If you are looking for help setting up a safe home network for your family, this will be your new best friend- tech geek, nanny and guest concierge rolled into one. The Cisco Valet is the easy way to set up your family’s network, painless and simple. The Valet basically does everything for you and you have your own “hotspot” ready to wirelessly connect your household without all of the headaches that can accompany such a set up. It’s nothing fancy router-wise, there’s no USB port, so you can’t connect a non-wireless printer or storage drive directly to the Valet, but if you are an average person without severe networking skills, you can set up a very practical home network that allows you to very simply control what your children and guests can access while allowing yourself full access and control over multiple devices. It offers a very reliable connection with a decent range. It absolutely out performs our current router that offers more dropped signal than signal. We tested the Valet with an iMac, a laptop, an iPod Touch, the Wii and an iPad all worked far better than the connection we usually have with our router. There were no signal drops anywhere in the house with any device we tested out.
What makes it all so easy is the USB key, just pop it into your computer and it sets up everything for you, then move on to the next one. Devices, such as iPods, game consoles or a wireless printer, have to be set up as well, but the process is pretty simple too. Once you’re done you can easily set up whatever optional controls to you want for anyone in the house. You can allow internet access at only a certain times (this can be different for school days vs. weekends), block specific websites or set up a temporary guest account without giving out your personal passwords. You can even easily set permissions for internet access on external devices, such as an iPod or a game console. It was surprisingly easy to configure all of the options and to allocate access. The Cisco Connect interface is very easy to use and with minimal knowledge, you’ll have a fancy home network before you know it.
If you’re network challenged, the Cisco Valet can get you up and running with a fancy home network in a flash. Your children will have the access you want them to have from full unblocked access to child or teen suitable content for only the hours you allow. Your guests will be impressed when they find that hotspot in the guest room with their own personal password. You will be amazed at how easy it all is. The Valet (for small to medium-sized homes) is $99.99. And the Valet Plus (for medium to large homes, so a bit more range) is $149.99. Both are compatible with both Macs and PCs and offer Cisco’s Award-winning 24/7 Online Support resources as well as 1 year of free Assisted Support.- Kiersten, Staff Writer
*Cisco provided sample for review