"Over hyped - Parental Controls not effective"2.5 starson by quackquackquack
Pros: The product does configure very easily using the USB key - but its really no different from the CD based software tha comes with every other router.
Cons: The parental controls are not an effective filter. Valet does not filter the searches in search engines. If you search for porn images, the search engines will find them. Valet will only block them when you click the image to go to the websites.
Summary: This router is a huge dissapointment. I gave up a perfectly functional Netgear G router with extended range and spent $200 for a Valet Plus (M20) and a Valet Connector to provide internet to a new game computer for 11 yr old son. My #1 concern was internet filtering - so I bought the Valet since it parental controls are a big selling point. My #2 concern was Wireless Range - so I bought the more expensive M20 version.
The Parental Controls are a joke. You can set it to Child or Teen - thats it. It will block out all WEBSITES that are inappropriate to the age setting. Google is an appropriate allowed website - as it should be but the Valet does not filter the search results - so you go to Google Images - type in "porn" and up pops 10,000 porno images - of course if you click on the actual image The Valet will block that link, but it doesn't block the search - so you have to go to Google, and Bing, and etc... setting up Locked Search controls. Do not purchase this thinking that it is a filtered firewall like the kids have in school. Its a half baked concept. For example - AdamAndEve.com is not a blocked site - the Valet thinks its a legitimate shopping site for kids. I navigated to the site by going to Google Shopping and searching the common name for popular toys. The front page of AdamAndEve.com has plenty of graphic photos of adult toys that you would expect Valet to filter. If you click on the Sex Toys tab, Valet will block that. The Valet allows you to block individual sites - up to a total of 8! Why only 8 custom blocked sites - why not thousands? If you are buying this to protect your kids, forget it. Go with Net Nanny or something.
As for range - and the Valet Connector - I am 75 feet from the router and I have two of five bars. The Valet Connector is just a USB wireless adapter plugged into a stand - its nothing special. The Valet Connector cost $75 or so - for this price you'd think the base would be properly weighted - but its not - its just cheap plastic. It has a heavy cord so the cord is always trying to flip the cheap plastic usb adaptor off the desk. Might want to buy some tape to tape it to the desk.
If you are a total computing moron and don't know how to configure Microsoft Word, then this router is for you. If you do not know what USB stands for, buy this product. If you are comfortable using the words router and ethernet, then buy any other product for half the price with double the features. Here is a simple test. If you have any knowledge whatsoever that Unsecured Wireless Network and WPA Encrypted Wireless network are not synonyms, then you will be very disspointed at the functionality of this product for the price. However, if you are tired of fielding tech support phone calls from your retired in-laws - then this might be the product for them.
If you are intimidated by your computer settings or if you have never owned a wireless router, and if filtering is not an issue, then you will probably like this product very much.