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.
This looks awesome! I would love to have one! Thank you for the opportunity!
I would love to have one
Can I have one of those please? It would be great!!
Would love to have this one looks great!!!!
This would be awesome to have for my new home!
Cisco has a great reputation with making networking products, and I would love to see how easy the setup is on this new Valet!
Hope I can win this!
I would love this. It would help keep my son out of the cords.
Looks awesome! Our router is about 10 years old, we would love a new one!!
Looks soooo easy to use! I could use one!! 🙂
I would love one. We do not have one.
I need one of these so bad and this would be great to win. Iy would be nice to have an uncomplicated thing for once.
I found your site through That Tech Chick-Jessica, and I am glad I did! I like how you explain in regular non-geek terms 😉 I have a 1 y/o pc and plan on letting my DH use my older one for his stuff down in his man-room. This work out well for that & we could get it hooked up for him I think! Thank you so much for the review & chance to win one too! Gramousetails(at)gmail(.)com
We have our router through the internet provider and it it horrible! It keeps losing a signal! Really frustrating when your trying to work from home while your 9th old is napping.
Would really love to win one, could really use this.
This would be wonderful to win! Thanks for the chance 🙂
Believe it or not, I still use Dial up!! I really need this.
I could really use this…Thanks for the chance.
Yes Please and Thank You
This will be an awesome winning prize!
I would love to win this. How exciting !!!!!
I would love this!! would make life so much easier
I SO need a new wireless router. Hope I win. Thanks. <3
What a great giveaway! Thank you for the chance to win one of your routers! Please pick me! 😀
Nice giveaway. i would love to win.
Very nice!!! Would make life a lot easier! 🙂
My husband is the tech geek. Unfortunately, he’s also at work 50+ hours per week, leaving me home with a 6-year-old router that often decides that we aren’t friends.
I need my internet to keep me sane, considering that my five children try their darnedest to achieve the opposite effect! 🙂
I really need a wireless router, and it sounds like even I could work this one.
Would be awesome to set up at my Dad’s house for company and our school room. He’s been wanting to get something, just not been sure what to get and the cost of setting it up. This one sounds great.
I really need one of these.
The odds aren’t in my favor but what the HEY!
please enter me too!
tattgiff at centurytel dot net
Really need one. Have been looking at them. Would be great to win this one.
Really hoping to win this one!!!
Our router is trying really hard to die…would love to win this one!
Cisco Valet a “home wireless makeover would be great item for our househol. I love the parental contol for the children. great idea! thank-you
I would love to win this. Great features, especially since I have a 9 year old that I starting to get really into computers. I can use the parental controls.Thanks for the giveaway.
Wow! Sounds like a really great item!! I have been wanting to get a router but haven’t because I’m just not sure of the product. Thanks for the opportunity!!!
This would be a great start to a network for our family of 8! Thanks for the opportunity:)
Sounds Awesome! Our wireless drops out constantly & drives my husband nuts! He uses it for work & this Cisco sounds great!
I am saving up for a home computer..this would sure help
Would love to have one. Mine is on its last leg
Would love it. What a great deal.
Would love one!
I would LOVE to win this!!! ive been wantin to get 1! this would b a great ‘christmas’ gift for me!! 🙂
Please pick me <3 I am an independant, adult college student and am struggling very much. This is what I NEED. Thanks
Sounds Easy, I love easy
We could really use one of these! My hubby would be so excited!