I have had a high speed internet connection since 1998. This means I have had my share of routers. I don’t exaggerate when I say that it seems like routers start to “go bad” every 2-3 years. The most frustrating part with getting a new router is the setup. The typical user has no idea what WPA or WEP are. At any moment I can turn on my laptop and find at least 2 unprotected, generic named Wifi connections in my neighborhood.

The Cisco Valet takes the guess work out of setting up your router and wireless network. There is no need to call up your techy friend, or get help from the Geek Squad.  All setup is handled by a USB key that comes with the unit. All you do is plug that into the computer that you want to add to wireless, follow the directions and before you know it, you are online. The key installs a small program called Cisco Connect to your computer. This allows you to log into your router at any time to tweak settings, change password, or access Advanced Settings for doing things like opening up ports. But most users never need to change their ports so those settings are not in the way to intimidate you when all you want to do is get online.

Pros

  • Ease of setup
  • Fast Wireless N
  • Still allows advanced settings to be changed

Cons

  • If you do manage to screw up your wireless settings like I have done a couple of times since I was tinkering, it is almost impossible to get back into your router settings without starting all over, and rebuilding the USB key settings.

So far my use with the router has been smooth. Despite the tweaking problems (which I will take credit for), my connection has been solid and getting all the devices in my house to communicate over wireless have been easy.

If you know someone still in the dark ages, bring them up to the 21st Century with the gift of wireless internet! The Cisco Valet makes it super easy.

The Cisco Valet is available for around $65 from Amazon.com.