Linksys

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Linksys
TypeBrand (formerly a company)
IndustryNetworking equipment
Founded1988; 33 years ago (1988)
FoundersVictor Tsao
Janie Tsao
Headquarters
United States
ProductsRouters, DSL/Cable Gateways, Switches, Wireless Access Points, Storage and security IP cameras
ParentIndependent (1988–2003)
Cisco Systems (2003–2013)
Belkin (2013–present)[1]
Websitewww.linksys.com
A Linksys Wi-Fi router

Linksys is an American brand (formerly a company) of data networking hardware products mainly sold to home users and small businesses. Linksys products include wired and wireless routers, Ethernet switches, VoIP equipment, wireless Internet video cameras, audio visual products and network storage systems.

Linksys was founded in 1988 by the couple Victor and Janie Tsao, both Taiwanese immigrants to the United States. The company was purchased by Cisco in 2003, and sold to Belkin in 2013.[2][3] Belkin was acquired by Foxconn in 2018.[4]

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.

History[edit]

In 1988, the married couple Janie and Victor Tsao founded DEW International, later renamed Linksys, in the garage of their Irvine, California home. The founders were immigrants from Taiwan who held second jobs as consultants specializing in pairing American technology vendors with manufacturers in Taiwan.[5] 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.[5]

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).[6] 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.[6] By 2003, when the company was acquired by Cisco, it had 305 employees and revenues of more than $500 million.[5] That was also the sum paid by Cisco for the company.[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. Pure Networks had previously provided the tools and software infrastructure used to create the Linksys Easy Link Advisor.[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. Belkin pledged to continue support and honor warranties for existing Linksys products.[11]

In 2018, Belkin was acquired by Foxconn, a Taiwanese multinational electronics firm, for $866 million.[12]

Products[edit]

Linksys initially sold connectors for PCs and printers before newer forms of connecting home and business networks through wired Ethernet and wireless technologies.[13][14] 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.[15] 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.[13]

In 2017, Linksys launched the Velop line, a multi-unit tri-band mesh router system that uses three WiFi radios.[16][17]

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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] They support the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless network standards, and have Open Source drivers available for Linux.[21] 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.[22]

Network attached storage[edit]

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.

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.[23]

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.[24]

In 2020, Linksys debuted 5G mobile hotspots, modems, mesh gateways, and outdoor routers.[25][26]

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.[27]

At CES 2021, Linksys announced a line of Velop mesh systems and routers that support WiFi 6E.[28]

In 2018, Linksys released its cloud-based WiFi management for business-class access points, the Linksys Cloud Manager.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.belkin.com/us/pressreleases/8865070023740/
  2. ^ Cisco acquires Linksys for 500M, Clint Boulton, March 20, 2003
  3. ^ Ngo, Dong. "Belkin completes acquisition of Linksys from Cisco". CNet. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  4. ^ https://www.belkin.com/us/pressreleases/8865070023740/
  5. ^ a b c "Entrepreneurs of the Year". Inc.com. January 2004. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  6. ^ a b "About Us". Linksys by Cisco. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  7. ^ "Cisco to sell Linksys to Belkin, will exit home networking market". Ars Technica. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  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. ^ "Cisco Small Business IP Phones (Linksys Business Series)".
  10. ^ "Cisco Announces Definitive Agreement to Acquire Pure Networks". Cisco press release. July 23, 2008. Retrieved March 10, 2009.
  11. ^ "Belkin buys Linksys home router business from Cisco, giving it 30 percent of the market". The Verge. Retrieved January 24, 2013.
  12. ^ https://www.belkin.com/us/pressreleases/8865070023740/
  13. ^ a b Ian Mount. "Entrepreneurs of the Year".
  14. ^ Jacob Kastrenakes. "Foxconn buys Belkin, Linksys, and Wemo".
  15. ^ Barbara Krasnoff. "Linksys' mesh routers can now detect motion using Wi-Fi".
  16. ^ Jacob Kastrenakes. "Linksys announces a mesh router system to envelop your home with Wi-Fi".
  17. ^ Anthony Karcz. "Linksys Launches Into The Mesh Networking Scrum With Velop".
  18. ^ "Loading..." www.linksysbycisco.com.
  19. ^ Chance Miller. "HomeKit integration begins rolling out to Linksys Tri-Band mesh routers".
  20. ^ "Ralink chipsets based wireless devices". rapla.net. July 8, 2007. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  21. ^ Marc Abramowitz (February 20, 2007). "Setting up a Linksys WUSB54GC WLAN adapter in Ubuntu". Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  22. ^ Kramer2k (May 22, 2006). "WUSB54G working!". insanelymac.com. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2009.
  23. ^ Andrew O'Hara. "Hands on: Linksys Aware is a useful software feature for the Velop router".
  24. ^ John R. Delaney. "Linksys Velop Plug-In Review".
  25. ^ Thomas Ricker. "Linksys combines 5G and fast Wi-Fi 6 networking in new gear".
  26. ^ Jeremy Horwitz. "Linksys debuts 5G hotspot, modem, mesh gateway, and outdoor router".
  27. ^ Jon Porter. "Linksys announces Wi-Fi 6 Velop mesh router, starting at $399".
  28. ^ Ry Crist. "Linksys unveils a next-gen router that senses motion in your home".
  29. ^ E-Channelnews. "Linksys Launches Cloud Networking Management for SMB Networks".

External links[edit]