Linksys Sees Tablets Pushing Wireless Growth


New York - Cisco Linksys is rolling out a new revamped line of consumer wireless routers.

The company believes wireless networking will receive a huge bump in interest from the large number of new Wi-Fi-enabled devices that are hitting the market and driving demand, said Scott Kabat, Cisco's marketing director.

He noted that with only a 40 percent penetration rate in the U.S. there is still a great deal of room for wireless networks to grow. The category has seen middle-single-digit increases lately, Kabat said.

Another shift happening is from 11g to 11n. Right now 70 percent of home networks are still 11g, but Kabat expects this to change going forward. Linksys itself no longer ships 11g devices.

The five new 802.11 routers range in suggested retail from $59.99 to $179, and all hit stores on April 5. All come with Cisco Connect software enabling a three-step set up process.

The $59.99 entry-level E1200 is an 802.11n model with a 300MBps data-transfer rate and two internal antennas with MIMO technology for better and faster coverage. It will support IPV6 when that comes online later this year, and it has WPA, WPA2 and SPI Firewall security.

The $79.99 step-up E1500 N router adds off-chip amplifiers, four Ethernet ports, and three internal antennas to support 2 by 3 MIMO coverage.

The $99.99 E2500 is a dual-band, 2.4GHz and 5GHz, model with a 300MBps data-transfer rate on each band. It adds on-chip amplifiers, four antennas and a two-by-two MIMO configuration.

The $149 E3200 is a high-performance dual-band N router with six antennas, four gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB port, two-by-three MIMO configuration and is optimized for HD video streaming.

The flagship 4200, $179, offers 300MBps data speeds on the 2.4GHz band and 450MBps on the 5GHz band. Its six antennas support a three-by-three  special stream MIMO configuration on the 5GHz band. It features UPNP server capability and has off-chip high-power amplifiers.


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