Analytics killed the gut-instinct. So while gut instinct might say that just about everybody has wireless internet, it turns out that Cisco’s analytics showed that only a third of US households are wireless. It isn’t clear what the other two-thirds are doing – though possibilities exist for logging on to the neighbor’s unsecured networks. At Cisco they’re not speculating about neighbors with unsecured networks, however. They’ve theorized that this is totally a tech-savvy v. technophobe kind of thing. Setting up wireless is complex for the technically challenged folk. In light of this, Cisco is ready to rescue the them with its new wireless Valet that reduces the 20 or 30 wireless setup steps to just three. Now even a toddler can probably accomplish this.
Some believe such a user-friendly product to be a rather odd move for Cisco which owns Linksys, and is the major player in setting up larger and more complex networks for larger and more complex corporations. On the other hand, non-tech types, a.k.a. ordinary users may just be cheering about the Valet which comes with a USB Setup Key. Simply pop the USB key into the PC or Mac and the software takes care of the details. Move on to all other home computers, iPhones, game consoles and the like. Plus you can set up separate networks or parental controls.
Cisco is also offering customers a choice between Valet and Valet Plus. And no, the Valet Plus is not for your Mercedes Benz computer. Valet is about $100, while the Plus version is around $150 – with extra gigabits. And if you tend to have a few old computers sitting around, Cisco wants to help you connect those as well. For around $80, a USB Valet Connector can hook you up. Perhaps if they made the Linksys box as cute as the Valet device it might generate more interest. Though cuteness may be in the eye of the beholder anyway.
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