Comments about Cisco Linksys Factory Refurbished M20 Valet Plus Wireless N Router - 802.11b/g/n

Cisco Linksys Factory Refurbished M20 Valet Plus Wireless N Router - 802.11b/g/n

Product Description

Experience wireless power, speed and security with this Cisco Valet Plus M20 802.11n Broadband Router. This Cisco Valet Plus M20 is a broadband router with firewall, wireless access point, and four-port Ethernet switch all in one. Use the Valet Plus M20 to share your broadband connection at home with wired and wireless devices. The Valet Plus M20 is compliant with IEEE 802.11n specifications to provide maximum data transfer rates of 300 Mbps while also maintaining backward compatibility with Wireless-b and Wireless-g devices. The Cisco Valet Plus M20-RM features an included Easy USB Setup Key that holds the setup software, making deployment of a wireless network fast and easy with nearly any computer equipped with a USB port. It also supports Wi-Fi protected setup support for addition setup options.In addition, this Cisco Valet Plus M20-RM is designed to help safeguard your wireless communications from hackers and other Internet attacks with its Firewall, WPA2, WEP and Wireless MAC Filtering security features. Order today.

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READ THIS: If you've purchased a refurbished Valet Plus M20, be sure to reset your router before attempting installation. This will save you a couple of hours of needless head scratching, frustration and a call to customer service. How to reset the router in 3 easy steps: 1) plug the power chord into the back of the unit and 2)use a pen tip or paperclip to gently press reset button (on back of device) for 10 - 15 seconds then 3) wait for the far right "power" indicator on front of device to stop blinking (takes about 20 - 30 seconds). Then plug your USB quick connect device in and installation will proceed normally. A coworker and I each purchased one of these refurbished routers last week, we both installed at different times and had to call customer service for 15 minutes to learn that a simple hard-reset of the device allowed for easy installation. Other than the "reset" issue, this is a great product and super easy to setup. 4 stars only because of the initial setup confusion caused by lack of proper documentation.

Out of the box, I pushed the reset button on the back of the units to make sure I cleared any prior programming. I had purchased two of the Valet Plus routers because I intended to make a wireless bridge out of them. I found that the software that comes on the M20 Valet Plus Wireless N Router does not allow you to do this but it does allow for some pretty cool features as standalone wireless routers. And as standalone routers, the installation software (which comes on a USB thumb drive) allows for a very easy and secure installation in mere minutes.

But since that was not my intent, I downloaded DD-WRT hack onto one of the routers and started to work on creating my bridge. After a couple hours of messing with it, I found that the original software on the unit needs to be replaced on both units in order to make a functioning bridge. I did not imagine that would be the case, but I tried several of the DD-WRT setups and never got the bridge to work until I hacked both routers with DD-WRT. Then it was amazing. Performance of the routers is excellent and with the DD-WRT hack, they were way more versatile.

Performance: If you really want the best performance, with the original software or the DD-WRT, run the router in N only mode (not mixed). Signal and distance seems to be pretty good and the speed is impressive. Running - I had no slow down in ping or transfer speeds below the rate I was getting with my PCs wired directly to my WAN router.

Would I recommend this router without DD-WRT? Yes.
Would I recommend this router with DD-WRT? Heck yes.

Last note: since I mentioned the DD-WRT hack, I should tell you - the hack is very easy to deploy. You simply get the latest version of the hack online, download it to you PC and then run the software update function on the router to install. It will take all of 10 minutes to completely change your router to a 'super-router'. Once the DD-WRT is loaded to the firmware of your router, the setup is a little more technical to setup the router - but you can find step by step guides at [...]

I have some technical know-how, so simple setup wasn't a must, but this was SOOOO easy! It was very nice to plug it in, put the USB setup key in my computer and, WOW!, it worked! NICE!

Range is much better than our old regular linksys that we had. I wouldn't say the range is massive, but we do now get a two-bar signal in our back bedroom that the old wireless couldn't reach at all.

The modem handles multiple wireless devices well...we've had XBOX live, Netflix streaming on an iPad, and internet on two computers going all at once with no problems at all with speed or connectivity.

The security seems ok...I don't really have any complaints. But we do live in a rural neighborhood area, and not in a hugely populated city area, if that makes any difference.

One nice feature is that is allows a guest account, so when people come to your house, they can log on to your network, and you give them a guest password instead of your main password. You can limit how much bandwidth guests are allowed to use as well. Neat feature!

Mine was refurbished by Cisco, and for the price, it is awesome!

We own a large square Victorian style home in Western Pennsylvania. When we first moved in I ran Ethernet throughout the house and deployed 2 Linksys WAP54G access points in an effort to cover most of the house with wireless signal. I had only minimal success and had very spotty coverage in the kitchen and no coverage outside of the house.

I had been on the look out for a new wireless access point or router but really did not want to pay more then $30 or $40 dollars for a new piece of equipment.

That is when I stumbled onto the Cisco-Linksys Valet Plus refurbished unit.

I figured for $29.99 I would take a shot on this unit. The package I received included the Cisco USB key, an Ethernet cable, power supply and the router.

I did not use the automatic configuration tool because I planned to use the router as an Access Point only. I plugged my laptop into the router via the Ethernet Cable. I quickly configured the unit and then deployed it to it's new home in the basement with the rest of my networking equipment. If you have ever configured a linksys product the interface is exactly the same.

I then took my iPhone and connected to the wireless access point. I fired up my Netflix streaming application and began to stream video from the Internet.

I walked around the house to all three floors and noted that there were no skips or degradation of the video. Also my wireless signal strength remained strong. I then tested from the kitchen and everything worked great. I figured at this point I should try from outside my house and was surprised when I had coverage from the curb in front of the house all the way to the detached garage behind our house.

I simply could not be happier with the coverage of this unit. For $29.99 it is absolutely worth every penny. The coverage is absolutely amazing.

For reference I work in IT and make a living managing large networks and computer systems. I used the advanced setup method which I would recommend for moderate to advanced users.

I read all the reviews and having purchased several Linksys routers felt this was a good buy. All of the good reviews here were correct and I am very happy with the purchase. It is refurbished but looked brand new, no scratches. I read in another review that you should plug the router in and press the reset button first before installing. I did that and had no problems installing. The setup was comcast Xfinity and this router on an HP laptop. My process: Took router out of box, plugged power cord in and pressed the little reset button in w/a pen then waited for all the lights to stop flashing. That reset the router. Next I plugged the router in the back of the Comcast modem and immediately they started communicating. At this time I plugged the USB into my laptop and let it do its setup. Literally within 5 minutes the setup was complete. I did nothing. I changed no settings. It did ask for a network name and password and then it instantly showed up in my available wireless networks. I was stunned by the ease as the other Linksys routers with Comcast often took tweaking. I rarely give praise unless it is extremely well deserved. This router gets my full backing. All of the claims of quick/easy setup where accurate. I had network connectivity (in a house that never had internet access and had a new comcast modem) in 15 minutes. This includes the reset of the router, install and then getting past Comcasts annoying start up page. If you are on the fence let me just say this is one time that it is worth it. It looked like a brand new router, super easy and quick install. I am thoroughly impressed! Oh, and I had full bars in the house including the basement w/cinder blocks and all but one bar way in the back yard so good range. A+ to Cisco on this router.

I have TWC at my house and store. I had this Cisco at my house with a Netgear modem and my internet was always disconnecting and would work fine after unplugging everything and plugging back in the modem and then router. At the store I had whatever TWC gave the business for a modem and a Netgear router that never dropped internet.

As I know little about how the internet works, I assumed the Netgear pair might make better friends and put the Netgear router at my house with the Netgear modem and this Cisco at the store. The store continues to never drop unless the whole area is down and the house that is 3 miles away is still a pain, although a little less so with the Netgear pair.

I pay double for the same speed internet at the store, but they call it "Business Class". That means that a person answers the phone when I call, and I assume that it means less people on one hub(whatever it is called) and less downtime from it. My TWC buddy said something along those lines.

Bottom Line: It has no issues now and does not even need unplugged and plugged in if the internet goes out. It just works. It did however have more problems at my house than my current pairing.

I did not necessarily care for the wireless, but wanted the 4 wired ports, being gigabit and the excellent price for a refurb. I read the reviews so I knew the trick to starting the router up for the first time. Worked great once my Mac had software installed and I breezed thru setup. I am getting speeds of 20mbps average and for Mediacom (never believe their ads) that is unbelievable. Day before yesterday I start having connection drops and speed average of 14mbps then yesterday speed average goes down to 6mbps with connection drops. I figured it was the Mediacom cable modem again (on 3rd one over year period), but took the M20 out of loop and speed went back to 20mbps average. Powered up tower PC and laptop PC and got the same results as Mac. Checked the firmware and matches latest on Cisco page. Then came here to look over reviews again and saw the dd-wrt firmware update. Found dd-wrt.v24-15508_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_m20.bin and dd-wrt.v24-17990_NEWD-2_K2.6_mini_m20.bin, went with 17990. Easy to use the Valet firmware update and went pretty quick. However, lost the ability to use Cisco Connect software with router as router now shows dd-wrt m20. Bothered at first by this, but new router webpage is very likable (little complex compared to software). Once all is setup on router webpage I am back to speeds of 20mbps average. So happy again with router, but not happy with Cisco. Dropped one star owing to the time and research I had to do to get the router properly running again.
I purchased the router on Dec 1st 2011 and on Feb 21st 2012 (just shy of 90 days) it started acting up.

Purchased this M20 as a replacement for a NETGEAR WNDR3700 that died after a year of service. Decided I needed a cheap replacement with gigabit lan ports, so I went with this and flashed immediately with dd-wrt.

I have 21 devices that use this for internet; desktops, laptops, tablets, ipods, cell phones, satellite, roku, etc. So far no drops, strong signals, excellent lan speeds.

The dd-wrt firmware allows a very complex set of options for advanced customization. I mainly needed a robust and flexible set of options for access restrictions (teenagers) and this has been a dream come true. Paired with opendns I can rein the kids in and gain control of my network from the inside.

Overall the flash took 10 minutes (I was extra careful) and has been up and running non-stop ever since. I went with DD-WRT v24-sp2 (12/08/11) mini - build 17990M NEWD-2 K2.6 Eko and haven't had any issues.

I just purchased a second M20 to use as a both a gigabit switch and wifi repeater. A 5 port gigabit switch is the same price but doesn't have the the ability to repeat my wifi signal. A refurbished m20 was the best option, so maybe that is just another reason to buy one.

WPS set up is quick and easy. If you start changing settings then you have to log back into the router. This was a pain for me because I mounted the hardware inside a wall panel and did not realize the default password is password. DOH. SO I had to reset it a couple times before realizing the order of operation.

1) WPS connect to phone
2) Log-in to router --change the default password
3) Reconnect phone to network with new password
4) Log-in to router --change the SSID
5) reconnect phone to new SSID
6) Connect other systems to the network
7) mount the hardware inside the wall panel
8) OPTIONAL STEP - connect to your neighbors router because they have not changed the default password; have a beer and surf some porn

I ordered a refurbished version of this product for about $20. I chose it based on consistant reviews and because it looked like a great deal for a wireless n router. I've only had it for a couple of weeks, but so far there have been no problems. From the research I did, at $20 this is a good a deal for a basic router (although obviously there are many features that are missing when compared to routers that cost considerably more).

Set up was about as effortless as advertised. It comes with a USB dongle with start up info, I just plugged it in, ran the program and a few minutes later I was connected. It worked perfectly well straight out of the box, so I haven't tried to mess around with any of the more sophisticated settings in the admin mode yet.

Signal strength is pretty good. I have a two story, two bedroom house and I can get perfect reception no matter what part of my house I go to. I've even tried accessing it from my neighbor's living room two houses down the block and am still able to get online. I've streamed HD movies and have done some speed tests, and seem to be getting about the same speed as when plugged directly into my modem (about 5-16 mbps, depending on the time of day).

Don't have much else to say about this. I was looking for a router that I could install quickly and then never have to think about again, and so far this seems to be performing like that.

I'm giving it 4 stars because it seems great for the money, but is already a pretty old product which means that there will probably be newer, more feature-rich bargains coming along real soon.

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