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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Currently renting our unit would luv to own!
Just another shocker for ya!! I don’t have wireless in my house either. So I would love love love to win!!
Would love to have one of those for my girls.
We’re in need of one too! Ours just stopped working! =( Hopefully my number gets selected! Fingers Crossed!
I love the way that looks.
I would very much love one of these. I have a Netgear router from 2007. We havent replaced it because we dont have any money. It keeps kicking us off the internet. We really need a new router and hope to win. Thanks
My ex took the wireless router when he left. Since I am a single mom pending knee surgery, a wireless router is a no go right now… I have only a laptop so wireless would be a Godsend!! Thank you for the opportunity and consideration!!
That would be awesome! Thanks for the chance!!
I think I’m like your friend when it comes to setting up stuff like that! That sounds sooo easy! Would really love to win this,and get rid of my laptops ‘umbilibal cord’! Thank you for the chance!
I would love to win this as ours is in storage in Golden Colorado. And we live in billings Montana and we don’t
have the money to get back to Denver to get everything.
Thank you for allowing me to enter
This would make a wonderful surprise gift for my husband. Ours needs replacing!! Thank you for the chance to win one.
We would love this great prize too!!!!
I would love to try this wireless router out!!!
Great giveaway..good luck all!
I would love one of these I’m getting ready to start online classes soon and this would come in handy
Always looking for a way to make life easier on the tech side!
I am in need of one of these!
I would love to have one of these for my home, money is tight and cant afford one, would love to win this, family would think santa came early!!!
Would love to try the free wireless router! Thank you
With 5 kids, 4 whom are home schooled, would absolutely looooove to win this!!
I would Love to try one of these!! Start doing for myself
Please pick me!!! I need one so badly and can’t afford to buy one since I lost my summer job. Please!!
this looks really cool especially for the non-techie people.
I would love to have one…Please pick my number
Would love to win one!
Two teens and a mom who is enrolled in online college courses, Uh Yeah… I could sure use one of these. I have faith I will be the lucky winner.
Two teens and a mom who is enrolled in online college courses, Uh Yeah… I could sure use one of these. I have faith I will be the lucky winner
I would be honored to try this new device.I love the modern look.
I would love to win this for my kids for christmas
OMG we need a new router in the WORST way! It would be awesome to win and not have to spend money on a new one!
Our wireless router is a pain! I keep having to unplug and plug back in atleast 10x a day and the signal is horrible. My boyfriend uses it for his homework since hes in college and i use it for my coupons, or social networks to keep in touch with family and friends imagine being on the internet chatting with a friend and the router disconnects you! or doing homework and having to get up to unplug and plug back in?
I would love to try this new router! Mine just bit the dust and now I have to plug my laptop in! I would recommend it to all of my friends! 🙂
I would love to have one for xmas…
I loved the explanation of how to set-up this router. That was so great! I would love one of these as well!
Would love to give this as a gift to my parents.
Wow – I love how technology is getting easier and easier! What a great looking product!
Our router is going and my husband said it is a good one. It would be great to win it since we don’t have money for a new one
Wow, this would be awesome. My family has to take turns on the computers as we have capability for only 1 person to be on line at a time. A new router would be fantastic.
Hello,my husband keep bugging to get one of these.it would be cool to win one thanks
Please enter me in this contest 😀 I would love to go wireless in my home.
I would LOVE to have one of these!
Thanks for the opportunity. I would love to have one of these.
Hi. I would love to try this out. I am game for new technology and would love wireless!
An easy to set up router would be fantastic !
This is my correct email please discard the other one I left out the C in the email, Tried to correct it but it already when through.
Still need this 🙂
Awesome! Katie’s my sister. We would love that!
Would love to show my hubby that I could set up something like this! He thinks I am “technologically challenged.”
Good God my fiance would love this! He has been looking at them everytime we go to best buy I just know he wants to buy it but then I have to give him the look cause he know we have to save money for christmas and of course bills!