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Announcing the Slam Dunk Winner of the Cisco ūmi “Meet an NBA Legend” Sweepstakes

Last month, we partnered with the NBA to give our online fans and followers the opportunity to enter to win the chance of a lifetime – meet NBA legend Bill Russell Jetson-style on home telepresence system Cisco ūmi. In addition to a conversation with Bill, participants were also entered to win a ūmi telepresence system, plus one year of free service, for them and a friend! We’re excited to announce Chris P. from Los Angeles as the winner of our Meet an NBA Legend Sweepstakes! We’re looking forward to a great conversation between Chris and Bill.

Wondering what questions Chris is going to ask a twelve-time All-Star Champion? Here is one of his questions “What was the driving force that helped you win 11 NBA Championships and 2 NCAA Championships?”

Like Chris, we are also giving our online community the chance to come up with a question of their own for Bill. Comment on this blog post with what you would like us to ask him on behalf of our online fans and followers. We’ll select the best one and let you know how Bill responds.

After the sweepstakes meet and greet, Chris can access his video messages with the new Cisco ūmi mobile app, available now for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and Android devices! This new feature is an easy way for ūmi subscribers to access their video messages and recorded videos on the go.

Thanks for entering and don’t forget to check back in on Facebook and Twitter for future promotions!

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Does your Computer/Notebook Really Need a Wireless-N Adapter?

June 30, 2011 at 9:19 am PST

Linksys Wireless-N Dual Band USB Adapter AE2500

Wireless-N (also known as 802.11n) is the most current generation of wireless standards. Wireless-N sends multiple streams of data along separate paths between the devices to provide improved speed and range over older Wireless-B or Wireless-G networks and helps eliminate dead spots. Computers or notebooks with Wireless-N technology can enable users to wirelessly stream high-definition video, check e-mail from backyard locations, or watch U-Tube videos at greater distances such as a lounge chair by their pool or maybe your detached garage that you made into a home office.

Wireless-N Routers and Adapters products are compatible with devices based on the earlier Wireless-G and Wireless-B standards and will communicate and/or work with them.  However do know that devices such as computers, laptops, tablets etc that have Wireless-N adapters will operate at the faster wireless-N speeds and range when the router is also Wireless-N.  If your Router is Wireless-N but your notebook is equipped with a Wireless-G adapter, your notebook will only get the Wireless-G speeds and range.  So upgrading to Wireless-N is something you should consider especially if you are streaming content such as music, videos or games wirelessly or just want to future proof your notebook incase you start doing these activities.

If your notebook is more than a few years old it’s probably equipped with a wireless-G network adapter.  You can check what wireless adapter you have by going to start menu and clicking on control panel and then to network connections.  Then look at your wireless connection.  In the example below the wireless adapter being used is an Intel Pro/wireless 3945ABG Wireless Connection.  Since it has ABG in the name – it’s using all the wireless technologies – which make it a Wireless-N adapter.   If it just says B or G or BG it’s probably either a wireless B or G card.    If it is, then you should consider what you are doing on your computer – if you are streaming video or playing music wirelessly maybe it’s time to consider upgrading your wireless adapter.

 

Cisco has just launched a new Wireless-N Dual Band USB Adapter the Linksys AE2500 that provides two wireless radios so if you have a Wireless-N dual band router – you can set up your computer to connect to either of the bands (2.4 Ghz or the 5 Ghz band) at speeds up to 300 Mpbs*.  Since its USB it’s simple to connect – just plug it into the USB port on your computer and follow the simple steps via the Cisco Connect software and you’ll be off streaming and surfing at high speeds all around your home.  At $39.99 MSRP – it’s affordable to take some of your older computers and update them with the latest wireless technology. 

Remeber Better Together: Wireless-N Router Paired with Wireless-N Adapter

Remember the phrase “Better Together”.  If your router is Wireless-N it’ll be better paired with notebooks and PCs that have a Wireless-N adapter.

 Also check out our new bundles on routers and adapters -- where you can save some cash! http://home.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/upgradegton?icid=hnstore

 *Maximum performance derived from IEEE Standard 802.11 specifications. Actual performance can vary, including lower wireless network capacity, data throughput rate, range and coverage. Performance depends on many factors, conditions and variables, including distance from the access point, volume of network traffic, building materials and construction, operating system used, mix of wireless products used, interference and other adverse conditions.

 

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Home networking changes home entertainment

June 24, 2011 at 8:59 am PST

Guest Blogger: Ted Kritsonis

Experience Entertainment with Lastest Networking Devices
Experience Entertainment with Lastest Networking Devices

Ask anyone you know what router they have, and it’s likely that they won’t really know. The router, for all intents and purposes, is not the sexy piece of gear that turns heads when people walk into a room, it’s the functional device that ensures everything in its wavelength looks and plays nice.

Take that impression and apply it to how your router can augment your home entertainment setup, and you may have started a small revolution in your living room.

Consider this: television didn’t really change all that much for decades. After colour became ubiquitous in the 60s and 70s, there was no change in both screen resolution and aspect ratio. Colour saturation and TV sizes certainly improved, but the whole evolution of home entertainment has only really become radicalized in the last five years.

The biggest reason why is because content is way more free flowing than it’s ever been. Who says you have to stick to physical media like DVDs and Blu-rays if you don’t want to? Maybe you’d prefer to rip your whole collection and stream it from your computer to your TV using a game console or media player. I know I did, and I’ve been doing that since 2006-07.

But the difference between then and now is speed, range and power. The routers of that time just couldn’t offer the kind of pipelines today’s units can. Gigabit Ethernet, Wireless-N, and now 3x3 technology (courtesy of the E4200) have all helped make it more than possible to stream just about anything. Media players like the Apple TV, Western Digital Live TV Hub and Asus O!Play are dedicated set top boxes devoted to playing back media content to an HDTV.

If you have a network attached storage (NAS) drive, basically a big fat hard drive that is connected directly to your router, then you’ve got a home server that feeds you the content you want on demand. But routers now also increasingly have at least one USB port in the back specifically for plugging in an external drive so that users can access it from anywhere in the home network. Why not watch a movie in the upstairs bedroom when the router and drive are nestled in the basement? Convenience and simplicity at its best.

Use a switch or a hub and you can plug in even more devices and storage drives to increase the scope of the home entertainment setup. Media players and game consoles are increasingly supporting third-party content services like Netflix, Vudu, Facebook and more. Why go out to rent a movie when you can just browse and pick from the comfort of the couch.

The fact is, today’s consumer isn’t willing to wait to watch something they can access already. It’s the same reason I don’t have cable or satellite, but instead use a combination of digital antenna (for free over-the-air HD channels), a NAS with a media player and my iPad or laptop. And even with all that, I still have shows I need to catch up on.

All of this is possible because your Internet connection is being distributed better. Ever notice a difference between the router your Internet Service Provider (ISP) gives you and one you can buy off the shelf, like the lineup Linksys offers? The difference is obvious once you start to see how much faster downloads and transfer rates are when you’re moving files around from one device to another over the network.

 But you also see it when streaming wirelessly to your TV, laptop, tablet, smartphone or whatever other device you’re looking to watch from.

A good home network requires a good Internet connection to start, and a good Internet connection requires a good router. A radical home entertainment setup requires all of the above to make it what it truly should be.

Guest Blogger: Ted Kritsonis

Ted Kritsonis is a technology journalist and video personality covering the wonderful world of consumer electronics. He writes, blogs and appears in a number of publications in Canada and the U.S. including the Globe and Mail, WhatsYourTech.ca, CBC.ca, Huffington Post Canada and Digital Trends.  Ted does this and more from the comfort of his home in Toronto using an E4200 for maximum performance. Follow Ted on twitter:  @Teddy__K or at: http://whatsyourtech.ca

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Update on Grand Prize Winner: “Meet an NBA Legend” Sweepstakes

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Meet an NBA Legend” Sweepstakes! We partnered with the NBA to give you the opportunity to talk to NBA legend Bill Russell on Cisco ūmi.

Fans visited our page on Facebook or the NBA Facebook page from June 3rd through June 19th for a chance to enter to win not only a one-hour conversation with Bill Russell on Cisco ūmi, but also your own ūmi system, plus one year of free service, for you and a friend! We had thousands of comments and interactions with fans excited to participate.

Read More »

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Linksys E4200 Wireless Router Supports IPv6

June 20, 2011 at 8:59 am PST

New firmware (Ver.1.0.02) for the Linksys E4200 now provides support for IPv6.  IPv6 is the next generation Internet protocol.

Cisco as an organization is committed to supporting the transition to IPv6 in all its products and services it provides to service providers, enterprise and consumer customers.  IPv6 is foundational to the next generation Internet enabling a range of new services and improved user experiences.

As ISPs begin rolling out IPv6 service to their customers, consumers will need new routers and gateways that support IPv6 to participate in this next generation Internet.  Today, Cisco will begin enabling IPv6 across its consumer line of routers including the Linksys E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band Wireless-N Router.  It is critical that consumers begin looking for products and devices that support IPv6 or can be updated to IPv6.   Cisco has been and will continue to be a leader in the development of IPv6 so consumers can feel confident that home networking products from Cisco will provide top line performance now as well as providing a foundation for the future.

Now is the time to formulate an IPv6 transition strategy for your home network. Cisco recommends a three phase transition strategy:

  • Preserve your current investments in IPv4 as you transition over to IPv6 supported products.
  • Prepare Cisco Linksys home networking products provide native support for IPv6 as well as IPv4, ensuring your network is ready for the next generation of technologies.
  • Prosper – Take advantage of the next generation Internet at home which includes new applications incorporating video, mobility, energy management and cloud services providing for a better home networking experience.

We are introducing native IPv6 capability into the high end home networking product first, verifying its functionality, proving its stability, and then planning to reuse the base code into the other select Linksys products. While many of the base IPv6 specifications have been available for years, the IETF published RFC 6204 which defines the basic requirements for an IPv6 home router as recently as April 2011. IP is one of the most important protocols to the Internet, and IPv6 is the biggest change in IP in over 30 years. We want to be careful that the implementations we ship work well and adhere to the latest standards so that we do not hinder the adoption of IPv6 by content providers and ISPs.

Simply because there is not a widely deployed end to end IPv6 network yet (even though there are regional deployments). There are four basic areas where IPv6 support is required for the home:

  1. Endpoint devices (e.g., PCs, phones, tablets, etc.)
  2. A v6 broadband access network
  3. A v6 Internet (including websites with content)
  4. Home routers

Without all four areas, IPv6 is likely not to be used. To date, endpoint devices represent the bulk of IPv6 deployment. Home routers and Internet are following quickly with IPv6 capability. Broadband access networks will be the last to mass deploy IPv6 services (even though there are significant IPv6 deployments from major service providers available now).

The latest firmware for the Linksys E4200 is now available for download at our website: http://homesupport.cisco.com/en-us/wireless/linksys/E4200 and then going to the Download tab and then select hardware version 1. 

 Also note we have added some additional features in this firmware release including:

  • Support of USB printer connected to the router’s USB port, so that a user may send a print job to the printer via the local area network. ** This feature requires Cisco connect software v1.4 or later which is also available on the same download page as described above **
  • Added support of Native IPv6 and 6rd tunnel Internet connections
  • Added support of bridge mode
  • Prevented devices on the guest network to access any private IP address
IPV6 support will be available in other Linksys E-Series in the coming months. 
 

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