Networking specialist Cisco unveiled a line of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers with app-enabled capabilities for users to connect their homes or small-office/home-office (SOHO) setups. The three Smart Wi-Fi Routers offer support for Cisco Connect Cloud, the next generation of Cisco Connect software, which provides any time, any place management of multiple home networks. Cisco also announced it is working with top device manufacturers to simplify their networked products, such as TVs, entertainment devices and home appliances.
The Smart Wi-Fi Routers, EA Series EA4500, EA3500 and EA2700, offer a range of prices and performance for active online homes, handling everything from streaming high-definition video and multiplayer gaming to downloading large files, adding storage or printers, and connecting multiple devices. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index report from Feb 2012, globally there will be 15 billion networked devices in 2015, up from 7 billion in 2010.
"The proliferation of wireless devices and the explosion of video streaming have redefined the importance of the home network. Today's connected consumer has high expectations for reliability, simplicity and software and apps that grow with them over time," said Brett Wingo, vice president and general manager, Cisco Home Networking. "Our routers put intelligence into the home network so consumers have a platform that makes it easy to manage and optimize their devices, and enjoy apps that deliver great new experiences."
Cisco Connect guides consumers through setup and management of their E-Series and X-Series home routers. Cisco Connect Express is the company's first mobile app providing home network management from smartphones and tablets while on the home network. The next generation of Cisco Connect software, called Cisco Connect Cloud, works with new Linksys EA-Series products by connecting to multiple home networks, from a smart mobile device, tablet app or Web browser. Users can give guests Internet access, set parental controls and add devices to their network from anywhere at any time through Cisco Connect Cloud's password-protected site. New apps coming from Cisco and partners are designed to deliver additional capabilities for connected devices.
The company is currently working with Whirlpool and more than two dozen other companies, app developers and service providers who view the home network as a new frontier for providing innovative solutions for consumers. Cisco Connect Cloud Web-based software is planned for availability worldwide at no additional cost in June. New apps and partner solutions that take advantage of the Cisco home network platform are also planned for availability in June, with details to be announced at that time.
"We are collaborating with Cisco to create compelling consumer solutions in the smart grid and connected home space," said Warwick Stirling, global director of energy and sustainability for Whirlpool. "The next generation of Cisco home Smart Wi-Fi Routers together with our smart appliances will allow consumers to effortlessly control their devices in or away from their home."