Belkin buying Cisco’s home networking business Linksys

Belkin buying Cisco’s home networking business Linksys

Summary: It looks like Cisco is jettisoning Linksys and the rest of its home networking business unit after all.


Previous reports of Cisco looking to sell its home router division have turned out to be true.

It was announced on Thursday afternoon that Belkin is planning to acquire Cisco's home networking business unit, which includes the Linksys brand.

While Belkin will also be grabbing some other products, resources, and employees from Cisco's home networking group, it maintained that the Linksys name will remain intact.

Belkin also promised to offer support for Linksys products, and guaranteed that valid warranties will be honored by Belkin for current and future Linksys products.

Hilton Romanski, vice president and head of corporate business development at Cisco, described the deal in a blog post as "a win-win relationship in the market."

Combined, Belkin and Linksys will create a world-class consumer networking technology provider with complementary innovation and engineering strategies. Linksys will enhance Belkin's capabilities to meet the needs of OEMs, as well as provide access to a large user base. Belkin and Cisco intend to pursue a strategic relationship focused on a variety of initiatives, including retail distribution, strategic marketing, and products for the service provider market.

Cisco originally purchased the home router company for $500 million in 2003.

After selling and killing off a few other consumer-focused units (such as the Flip camcorder), the San Jose, California-based networking giant appears to be dedicated to only business and enterprise products now.

The buyout is also expected to grow Belkin's reach considerably. After the transaction closes, Belkin asserted that it will account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S. retail home and small business networking market.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the merger is expected to be completed by March.

Topics: Networking, Cisco, Collaboration, Hardware

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  • Linksys never was CISCO

    Even with the original acquisition, Linksys never amounted to much. Belkin isn't going to strengthen the brand.

    Market opportunity...
    Info Dave
    • ...

      Well yeah, I don't think Belkin really needs anything but the brand recognition and market share.
  • Oh dear

    Belkin equipment is terrible quality and unreliable in my experience. Hopefully they'll scrap all their existing kit that overlaps with the Linksys range.
    • Agreed

      I have to agree, Belkin has given me plenty of trouble over the years.
  • What are quality alternatives to Belkin and Linksys?

    Belkin is garbage, no doubt. I link Linksys, but if the quality goes down I will be shoping around for another solution. What companies are left that are respected, producing well made gear?
    • Alternative

      Other than Linksys, I have had great success with Netgear equipment. As a matter of fact, I think Netgear will be my new "go-to" home and SMB provider.
  • Barbarians at the gate

    This is like Chrylser buying Honda/Toyota. You know the quality on "Linksys" routers will zoom to the bottom. Belkin gear is crap. Sad day for all -- except Belkin who now gets to masquerade Belkin routes as "Linksys".

    Most consumers won't know they are paying more for a brand name that will really be Belkin junk.
  • I really don't know...maybe it is not good decision for Belkin

    I have got several routers from Linksys, made by name Cisco. And I tested them in production environment. I tried to tune the settings (flash, reset, change setting in environement, etc) and there were always the problems... I was not sure what would happen. Linksys for me is not equal to Cisco. In my opinion Belkin eqipment works more stable (upgrades, etc) but of course Belkin has less configurable functions. So that's why I am not sure if that is good decision for Belkin. Maybe they only need trademark :-) "Linksys by Cisco by Belkin"
  • Linksys already suffered after Cisco bought them

    I had been using Linksys's "Blue Box" gear long before Cisco ever bought the company and when those little blue boxes were the most solid, dependable networking gear that a home network could use. I remember going to a WRT54GS after endless problems with several DLink units, which I had gone to after endless problems with several Netgear units, and Linksys just had the stuff that worked and didn't need to be rebooted every other day. The performance was good, they didn't overheat, and the firmware was updated regularly.

    Enter Cisco, and I couldn't seem to get a reliable Cisco branded unit after their design had worked into the pipeline. Overheating, needing to reboot every other day, crappy performance. Tech support seemed to have moved to the Philippines.

    I bought another Netgear to replace the next two crappy Cisco/Linksys (which were junk out of the box), and it was reliable out of the box but started needing daily reboots after 18 months... leaving me wondering whether ANYONE is making dependable equipment that lasts. And will selling this unit off to someone else return the attention to quality? Perhaps the attention had been lost as Cisco the enterprise vendor isn't really focused on consumer parts.