Ask any Internet user if they can distinguish between a router and a switch. I am willing to bet that over 60% of respondents will not be able to provide an answer. A router is a device that forwards data packets between networks and a switch is a networking device that links network segments or network devices.

Last week a very big announcement was made which will recreate a significant shift in the networking landscape. Cisco, one of the businesses that power the Internet through switches, routers and the like have announced that they will be selling Linksys to Belkin. The deal is to be completed at the end of March and will ensure that Belkin becomes one of the biggest, if not the biggest provider of networking to home and small business users.

It is clear that since acquiring Linksys, Cisco has struggled to become a force in the personal and home networking industry. Could it be a case of a perception problem for Cisco that ultimately led them to sell Linksys? Think about it for a minute. Cisco is very well known in the enterprise space and make great enterprise network products. Is it a case that enterprise is where manufacturers make large amounts of money due to the nature of supplying services and after sales service? Or is it a shift in focus for Cisco?  The move back to “enterprise only” is happening more in technology and Cisco won’t be the last business doing it in 2013.

Cisco has made it clear that they will support warranties of older Linksys products. Belkin now needs to continue ensuring that Linksys build quality products as potentially they could either make or break the long term future of Linksys in the coming months.

Currently the products are called Cisco Linksys but I wonder what will happen in April. Do they become Belkin Linksys, Belkin or Linksys?