Cisco Compatible Extensions

Cisco Compatible Extensions Program Q&A

Q: What is the Cisco® Compatible Extensions Program for wireless clients?
A: The Cisco Compatible Extensions Program provides 3rd party verification of Cisco Aironet wireless infrastructure products and wireless client devices from third-party companies.
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Q: How does the program work?
A: Cisco has licensed some of its client technology to leading 802.11 silicon suppliers, such as Intel and Atheros. In turn, these companies are incorporating innovative Cisco features into their reference designs. The designs can be used by client adapter suppliers and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) suppliers to be compatible with enhanced features, such as the Cisco Wireless Security Suite, with Cisco wireless infrastructure products. An independent test house will test the client adapter devices and OEM products. Once successfully tested, program participants can promote that they are compatible with Cisco Aironet wireless networking products. Full list of Silicon Suppliers.
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Q: How many products have achieved Cisco Compatible Extensions verification status?
A: To date over 300 products have received Cisco Compatible Extensions verification.
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Q: How can I find Cisco Compatible clients?
A: Cisco is developing an ecosystem of wireless client suppliers that meet the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program requirements. These products are published at Wireless Client Devices. In addition, look for the Cisco Compatible logo when selecting client devices from wireless LAN (WLAN) client providers.
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Q: What are the benefits of the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program for wireless clients?
A: The program delivers confidence to Cisco's Enterprise wireless LAN customers by:
  • Providing tested compatibility with licensed Cisco infrastructure innovations
  • Enabling widespread availability of wireless client devices that take advantage of the Cisco Aironet® wireless network
  • Accelerating the availability of innovative features while maintaining interoperability
  • Promoting investment protection of client devices by maintaining compatibility with industry standards and Cisco infrastructure features
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Q: Is the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program in competition with the Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) standard?
A: No. In fact, Wi-Fi compliance is at the core of the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program. Customers require our solutions to be IEEE 802.11 and Wi-Fi compliant; Cisco Compatible devices meet both of these requirements. The innovative features that Cisco will provide to program participants will differentiate Cisco Compatible wireless devices from other devices.
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Q: Will the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support clients that have Cisco Compatible labeling?
A: No. The Cisco TAC will only support products with the Cisco brand. The original manufacturer of the client adapter will be responsible for supporting its products.
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Q: What relationship does Intel have with the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program?
A: Intel is a strategic collaborator in the Cisco Compatible Extensions Program. Intel is including the Cisco Compatible Extensions features in its new Centrino products.
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Q: What companies besides Intel will provide Cisco Compatible wireless clients? When will their products be available, and in what form factors?
A: In addition to Intel, numerous suppliers, such as IBM and HP, Dell and many others provide Cisco Compatible clients. Please check Wireless Client Devices for a current listing of approved suppliers.
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Q: Does Cisco Compatible extensions support WPA II?
A: Yes, Cisco Compatible extensions v3 requires all device verification support WPA II.
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Q: Why are there different versions of Cisco Compatible extensions?
A: Each version of Cisco Compatible extensions provides new innovative features that improve performance, security, management as well as a variety of other key enterprise WLAN features. Cisco will continue to offer new versions of Cisco Compatible Extensions on a yearly release cycle.
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Q: Can I upgrade between Cisco Compatible extension versions such as v1 to v2 or v2 to v3?
A: Yes, in many cases driver updates are available for customers who have purchased laptops from PC suppliers. The drivers are posted to the supplier's Web page and will provide detail as to which adapters can be updated. It is important to reference the specific client device on the Cisco Compatible extension Web site to verify that the specific driver was tested.
>> Wireless Client Devices
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Q: Are there any PDA's available through Cisco Compatible Extensions Program?
A: Yes, currently Dell has received Cisco Compatible Extensions certification of the Axim X5/X5i handheld PDA. Additional PDAs are expected to receive certification shortly.
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Q: I'm interested in using EAP-FAST authentication. Are there any Cisco Compatible devices supporting EAP-FAST today?
A: Yes, there are a number of manufacturers that have completed Cisco Compatible Extensions V3. Version 3 provides EAP-FAST support as one of the features. Please refer to the client devices page to find V3 devices.
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