinet, Linksys Extend Corporate Security to the Home".

External links[edit]