SmallNetBuilder

Follow SmallNetBuilder
Follow SmallNetBuilder on TwitterConnect On Facebook Google+Get the SmallNetBuilder RSS Feed
You are here: Wireless Wireless Reviews Cisco Valet M10 Wireless HotSpot Reviewed - Setup

Cisco Valet M10 Wireless HotSpot Reviewed - Setup

Print E-mail
<< Prev - Page 2 of 5 - Next >>

Setup

Unlike many wireless routers/hotspots, there's really not too much to talk about for setup on the Cisco Valet.  When you flip open the box top, the inside of the lid contains "Your key to simple setup" - i.e., a USB key with the Cisco Connect software.  Cisco has distilled the installation of the Valet to three simple steps, listed on the inside lid of the package below the key:

1.  Insert the Easy Setup Key into a USB port on your computer

2.  Click Connect to your Cisco Valet.

3.  Follow the on-screen instructions to install your Cisco Valet.

Call me a cynic, but I really didn't expect setup to be as easy as this makes it seem.  However, the next few screen shots will show you just how simple it is.

When you insert the key, depending on your system configuration, the Cisco Connect software may run automatically, or you may have to click on an icon to start it.  On the Mac, the package is mounted on your desktop, and you just have to open the installer drive and click on the icon.

The first time you insert the USB key, it installs a small program, Cisco Connect, onto your computer.  Out of the box, the software assumes that haven't installed the Valet. So the initial screen (Figure 4) prompts you to connect the Valet to power and your Internet connection.  Should you need more detailed information, a click on "Show me how" provides additional assistance.

Connect Wizard start

Figure 4: Connect Wizard start

When you click on Next, the screen shown in Figure 5 tells you to be patient while your computer is connected to the Valet.  Though the screen warns that it could take up to five minutes, in reality, it took much less time. You do get a spinning wheel so that you don't think the program has quit on you. But there are no progress indicators or status messages to let you know how things are moving along.

Connection in progress

Figure 5: Connection in progress

In just a few moments, you get a reassuring "Congratulations" screen (Figure 6) showing that setup is complete.

Setup done

Figure 6: Setup done

During this initial setup process, all of the "heavy lifting" was done completely in the background, with no decisions or interaction needed.  The installed Cisco Connect program provides a very simple four panel interface (Figure 7)  This is certainly not intimidating to even the least technically savvy.

Main menu

Figure 7: Main menu

During the setup process, Cisco Connect creates a "safe" name for your hotspot.  From my observations, it looks like they combine an adjective and a noun.  My first test yielded the name "TinyMoose".  The second time, it generated the name "ShortCedar". 

Setup also configured WPA wireless security with a pre-shared key and set a secure password to protect access to the hotspot.  In fact, the Wi-Fi PSK is the same as the device password.  This is a huge improvement over other router configurations that don't force you to change the admin password, don't set up wireless security, or worse, don't do either.  At the end of setup, you have a secured "hotspot" protected by a secure password.  No more default "Admin/Password" as found on some other devices.  All of the configuration data is stored on the "Easy Setup" USB key to facilitate setup and installation on other computers.




Related Items:

Cisco Shuffles Its Wireless Deck
New To The Charts: Cisco Linksys E1000 Wireless-N Router
Inside Story: Linksys E-series and Cisco Valet
New To The Charts: Cisco Linksys E1200 Wireless-N Router
New To The Charts: Belkin Play Max Wireless Router

User reviews

View all user reviews

Average user rating from: 6 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

User Rating    [Back to Top]
Overall: 
 
3.2 Features :
 
2.7 Performance :
 
3.7 Reliability :
 
3.3
 
Ratings (the higher the better)
Features*
 
Performance*
 
Reliability*
 
Comments*
    Please enter the security code.
 
 

Rock solid performance when you upgrade the firmware to Tomato

Overall rating: 
 
5.0
Features:
 
5.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Bilal
December 30, 2012
Report this review
 

I don't even bother with stock firmware. I had upgraded my firmware right away to Tomato and I've had any issues while running 14+ wifi devices, VOIP ATA phone, Apple TV streams and lots of p2p downloads.

Haven't even rebooted in 97 days.

 

Cisco Valet M10

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by feudi
March 09, 2011
Report this review
 

I must have bought a lemon because the router I have simply does not work. The middle button will not light, the machine came without any security key codes or instructions and the so called Valey key doesn't work either.

 

Cisco blocks churches

Overall rating: 
 
4.0
Features:
 
4.0
Performance:
 
4.0
Reliability:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Roberto
February 28, 2011
Report this review
 

Nice router, but turn on the parent controls, and "religion" websites are blocked, meaning your church or synagogue website, as will Samaritan's Purse (relief organization) and Bible Gateway.

 

Requires Cisco Connect to administrate

Overall rating: 
 
2.3
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by Returning to Store ASAP
September 01, 2010
Report this review
 

Nice idea, but was pricey to buy.

The DEALBREAKER: You can only set some of the settings using the Cisco Connect software.

For example, to set any of the Guest options, REQUIRES Cisco Connect software be used.

YOU CANNOT SET SOME OF THE SETTINGS USING THE WEB HTTP Interface.

YOU CANNOT SWITCH BACK & FORTH BETWEEN Using Cisco Connect and the web http interface. IT is one of the other.

Very Inconvenient, and forget about supporting this thing remotely like in a business environment.

Thumbs down!

 

Not Simple

Overall rating: 
 
3.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
5.0
Reliability:
 
3.0
Reviewed by Jason
May 21, 2010
Report this review
 

This is all BS. I spent 3 hours on the phone because this piece of crap failed to install on any of my computers. Finally after asking for a new tech, since the other was outsourced to India and could not understand english I had my problem solved in 20 minutes. I am running 3 computers with vista, and the usb key did not work on any. Not Simple. Not fast. Overpriced.

 
 
View all user reviews

Amazon Top-Selling Wireless Routers