Cloud Nine: Cisco Linksys Unveils Smart Wi-Fi Routers and Cisco Connect Cloud


Cisco Linksys Takes to the Cloud with Smart Wi-Fi Routers

Cisco Linksys unveiled three dual-band routers recently branded under the EA series. Models include the EA4500, EA3500, and EA2700 with different maximum throughput speeds on both bands. Poised for HD streams, the EA4500 is Linksys' flagship model and also capable of theoretical top speeds of 450Mbps on both radios. All EA-series models will carry Gigabit ports and offer IPv6 support. 

Similar to D-Link's recent efforts, Cisco is taking to the clouds as well with a new online portal. With Cisco Connect Cloud, users will be able to access and make changes to their home network configuration remotely via mobile devices and web browsers. A user account needs to be created first though. One notable feature of the Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app, is that it enables users to connect devices to the Smart Wi-Fi routers by simply tapping a button or performing a quick swipe on their smartphones or tablets.

Developed by third-party developers, Cisco also launched a collection of six mobile apps to augment their fleet of Smart Wi-Fi routers, such as HipPlay and Gemini IP Camera Viewer. For instance, HipPlay enables users to stream online multimedia content to mobile devices and Smart TVs, while Gemini IP Camera Viewer is more of a home monitoring app which works in tandem with surveillance equipment like IP cameras for example.

The 802.11ac-based Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router EA6500 and Media Connector were launched as well. Read on for the full press release. 



Singapore, 28 June 2012
– Cisco today introduced new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers (EA4500, EA3500 and EA2700) that deliver the latest in home Wi-Fi technology and offer a range of prices and performance. Cisco also unveiled Cisco Connect Cloud, a software platform that redefines and dramatically simplifies how consumers connect, control and interact with their connected devices, including personal entertainment and home appliances.

The new routers are ideal for active online homes, easily handling everything from streaming HD video and multiplayer gaming to downloading large files, adding storage or printers and connecting multiple devices. After creating a password protected Cisco Connect Cloud account, consumers can enjoy anytime, anywhere access to multiple home networks from their mobile, tablet app or web browser and give guests Internet access, set parental controls or add new devices to their network.

Cisco also announced the availability of its Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app which provides easy access to Cisco Connect Cloud on a smartphone or tablet, while at home or on the go. One breakthrough feature with Cisco Connect Cloud is SimpleTap. SimpleTap lets consumers connect devices to their Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router with as little as one tap of a button or with a quick swipe or scan of a device or tag, making it easier than ever to add devices to the network.

Additionally, Cisco unveiled the first set of mobile apps from third party developers that provide extended experiences to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers. There are six new developer apps including an app that lets people search and “beam” online videos to a Smart TV or AirPlay compatible device; an app that helps install home monitoring cameras and enables monitoring at home and on the go, and apps that give parents easy ways to keep their children safe online, even when mom and dad are not at home.

“We are changing the game when it comes to the connected home, ushering in a whole new level of experiences, simplicity and convenience,” said Brett Wingo, Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Home Networking. “The next-generation connected home is being brought to life for our customers with Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers, Cisco Connect Cloud, apps and our partnerships across the industry.”

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers, Cisco Connect Cloud

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers are currently available and can be purchased at the retailers listed below.

Linksys EA-
Series
Key Features Ideal For Price
Linksys EA4500 App-Enabled Dual-Band N900 Router with Gigabit and USB •Wireless-N Dual-Band
(Up to 900 Mpbs)
•App Enabled
•4 Gigabit Ports
•USB Port
•DNLA Media Server
• Basic Parental Controls
•Guest Access
•IPV6
•Large, multi-room homes and home
theaters
•Faster HD video streaming on
Tablets, TVs and mobile devices
•Connecting multiple devices
•Adding storage, printers, or other
devices
•Adding apps via Cisco Connect Cloud
$299
Linksys EA3500 App-Enabled Dual-Band N750 Router
with Gigabit and USB
•Wireless-N Dual-Band
(Up to 750 Mpbs)
•App Enabled
•4 Gigabit Ports
•USB Port
•Basic Parental Controls
•Guest Access
•IPV6
•Active online households and home
theaters
•Streaming HD video and music plus
multiplayer gaming
•Connecting multiple devices
•Adding storage, printers, or other
devices
•Adding apps via Cisco Connect
Cloud
$249
Linksys EA2700 App-Enabled N600 Dual-Band Router
with Gigabit
•Wireless-N Dual-Band
(Up to 600 Mpbs)
•App Enabled
•4 Gigabit Ports
•Basic Parental Controls
•Guest Access
•IPV6
•Networking larger households and
home offices
•Surfing the Web, emailing and
printing wirelessly
•Connecting multiple devices
•Streaming multimedia and gaming
•Adding apps via Cisco Connect Cloud
$199

The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router line can be purchased at the following retailers:

Challenger Superstore, Harvey Norman, Best Denki, Courts, South Asia Computer, Inforcom Technologies, Fuwell, A Genuine Technology, Cybermind Computer House, Cyberactive Technology, Bizgram, Videopro, Gain City, Parisilk, Palm Venture and Mustafa.

Cisco Connect Cloud is available for free starting today. Current Linksys Smart Wi-Fi. Router owners will get an automatic update notification or can download the update manually at www.linksys.com.

SimpleTap - Connecting devices with as little as one tap

With the proliferation of mobile devices in the home, consumers are increasingly needing to connect their new devices to the home network − a task that many find complicated and time consuming. With SimpleTap, connecting devices to the home network is magically simple. When installing new devices such as Smart TVs, printers or tablets, anyone can now use the Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app on their smartphone to get their compatible device connected in a matter of seconds.

Connecting is as easy as pressing the virtual Wi-Fi Protected Setup button in the mobile app and, in the near future, as easy as scanning a Near Field Communications (NFC) tag that may be bundled with or integrated in various consumer electronic (CE) products. Because of the importance of superior usability in the connected home, Cisco has been working with a range of CE device and home appliance manufacturers on partnerships that deliver better experiences to mutual broader set of customers. Cisco’s newest partnership is with Onkyo, an international CE manufacturer that has included the SimpleTap functionality in their new wireless 7.1 AV Receiver.

"We share the vision that the connected home should be simple and enjoyable, and we are proud to be the first consumer electronics partner to incorporate Cisco Linksys' SimpleTap technology into our new AV receivers," said Nobuaki Okuda, President, Onkyo Sound & Vision Corporation. "SimpleTap really simplifies how our new 2012 AV receiver can be connected to the network, so people can instantly enjoy their favorite tunes from music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, SiriusXM Internet Radio
and many other services."

Apps give new levels of control and convenience

The six new mobile apps can be obtained through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store (formerly known as Android Marketplace). These apps can enhance entertainment experiences, make consumers lives easier, and help make the web safer. The spectrum of apps will continue to expand with apps from Cisco and additional third-party developers. The first six mobile apps for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers include: 

App Description Platform Developer
Block The Bad Stuff Block the Bad Stuff brings safe web surfing to Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers in an easy way. Protect all users and devices from accessing content from security vulnerable sites, adult content and other non-family friendly sites.  iOS Fresh Consulting
HipPlay HipPlay allows users to play, beam, iOS share photos, music, videos on their phone, tablet, PC, Mac or TV when they want, where they want.  iOS Axentra
Gemini IP Camera Viewer The Gemini IP Camera Viewer iOS app for iPhone enables home monitoring at home and on the go for consumers on smartphones and tablets via Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The app also enables easy installation of home monitoring equipment.  iOS Gemini Solutions
Twonky Video Twonky Video is a mobile browser Android / iOS for smartphones and tablets to browse online video services and "beam" them to your Smart TV or AirPlay devices.  iOS/Android Packet Video
Device Monitoring The Device Monitoring iOS app “watches” your connected devices and gives you real-time status updates about them. Get notifications, for example, when your children go online with their gaming consoles or see how long they have been online.  iOS Xoriant
Netproofer Netproofer helps parents restrict Android / iOS access to specific websites for all users or per specific device.  Android/iOS Stratedge/Adroitent

The free Cisco Connect Cloud mobile app can be installed or downloaded today through the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Appstore for Android. The six new developer apps outlined above are either available now or will be shortly. All third-party apps have variable pricing as set by the vendor, and can be found on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

New Linksys Developer Community Opens

Cisco also announced the opening of its Linksys Developer Community to assist app developers interested in working with Cisco to expand the Cisco Connect Cloud home network platform for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers. More information can be found at http://developer.cisco.com/web/ldc.

802.11ac Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router and Universal Media Connector

In addition, Cisco today unveiled the Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router EA6500, the company’s first router powered by the industry’s next-generation 802.11ac wireless technology. Like the other Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers, this new device works with Cisco Connect Cloud and the associated mobile apps for connected home uses and activities. To work in combination with this ac router, Cisco also announced a new 802.11ac-enabled Universal Media Connector for consumers to connect wired devices such as Smart TVs and game consoles at wireless Gigabit speeds. The Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Router EA6500 and Linksys Universal Media Connector are targeted for availability later this year.

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