The Valet wireless router opens homes for Cisco

Today Cisco announced the launch of the company’s new wireless router targeting consumers, the Valet M10 and its more high-powered version Valet Plus M20. Valet is designed to make the installation of home wireless networks easy and painless. Most household shun networks because they are perceived as difficult to set up and configure and retailers report high return rates for wireless products.

Already the leader in office and professional wireless network routers, Cisco is now trying to boost its top line by tapping into the vast base of homes without wireless networks. While office wireless networks are mostly about computers and scanners, Cisco is building interest in the Valet wireless router by highlighting it as a platform for online gaming and HD video-on-demand viewing. Cisco is also positioning Valet is a way to create a wi-fi hotspot in the customer’s home. Finally, Cisco offers the Valet Connector, an adapter that makes non-wireless devises wireless.

Valet is a router, not a modem. For it to work the customer must have broadband or high speed Internet access. There in lies the product’s weakness since many Internet service providers – including phone and cable companies – include wireless network capability in their service package.