If you're looking for a simpler way to customize or control your wireless network, Cisco has announced its new Linksys E-series routers that will do just that. Also, the company's new Valet and Valet Plus, which are designed like the company's Flip Video products, will serve its core consumer base and make wireless network set-up easier than ever. According to IDC, only 1/3 of homes in the United States is set up for wireless internet use and Cisco believes these products will increase that number.
"Consumers have felt powerless and frustrated with the entire process of home wireless, but with Valet we are tearing down the walls and opening it up to everyone. The market for wireless-enabled products is exploding and now mainstream users will be able to take full advantage of all the new opportunities," said Johnathan Kaplan, the Systems Senior Vice President at Cisco.
Valet will ship with he company's Cisco Connect software and getting your home network up and running will only require three steps. All of your information is retained by a USB-enabled setup key that will ship along with it. This will allow you to add computing devices to the network by inserting the key and letting the software do the rest. You can also set parental controls, allowing your children to only be online during certain periods of the day for certain amounts of time, and provide internet access for guests with a special guest network.
Valet will set you back $99.99 and is great for smaller homes with primary wireless devices. Valet plus is better for midsized to larger homes with a mix of wireless and wired devices. It will cost you around $149.99. You can purchase both products from Linksys.com, Amazon.com, and Staples.
The new Linksys E-Series is designed for a more sophisticated user. Once you've set-up and configured your home network, you can add multiple internet-capable devices or set parental controls for each device. The products also allow for more complicated and advanced actions through the router's default IP address. The Linksy E-Series also ships along with Cisco Connect software, which allows you to give visitors password-protected internet access on a guest network, and it will assign a WPA security passkey and SSID automatically. While Valet comes with a USB set-up key, this one comes with CD.
The entry level Linksys E1000 will cost about $79.99 and will supposedly connect at speeds of 300 Mpbs. The middle-range model, the Linksys E2100L, and the high-end model, the Linksys E3000, will use 802.11n and can connect computers, gaming consoles, internet-enabled HDTVs, and Blu-ray players. They will cost $119.99 and $179.99, respectively. All three of the products feature four gigabit Ethernet ports.
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