Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > The Platform

Belkin Announces Intent to Acquire Linksys

Today, Belkin announced its intent to acquire Cisco’s Home Networking Business Unit and its leading brand, Linksys.  With this agreement, we are pleased to preserve the strong Linksys brand and create a win-win relationship in the market.

Linksys is a strong and enduring brand with a talented team that has helped revolutionize the way we experience the world from our homes through a wide range of home routing and networking solutions with innovative software features that  enable anytime, anywhere access and control of the home network and its connected devices.

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.

Linksys has long been an important member of the Cisco family and we are confident that we have found the best buyer in Belkin. We look forward to witnessing Belkin’s growth as they bring Linksys into their family.

 

Tags: , ,

Worldwide IPv6 Usage Reaches Key Threshold

This past weekend, Google’s IPv6 Statistics reported that on November 17, 2012, user activity on their websites via native IPv6 reached 1% for the very first time. This may not sound like much at first glance, but for a system like the Internet which is slated to have 19 billion active fixed and mobile network connections by 2016, even one percent of this whole marks an impressive achievement. The billions of applications, devices, routers, and switches that make up the Internet are all interconnected such that if any one doesn’t support IPv6 on a given path between the end user and the content the user is trying to reach, the system automatically falls back to IPv4. This is necessary to keep the Internet running while the upgrade occurs, but it also means that the benefits of end-to-end traffic flow over IPv6 occurs only after all the various links in the chain are all capable of supporting IPv6.

To get a better idea of how each individual piece of the deployment puzzle is advancing, Cisco has been tracking various leading indicators and regional deployment statistics. We’ve pulled these together in an interactive tool at 6lab.cisco.com where  you can view IPv6 deployment data from a variety of perspectives. With the tool you can “mouse over” different regions of the world to see how various countries are doing in different areas. For example, by moving your mouse cursor over the United States, you can see that 57% of the networks that appear as transit for IPv4 today also support IPv6, end users as measured by Google is higher than the global average at 1.93%, and that 45% of the time the average user in the US visits an IPv6 reachable website.  You can also dig down into the methodology we are using to create the various rankings and percentages.

Moving the needle

Back in 2007 when Google began publishing its IPv6 measurements, native IPv6 deployment stood at 0.04%. Working together, the industry moved the needle 2500% over the past five years (while adding an additional billion users to the Internet during the same period). To help make this happen, two historic industry events have occurred: The World IPv6 Day in 2011 and the World IPv6 Launch in 2012. During the planning stages for the World IPv6 Launch, I had the privilege to work alongside other industry leaders and the Internet Society until agreement was reached to target three categories of participants that committed to enable production-level IPv6 by default: website operators, network operators, and home router vendors. Cisco signed on and participated as both a website operator and home router vendor.

Making a commitment is one thing, allowing a public measurement for all to see is another. For a website it is rather simple to measure IPv6 deployment as either a “AAAA” record for IPv6 exists in the public DNS system and the website can be reached from the Internet over IPv6 or not. For the network operator category we were looking for a lasting commitment together with some measurable factor that would provide reasonable proof that the network had moved beyond trials and on to production-level deployment. After much discussion, we came up with these two basic commitments for this category:

  1. IPv6 be a “normal part of business operations” for users, targeting ISPs to commit to enable IPv6 for users by default rather than on “special request”
  2. One percent of all user activity as measured by Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and Bing over IPv6 by June 6, 2012, the inaugural day of the Launch.

In practice, reaching one percent of user activity means deployment to a considerably larger subscriber base than one percent after accounting for legacy home networking gear, operating systems, and applications. For an ISP to reach this level as measured by the content providers, the “general population” of subscribers would have to brought into the deployment -- a strong indication of production-level operation and reasonable proof that the deployment was more than a trial of friendly users or beta testers.

Looking Ahead

The aim of the World IPv6 Launch was to spark a sustained growth of IPv6 usage leading up to and continuing after June 6, 2012. The continued growth since June 6 and the milestone reached this weekend is an indicator that this commitment had its intended affect thus far. The Internet Society is continuing to report measurements for World IPv6 Launch participants, and has been soliciting new members. There are quite a few Network Operators on the list now, including not only ISPs but universities and other types of networks as well. As long as a network  has its own Autonomous System number, it can be measured and potentially added to the participant list. Cisco now has its own AS (#109) on the list, making it the first in the world that is participating in all three categories of the World IPv6 Launch.

User activity as measured by Google hit 0.25% for the first time in March 2011. A year later, on March 10, 2012, it doubled to 0.5% for the first time. It’s taken about 8 months to double that again to reach 1.0% today. If this trend continues, it will double again by mid next year and could break past 10% by the end of 2014. The trend is increasingly clear: If you are a network operator, network-enabled application developer, or anyone else that works with IP and are not running IPv6 now or don’t have a plan in place to make it happen soon, now is the time to get started.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: Answering Our Customers’ Questions about Cisco Connect Cloud

Since my last blog post, we’ve continued to receive questions about the service, privacy, and in particular the service terms of Cisco Connect Cloud.  We believe lack of clarity in our own terms of service has contributed to many of our customers’ concerns, and we apologize for the confusion and inconvenience this has caused.  We take responsibility for that lack of clarity, and we are taking steps to make this right.

I would like to address the top issues we’ve heard about the service, and terms of service, and clarify Cisco’s commitment to our customers’ privacy and security.

Linksys customers are not required to sign-up for the Cisco Connect Cloud service and they are able to opt-out of signing up for an account

Cisco Connect Cloud is an optional service that brings additional features to a home network. It is not required to set-up and manage Cisco Linksys EA Series routers. In response to our customers’ concerns, we have simplified the process for opting-out of the Cisco Connect Cloud service and have changed the default setting back to traditional router set-up and management.

Customers can set-up and manage their Linksys router without signing up for a Cisco Connect Cloud account

If a customer chooses not to set up a Cisco Connect Cloud account, they can manage their router with the current local management software. We are committed to providing both Cloud-enabled and local management software. Customers who have already signed up for a Cisco Connect Cloud account may stay with the service and enjoy the expanded features, or can revert back to the local management software by calling the Linksys customer support line at 1-800-326-7114 or by following this link to self-guide themselves though the process.

Cisco will not arbitrarily disconnect customers from the Cisco Connect Cloud service based on how they are using the Internet.

Cisco Connect Cloud and Cisco Linksys routers do not monitor or store information about how our customers are using the Internet and we do not arbitrarily disconnect customers from the Internet.  The Cisco Connect Cloud service has never monitored customers’ Internet usage, nor was it designed to do so, and we will clarify this in an update to the terms of service.

Cisco Linksys routers are not used to collect information about Internet usage.

Cisco’s Linksys routers do not track or store any personal information regarding customers’ use of the Internet.

Cisco only retains information that is necessary to sign up for and support the Cisco Connect Cloud service

If a customer signs up for the Cisco Connect Cloud service, they are asked to provide a new username, a password, and an email address, which is required to set up the account. When the customer sets up a Cisco Connect Cloud account, they are asked to provide a local administrative password for the EA Series router to associate it with a Cisco Connect Cloud account. Cisco does not store this local administrative password.

To reiterate, even when a customer signs up for a Cisco Connect Cloud account, Cisco does not track or store any personal information regarding a customer’s usage of the Internet.

Cisco will not push software updates to customers’ Linksys routers when the auto-update setting is turned off.

Cisco will only push software updates to a Linksys router when the auto-update option is selected.  We will clarify this in an update to our documentation.

Once again, I sincerely apologize on behalf of the Cisco team for the inconvenience we have caused. Cisco is committed to the privacy and security of our customers, and I assure you we will update our terms of service and related documentation as quickly as possible to accurately reflect our company policy and values.

UPDATE July 6, 2012 10:15am: Corrected Cisco Connect Cloud Terms of Service, End User License Agreement and Privacy Supplement are now available.

Sincerely,

Brett Wingo

VP/GM

Cisco Home Networking

Tags: , , ,

Answering Our Customers’ Questions about Cisco Connect Cloud

Since we announced the availability of Cisco Connect Cloud, we have heard from customers around the world who have told us that they are enjoying the access and enhancements that the new software platform adds to their Smart Wi-Fi Routers, exploring features like SimpleTap and new mobile apps. We’ve also heard that some customers are confused about our Terms of Service, particularly with regards to their data privacy, and so we felt it was important to clarify our policies.

Cisco prides itself on offering the best customer experiences, and privacy and security are at the core of everything we do.  That goes for Cisco Connect Cloud too. When a customer signs up for a Cisco Connect Cloud account, personal information is used only to establish an account in order to provide customer support.  Consistent with Cisco’s practices, Cisco Connect Cloud does not actively track, collect or store personal info or usage data for any other purposes, nor is it transmitted to third parties.

We also wanted to clear up any confusion about Cisco’s ‘opt in’ practices. Cisco Connect Cloud was delivered only to consumers who opted in to automatic updates. However, we apologize that the opt-out process for Cisco Connect Cloud and automatic updates was not more clear in this product release, and we are developing an updated version that will improve this process.

While we hope this reminder of our standard company practices will allay any concerns, customers who do not wish to establish a Cisco Connect Cloud account and would prefer to revert back to the traditional Linksys setup and management software can do so by calling the Linksys customer support line at 1-800-326-7114. One of our agents will walk you through the process.

We apologize to any of our customers who were inconvenienced. We take feedback very seriously.  It is our mission to provide the highest quality offerings where customer satisfaction is always paramount.  We hope that you’ll give Cisco Connect Cloud a try, though. I think you’ll find it’s a great way to simplify how you connect, control and interact with your connected devices, including personal entertainment and home appliances.

NOTE: An update to this blog was posted by Brett Wingo on July 5th. You can read it here.

Tags: , ,

Online Backup Anyone?

March 2, 2012 at 5:01 pm PST

Promotion good thru March 31, 2012.

With the digital age in full swing, our computers have become the digital safe for our digital life -- family photos, movies, music, financial records, and other important documents. As we store more “stuff” on our computers, our hard drives becomes increasingly more valuable.  But, what would happen if you lost your computer, downloaded a computer virus, or had a hard drive failure?  Do you have a backup plan in place to protect your monetary and sentimental investments?  Read More »

Tags: , , , ,