Cisco staff buy rival kit on Amazon

Drones get value in Linksys boxes

Updated Cisco staffers are buying competitors' products from Amazon.com.

A record of people giving Cisco email addresses in purchases with Amazon.com (which is available via a feature called "Purchase Circles") reveals that the top-selling electronics product is a Cable/DSL router from Linksys. Three of the top eight products listed in the section are non-Cisco products.

Now in fairness to Cisco it should be pointed out that Amazon.com doesn't sell its kit, but the question still arises: why are some (a few? Many?) Cisco employees looking beyond Borg Central for their DSL hardware.

It couldn't be the patchy security record of (lower-end) Cisco 600 series DSL routers, which perform the same function as the Linksys kit? Surely not. ®

Updated again:
Since we wrote this story many Register readers, including a number from Cisco, have written to tell us that the Linksys BEFSR41 Etherfast 4-Port Cable/DSL Router (the top selling Amazon product) is misnamed as a DSL router really, and certainly doesn't compete with Cisco's 600 series SOHO DSL router.

The Linksys box is an Ethernet to Ethernet routers with firewall, Network Address Translation, PPP over Ethernet and a 4-port switch. Its closest Cisco equivalent would be the recently introduced Cisco 806, which we hear, is harder to use.

Broadband service providers charge an extra monthly fee for multiple computers. Many Cisco employees, we are told, use network address translation to do this for free. This requires an additional network device like the Linksys or CiscoCisco 600as well as a device to terminate the connection. The Cisco 806 costs $650.00 normally (or $130 to staff with a 80 per cent discount we're told they get) so its still more expensive than the Linksys box (which is less than $100 from Amazon.com).

Prior to Rythms Netconnections bankruptcy, Cisco home users were using Rythms with Cisco 675 routers.

For cable modem access, it's cheaper to buy a consumer device (which Cisco does not sell) and a Linksys router than a Cisco business class cable modem.

We hope this helps clear things up.

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