Cisco Valet lives up to ‘easy wireless networking’ promise

When it comes to wireless networking, you could say that we at StuffWeLike have been around the block.

Ever the early adopters, I set up our first Linksys wireless network in late 1999. Boy, was that an adventure. So many settings I’d never heard of, so many subtle incompatibilities between wireless cards. It gives me the shivers to remember the horror of it all.

We stuck with Linksys for a couple more generations, flirted for a couple of years with D-Link and most recently love our Netgear simultaneous dual band setup.

But because gadget lust comes with a healthy dose of masochism, we happily volunteered to check out Cisco’s Valet router.

Setup also allows you to create a guest network and determine if security settings for it.

The Wireless-b, -g and -n compatible Valet promises to take all of the hassle out of setting up a wireless network. Opening the box revealed no hint of an instruction manual; just a few lines of directions.

The sleek blue and white Valet is a far cry from the ugly, antennaed eyesores that were the old Linksys routers. Along with a small white power supply and ethernet cable, the box contains a usb key for setup.

We plugged in the power, routed our cable modem to the Valet and connected the router to a Windows 7 pc. Plugging in the usb key opens up the installation software directory, double clicking on the installation program automatically configures your pc and the router for a secured network.

The installation creates a default sis id and password, but you can easily create your own. Any changes you make are saved to the usb key.

Once the network is up and running, eject the usb key and insert it into any other devices on your network and repeat the installation. Couldn’t be easier.

The Valet retails for $99.99 and also comes in a Plus version that promises extended signal range and faster wired connection speeds. To learn more about the Cisco Valet, visit the Cisco website.

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