Networking Company Cisco, which is currently hiring new management for their consumer division in Australia, will shortly launch a new range of home wireless network gear that will include an easy to install Valet wireless router range. They are also set to drop the name Linksys on all their consumer products and cutting the range to just four products.
In an effort to capitalise on the “ease of use” that the Flip camera has delivered for consumers, Cisco believe that they can now do the same with a new range of wireless routers, which will go on sale in Australia shortly.
Cisco claim that, like the Flip camcorder, the new family of Valet routers is designed to be taken out of the box and set up right away, with little reference to the instruction manual.
The line will include the Valet and Valet Plus models, the latter offering an expanded range for larger homes. Both are 802.11n capable.
“Just like with camcorders, this is a category that has always been very technology driven, so we’ve listened to the things that have driven people crazy with wireless networks and we’ve designed a category for consumers instead of making technology for technology’s sake,” said Scott Kabat, Valet Marketing Director at Cisco.
Also offered is a Valet wireless USB connector, which can be added to a computer without an internal wireless network card to connect to the router. The name Valet was chosen to communicate the message that “it works for you, you don’t work for it,” the company said.
The package was designed to quickly show shoppers what is relevant to them — showing all of the tasks that can be performed with a Wi-Fi network in the home without getting into a lot of detail about various features and specifications.
The Valet routers promise three steps to getting a Wi-Fi network set up and running.
The routers will ship with a USB setup key that plugs into a computer, initiating instant software setup. Settings will then be saved back to the key, so that if additional PCs in the home need to be connected to the network, the USB key can be plugged in and the network connection can be made. The software stays loaded on the computer, managing all of the tasks that residents want to do wirelessly.
The software includes parental control features using a one-screen dashboard that enables customised settings for each child, regulating when they are allowed to surf the Web, differentiating between school nights and weekends, and blocking or unblocking specific Web sites.
For those who don’t know which sites maybe inappropriate, behind-the-scenes software allows Valet to permit or restrict access.
Another feature of the system is Guest Access, which provides a special password that enables guests to browse the Web without giving them access to any private data in the network.