Cisco Adds to LinkSys Product Line with 802.11n E-SeriesBy eWEEK Staff | Print
Networking giant Cisco has released two new 802.11n wireless routers, including the Linksys E-Series, which the company plans to sell through online and big box retailers.
Networking giant Cisco Systems announced the release of two 802.11n wireless routers, including the Valet family, a product line that aims to make home wireless simple and accessible for families through user-friendly design and easy set-up process. The other router line, the Linksys E-Series, is aimed at technology experts and enthusiasts. The Valet line comes in a standard or Plus model, retailing for $99.99 and $149.99 respectively. The Valet series also includes the Connector ($79.99), which upgrades an older computer to wireless and is a complement to Valet or Valet Plus. The E-Series comes in a variety of configurations ranging in price from $79.99 to $179.99.
Cisco said the Valet and E-Series lines are available immediately at Amazon, Staples and thevalet.com and would soon be available at big box retail stores like Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart and others. With Valet’s separate wireless connection, guests can use their laptops or mobile phones around the house while the main Valet home network remains private, Cisco noted. Valet also provides a level of control for parents with tools to manage their family's online experience. Valet's Cisco Connect software lets parents set controls on the fly, so they can modify web usage for certain days and times of the week, or even for temporary periods.
Consumers just insert the included Easy Setup Key right into a USB port in their PC or Mac and the Cisco Connect software activates, which takes users through three steps from start to finish. The Easy Setup Key retains all setup information and can be inserted into additional home computers to add them to the home's wireless network. While consumer demand for wireless products is on the rise with a tremendous array of new devices in the market, a recent research report from IDC reveals that only one-third of US homes are currently set up for wireless use. At the same time, the demand for wireless-enabled products – such as mobile phones, gaming systems, and music players – is extremely strong according to ABI Research data that reports more than 264 million of these types of devices shipped worldwide in 2009.
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