The "app-enabled" Linksys routers are intended to allow users to manage home networks from smartphones, tablets or Web browsers. Users can give guests Internet access, set parental controls and add devices to their home network using this password-protected software, Cisco says.
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The new app-enabled Linksys routers, three in all, support Cisco Connect Cloud software for home network management. Connect Cloud is based on the same Cisco Connect software used to configure the Linksys routers at initial setup.
The routers are called the EA4500, EA3500 and EA2700. The EA4500 is designed for large, multi-room homes and home theaters. It features performance up to 900Mbps, HD video streaming to tablets, TVs and mobile devices, four Gigabit Ethernet ports, a USB port, IPv6, and the ability to connect multiple devices like storage and printers.
The EA3500 has most of the same features, but with performance of 750Mbps and HD video, music and multiplayer gaming streaming. The EA 2700 does not have the USB port, and features performance of 600Mbps. It allows non-HD streaming of multimedia and gaming.
The EA4500 costs $199, the EA3500 $139 and the EA2700 $99. All are available now. The Cisco Connect Cloud software will be available in June at no additional charge.
Cisco is also lining up partners developing applications for home networks on Cisco Connect Cloud. Cisco is currently working with consumer appliance giant Whirlpool to develop applications that allow people to control their appliances when they are away from home.