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The Almighty Buck Wireless Networking Hardware

Cisco to Acquire Linksys 256

Posted by michael
from the firesale dept.
forged writes "The Boston Globe is reporting that networking giant Cisco Systems plans to acquire Linksys later this year for $500M, thus entering the consumer market. Linksys also has a press release. The good news is that those who bought a Linksys access point now have a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price ;)"
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Cisco to Acquire Linksys

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  • Sweet! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mschoolbus (627182) <travisriley@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:47AM (#5555775)
    Finally Cisco is going to get some strength behind their networking products!
    • Re:Sweet! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Blaine Hilton (626259) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:16PM (#5556075) Homepage
      Sometimes cost is a bigger factor then uptime, at least with home users that don't want to spend thousands of dollors and have to have a CCNA to admin their home router for their 3 computers...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:48AM (#5555783)
    I mean, they (seem to me to) have a virtual monopoly on the business router market, and are now seem to be trying to extend it to the consumer market.

    What do you guys think of Cisco, as a corporation? I remember seeing an article on Wired years ago about how happy the employees were about working there.

    Things may have changed now, though.

    tmegapscm
    • by Xformer (595973) <avalon73@3.14caerleon.us minus pi> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:00PM (#5555925)
      Wouldn't surprise me. They recently bought Psionic [cisco.com] as well and, as far as I can tell, handy tools like PortSentry and Logcheck are nowhere to be found anymore. Instead, PortSentry at least has been assimilated into overpriced Cisco products.

      At least I still have the copies that I downloaded several months ago...
      • They recently bought Psionic [cisco.com] as well and, as far as I can tell, handy tools like PortSentry and Logcheck are nowhere to be found anymore.

        You can get PortSentry [debian.org] and Logcheck [debian.org] from the Debian unstable mirrors.

        If you're on Red Hat, SuSE, etc, then you can use alien [rpmfind.net] to convert the debs to rpm (make sure that you have the Alien::Package::* perl modules installed). You can also grab the Red Hat 7.3 PortSentry package from freshrpms.net [freshrpms.net] if that's all you need.

        -B

    • It's still a good place to work (not that we haven't had to endure market forces like everyone else.) We still give money to charity. It's not paradise, but it doesn't suck either.

      I've been there for more than 5 years, so consider me biased :-)

      -- Loudog
      -- Stamp out phase jitter!
    • by netdistortion (658957) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @02:10PM (#5557165)
      Cisco was a GREAT place to work at. I enjoyed working there for about 2 months (contract job). They give their employees IBM thinkpads for work. Great cafeterias, gyms, and discounts on cisco products. There's other benefits, but as a contract employee of theirs I didn't get all of them. http://www.netdistortion.com
    • First off, microsoft employees tend to be quite happy so that is moot.

      Secondly there are several different types of monopolies, not all of which are bad. Take wal-mart - they have a near monopoly. They got there, and maintain it, by offering services very cheap for what you get. Large grocery stores ran out small busineses by offering the same food much cheaper. No one raelly complains about them (some do) because they use thier near monoply to offer cheap good and do not really abuse thier position. If a
  • by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:48AM (#5555786) Journal

    The good news is that those who bought a Linksys access point now have a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price ;)

    The bad news is that those who buy Cisco access points in the future will have a Linksys access point for twice the price ;)

  • FP! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jennifer Ever (523473) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:48AM (#5555787) Homepage
    Well bravo. Cisco's inraods into the consumer market didn't do too well, so it's a smart move to pick up an established brand. This also puts Cisco into direct competition with companies making both client and infrastructure devices (i.e. 3Com, Intel, etc).
    • Cisco has been running prime-time commercials for a while now ('Cisco, the power of the network. Now'), which had me convinced they were about to push into the consumer market again.

      They may maintain Linksys as a sub-brand, or a 'line' of consumer products, but I expect all their products will carry the Cisco brand prominently. Perhaps 'Ciso Inside'?

      At any rate, Cisco is one of the few companies that makes the acquisition game work. They have a history of successfully digesting acquired companies, integra
  • by yerricde (125198) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:48AM (#5555791) Homepage Journal

    The good news is that those who bought a Linksys access point now have a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price

    That is, until Cisco raises the price on all the devices sold under its Linksys brand by oh, about 50 percent so that it doesn't compete with Cisco brand devices.

    • by binaryDigit (557647) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:55AM (#5555877)
      That is, until Cisco raises the price on all the devices sold under its Linksys brand by oh, about 50 percent so that it doesn't compete with Cisco brand devices.

      That doesn't make any sense. If Cisco raised the prices by 50%, then the Linksys stuff WOULD compete with Cisco, since they'll now be in similar price categories. How on earth is Cisco going to differentiate Linksys vs Cisco if this occurs? Makes more sense that Linksys continues to be the low price option and Cisco to be the corp. higher price option. Remember, Linksys is in the consumer market, Cisco almost exclusively in the corporate. Linksys would get killed by the Netgears and SMC's of the world with such a price hike.
    • by ciscoeng (411359) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:55AM (#5555884)
      Doubtful. The reason behind the purchase is to gain more market in the home network business, so there's really not much incentive to raise the prices.
    • Linksys is mainly (it seems to me) to be a home-use brand. Do you really think that Linksys competes in any way w/Cisco?

      No.

      Cisco will continue to sell it's business-side stuff AND now home-use stuff as well.
    • I think where Cisco feels a lot of pressure is in SOHO operations where people (rightly or wrongly) may decide that they get more bang/buck by buying a Linksys or other low-end product, many of which are now including some reasonable features like IPSec that Cisco wants you to pay a lot for.

      By stripping out these "high end" features from low-end products, Cisco can force you to buy the much more expensive Cisco product instead.
  • by softsign (120322) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:49AM (#5555796)
    The good news is that those who bought a Linksys access point now have a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price

    And 1/4 the quality!

    • by kawika (87069) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @01:19PM (#5556606)
      Amen, brother. I just spent two hours on the phone with a friend who was trying to find the working Windows XP driver for a Linksys 802.11 card. The card was poorly labeled and their list at http://www.linksys.com/download/ is only easy to search if you do a view/source on the HTML.

      Finally, I gave up and told him to email tech support. Turns out that particular card shares a plug and play ID with a card that takes totally different drivers. You have to determine the driver you need by looking at markings on the card! For those of you who have dealt with PnP you know this is a horrible sin. The whole idea of PnP was to let the computer figure this stuff out.
      • I own(ed) a Linksys wireless router and a wireless access point. They both take AC adapters, which pump out different DC voltages. There is no apparent way of telling from the adapter which goes with which. Suffice it to say that the router is now fried. The weird thing with Linksys is that they seem to get the big things right, but f**k up the details.
  • i see my linksys router spontaneously breaking post-acquisition and being replaced with cisco hardware...
    • i see my linksys router spontaneously breaking post-acquisition and being replaced with cisco hardware...

      That would be awesome! I just got a Linksys 802.11G AP, and if it was replaced with Cisco hardware, I'd be one happy guy.

      -Brent
      • i have one word for you. "Inventory". Your going to get another Linksys, I garantee.
      • That would be awesome! I just got a Linksys 802.11G AP, and if it was replaced with Cisco hardware, I'd be one happy guy.

        As of right now, Cisco does not have any 802.11g radios, so rest assured you're not getting Cisco-branded replacements at this point.

        Cisco was slow getting 802.11a radios out the door, obviously it's going to be the same with 802.11g.

        Both the Cisco AP1200s and the Cisco AP1100s will be field-upgradable to 802.11g -- the 1200s will be able to run 802.11g and 802.11a radio simultaneousl
  • Um... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wakko Warner (324)
    ...does this mean that Cisco's products will now start to suck total ass, or does it mean that Linksys's products will now stop sucking total ass?

    The mind boggles.

    - A.P.
  • by Punk Walrus (582794) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:49AM (#5555807) Journal
    Will require me to get CTHULHU? Cisco Training: Home User, Limited Home Use?
    • Maybe, If Cisco incorporates any of their features into firmware patches/updates or into future Linksys-labeled products. Unfortuneately, I can visualize my wife calling me at work trying to get me to tell her how to mod our router's config file to block our children from running P2P apps - Oh, the horror, the horror.
  • by millwall (622730) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:51AM (#5555820)
    I think Cisco should have stuck to their core business and not try to diversify. This move will only be good for those few customers that will gain a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price right now.

    In the end it will probably just help create a new MS-like giant. I've never been a fan av any kind of corporate giant.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:52AM (#5555832)
    I have no doubt that Cisco is feeling the effects on their bottom line by Linsys' low cost alternatives.. it's time to eliminate that problem...
    • by nolife (233813) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:26PM (#5556159) Homepage Journal
      Well, they still have Netgear, D-Link, Siemens, and SMC to deal with in the low cost market.
      I do not think they are trying to put them out of the market but trying to offer a Cisco product line that meets all needs from bottom to top. In the enterprise world, most purchases are done because you already have an existing companies product so why not buy them for everything. Hell, I'd bet most large companies would seriously consider Cisco PC's or heaven forbid Microsoft business class routers and switches if they were offered.

      Most companies do not selectively choose individual lines unless they have too. It is not surprising to see Compaq servers, Compaq san's, Compaq tape backups, and Compaq PC's and laptops on every desk and server room in a corporate environment.
      • by RedX (71326)
        Most companies do not selectively choose individual lines unless they have too. It is not surprising to see Compaq servers, Compaq san's, Compaq tape backups, and Compaq PC's and laptops on every desk and server room in a corporate environment.

        This is typically because a)companies obtain better volume pricing by sticking with a single vendor, and b)companies many times prefer to have a single point of contact for support issues. And not surprisingly, with things such as tape backups and SAN's, you're es

      • Actually what I'm wondering about is Dell. Now that HP-paq is the "bigger dog", and Cisco views Dell as a competitor, what does this bode for Dell?
  • Great... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bob670 (645306)
    we all know how consolidation benefits the consumer? Can Cisco succeed in making home broadband routers as painful to set up as their enterprise offerings?
  • Sure the Lynksys router I have works with my Mac/Unix/Windows network, but you'd think by their website you have herpes if you run anything other than Windows.

    Hey, why'd you all get quiet all of a sudden?

    Uh, I have to go...

  • ...whether the prices will change much at all "in the near term", since Linksys will still be using their own brand name, or if the prices will indeed skyrocket like everything else Cisco sells.
  • This Sucks!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by warpSpeed (67927) <slashdot@fredcom.com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:53AM (#5555841) Homepage Journal
    How long until Cisco kills off LinkSys?

    I like LinkSys products because they are functional and cheap. Ciscos products are functional, robust but not cheap. I guess Cisco is getting scared of the competition, and decided to crush them...

    • Re:This Sucks!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by binaryDigit (557647) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:02PM (#5555947)
      I guess Cisco is getting scared of the competition, and decided to crush them...

      Huh? How is Linksys competition to Cisco. Linksys stuff is primarily aimed at the home/small office. Cisco stuff is targeted towards corps/isps/large installs. I've never heard an IT guy for a large install saying "Gee should I go with Aironet or the WAP11" or Joe Bob saying, "I wonder if it's worth it to pay 10x more for an Aironet wap vs the Linksys". Cisco apparently wants into the lowend market. Where you do have a point is to see how long Cisco keeps the Linksys name. Do you lose consumer familiarity with Linksys to push the "prestige" of the Cisco name?
      • Re:This Sucks!!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jafac (1449)
        more like crushing their customer's competition.

        When Joe Sixport decides to buy a DSL connection, paying for a single computer, then hooking up his wife and kids on a LAN with a cheap little LinkSys, Cisco's big customer, the DSL provider gets stiffed. So Cisco's ability to grossly overcharge for hardware is undermined.

        So when home routers triple in price to where Joe Sixport can no longer afford them, the DSL company wins, and Cisco also wins. They won't be selling home routers at 5% profit. They'll b
        • So when home routers triple in price to where Joe Sixport can no longer afford them, the DSL company wins, and Cisco also wins.

          But your assuming that the Netgears and SMC's and Belkins et al of the world are going to jump right in. If Cisco triples the price of the Linksys internet router, then people will just buy the $5 more expensive Netgear (or whoever). It's hard to fathom that Cisco would be stupid enough to think that something like that would be even remotely successful.
    • Choose two of three:

      Functional, cheap

      Robust, functional

      Robust, cheap

      Hmmm... I'll take #1; It's good for me, but not for Cisco!

      • Cheap is in the eye of the beholder. My college education is cheap, but to all those who can't afford to go, college across the board is expensive.

        So functional, robust and cheap can be done... just depends on what side of the fence you are on.
    • Look at Bay Networks and Netgear:

      Bay Networks: the other Cisco. High end stuff, high end price, worth every penny.

      Netgear: the other Linksys. Cheap, dependable hardware.

      Could it be that Cisco is just trying to compete against Bay Networks in all markets?
    • I don't think Cisco is going to kill off Linksys. I think they're buying Linksys in order to move into the home market. As it stands right now, most Cisco products have a target market of business users. They are way too expensive and robust for what the average user wants to use them for...

      But if they had Linksys, then they could try to penetrate the home market and, at the same time, keep their hold on the high-end/business market..
    • > I guess Cisco is getting scared of the competition, and decided to crush them...

      Yeah, because LinkSys is the only that makes consumer networking equipment. Net Gear? D-Link? Siemens?

      D-Link has been making higher quality routers than Linksys with more features [dlink.com] but same price for years...

    • How long until Cisco kills off LinkSys?

      Not only will that NOT happen, but Cisco would WANT to make Linksys more popular. Change the name to Cisco/Linksys and get people in small offices using them. When they need to step up, they are more likely to use the same brand if they had a good experience. Marketing 102.

      IF they are smart, they will use it to build brand loyalty on the low end that will make them more popular for growing companies.
  • Not too surprising (Score:3, Informative)

    by TopShelf (92521) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:53AM (#5555847) Homepage Journal
    As the economy looks to ramp back up again over the next year, consolidation among hardware/software companies should accelerate in 2003. Just like IBM bought Rational recently, there are probably going to be more big acquisitions coming up. Anybody's guess as to who's next? My bet is Sun...
  • by asv108 (141455)
    Now all the semi-enterprise linksys equipment, will be offed so not compete with Cisco gear. Gigabit ethernet will be available for Cisco gear only, Linksys won't sell more than a 4-port switch. This should be interesting.
  • I am sure they will continue to support all Linksys products. It's not like anyone ever buys the competition just to kill them.

    Just me, the Voodoo owner... yes yes... I can and will write my own freaking drivers *grin*

    • Ahhh, if I recall Nvidia bought 3DFX's assests after the company died. This is 100% different.

      3DFX made stupid moves, went belly up, and then had its technology bought.

      Linksys has good market share in the consumer market and is doing well.

  • by hackwrench (573697) <hackwrench@hotmail.com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:55AM (#5555875) Homepage Journal
    Cisco:Hard to configure, very configurable.

    Linksys:Easy to configure, not very configurable
  • Ultimately Bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bonker (243350) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:55AM (#5555883)
    In the short term, this will probably be quite good for both Cisco and Linksys, but after a while both entities, if they still exist as separate entities, will start to regret this move.

    First of all, Cisco now has a lot more to worry about, and they've have lot to worry about lately what with their stock prices fluctuating and a slowly decreasing demand for networking hardware as more and more IT firms belly up and more of the ones who stay in business consolodating their IT servies through hosting firms and the like.

    The consumer hardware market is *very* low margin. There's a reason that they call this stuff 'Commodity' hardware... including networking hardware. If Cisco has to play the commodity hardware game for long, they're going to start feeling like having a company come buy them out as well.

    Second, the number of players in the networking field keeps getting fewer and fewer. This seems like a good thing for the companies-- they don't have to compete as hard or do as much R&D to stay at the top. What this means for them in the long run, however, is that they become less able to deal with business crises and the advent of new tech. Just look at the way wireless is taking off right now. If you think this technology is done by a long shot or that there aren't new companies sprining up to exploit it, you should study it a little more. Sooner or later there will be a 'powerhouse' company spring up for an aspect of networking that's troublesome for Cisco, and then they'll have problems keeping up and staying competitive if they cut back right now at all.
  • Does this mean I'm going to have to fork out 6 grand for a linksys cert?
  • by hrieke (126185) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @11:59AM (#5555914) Homepage
    Linksys has some odd stuff that I really don't see CISCO holding on to- NAS, battery backup, KVM, etc.

    Guess it will come down to if CISCO can leave Linksys alone or not.
  • To increase usability, all CISCO routers will now come with a web interface accessible on the rarely used port 80. It will have a default username/password of: admin/password. In case the username/password are forgotten, CISCO tech support can use their back-up account that they have in all CISCO boxes to access the box and change the admin password. No one will be able to find out this secret account, we're kinda sure of that.
  • by ayf6 (112477) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:00PM (#5555932) Homepage
    I would imagine that cisco wouldn't do much to change the actual linksys line. I doubt they would build on their router's OS since the whole idea in the consumer market is to have an easy to configure product. Cisco will probrably want to keep a sharp distinction between their consumer products with easy to configure web interfaces (ie the old linksys ones) and their mid to high end corporate products. I do not think that either the consumer needs to worry about products becoming hard to configure, nor do i think that corporate IT needs to worry about a decline in quality of the high end stuff. This merger is not meant to "improve" technology. Its simply meant for cisco to enter a new market. I seriously doubt anything will change pricewise. If it does it would probrably mean cheaper consumer products since cisco has much more in assets and could seem to be in a position to undercut netgear. Just think, now we can have microsoft vs cisco price wars for the home network... Soon we're going to be getting home routing equipment for free if it follow the netscape vs internet explorer model ;)
  • IOS (Score:2, Interesting)

    Does this mean that they will port IOS to the cheaper Linksys stuff, or are we stuck with QOS or whatever Linksys currently uses. Not that it does a bad job, but i'm used to how IOS functions.
  • In a lot of cases I'm using linksys products because they have a lot of semi-supported hacks that allow me to do wireless bridging and a few other rocket science type things for WiFi.

    Once Cisco gets their grubby hands on it, I don't see that sort of black-art stuff continuing. Besides, Linksys stuff is all built on a standard chipset. What would a name like Cisco need Linksys for? It's pretty straightforward to engineer a cable router or a Wifi access point.

    Whatever becomes of the LinkSys/Cisco merger I

  • From a general economic perspective. Lately you can't even get corporations to spend the xtra money on 2-ply toilet paper. Maybe we're seeing the begining of the end (of this krappy economic "downturn").
  • I really hope Cisco helps Linksys write better firmware. They have AWFUL, AWFUL firmware on their wireless products.

    My WAP11s have bridging and client mode bugs when using the latest public firmware. I had to go to a leaked firmware that was never released. I have a dualband .a/.b AP from them that slows WAY down to about 15KB/sec after being on for 2 days. So I get to reset that every two days and they have NEVER updated the firmware on it since release. Their .a PCMCIA NICs don't do Turbo mode in XP
  • Good. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NetJunkie (56134) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `hsan.nosaj'> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @12:54PM (#5556401)
    I think it'll help Cisco to open up the bottom end of the market. The two companies are in no way competing. I just deployed some Cisco 1100APs at work. We compared them to the MS wireless router and Linksys WAP11. The Cisco easily got twice the range in an office environment than the other two. So yeah, they might cost more but you definately get more. Plus we get the advantage of using LEAP.
  • by SN74S181 (581549)
    The bad news is that those who bought a Cisco access point now have a LinkSys access point for double the price ;(
  • Great...

    Right now we have CatOS (set/clear), IOS (conf t), old IOS (wr mem), the 1900-series menu interface, the HORRIFIC config system from the Aironet series, CiscoWorks Campus Manager, and that Cluster thingy from the 2950's... now add to that whatever Linksys has... yeah its an exciting time to be a network admin.
    • just wait you will soon have IOS for the Cisco/Aironet AP's if you want it. I am not sure when it will go live but I know we had it running a couple months ago at the Akron, Ohio office where the wireless devision is located. Beside I LIKE the Aironet config system, then again I've been using it for almost three years so maybe I'm just biased =)
  • VoIP (Score:4, Interesting)

    by m0i (192134) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @01:28PM (#5556679) Homepage
    Maybe Cisco will push IP phones to consumers thru Linksys, at an affordable price.. Big market there!
  • by anocelot (657966) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @01:30PM (#5556687) Homepage Journal
    Call me crazy (OK, you're crazy!) but it seems to me that Cisco is getting a little more bang for their buck here then simply acquiring new market share by finally doing something that investors are conformable with. i.e. Acquisition. ;)

    The biggest news here is that cisco will finally be able to enter a complete solution into the content delivery market. A company can provide online content with massive high-end cisco name brand stuff, and use the acquired linksys stuff to give them the other end of the pipeline as a complete package.

    As more local telco companies are looking at providing high-speed internet access, this becomes very interesting indeed.
  • by Planx_Constant (594897) <planx.constant@gmail.com> on Thursday March 20, 2003 @01:38PM (#5556773) Homepage
    I like the Thong song as much as the next guy, but how on earth did Sisqo ever make enough to buy a consumer electronics company?
  • by craenor (623901) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @01:51PM (#5556866) Homepage
    Linksys makes the best home networking equipment. I mean, just stop and forget everything you know about networking...and think about it from a n00b perspective.

    You want something cheap, attractive and easy to setup and use. For those knocking Linksys quality, allow me to let you in on a little secret...they are the best. In the home networking, wireless networking business, Linksys gear rules.

    Now yes, I work in wireless networking...but guess what, I don't work for Linksys or Cisco. I work for one of their competitors. Despite my strong sense of company loyalty, I'll still admit freely that Cisco equipment is the best for Corporate networks (duh) and Linksys equipment is the best for Home Networks. People with Home Networks don't care about firewalls, security, layering and routing, they just want their 3 computers online at the same time, with a high speed connection.

    btw, before anyone puts words in my mouth. I tried to stress that Linksys has the best quality gear...and they do. I didn't say anything about their tech support, which is "lacking".

    Craenor
  • The good news is that those who bought a Linksys access point now have a Cisco access point for 1/2 of the price ;)

    The not-so-good news but more likely news is that Cisco will decide not to warranty Linksys [linksys.com] products and will introduce new, Cisco-branded products at a much higher price.

    Well, here's to hoping that Microsoft won't buy Logitech [yahoo.com], and Sun won't try to acquire Matrox [matrox.com].

  • True story:

    I had an Aironet 340 access point that was missing its antennae and required a damn serial cable and terminal to be configured by command line. I got sick of it, and decided to sell it on eBay. It went for $200 with multiple bids.

    After that, I went and bought a D-Link 714P+ [dlink.com] router, which had a built in switch, built in print server (works with Linux, although not supported), SPI, higher encryption (256 bit WEP), twice the speed if you use their hardware, anteannae, and Web Based administrat

    • On the low end, I completely agree. But is anything with a Cisco badge truly priced such that it can be considered "low-end"?

      On the high end, I emphatically disagree. Talk to someone who's administering more than one of the platforms you mentioned (3COM, Nortel, Lucent, and Cisco). Ask them which hardware is the most reliable, flexible, configurable (no Windows-only Java programs needed), has the best web site support, and in general, has rarely if ever let them down in a pinch? Their answer will most
  • On the AP side (Score:3, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Thursday March 20, 2003 @03:48PM (#5558403)
    No you do not have a Cisco AP for 1/2 the price. Cisco/Aironet AP's have a PPC processor and the best wireless cards in the industry. The origional software is by far the most advanced and has the largest feature set including the only default encryption policy I would trust on a network I admin (LEAP has never been cracked unlike straight WEP). In addition they are porting IOS to the AP's so you will soon be able to do all the IOS stuff on your 350 or 1200 series AP. Compare this to a Linksys box which has a very anemic processor, fairly crude software, a weak wireless card, etc and which does not have the horsepower to run IOS. This is Cisco trying to cover the entire product spectrum from 4 port unmanaged hubs to the big routers. The only potential problem I see with this is the same one Cisco has run into when they try to make their own cheap gear, people see the Cisco name and expect the Cisco feature set, so what starts out as a cheap simple product ends up like their home router series, a shrunk version of their big equipment with a pricetag to match.
  • Cisco has been trying to break into the home market for awhile now - but hadn't figured how to do it right.

    I set up a very small network for an ex-Cisco exec. Didn't know who he was at the time, and just dropped in a Netgear NAT router to handle everything. Worked great.

    Chatted with him about it later, and appearantly he had a conversation with some of his old buds at Cisco and asked them why Cisco wasn't the right solution for his network (3 PC, Internet access).

    So, he told me about how Cisco tried to

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