The new Linksys 26-Port Smart Switch with PoE.
Apr 02 2014

Linksys Makes a Comeback in Business Networking

The networking vendor introduced several new Smart Switch products at Interop this week.

Long a power player in the consumer space, Linksys unveiled six Smart Switch products at Interop in Las Vegas this week, expanding its presence in the business networking market.

According to a press release from the company, the switches are set to ship in 8, 18 and 26 Gigabit Ethernet-port configurations. The new switches are also available with or without Power over Ethernet — a technology that powers connected devices over an Ethernet connection and reduces cord clutter.

The new Linksys Smart Switch line allows IT to prioritize network traffic to improve the end-user experience for real-time applications such as voice and video. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol snooping is also included and aims to boost the switches’ security profile.

Linksys further enhances network security in the new switches with port authentication and MAC-based port protection. The latter requires client authentication before a switch can pass along data.

Now owned by Belkin, Linksys made a couple of other announcements at Interop to beef up its business bona fides.

“Our theme for Interop this year is that Linksys Business is back,” said Luis Artiz, Linksys director of product management in an interview with Channel Buzz. “People know the brand, but we got a lot of the engineering talent as well as the brand.”

In addition to the Smart Switch products, the company announced two new dual-band 802.11ac access points targeted at network administrators, resellers and small and medium-sized businesses.

The AC1200 and AC1750 access points can handle up to 16 different service set identifiers and sport advanced security features that include 802.1X Supplicant, SSID-to-VLAN mapping, MAC access control and rogue AP detection. The AC1200 supports data rates up to 1200 megabits per second, while the AC1750 supports data rates up to 1750Mbps.

As Belkin continues to rebuild the Linksys networking business, the company intends to keep the Belkin and Linksys brands separate for the foreseeable future, with the former covering cabling, KVM, docking and surge products, and the latter covering networking products.

“We are creating different brands to make the types of products clear,” Artiz said. “Merging them would confuse things, as both brands have brand equity.”