Friday, April 6, 2012

Cisco puts LAN control in the cloud, with apps for new Linksys WiFi routers.

With the introduction of their new family of Linksys EA Series WiFi Routers (EA4500, EA3500 and EA2700), Cisco has also announced they will be making their home network management Connect Software available for users to access in the cloud. Linksys router owners will be able to log into their Cisco Connect Cloud account from a web browser, or by installing the Cisco Connect Express application for use on Android and Apple iOS devices.

Connect Express allows users to give guests Internet access on their home wireless local area network (WLAN), set parental controls, and add devices to their network remotely through Cisco Connect Cloud. Cisco plans to extend the Connect Cloud application for control of other home connected devices, and announced that they are working with Whirlpool and "more than two dozen other industry-leading companies, app developers and service providers" on the connected home strategy.

The three new 802.11n WiFi routers range from the Linksys EA2700 Dual-Band Router ($99) with four Gigabit Ethernet ports, to the EA3500, which adds a USB port ($139), to the top of the line EA4500 ($199) with Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) Media Server support. Cisco specifies that all three routers are IPv6 compatible. 

By pairing the EA4500 router with 3X3 adapters in both the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz band, Cisco says that users can achieve up to 900Mbps data transfer speeds (i.e. up to 450 Mbps for each band). Cisco's maximum performance specification for the EA3500 is 750Mbps, and 600Mbps for the EA2700, also in dual-band 3X3 operation.

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