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Belkin International, Inc. is a global manufacturer of computer hardware which specializes in connectivity devices. Belkin sells primarily in the consumer and home user market, with various product lines including routers, switch, hubs (USB and computer network), cables, MP3 accessories, uninterruptible power supply devices (UPSs), KVM switches, and other peripherals.

The company was founded in 1983 in Hawthornemarker, Californiamarker by current CEO Chet Pipkin. It has twice made the Inc. magazine's list of 500 fastest-growing privately held companies in the United States. At present, Belkin is headquartered in Compton, Californiamarker.

Product Range

Belkin's product range includes connectivity devices like networking routers and hubs, a large number of accessories for mobile computing and smart phones, as well as their staple range of power protection and cable products.

Criticism

In 2003 Belkin released a home use wireless router which would occasionally replace user's HTTP requests with an advertisement for Belkin's filtering software. Belkin received some intense criticism for this from technically literate customers and others who described it as a man-in-the-middle attack or a form of session hijacking. Belkin initially treated this as a public relations problem rather than a highly inappropriate action on their part, but later relented and removed this intentional malfunction from their products.

In early 2009, a Belkin 'online sales representative' was discovered paying Amazon.com, Newegg and Buy.com users to manipulate reviews of a notoriously buggy Belkin router. Belkin's President, Mark Reynoso, responded to criticism, saying that the company does not engage in unethical practices, noting however that 'one of our employees' may have been responsible.

On January 19, 2009, gizmodo.com published a letter from an anonymous Belkin worker, where the employee claims that for years all workers were pressed upon to "do whatever is needed to get good product reviews and good press", which included "sending blog writers a device with custom firmware that hides known bugs", "faking hardware logo certifications", as well as "writing poor reviews of competitors products".


Awards

Belkin was in the "Inner City Top 100" list for six consecutive years and the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” list for five years.

References

  1. 080205 castlecops.com
  2. 080205 news.com.com
  3. 080205 merit.edu
  4. 090117 slashdot.org
  5. 090117 thedailybackground.com
  6. 090117 pcfastlane.com
  7. http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/01/18/belkin-replies-to-mechanical-turk-shilling/ Crunchgear: Belkin replies to Mechanical Turk shilling. Retrieved on 18 Jan 2009.
  8. http://www.belkin.com/pressroom/about/?sid=36 Belkin. Retrieved on 18 Jan 2009.


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