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Wireless Routers Made Easy

You don't need a computer science degree to set up and use these devices.

OK, so a wireless router might not be as "sexy" as a sleek smartphone, desirable camera or slim television — but it's one of the most important tech purchases for your home.

This small box connects to your high-speed Internet connection and allows multiple devices to get online without having to be plugged into the modem. These include computers, printers, smartphones, tablets, e-book readers, video game consoles, Internet-ready televisions and more.

wireless router

— Corbis

While liberating — as you're no longer tethered to the wall — wireless (Wi-Fi) routers can be tricky to setup and use. This is why we were looking forward to testing two new products that claim to be easy to install and operate — even for those more tech shy than tech savvy. Both operate on the latest 802.11 "n" standard, which is faster than older 802.11 "g," "a" and "b" — and they work over greater distances, too.

Specifically, we tested Cisco's Valet ($99.99; Cisco.com) and D-Link's DIR-825 Xtreme N Dual Band Gigabit Router ($119.99; dlink.com). Here's what to expect from them.

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