The Slow Painful Death of Linksys

Linksys is the consumer division or Home Networking Business Unit of Cisco making networking equipment for home and small business users. This includes the all-in-one wireless router/hub/switch, wireless bridges, networking using your home’s wiring, etc. There has been rumors since last December that Cisco was going to sell off this division and those rumors included to Belkin. However, Linksys had previously denied such rumors. On Thursday, January 24th, Belkin announced they have enter into an agreement to acquire Linksys.

Belkin said that it plans to maintain the Linksys brand and will offer support for Linksys products as part of this transaction. All valid warranties will be honored by Belkin for current and future Linksys products, the company said.

I am not sure what they mean by ‘maintain’. It could mean they will keep the name, but I certainly don’t see them to be able to maintain the quality of Linksys products as under Cisco. I have used Belkin in the past and there is reason why their products are so cheap…they are cheap. Went through a couple of their wireless routers within the course of year. The first one would randomly stop transmitting a wireless signal and I was constantly having to power cycle the router. The second one ‘self destructed’ shortly after the 90-day in store return period ended (I did not want to hassle with mailing back the router and waiting for them to repair or replace it).

I have been very happy with Linksys products and have not had any issues. I did replace or more like upgrade my wireless router (a WRT series) to an E3200 last spring to take advantage of dual-band wireless as well as being able to connect a USB hard drive into the router. I also have a Linksys Wireless Entertainment Bridge which allows me to connect my satellite box, Blu-Ray player and a ‘project’ computer all downstairs to my network. I even tried their ‘Powerline” adapters which uses your house’s wiring to create additional wired access points. I ended up returning the product the same day, but that was only because the adapter itself must be plugged directly into a power outlet (no power bars). Having only one two plug outlet in that area where I wanted to add access made this unpractical. The product itself worked as it said it would and even between floors.

So, with this merger looks like I will be moving more towards Netgear (their N300 wireless USB adapter work beautifully with my existing Linksys router) or may be even Asus. I just don’t expect Linksys to stay around very long once Belkin takes over by March. I’ll give it to the end of  the year…if even that.

via Tom’s Hardware