[BITList] home network

CT's x50type at cox.net
Wed Mar 31 05:34:46 BST 2010

do you have a home network?


      Cisco Valet makes home Wi-Fi easier to set up
      Posted 12m ago |  Comment    |  Recommend     |  

                   Enlarge By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY 
                  Simon Fleming-Wood holds Cisco's Valet, which uses a USB dongle to automatically set up your Wi-Fi router and network. 

  a.. Share 
  b.. Yahoo! Buzz 
  c..  Add to Mixx 
  d..  Facebook 
  e..  Twitter
  a.. More 
    a..  Fark 
    b..  Digg 
    c..  Reddit 
    d..  MySpace 
    e..  StumbleUpon 
    f..  Propeller 
    g..  LinkedIn
  a.. Subscribe 
  b..  myYahoo 
  c..  iGoogle
  a.. More 
    a..  Netvibes 
    b..  myAOL
By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
The folks behind the best-selling Flip video camera want to do for home networking what they did for video: make it drop-dead easy.
Today, networking giant Cisco releases its first consumer router, the $99 and $149 Valet, that promises to take the hassle out of setup and automatically puts a home wireless network together.

Cisco bought Pure Digital, the parent company of the Flip line of video cameras, a year ago for $590 million.

The Pure Digital team, led by former CEO Jonathan Kaplan, is intact and now oversees both video and home networking products at Cisco.

"We're in the same exact place we were with video," says Kaplan, now senior vice president and general manager of Cisco consumer products. "Eighty percent of routers are sold to experts, and the 20% of the mainstream who buy them end up returning them because they're just too hard to use and set up."

To set up the Valet, a USB dongle is inserted in the USB slot on the computer. Passwords and Web keys are automatically set via Cisco's software.

To add additional computers to the network, insert the USB into each machine.

Room to grow 

There are two Valet models: a $99 version for small to midsize homes and a $149 one for larger homes that require a bigger signal.

"With the Flip, we took everything away that we didn't need on the camera and made it really simple, with very few buttons," says Kaplan. "Same thing with home networking. Does the average consumer care about what kind of security they have, or just that they have it? Do they want 40 choices of port mapping, or for us to just choose one for them?"

To set up the network manually, users can bypass the automatic settings, click the advanced tab and make individual decisions.

Research firm IDC says that only a third of U.S. homes have a home network. That leaves room for growth. Kaplan says home networking potentially could be a much larger business than video.

Sales of routers are flat. Last year, 11.4 million units worth $735 million were sold. IDC predicts sales of 11.5 million units this year.

"Cisco has 10 years of consumer frustration to overcome," says IDC analyst Jonathan Gaw.

But Kaplan says consumers' appetite for a new generation of TVs, Blu-ray players and even clock radios that can connect wirelessly to the Internet will help bring him new customers.

"These apps will push people to buy the new routers," Gaw agrees.

Gaw says putting all the heavy lifting into the USB dongle was a smart move.

"Normally, if you were going to install a secure wireless network, you'd have to create a password for the router, change the name of the router and create a password for the wireless part of it," he says. "Now that's all preset in the key. You don't have to type in anything. ... This is a significant step."

Marketing the Valet 

Cisco has been in the business of selling routers for years, via its Linksys subsidiary, and will continue making more complex boxes for the tech savvy, Kaplan says. Competitors include Netgear, D-Link and Belkin.

New Linksys routers are due out this week, too.

Kaplan pared the line of 12 routers down to four.

Prices range from $79 to $179.99. Features include the ability to have two separate networks run via one router.

To get the word out about the Valet, Cisco is launching an extensive national advertising campaign beginning this week.

"We will spend more to market the Valet than the entire category has in five years," says Simon Fleming-Wood, senior director of marketing. "Tens of millions of dollars. This will be the first mass-market networking product."

Ads will begin appearing beginning this weekend, first in Sunday circulars, followed by broadcast television, in print, online and on billboards, Fleming-Wood says.

At Cisco, the Pure Digital name has been retired. Future Flip cameras - new models are slated for later this spring - will bear the Cisco moniker.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.bcn.mythic-beasts.com/pipermail/bitlist/attachments/20100330/1ebba0fc/attachment-0001.shtml 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 9258 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.bcn.mythic-beasts.com/pipermail/bitlist/attachments/20100330/1ebba0fc/attachment-0001.jpe 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/gif
Size: 43 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.bcn.mythic-beasts.com/pipermail/bitlist/attachments/20100330/1ebba0fc/attachment-0002.gif 
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: image/gif
Size: 152 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.bcn.mythic-beasts.com/pipermail/bitlist/attachments/20100330/1ebba0fc/attachment-0003.gif 

More information about the BITList mailing list