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Businesses Networking IT

Cisco Exits the Consumer Market, Sells Linksys To Belkin 284

Posted by samzenpus
from the circle-of-business-life dept.
Krystalo writes "Belkin on Thursday announced plans to acquire Cisco's Home Networking Business Unit, including its products, technology, employees, and even the well-known Linksys brand. Belkin says it plans to maintain the Linksys brand and will offer support for Linksys products as part of the transaction, financial details for which were not disclosed. This should be a relatively smooth transition that won't affect current customers: Belkin says it will honor all valid warranties for current and future Linksys products. After the transaction closes, Belkin will account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market."
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Cisco Exits the Consumer Market, Sells Linksys To Belkin

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  • WTB Cisco Switch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ButchDeLoria (2772751) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:08PM (#42685629)
    Wonderful, now there's no good router on the market.
    • by Hovsep (883939)

      Asus and Buffalo?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrBippers (1091791)
        My current Asus router (dd-WRT) and the Buffalo router it replaced (tomato) have been flawless. I remember having a Linksys WRT54G with a legitimate hardware issue years ago and having to jump through a massive array of hoops to actually convince of it. There was a massive chain of emails every single question of which could have been answered by reading the first email I sent. No love lost here.
        • by Dewin (989206)

          I remember having a Linksys WRT54G with a legitimate hardware issue years ago

          Okay, I bought the story at Linksys but lost it at WRT54G. Though I suppose Cisco could have botched the newer hardware revisions ;)

          Our WRT54G is about... 9 years old. Still runs as our primary router with nary a hiccup. I managed to get a hold of 3 WRT600Ns as well -- the one that I've actually put dd-wrt on and put into service (with the intent of expanding our wifi coverage to the basement) can't actually hold a decent conne

          • Re:WTB Cisco Switch (Score:4, Informative)

            by Ironhandx (1762146) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:48PM (#42686663)

            I have a 3400 sqft house with a single Asus router running the whole deal.

            I also went through 2 WRT54G's in as many years. I find both stories believeable, but of the people I know, no one is actually still using their WRT54G for anything other than one guy is using it for a small wired subnet. The wireless generally loses range on them as they get older for some inexplicable reason.

            • by Skater (41976)

              I have a 3400 sqft house with a single Asus router running the whole deal.

              I also went through 2 WRT54G's in as many years. I find both stories believeable, but of the people I know, no one is actually still using their WRT54G for anything other than one guy is using it for a small wired subnet. The wireless generally loses range on them as they get older for some inexplicable reason.

              You can count me as someone using one for his regular home network. The laptop I'm typing this on is connected to the net through it! It's an old v1.1 model that I've never had a single issue with. I bought it in 2001 or 2002, I think.

              I intend to upgrade to an N router with gigabit ethernet soon. We have several N devices now, and I often transfer large raw picture files over the network, so a faster network would be nice, plus the some of the computers with ethernet ports have gigabit now, so I might a

            • I concur, and am using the ASUS Dark Knight to cover the house and .5 acres built into a hill. The ASUS products might start off a little rough when they are just released, mostly buggy firmware, but ASUS does get it right and the hardware is solid. The ASUS never needs rebooting and takes daily streaming abuse. I bought my mother-in-law a $80 Belkin for Christmas and it needs resets every couple of weeks. Why didn't I just buy the $160 ASUS and save myself the hassle?

              I am not down on the WRT54G, it
              • by adolf (21054)

                I am not down on the WRT54G, it just can't handle the traffic load in 2013. Even after loading DD-WRT, it and it still couldn't keep up with the incoming 30Mbps connection. I still have it as a backup, but it is not streaming capable.

                I thought I was nearing the edge of useability on a WRT54GL with a 12Mbps connection: Load average when doing lots of stuff (ie: torrents and streaming) was 0.8. It seemed to be holding on quite well enough, though, so I ignored it for a long time.

                Eventually I dug into the se

                • by Fjandr (66656)

                  Interesting. I hadn't heard of that. Maybe that's what made all of the ones I've every used unreliable as time went on.

              • I bought my mother-in-law a $80 Belkin for Christmas and it needs resets every couple of weeks.

                This has been my roughly my experience with Belkin equipment. It always seems to be a little bit unreliable. I realize my experience is entirely anecdotal but I've bought probably a dozen various bits of Belkin gear (usb hubs, switches, charging gear, etc) over the years and I've had small but irritating problems with most of them. A few simply didn't work at all. It's one of those things where I just don't trust their brand anymore even if they actually might have a good product.

            • by ganjadude (952775)
              I am still using the 2 I bought damn near 10 years ago now. Ive tried different routers, and ill probably go with a new spec one in another year. but these things have been bulletproof for me.
            • by mjwx (966435)

              I have a 3400 sqft house with a single Asus router running the whole deal.

              I also went through 2 WRT54G's in as many years. I find both stories believeable, but of the people I know, no one is actually still using their WRT54G for anything other than one guy is using it for a small wired subnet. The wireless generally loses range on them as they get older for some inexplicable reason.

              I must be the exception, the Linksys WRT54G I bought in 2005 still worked as well as the day I bought it when I retired it in 2012. The Belkin POS it was replaced with (not my decision unfortunately) has given me nothing but grief in the last 8 months.

              Might just be where you're living, any extreme cold or humidity? But Linksys gear has gone to crap since then. I'd recommend Asus or Netgear over Linksys at this point in time.

              • by cusco (717999)
                LinkSys hardware has gradually gone to crap since Cisco bought them. They were a decent middle-of-the-road hardware vendor prior to the sale, and for a few years after. My LinkSys wireless router is still going strong since 2004, as are several business-class R16 and R8 Layer 3 switches from that period that I've put in customer sites. The newer stuff has just been junk, though.

                I'm pretty sure it's been deliberate too, since the firmware on the R16 switch that I replaced last year (original one from
            • by lingon (559576)

              I also went through 2 WRT54G's in as many years. I find both stories believeable, but of the people I know, no one is actually still using their WRT54G for anything other than one guy is using it for a small wired subnet. The wireless generally loses range on them as they get older for some inexplicable reason.

              I'm still using my WRT54GL as my primary wireless router and I haven't noticed it's range decreasing at all. Perhaps it's just me, but I think it's working as flawlessly as when I first got it and installed OpenWRT on it six years ago.

            • by ncc74656 (45571) *

              of the people I know, no one is actually still using their WRT54G for anything other than one guy is using it for a small wired subnet

              I've had a WRT54GL running for I don't know how long now...2006 at least, probably earlier. It's still providing wired and wireless service in a 1900-sqft single-story home. It's in a wiring closet near the front of the house, next to the garage. I get good signal from it in the backyard and throughout the house. Nowadays, it's running Tomato; transmit power level is unc

      • apple routers are good (very stable, reliable) though with less features (QoS etc)

    • by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:57PM (#42686151)

      Don't be ridiculous. There's plenty of great routers out there. My Cisco E1000 is working flawlessly, now that it's loaded with DD-WRT.

      Now, if you're looking for a consumer-grade router that has both great hardware and firmware out of the box, you can forget about it, but I'm not sure such a beast has ever existed. But there's lots of decent hardware out there that can be reflashed with an alternative firmware like DD-WRT. The enterprise-grade stuff is crap too BTW: I used to have a couple of Aironet access points and those things were a total PITA to set up because of Cisco's wacky IOS system. The hardware was really nice, I'll admit (all-metal chassis, kinda looks like something out of a UFO, could be dropped off the Empire State Building and suffer only slight damage), but the software and web interface were ridiculously bad unless you want to spend a lot of time becoming an expert in IOS. By contrast, DD-WRT does pretty much everything IOS could do (including RADIUS authentication) and it, despite being Free, has a perfectly usable web interface that anyone competent with computers and networking can look at once and figure out.

    • Re:WTB Cisco Switch (Score:4, Interesting)

      by SolitaryMan (538416) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:16PM (#42686337) Homepage Journal
      My experience with Linksys consumer routers is that they are crap. IMO they were only damaging Cisco's brand. Good riddance for them.
      • by mattventura (1408229) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:18PM (#42686873) Homepage
        They just try to cut costs way too much on their home products. They know that home users are likely to just buy whatever looks best on the store shelf/whatever the salesman tries to push on them.
      • Amen! Good riddance, indeed!

      • by GNious (953874)

        My experience with Linksys consumer routers is that they are crap. IMO they were only damaging Cisco's brand. Good riddance for them.

        My experience with anything from Cisco for use at home is that it is crap - whether it is Cisco Linksys routers or Cisco IPTV boxes. Somehow I'm not convinced that it is Linksys, that is effing up Cisco's brand.

        • Their "small business" product lines can be very poor, too.

          We kitted out a small office with Cisco equipment not long ago. Our expectation was that with Cisco behind it and paying professional-level prices we'd get something with professional-level reliability and support, a cut above the consumer-level junk where just about everyone's devices seem to have poor reliability and/or limited functionality.

          The reality is that some of the Cisco equipment just didn't work properly. Firmware updates for some of the

    • Re:WTB Cisco Switch (Score:5, Informative)

      by mrops (927562) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @08:34PM (#42686547)

      Actually, I have found Netgear to be consistently better than Linksys/Cisco routers for a long long time. Two linksys I owned would hang and reboo often in the 802.11g days.

      Moved to a netgear 802.11n router and has been great.

      • by thegarbz (1787294)

        The only Linksys router I've ever owned had a tendency to die. It's hard to call it a router. More like three routers. The first one I returned I received a new one with a new major version (and a new chassis). When it died I returned it and they couldn't fix it I got the same router back again but this time it had Wireless N.

        So yes Linksys is great. Free upgrades!

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      hasnt been for a while now, I cant tell the difference between my chi-co and my old linksys

      oh yes I can, the chi-co cost 1/3 the price, has more feature, and is just a non-branded belkin

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:50PM (#42687111)

      Wonderful, now there's no good router on the market.

      There never was, if you're talking Consumer grade. Belkin, Netgear, and Linksys all have shit models and a few good models, and for each model they have decent versions and shit versions. The only thing that made Linksys any "better" overall was the ease of loading your own firmware, but if you're not into that type of thing then there's no clear winner or loser. You really need to do your homework on specific models and not automatically dismiss or include any particular brand.

      Another word of caution- don't purchase from discount retail outlets, especially Wal-Mart. They often will make such large purchases that the router maker will actually contract a special production run from an especially shitty chip production facility so they can give a really good price to the store. The result is a much higher than normal failure rate if you're putting any significant load on the equipment.

      Another option to consider is to ignore the price savings you get for buying an "all in one" unit. You can really get a lot more done if you use a stand-alone wireless access point and hook it to a decent wired router instead of using the wireless router combo unit. If you're going to be doing a lot of switching on your LAN, use an external switch instead of the built-in 5 port one. Those low-end consumer models simply don't have enough backplane capacity, not to mention RAM and CPU power, to use all the options to their fullest.

    • by esseph (995410)
      (reposted, because I forgot to login) No good consumer router on the market? Are you MAD? http://www.ubnt.com/edgemax [ubnt.com]
      Over 1million PPS. Based on a forked Vyatta, running on a dual core MIPS64 Cavium Octeon with IPv4 (and soon IPv6) hardware offload, with a debian base. You can apt-get install from the MIPS repos all day. Check the Tolly Report here: http://dl.ubnt.com/Tolly212127UbiquitiEdgeRouterLitePricePerformance.pdf [ubnt.com], where it beat a Cisco 3925 and Juniper J6350 into the ground. Total cost for th
      • by citizenr (871508)

        Dont know about the hardware, but that Video on front page is AWESOMO

      • I use the UBNT M units in site to site wireless bridges and have had excellent luck with them. For the price they stomp the hell out of much higher priced units.

        It looks like they have miniaturized the linux boxes that I've been running as routers, OSPF, dhcprelay, firewalling, etc all in a much smaller format. Glad to see they are pushing out a good product against cisco and ilk that have gotten lazy lately.

  • Finally (Score:5, Informative)

    by mrmeval (662166) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [lavemrm]> on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:08PM (#42685631) Journal

    The Linksys stuff took a nose dive in both reliability and software quality under Cisco's steerage. Belkin does better for some things though they are spotty on others. They are a very large player and I hope they unfuck what cisco's been fucking up.

    • Re:Finally (Score:5, Informative)

      by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:24PM (#42685761)

      Linksys hardware under Cisco was pretty good. The firmware is what really bombed. I'll still take a Linksys any day so long as I can put DD-WRT or similar on it.

      • by xkenny13 (309849)

        My most recent upgrade was from a LinkSys WRT54GS v2 to the ASUS RT-N16 Wireless Router 802.11b/g/n. I put the Tomato WRT software on the ASUS router and it's been running flawlessly now for over a year.

        YMMV, of course...

        • Tomato USB/VPN on the RT-N16 is awesome.. the RT-N12 is decent as well... Love mine.. though did have one DOA.. it's been my goto router for a couple years now... pretty much displaced the old WRTs in my mind. The stock firmware is crap though.
      • My experience was the opposite, mostly. Several Linksys devices worked for a while, then just stopped. As in stopped in the middle of a web page load. The last one did have firmware problems, and by then I was sick of Linksys, and bought a MikroTik.
      • From what I remember their products always worked for me in the Pre-Cisco days. After Cisco, I remember getting a new Linksys router and having to wait 2 mins for it to respond to every single setting change. And then it would reboot randomly. This was in the first 4 hours of owning it. I looked it up on newegg and found I wasn't alone. I returned it the next day.
    • They are a very large player and I hope they unfuck what cisco's been fucking up.

      I find your abundance of faith... Disturbing. [google.com]

  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:09PM (#42685633)

    What does this mean for the non-IOS/NXOS devices with roots at Linksys, did Chambers and company finally realize that they were diluting and tarnishing their name by slapping the Cisco logo on such utter crap?

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      There's nothing all that wrong with the Linksys hardware, in fact much of it has been excellent for the price point. The firmware, under Cisco, has been another story, but that's what DD-WRT is for.

      • by cusco (717999)
        Made the mistake of "upgrading" the firmware on a four year-old LinkSys R8 last year. Oops. About a third of the former feature set was gone afterward, and the (very good) on-board Help got wiped and replaced with a link back to Ciscoland that requires a Cisco login to use. Fortunately the two VLANs that I had set up were still there, but I could no longer edit them or add a new one. Hopefully Belkin can restore the LinkSys line back to something worth purchasing again.
        • by Grishnakh (216268)

          Have you tried DD-WRT, Tomato, or OpenWrt firmwares? They generally have excellent feature sets, including support for VLANs and other high-end features not usually found on consumer routers. The catch, of course, is that these firmwares only work on certain models (and sometimes only certain hardware revisions within a model), so if you're looking for a router to run one of them on, you have to be very careful about which one you buy, using the firmware project's online database to make sure the model yo

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:09PM (#42685637)
    Choice of
    Investments
    Suck
    Causing
    Outrage

    Join in the fun!
  • by eksith (2776419) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:11PM (#42685653) Homepage

    Cisco is to the consumer market what Oracle is to Java.

    I was always confused with where Linksys belonged under Cisco. The not quite SOHO, not quite SME limbo was reflected on some of their decisions. Well, this just proves Cisco has no idea what to do with the general consumer market (E.G. The Flip).

  • by chipperdog (169552) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:13PM (#42685685) Homepage
    Since the linksys branding to Cisco, is there a cheat sheet explaining which VoIP products are linksys and which are Cisco?
  • Belkin (Score:5, Funny)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:16PM (#42685701)

    I think I speak for many who have worked with 'Belkin' equipment when I say...

    "Fuck."

    • *sigh* (Score:5, Informative)

      by SIGBUS (8236) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:23PM (#42685757) Homepage

      Indeed. Belkin has been on my "do not buy" list ever since the spam router [theregister.co.uk] fiasco. Then again, I guess it's fitting, after Linksys' Cloud Connect WTF.

      On the other hand, anything that won't run DD-WRT, Tomato, or OpenWRT is on my "do not buy" list anyway...

      • by evilad (87480)

        That's the problem: they just bought most of the most popular platforms for those firmwares.

      • My "do not buy" list is as follows:
        Netgear.

        I also have an "only buy as a last resort to avoid Netgear" list, which does indeed include Belkin.
    • by PNutts (199112)

      Yeah, I bought Belkin's high end routers for my home and fought them every step of the way, replacing a new router with a newer router just to get it to work. I finally bought a Time Capsule and everything's worked since.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:20PM (#42685733)

    This is definitley a net improvement in quality for both Cisco and Belkin.

    Everybody wins!

  • Good Riddance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SpasticMutant (748828) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:21PM (#42685737) Homepage
    Linksys has always been, and will always be, a POS. Moving to Cisco made it even worse. Belkin wasn't any better, but at least they were cheaper. For my money, I prefer the Netgear home switch products. As my Linksys garbage fails, I replace with Netgear, and my problems disappear.
    • My Linksys WRT54GL with Tomato firmware, overclocked to 250 MHz and sporting two 7dBi hi-gain antennas is awesome.

      My old Netgear router, on the other hand, was a piece of shit... couldn't be modded, shitty performance, unreliable connection, you name it. Sold that thing as soon as I got my Linksys years ago, and I never regretted it.

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      next router is going to be an ASUS, i picked one up for my dad because it had a decent repeater mode to extend the wifi behind the house and i tell ya, the firmware was easier to use and more powerful in terms of options than anything i have seen out of netgear, linksys, or belkin.
    • by fl!ptop (902193)

      As my Linksys garbage fails, I replace with Netgear, and my problems disappear.

      Amen. I used to buy 3Com for businesses and Netgear for SOHO. Now it's Netgear all around.....

    • Yeah, it isn't like Netgear hasn't released their own dog turds. I think it is like everything else, when your shoving that much product, some turds slip through.
      • I think it is like everything else, when your shoving that much product, some turds slip through.

        Seen in the warehouse break room:

        To whoever keeps shitting on the floor: we have forklifts for a reason. Stop pushing so hard.
        -- The Management

    • by MtViewGuy (197597)

      I used to have a Linksys WRT54G2 router on my network. The big problem was after a few months, it would stop connecting my laptop and iPad 2 to the router, forcing a reset of the router--a major annoyance!

      I switched to a Netgear N600 (WNDR3700) dual-band router and no longer get Wi-Fi connection problems. :-)

    • So far I really like my TP-LINK. I haven't had any problems with it, the throughput is fast, the range is good, and the config software is about what you expect. And it wasn't expensive. And it has a USB on it to work as a print or file server. I like that.
  • by Megane (129182) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:43PM (#42685963) Homepage

    Cisco sells Linksys

    Yay!

    ...to Belkin

    What in the actual fuck?

    • At least the buyer wasn't Netgear. Maybe Belkin will actually do something with the Linksys assets it is acquiring. Netgear would probably just keep selling more Netgear crap, and you could immediately forget about ever buying anything with the Linksys name ever again.
  • by Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @07:45PM (#42685995)

    >'This should be a relatively smooth transition that won't affect current customers"

    Every time some corporate droid has told me this regarding a {buyout, merger, acquisition, sale, re-org} a major cockup has followed. The only thing worse is when they use the phrase, "transparent to the end user," and you know the apocalypse is coming next week.

    • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:53PM (#42687131) Homepage

      >'This should be a relatively smooth transition that won't affect current customers"

      Every time some corporate droid has told me this regarding a {buyout, merger, acquisition, sale, re-org} a major cockup has followed. The only thing worse is when they use the phrase, "transparent to the end user," and you know the apocalypse is coming next week.

      The major cockup started a few years ago shortly after Cisco bought them. It can't get worse under Belkin.

      It's sad, really. Back in the day I bought 7 or 8 Linksys routers, many of which were put into service in other ways using openwrt. The replaceable antennae was a wonderful feature that I never needed. A few of them didn't even have the radio turned on.

      Anyway, I gave up with the Cisco fiasco and started buying Netgear. While Cisco was busy trying to sell the lowest-spec'd machines that still performed the basic functionality Netgear was selling me a router with the *very* decent hardware specs printed on the box. It totally kicks the asses of desktops that I was using 10 years ago.

      So it's good to see Linksys isn't under Cisco anymore. Sad that it's with Belkin, but, whatever. At least there's still some competition.

  • by JoeyRox (2711699) on Thursday January 24, 2013 @09:02PM (#42686767)
    Ever wonder why some companies seem to constantly be involved in acquisitions and dispositions, esp. companies whose organic growth has slowed to zero? It's because acquisitions/dispositions are a great way to create cookie jar charge-offs to hide underperformance of a company's core business. Now you see it, now you don't.
  • by batistuta (1794636) on Friday January 25, 2013 @02:57AM (#42688585)

    > "Belkin says it plans to maintain the Linksys brand and will offer support for Linksys products as part of the transaction,"

    Belkin says it really sucks to have to maintain the Linksys brand and offer support for Linksys products, but the law requires this at least for the guarantee period, so they will have to comply. What happens afterward is, as always, not a topic for a spokeperson. That would be something worth saying, and it's against the rules of a spokeperson, who never say anything useful or that we don't know already."

  • by MortenMW (968289) on Friday January 25, 2013 @05:07AM (#42689023)

    In an attempt to save some money for my business I bought several WAP4410N's in my office to provide wireless networking. They worked great, the setup was easy, they had good range and nice functionality, they were even quite cheap.

    So, based on my good experiences with the AP's, I decided to use them in one of our other offices. I bought three of them and configured them like the first ones I bought. None of them worked..... They crashed at random (but at least a couple of times each day), multiple SSID's did work, RADIUS failed. After some research I realized that the sticker underneath the AP's said "V2", the first ones I bought said "V1". It turns out that Cisco had done "something" to the hardware and called it version 2.

    Contacting Cisco was meaningless, the only answer I got was "Yes, we know it does not work, you should have bought something more expensive from us". Hopefully Belkin has a bit more respect for its customers.

  • ...they get other companies to make it and slap the Belkin name on it.

    Therefore anything you buy from them has the potential to be anywhere from crap to first-rate, with a price tag of from anywhere to kind of expensive to really expensive.

    So I only buy their stuff used or off of closeout tables.

  • ...can be much improved by adding a little cooling fan internally

    http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/CF-392/12VDC-40MM-COOLING-FAN/1.html [allelectronics.com]

  • I think I know why they're selling. It's the cost of maintaining that huge worldwide network of free, open wireless access points under the "Linksys" SSID...

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