Looking for a new router for your home network? Cisco unveiled on Thursday a new line of Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers with app-enabled capabilities, the EA Series (EA4500, EA3500 and EA2700). Priced from $99 to $199, all three promise exceptional wireless performance and maximum throughput, as well as support for Cisco Connect Cloud which provides simple anytime, anywhere management of multiple home networks.
"Users can give guests Internet access, set parental controls, and add devices to their network from anywhere at any time through Cisco Connect Cloud's easy-to-use password-protected site," the company said. "New apps coming from Cisco and partners will deliver additional capabilities for connected devices, so that consumers can benefit from improved home network experiences right away and for years to come."
The new EA Series will help usher in the Connected Home experience, as Cisco is currently working with Whirlpool and more than two dozen other companies, app developers and service providers who are pushing towards network-connected "smart" appliances. "The next generation of Cisco home Smart Wi-Fi Routers together with our smart appliances will allow consumers to effortlessly control their devices in or away from their home," said Warwick Stirling, Global director of Energy and sustainability for Whirlpool.
Cisco's Linksys EA4500 will be the flagship of the three, costing $199 and providing dual-band Wireless N connectivity up to 900 Mbps. Features include four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB port, a DNLA server, basic parental controls, guest access and support for IPv6. This model will be ideal for large, multi-room homes and home theaters, and for faster HD video streaming on tablets, TVs and mobile devices.
Next on the list is the Linksys EA3500, costing $139. This version provides dual-band Wireless N connectivity up to 750 Gbps. Like the previous model, this router has four Gigabit Ethernet ports, one USB port, a DNLA media server, basic parental controls, guest access and support for IPv6. Cisco says this model is ideal for active online households and home theaters, and for streaming HD video and music plus multiplayer gaming.
Finally Cisco's Linkysys EA2700 rounds out the trio, costing a mere $99 and providing dual-band Wireless N connectivity up to 600 Mbps. What's missing from this model is the USB port, otherwise it sports the same features as its other two EA Series brothers. This one is ideal for networking larger households and home offices, and for basic Web use like browsing, emailing and printing wirelessly.
The Linksys EA Series is now available at major retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, NewEgg, Target and Walmart, as well as the Linksys online store. The new Cisco Connect Cloud Web-based software is planned for availability worldwide at no additional cost in June. New apps and partner solutions that take advantage of the Cisco home network platform are also planned for availability in June.