Cisco have gone networking crazy today (though, given networking is their core business we're glad they're taking it seriously) with the launch of both a new consumer range of routers, the Cisco Valet series, and a "tech enthusiast" range, the Linksys E-Series. The Valet range - which consists of the Valet and Valet Plus - prioritises ease of setup, using a USB stick onto which all of the network settings are installed, meaning you can get a new machine online simply by plugging it in once.
Video demos after the cut
Both Valet routers have 2.4GHz 802.11n WiFi, with the Valet getting four 10/100 ethernet ports and the Valet Plus upgrading those to four gigabit ethernet ports. The latter also promises increased wireless range over its entry-level sibling. They're available now, priced at $99.99 for the Valet and $149.99 for the Valet Plus; there's also a $79.99 Valet Connector USB WiFi stick if your computer lacks integrated WiFi.
As for the Linksys E-Series, that's an altogether more serious range, eschewing the Valet's powder-blue colors for a more sober glossy black and blue scheme. Four models are in the new line-up, kicking off with the basic E1000 ($79.99) with 2.4GHz WiFi-N and four 10/100 ethernet ports. The E2000 ($119.99) and E3000 ($179.99) have 2.4GHz/5GHz (simultaneous use on the E3000) together with four gigabit ethernet ports; the E3000 also throws in UPnP media server functionality and triple the number of internal antennas for increased range.
Finally, the E2100L ($119.99) is Linksys' enthusiast router, running a hackable Linux-based OS and having two external, detachable antennas. It's only 2.4GHz and has 10/100 ethernet ports, however, though there is a USB port for plugging in storage. All the Linksys E-Series routers are available now.
Cisco Valet demo video:
Linksys E3000 demo video:
Cisco Launches New Linksys E-Series Routers
Line of Powerful Wireless-N Routers Provides Tech Enthusiasts with the Ultimate Customization and Control of their Home Networking Experience
March 31, 2010 – San Francisco, CA – Cisco today unveiled a new line of Linksys® wireless routers, designed to let its core audience of tech experts and enthusiasts take their home networking experience to the next level. The new, streamlined product lineup sets a new precedent for simplicity, power, and performance and makes it easy for consumers to find the right technology to fit their needs. The line also includes new Cisco Connect software, which gives users tools for easier customization and control of their home wireless experience.
“Linksys pioneered the first home router 10 years ago, and 50 million units later is the world’s leading provider of home wireless routers,” said Jonathan Kaplan, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Consumer Products. “The new E-Series caters to Linksys’ core technology-minded consumer base, with a simplified product line-up that is ideal for today’s sophisticated home network user.”
Cisco Connect Software: Simple Setup with Advanced Capabilities
With the addition of the new Cisco Connect software, the new Linksys E-Series is designed to make it easier for users to customize and control their wireless network settings to match their preferences. With a quick and easy setup, the software auto-assigns the WPA security passkey and SSID. Once configured, users can use Cisco Connect to easily manage their wireless home network by: Adding multiple Internet-capable devices to the network
Setting parental controls for each computer or device
Giving visitors password-protected Internet access on a separate guest network
Customizing advanced settings and changing the network SSID and password
For the advanced user, Linksys' advanced features are still available through the default IP address (192.168.1.1).
Product Descriptions and Pricing
The new Linksys E-Series line offers a full range of technology options to help users find what works best for them. The new line, including a USB Wireless-N Adapter, is available immediately at Amazon, Staples, Linksys.com, and soon at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and other leading retailers.
Linksys E1000 Wireless-N Router (MSRP: $79.99)
- Wirelessly connects computers and other devices at transfer speeds up to 300 Mbps - Uses four Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps) ports to directly connect wired devices - Ideal for general wireless Internet usage and home office productivity
Linksys E2000 Advanced Wireless-N Router (MSRP: $119.99)
- Includes four Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps) ports for faster file sharing with other Gigabit-enabled devices, - including computers, hard drives, and servers
- Features selectable dual-band (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz) technology to help avoid interference, allowing for smoother file transfers and media streaming - Ideal for connecting computers, gaming consoles, Internet-enabled HDTVs and Blu-Ray players, and other wireless devices at transfer speeds up to 300 Mbps
Linksys E2100L Advanced Wireless-N Router with Linux OS: (MSRP: $119.99)
- Utilizes the Linux operating system for flexibility to customize the network
- Uses four Fast Ethernet (10/100 Mbps) ports to directly connect wired devices - Built-in UPnP AV Media Server streams entertainment content to an Xbox 360, PS3 or other compatible device - USB port provides connectivity to storage devices for file sharing at home or over the Internet
Linksys E3000 High-Performance Wireless-N Router (Dual-Band): (MSRP: $179.99)
- Features simultaneous dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz), high-performance Wireless-N technology for smoother HD video streaming, wireless gaming and file transfers
- Includes four Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps) ports for faster file sharing with other USB port and provides connectivity to storage devices for file sharing at home or over the Internet
- Built-in UPnP AV media server enables streaming of entertainment content to an Xbox 360, PS3 or other compatible device - Optimized for entertainment, ideal for connecting computers, gaming consoles, Internet-enabled HDTVs and Blu-Ray players, and other wireless devices at transfer speeds up to 300 Mbps
Linksys AE1000 High-Performance Wireless-N USB Adapter: (MSRP: $69.99)
- Provides Wireless-N capability to Windows desktop computers and laptops - Selectable dual-band wireless-N - connects to either a 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless network - Includes USB extension cable and adapter base for improved wireless connectivity - ideal for hard-to-reach USB ports - Helps avoid wireless freeloaders and Internet threats using customizable security settings, including WPA/WPA2 Personal and WPA/WPA2 Enterprise