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.
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Thanks for sharing that experience with your friend with us. 🙂 I’d like to win this and see how I could do setting it up!
I would love to have a chance to win this =)
i would really love to get one.
i would be so happy as to win one. 🙂
my wife would be so happy if i won this for her.
Thanks so much for sharing your and your friend Katie’s experience with us. I’d love to win this!
Saw this referred from Freebies4Mom. Good to hear such great feedback on the Cisco Valet router. I am probably going to be in the market for a new wireless router soon, so glad for the feedback. Cheers, Margaret
I would love to win this.
I would love to win this. Our router has a terrible signal.
Thank you for the opportunity to try to win one of these. We’ve had terrible luck with our router. I’d love to try something new. Thanks again!
My router just died, so a new one would be fantastic!
This would be great at home. As it is now I am chained to one area and would love to be able to move around the house.
I love the easy set up
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com
I would love to have wireless. My son has become very active now, he is 10 months old, and is getting into everything, including the cable wires. I would be able to have more space in the living room for him to roam.
what a great giveaway! I would love to win.
My internet provider has determined that my router is the reason I cannot connect to the internet I need a new router
This would be a really great router to win.
Thanks for the chance!
Thank you for the information. I love a chance to win this.
Thanks for such an awesome giveaway-sure could use one
How awesome! What a great product! Love to win 🙂 silenttributary at yahoo dot com