If you dig the stylish look on the Linksys E4200 802.11n router but prefer something more wallet-friendly, then Cisco's latest range of home routers and switches will likely suit your taste. Gone are the curved grooves and blinking LEDs on the top, but these routers -- ranging from $59.99 to $159.99 -- still go about their usual wireless business at up to 300Mbps, with additional simultaneous dual-band support on the pricier E2500 and E3200. Like their predecessors, you'll also find a refreshed, feature-packed Cisco Connect software suite in the box, which promises to make installation and management a whole lot easier.

Also notable is the upcoming virtual USB feature that connects printers and storage devices to the network -- the E3200 and E4200 are expected to receive this update in the summer. As for the switches, you have a choice of three new models going from $29.99 for five 10/100Mbps ports, all the way up to $74.99 for eight gigabit connections. All these good-looking fellas are up for grabs starting today, and you can check out the spec sheets after the break for all the nitty-gritty.



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Cisco Announces Next-Generation Linksys Wireless Routers and Switches

Home Wireless Leader Unveils Sleek New Design with Unmatched Performance
for Premium Video, Gaming, and Entertainment Experiences

San Francisco, CA April 5, 2011 – Cisco® today continued its legacy of leadership in home networking with the launch of its new Linksys® E-Series family − a complete suite of powerful and easy-to-use next-generation wireless-n routers and switches. With sales of wireless-enabled products such as tablets and game consoles steadily growing and Internet video usage exploding, consumers are seeking greater performance, reliability and simplicity from their home wireless networks. The new Linksys wireless–n routers and switches, available today, offer a complete range of options that set a new standard for speed, range, and ease-of-use, while also sporting a visually-appealing new design.

The new Linksys E-Series lineup includes five routers, each with the latest technology in home wireless for a multitude of home entertainment experiences. The new routers not only provide the performance needed for today's connected home, but also help to future-proof for new and emerging media technologies that are gaining traction with consumers, such as Internet-enabled TVs and Cisco's ūmi telepresence. Designed with faster speeds (up to 450 Mbps*), other key features for select routers in the line include a 3x3 spatial stream configuration for improved coverage, external power amplifiers to maintain signal strength over a greater distance and reduce dead spots, and virtual USB technology** to connect USB printers, storage and devices to the network. The full line also boasts a new industrial design that combines sleek contours and advanced functionality − recently earning the prestigious 2011 Red Dot Product Design Award for product design, innovation and quality.

"With more than 70 million routers sold, Linksys brings a decade of leadership and innovation to create products that consumers trust for the best wireless quality, performance and experience," said Simon Fleming-Wood, vice president of marketing, Cisco Consumer Products. "Our new Linksys line offers an array of solutions for the needs of today's home networking consumer - from basic Internet surfing to video and music streaming, to gaming."

According to industry research group IDC, only 39% of US homes have wireless, while only 11% are using wireless-n technology. Over the next five years wireless-n adoption is expected to nearly double due to the growth of wireless connected devices such as tablets, smartphones, and Internet-enabled TVs that require the latest wireless technology for optimal performance. (IDC, Worldwide Home Networking 2010-2014 Forecast Update, Doc.# 225479, Nov. 2010)

Cisco Connect Software Enables Easy Setup and Network Management

Each of the Linksys E-series routers include the acclaimed Cisco Connect software that makes it easy for consumers to set up and manage their wireless home network effortlessly. Unlike other wireless products that require 20 to 30 complicated steps to set up a single computer, Cisco Connect takes you through three simple steps from start to finish. The included Cisco Connect software makes it easy to: 1) add additional devices to the network, 2) set parental controls, 3) provide Internet access for guests on a separate guest network and 4) customize personal security settings such as passwords. Advanced users can also configure and manage their routers via the web browser.

The new routers feature the latest version of Cisco Connect, which now includes an Internet Speed Test that can check the bandwidth and speed of a user's Internet connection.

New Switches Enable Easy Network Expansion and Power Saving Modes

The three new Linksys switches enable faster and simpler wired connections. New features include plug and play of Ethernet-enabled devices, Quality of Service (QoS) for traffic prioritization, auto-sensing ports, and power saving features.

Pricing and Availability

There are eight new products in the Linksys family -- five routers and three switches. The suggested retail prices for the routers range from $59.99 to $179.99. Prices of the switches range from $29.99 to $74.99. The full line of Linksys routers and switches are available starting today at retailers nationwide or by visiting the Linksys website at www.linksys.com/store.

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