back to article Report says Cisco offloading Linksys

Cisco's long and inglorious retreat from the consumer business may be about to reach another miserable milestone, after Bloomberg reported Linksys is up for sale. Cisco scooped up Linksys back in 2003 and used the brand to offer consumer and small business products. Cisco has done reasonably well in the latter market, but the …


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  1. Dick


    "Google has just acquired Meraki" no they didn't, Cisco did.

  2. h3

    Meraki are about as bad as you can get due to what they did with people who bought opensource friendly routers from them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco and EMC -> Linksys and Iomega?

    Cisco and EMC have had a fairly close for several years. EMC bought Iomega as it's consumer and small business offering, mirroring Cisco's purchase of Linksys. Both brands have floundered, Iomega probably more so. What might make sense is to merge the two and spin them off together. If not that, then perhaps EMC will look to copy Cisco in selling, just as they copied Cisco in buying.

    Or perhaps Cisco will pawn Linksys off on EMC, and EMC will merge it with Iomega on the theory that by making it a bigger business, it will succeed where the pieces failed. I'm sure someone can be convinced there's logic there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cisco and EMC -> Linksys and Iomega?

      Iomega is already kind of sold. Lenovo now effectively owns 51% of it:

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Never understood why Cisco essentially lent their name and perception of quality (if you ignore the ocassional ios bug for a bit) to a cheap tat brand.

    1. andy mcandy

      Re: Good

      you can say that again (ios bugs). several of my 3750 stacks are reporting millions of deformed packets per day even tho theyre totally clean.

    2. eBusiness

      Re: Good

      Ditto here, Cisco effectively became the company who replaced an already meagre 4 MB memory chip with a 2 MB chip in order to save the skin of a quarter per unit sold.

      They could have built a quality consumer brand simply by investing in proper programming and not dumping the hardware to the very lowest level, the Cisco name would have helped selling the story.

  5. JaitcH

    Who cares about Cisco, they just sell Chinese-made products

    Linksys, IMO, has always been a dog product line, made even worse by Cisco's ownership. Besides they are simply Chinese-mad same-same. Save money, buy a Chinese brand, they are really good value for your money. And the hav Cisco back doors.

    I like TP-Link, solid and reliable.

    Not only that, but the output transmit levels are software controlled and readily available patches allow you to boost the signal and turn them into regular 'broadcasting' stations!

    Their TL-WN7200ND unit (unmodified) is good for 15 kilometres over flat terrain (including forests).

    BTW, the optimum setting for WiFi is Singapore as country of use. Highest power and most channels - from any make of unit.

    1. localzuk Silver badge

      Re: Who cares about Cisco, they just sell Chinese-made products

      Obviously you don't work in enterprise if you think TP-Link is anywhere near as capable as Cisco!

      If you really want to save a bit of money but want very similar feature-sets and build quality, go for Juniper or HP or even Extreme Networks.

  6. Lance 3

    It never made sense for Cisco to buy Linksys. Some say it was a way for Cisco to get into the home and small business sector. The reality is that they didn't need Linksys. Cisco could have just produced a line of products for those market sectors. The main factor in those sectors, price. Cisco couldn't charge what they were for products in those sectors. The cheapest ASA is $400 and supports 10 inside clients. How many home users are going to pay that and then have to figure out how to configure it? The same can be said for the small business sector as well. They could use their cable modem or DSL line and a cheap firewall/router and be done for less than $100. All Linksys did was give Cisco products in that price range.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The deal was less about getting cisco into the home and small business market and more about getting Cisco to be a household name. That's the way it was promoted. Made no sense to anyone thinking long term. The way it was promoted you could infer that Cisco wanted to be a household name for stock market purposes.

      The deal was as unpopular as HP's recent debacle. No one except the pig headed bigger heads and the MBA goons advising them saw a positive side to the acquisition.

      1. thomas k.

        That's kind the reaction I had when SAP was running all those ads on Hulu - big corp CTOs relaxing watching their faves on Hulu, seeing those ads and saying to themselves, "SAP! Why didn't I think of them before when considering back office/CRM software solutions?" (As opposed to John Q. Public's reaction to same of "WTF?!"

        Kind of like the CDW ads running on Hulu now.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Netgear, Cisco, good,,,

    Belkin, Linksys not so good.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge

      Re: Netgear, Cisco, good,,,

      What's so good about Netgear? Are you seriously considering them in the same league as Cisco?

      Linksys isn't really any different from SMC, Belkin, Planet Buffalo, TP-Link and the rest of the consumer stuff. The only difference is in the customer support and whether the products can be upgraded to DD-WRT.

      The only thing I really give credit to Linksys is the availability of 3rd party firmwares (*WRT) due to Linksys giving out the GPL code in the first place.

      I haven't worked with Linksys products for ages and if Belkin is buying it, that's the last nail in the coffin. I have made a wise decision the avoid all Belkin products that can be configured. The same policy applies to many other el-cheapo manufacturers as well that have burned me.

  8. Why Not?

    Maybe they were buying menu developers

    Maybe Cisco was hoping to buy some decent front end developers?

    I stopped wanting to use network kit that only had CLI 15 years ago when it became possible to get a decent text menu on all but the cheapest kit. And then usable Web front ends

    Cisco seem unable to produce kit with a sensible front end. Their kit seems to be a little bit random on auto negotiation which in my opinion makes them sub optimal.

    The linksys kit may not have been so capable in raw throughput or perceived quality but they were much easier to use, I don't need to print out 4 pages of cisco speak to program them.

    Linksys also had a lot of innovation skills and were early into sme VOIP.

    Netgear - found Belkin more reliable than them again & again. not sure that is much of an achievement.

    lets hope Linksys bring some perceived quality to Belkin.

  9. ElNumbre

    No Home Brand

    Dunno what all the bashing of Linksys above is about - they made great products for the home environment that worked well (in my experience). Since they were assimilated into the Cisco collective, their products have gone a bit downhill - overpriced without a lot of new features, but Id still rank them above Netgear, Belkin and D-Link for reliability and ease of use in the consumer space. You're a fool to use residental products in any major production environment in the Enterprise mind.

    The brand that is making great headway into this space is TP-Link; I've bought a couple of their products to try and so far, they've been absolutly flawless. And Jo Public who doesn't know any better will go for price over brand and should be pleasantly surprised by how good they are.

    My only other tip for consumer network gear is can you, if you need to, run OpenWRT on it without too much faffing around.

  10. Richard Boyce


    After the summer scandal, a lot of people would hesitate (at the very least) to buy or recommend a domestic Linksys/Cisco router. Both brands were damaged.

    If you search Google with "linksys scandal" or "cisco scandal", you get references to this event. The internet and customers have long memories that can destroy a brand.

  11. Paul Hayes 1

    skimming the fat

    Cisco have bought Linksys, rebranded the products they want as "Cisco Small Business" and are throwing away the leftovers. Cisco Small Business switches, VoIP products etc.. all came from Linksys and it's obvious from looking at the software on them.

    Cisco has been trying hard to get into the SOHO market for the last few years and Cisco Small Business is doing it. They've got what they want from Linksys (which doesn't have a very good reputation in the commercial world).

  12. RonWheeler

    Clearly not Cisco

    Easy to use, yet fully featured. Also (generally) not too buggy. All at a reasonable price. Counter to everything Cisco stands for.

  13. Brian Souder 1

    Linksys - What Really Happened

    Linksys used to be a good company until Cisco bought them. Cisco bought Linksys and then started to use cheaper parts. I devices that are over 10 years old from Linksys that still work just fine. Most of the newer consumer level products have such cheap firmware that the lights blink a few times and the firmware chip is shot. In some cases I have watched the web management lose page by page as it went bad. I no longer recommend their products at all. I hope they do not do the same thing to Meraki as I am a re-seller. The reason Meraki is so successful is that they had a product that works, and is priced affordably for the SMB space. Cisco on the other hand has their ASA devices which are WAY to expensive for what they are. When you attempt to discuss this issue with Cisco, their normal arrogant attitude of if you don't like it, tough is presented. So I used Meraki - until they do the same thing to this product. The problem with Cisco is that they think they are the only game in town and no one can do better than them. If Cisco does the same thing to Meraki - they can expect their users and resellers to walk away.

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