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1Linksys by Cisco

Acquired in 2003, Linksys had played in the consumer and small office networking market. Now Cisco has turned Linksys into a consumer provider of wireless routers, media hubs and entertainment routers.


Through Linksys, Cisco offers Valet, designed as a simple way to set up a wireless network within the home.

3Linksys E-Series

With dual-band performance, the Linksys E-Series wireless routers were designed to be quick to install and optimized for entertainment purposes. The technology uses a 5GHz band to stream multimedia content.

4Linksys acquisition

The Linksys acquisition was Cisco’s first real success in the consumer market, said Michael Wolf, vice president of research at GigaOM. Cisco’s internal consumer technology developments had been unsuccessful, and since Linksys, its strategy has mostly revolved around acquiring consumer technologies. "They’ve tried to move into the connected entertainment market."

5Apple, Microsoft and Sony

Cisco is finding some difficulty cracking the consumer entertainment market, which is dominated by the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Sony. Because Apple infiltrated the enterprise market via a consumer product, the iPhone, it’s important to Cisco to play in the consumer space, said Wolf.

6Cisco Home Energy Management solution

The Cisco Home Energy Management (HEM) solution helps consumers monitor and control energy use within the home. It enables consumers to gain visibility into their household energy usage, which in turn gives them greater control over how they use their energy.

7Set-top boxes

Although not sold directly to consumers, Cisco has its hand in the set-top box market. The Cisco Explorer series of products is being deployed through service provider partners in North America. Although more of a service provider play than a true consumer play, the boxes put Cisco into the home.

8The Flip

When Cisco acquired Pure Digital Technologies in March 2009, it got what could arguably be its most important consumer technology to date. The Flip video camcorder line includes the Mino HD, Ultra and Ultra HD.

9Cisco in the consumer market

"More realistically, they really wanted to be in the consumer market and they just weren’t getting there creating their own devices and getting their brand established. They bought their way into the market," Wolf said. So far, it seems to be working, but how successful Cisco will ultimately be is anybody’s guess.