When I was first discussing a review opportunity with Cisco, I mentioned that I probably wasn’t the best person to try out their new Cisco Valet, which is touting itself as the easiest home wireless setup ever. Since I would already know exactly what I was doing when setting up the router, I couldn’t be a very good job at figuring out how “easy” it was to set up. What I approached Cisco with was a “home wireless makeover” for a local friend of mine so I could see if one of my non-techie friends could figure it out all on their own. They were definitely on board!
I approached my friend Katie, who actually didn’t even have a wireless network in her home at all. Just the thought of that is shocking to me, since I’ve had Wi-Fi for a VERY long time. She is a stay at home mom to 2 small boys (toddler and a preschooler!). She has no idea what she is doing when it comes to technology and computers. She even told me that her husband asked her if she wanted any pointers before I came over so she could at least have a little bit of tech smarts before we got started. She kindly refused, as she knew that this was all part of the experiment.
When she opened the box, she asked me if this was all there was. I told her to tell me if that was all there was. She knew right then that there would be no help coming from me on this setup. Right on the box top it says exactly what the first three steps are, which are plug the Easy Setup USB Key into the computer and click “Connect”. Once she did that the Cisco Connect software told her to plug the router into the wall for power, and then plug the “internet” cord into the “internet” port on the router. After that step was done it told her to plug the cable in from the router to the computer. She thought she had already done this and so we continued.
At first the software couldn’t find the router. So I peeked in the back and noticed that while she had plugged the cord into the router, she forgot to put the other end in the computer. I had her attach that cord to the computer and the software was able to find the router, and before we knew it the router was securely set up and she was connected to the internet! As she was looking at the Cisco Connect software she even said “Oh wow, this thing has Parental Controls?… Cool!”
Our next step was to get their laptop connected to the network. She took the Easy Setup USB Key and plugged it into the laptop. Again she clicked connect from the USB Key. The computer found the network and connected itself to it, and was up and running on the internet literally in seconds.
I checked out the network, and it’s secure. It created a unique SSID (the name you see when you are trying to connect to a nearby network) so that it doesn’t say “Katie’s Network” or something to that effect. It generated a password for the router, so it’s not the standard username: admin, password: password. This way anyone trying to get on her network wouldn’t be able to connect to the router’s administration page without knowing it’s unique password.
So, I’m happy to say that the “Easy Wireless Setup” truly lived up to the hype. This stay at home Mom was able to figure the whole thing out with little to no help from me or her husband! I will be talking more about what a quality router can do for your home network tomorrow in my review of the Linksys E3000 (also made by Cisco).
Cisco was not only kind enough to provide me with a router to give a friend, but they have given me one to give away right here on my blog as well! To enter to win a Cisco Valet, simply leave a comment on this post. As always only one entry is allowed per person. Giveaway will close at 8 PM MST on October 24th. Good LUCK!
*Thank you to my friend Katie who put her technical skills (or lack thereof) on the line to help me with this review.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.
Would LOVE this!
So need this my router is on its last legs and getting ready to purchase new and this is the one we are looking at getting.
Sounds like a cool device! I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to handle filtering. Right now I just use open DNS at home.
I would love to pay this forward to someone! But with the parental controls I might just keep it for myself!
This would be an EXCELLENT gift for our elder family member (aka, mom – shhh).
Hey…we appreciate the blog and simplicity Cisco offers. Thanks for the opportunity!
This would be awesome!!!!
I don’t really understand what this thing does, but my husband says it would be great to have! Thank you.
We want to step into the 21st century this Christmas — tv, wireless network, netflix, play station 3, the works — but have no idea how to do it. This would be a great first step!
This would be ideal for my mom (they live next door) as we’d love to get a Wii for them since they love to play educational games with our boys!
This looks great!
Wow, that is amazing. Had no idea it would be that easy. wow.
I would love this.
Finding a system that is easy for anyone to put together and use is hard to find now a days. This would be great for my parents who have a hard time figuring out how to even connect to the internet.
Easy to set up is always a good selling point!
Wow looks like a great product.
We inherited a router from my brother in law, and I think it is on its way out. I love that the Cisco looks so easy to install that I could do it on my own!
thanks Sarah! glad my lack of technological skills could come in handy! thank you thank you thank you! adam loved sitting on the couch doing his homework last night without having to move to our home computer!
My mother-in-law needs one of these in a bad way! Haha. Very computer and technology challenged. =)
Husband would love this! Thanks!!
would be curious to see if it is that easy
would love one of these!
I would LOVE this 🙂
Ours just died, it would be great to win this!
i would love to have great giveaway
Wow, this surely beats our old router.
I would love this! I need something easy, something that i can do myself. I do not have wireless in my home yet. Crossing my fingers
This would be very helpful. Thanks, as always, for your giveaways.
I would love this
Would love one!
would love to win this!
I Need one!!! 🙂 Please email me if I win!! 😀
My mom is buying a laptop around Christmas this year. It will be their first. This would be a great gift from me to add on for them!
This would be so awesome to have!
I would love to win as my current rounter is not compatible with my new wireless printer
I would love to win this. I need a router because my mom will be taking hers back soon.
=) very cool !
i would love to win this, yea!
I would love to have this great giveaway!!!
Would Love to have this..Thanks for the oppurtunity to try this out!!
Parental controls SWEET!!
Could definitely use this! 🙂
I would love to have one
I really need this, our wirelss router crashed last night!
would love this, it soulds easy enough that EVEN i could do it! haha
would love this.
My husband could work from home if we had one! 🙂
I would LOVE to win this!!!! Then my daughter could do homework without having to boot me off the internet! =)