I can’t say it any plainer.
Don’t even think about buying the Cisco Valet or Cisco Valet Plus router.
This is the router that has been advertised as the idiot’s answer to setting up a home/small office wireless network.
Well that is a totally bogus claim.
Here’s what they say in their advertising:
Set Up in Minutes
Simply insert Valet’s included Easy Setup Key to launch Cisco Connect software, breeze through the simple screens, and you’re wireless.
Here is the truth:
Set up in SIXTY minutes.
Simply insert Cisco Valet Easy Setup Key, then call Cisco tech support who will tell you to remove it while they stay on the line to walk you through a brazilian steps to install your network settings and WPAs and WEPs and user names and passwords.
Lightning fried our Netgear router. Even with a power strip, it just died. It had been chugging along ever since we installed our Big Ass Tee Vee. Stable and strong, never a blip or loss of signal.
Rather than pay the $39 for 30 minutes of tech support from Netgear to try to revive it (all the lights were kaput), I decided it was time to replace it. Figuring I could pickup a similar Netgear router for about SIXTY bucks, I headed into the night to buy a new router.
Even for seasoned tech journalists like us, setting up a router can be a chore: try as companies might to make the process easier, it’s too often fraught with confusing instructions and jargon (think WPA2 and WEP) that’s likely to scare off the average user.
I’m a little above average. I have set up two routers before. But it had been two years since my last router setup. This is the knowledge one doesn’t retain. So I needed simple. Please make my life simple:
- Tuesday night simple.
- Nancy had been without internet for hours simple.
- It was 7 p.m. simple.
The tagline on the box,
Home wireless made easy
and the clean, Mac-like design did me in.
There were two models, the Cisco Valet and the Cisco Valet Plus. No explanation of why one cost $40 more than the other. I was told by the clerk the range was better on the Plus, so I sprang for the $129.99 – $20 trade-in.
What a big, huge, mammoth, super-sized mistake.
I plugged in the key and blammo, hit a wall that had me calling tech support within minutes of cracking the box.
Their first plan of attack REMOVE THE WIRELESS KEY.
Think Raj when you read this:
I flipped out! I lost it.
I read the box top to her: “Home wireless made easy with Cisco Connect key.”
I yelled at her. A lot. I cussed. I raved. All the dogs went to their crates. Nancy stayed up past her bedtime as a show of support. (I appreciate that dear.)
Yes, Mr. Bixty, I ville assits you vith your vouter. It ville be my pleasure. Please REMOVE THE WIRELESS KEY.
My desktop and modem are in one room, the router is in the center of the house for better reception around the acreage. The cable is fished through the walls. So I had to do the setup with the laptop with a dead battery sitting on top of the clothes washer near the router installation.
You know the drill: unplug the router, unplug the modem, take out the battery back up in the modem, lose the phone call because we get our phone service through the cable company, get a call on cell phone, put battery back in, plug modem back in, plug router back in. Control panel, click, right click, click, open, OK, close, open browser, put in IP address, shutdown, restart. Walk. Walk. Walk. Talk. Talk. Talk.
Rinse and flippin’ repeat, SIXTY times.
All the while that little wireless key was taunting me. I could hear it saying “neener, neener, neener” with a Bangladeshy accent.
It took over SIXTY minutes to install this idiot-proof, but very expensive router.
Do not buy the Cisco Valet Wireless router.
You hab been varned.