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Linksys Beefs Up Network Wireless Play

Cisco Systems' Linksys division is beefing up its aggressively priced home networking product arsenal with a new wireless gateway, network storage product and partnerships.

At the top of the list for digital integrators is the Linksys Wireless G Cable Gateway. With a street price of $179, the Gateway eliminates the need for three separate offerings: modem, router and access point. The product allows cable companies and other service providers to deliver additional IP services, including music, video, storage, home automation and appliance connectivity. "This will be the core of the home network," says Allen Powell, Linksys director of channel sales. "We believe this will be our lead home network offering."

Linksys is also teaming with Maxtor on a NAS device called Network Storage Link that connects USB 2.0 hard drives directly to an Ethernet network. With a street price of $129, the device connects USB 1.1 or 2.0 disk drive and flash disks directly to a network, letting homes and businesses share photo, music and data files by user name or group.

Frank Basanta, director of technology at Systems Solutions, a New York integrator, says the Wireless G Cable Gateway is a "home run" that provides customers with more bang for the buck, reduces installation time and eliminates multiple failure points. Basanta also gives a thumbs-up to the Network Storage Link. "Most people are connecting two or three machines to the network," he says. They have their machine, sons and daughters have theirs, and the wife may be running a home business from another, he adds.

The Network Storage Link and the Wireless G Cable Gateway are available through Linksys distributors, including Ingram Micro, Tech Data and D&H Distributing.

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