Cisco woos developers, adds 802.11ac support as Connect Cloud goes live

Two months after the launch of a new line of Smart Wi-Fi routers, the EA series, Cisco finally announced today that the Cisco Connect Cloud for the new routers is now live.

Cisco Connect Cloud is a software platform for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers -- currently comprising the Linksys EA2700, EA3500, and EA4500 -- intended to change the way consumers interact with their connected personal entertainment devices and home appliances, all via the Internet. For example, instead of the Cisco Connect Express mobile app, which works only within a local network, users can now opt for the Internet-based Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app, or just log in at the Cisco Connect Cloud portal, and be in complete control of their home network, no matter where they are.

There's a lot more to this, however. For the first time Cisco is allowing, and encouraging, independent developers to create mobile apps for its home network routers, specifically those in the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router family. According to Cisco, available immediately are six other iOS apps developed by third parties for the EA series, including Twonky Video and IP Camera Viewer.… Read more

Crave giveaway: Cisco Linksys E4200 v2 dual-band N900 router

Congrats to Jake T. of Clinton, Utah, for winning a 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi tablet in last week's giveaway. This week's prize might not be the most glamorous freebie we've ever offered, but it's definitely one of the most utilitarian.

We're giving away a Cisco Linksys E4200 v2 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N900 router. And as routers go, it's a mighty good one, says CNET's storage and networking reviewer Dong Ngo. He calls it a fast, feature-rich, advanced yet easy-to-use router for the home or small business--and one of the best routers of 2011 (if not the best). … Read more

Top 5 wireless routers of 2011 that ain't so last year

The wireless router is arguably the most important piece of computer equipment in your house, since it connects the rest of your gadgets to one another and the Internet.

Now that we're well into the new year, let's look back at the top five routers of 2011. These routers will stay relevant this year and maybe even beyond. They are a handful from among the many I reviewed last year that represent what consumers will find on the market. … Read more

Top 5 wireless routers of 2011 that will last beyond 2012

The wireless router is arguably the most important piece of the networking setup at your home or your office.

It's the central gateway that connects to the Internet, then shares that connection with all of the devices connected to it, via a network cable or Wi-Fi signal. Other services depend on the router, as well, such as file sharing, voice over IP, remote access, and VPN.

A router generally has to be on and functioning 24-7. There are thousands, if not millions, of data packages going through it every day, and you expect it to work without any hiccups. Ironically, it's also the device that most people pay the least attention to. In fact, the only time it's noticed at all is when it's not working right.

That said, it's very important to pick a router that's not just fast and feature-rich, but also reliable. Following is the list of the top five wireless routers I've reviewed this year that fit that description.… Read more

Cisco's Linksys E4200 v2: The best saved for last

Cisco Systems released the original Linksys E4200 in January, which turned out to be a formidable wireless router.

Now as the year is ending, the company announced today the second version of the same router. And the Linksys E4200 v2 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N900 turns out to be one of the best, if not the best, router of the year.

The new E4200 v2 looks exactly the same as the original on the outside, with a sleek-looking design that looks more like an expensive jewelry box than a router. On the inside, however, it packs much more power than the … Read more

Cisco refreshes wireless-N Linksys E series routers

If you have read the review of the Linksys E4200 router and decided to move on, thinking "It's just so sweet but it's too expensive, plus I don't want all the bells and whistles anyway," perhaps you don't need to walk away. As it turns out, the E4200 is just a teaser of an entire new generation in the Linksys E series that Cisco announced today.

Apart from the E4200, the new generation includes four new routers: E1200, E1500, E2500, and E3200. Except for the E1500, which is a new tier of its own, … Read more

Linksys E4200 450Mbps router review: Fast is in

As promised, the review of the Cisco Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band Wireless-N Router, the very first true dual-band Wireless-N router that offers a 450Mbps ceiling speed, is now up.

And the router is the fastest we've seen among Wireless-N routers. It's quite unfair to compare it with others, however, as it is the first router that offers the higher 450Mbps speed on the 5GHz band. The only other router that offers this speed is the Trendnet TEW-691GR, but it works only on the 2.4GHz band.

The Linksys 4200's 2.4GHz band, on the other hand, … Read more

Crave giveaway: Pair of Cisco wireless routers

OK, this week we've got another two-for-one special here on Crave, but instead of software, this time it's hardware. Thanks to a donation from Cisco, we've got both an "enthusiast" wireless router, the new Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band Wireless-N Router (Cisco owns Linksys), as well the user-friendly Cisco Valet Plus, which is geared toward non-tech savvy folks.

In his review, Editor Dong Ngo said the Valet Plus will change the way you think about setting up your home network. "The Cisco Valet Plus is by far the easiest wireless router to use to … Read more

Cisco ships dual-band 450Mbps router

True dual-band 450Mbps Wireless-N routers were one of the main trends in networking during CES 2011, with Trendnet, Netgear, and D-Link announcing their own. Cisco, on the other hand, didn't make any announcements during the show, but it's now one of the first to have a 450Mbps true dual-band router on the market.

Cisco announced today that it now ships the new Linksys E4200 concurrent dual-band router, its first to offer the ceiling speed of 450Mbps on the 5GHz band. This is similar to the Netgear WNDR4000 and the D-Link DIR-857, which are not yet available for purchase.… Read more

Dell's hybrid laptops: Intel + ARM, Windows + Linux

Dell is offering Windows-Linux hybrid laptops that use both Intel and ARM processors. Though the user would never know it.

As pointed out in this EE Times report, entitled "Dell has dragged the Linux-ARM Trojan horse inside the Wintel PC," Dell is offering a processor-plus-OS subsystem separate from the main Windows-Intel system.

The goal is to give users instant access to e-mail without booting up the operating system and extend battery life by running Linux on a very low-power ARM processor. Basic ARM processor designs are licensed by U.K.-based ARM Holdings to companies like Samsung and … Read more