I don’t know about you guys, but for my household, an internet connection is not a luxury, but a necessity. Almost everything is done online these days. Twitter is my newsfeed, email is my preferred mode of communication, and people who know me can attest to the fact that it’s easier to get in touch with through chat than a regular text message. When WiFi was invented, I thought I was going to cry.
But with the availability of information at your fingertips also come the dangers. It has become way too easy to access anything online, and that includes stuff you don’t really want your kids to see.
So it was with eagerness that I received an invitation to test and review the Cisco Linksys E1000 Router. Marketed specifically to the home-user, it boasts ease-of-use and parental controls, making it a supposedly friendly choice for even the not-so-techie mom. (There’s a bit of a goodie after the review, so scroll down!)
At this point of my internet life, I’ve begun to say, “a router is a router is a router”. I have a regular household that doesn’t require anything special from a router except that it sufficiently supplies internet in every corner I want it in my house. Having said that, I have to admit, the Linksys E1000 had a few nifty features. So here’s what I liked.
- I have a problem with my CD-Drive, so I couldn’t install the software from the included disc. I had to find my way to the Linksys support page and download the software from there. It was SO EASY, unlike a certain brand’s technical support page that gave me headaches just to look for the correct drivers. The entire process was a dropdown-box-and-a-click.
- Once you’ve got the Cisco Connect software installed, set up is a breeze. Other routers would require you to log-in to the setup page by entering the IP address on the browser toolbar – a set of numbers I always never remember right. With Cisco Connect, all you need is to fire it up and you’re there. It’s quite easy and breezy.
- Feature I Love: Guest Access. There’s nothing I hate more than WiFi leechers. Apart from slowing down your connection, it’s just plain rude, don’t you think? I always feel weird giving out our WiFi password to occasional visitors, and I know that for security’s sake, I should change the password now and then. With Guest Access, your visitors can surf and use your network without giving out your main access password and you can change it as often as you like. Useful for deterring the occasional bad egg who will go to great lengths to park in front of your house for free WiFi. Rocks in the sky, the one who gets hit should not get mad. #somethingsshouldneverbetranslated
- The parental controls are great. My iMac has built-in parental controls also, but this takes it a step further by allowing you to individually set the limits on EACH DEVICE that connects to your WiFi network. It has time limits that can be set for different devices, as well as an area to specify any sites you want banned on each device. For example, you can limit the time on weekdays and be a little lenient on weekends. You may allow Facebook on your own desktop but not on your son’s iPad. It allows you to have some control over your children’s internet use without intruding on their personal digital space. (Knowing these kids, they’ll figure out a workaround on the computer settings anyway!)