Route 666

I’m taking a quick break from the storyline to convey in comic-form what actually happened to me when I called a certain large corporation last night regarding my dying router. What is it with routers lasting only a year and change before they succumb to the “drop-signal-hit-the-reset-button” plague?

And for the record, the company’s tech support was a joke. The first thing they said after I mentioned that my router needed to be reset frequently was that I’ve been hacked – and for a nominal price, they could set up my router. She also said that routers can get hacked when the reset button on the back is pressed…

After I kept insisting the problem was with the hardware, the CSR wanted me to buy a new one (with a discount that was $20 more than what Amazon charges for the same router.) When I mentioned that fact to her, she came back with some lame excuse that the product was refurbished (no it wasn’t) and that the firmware for the Cisco router on Amazon was out of date. WTF?

So, as you can guess, I am now forced to consider other alternatives… including using open source firmware to attempt to coo my router back to the land of the living.

Router horror stories? Customer service blahs? Got any good router recommendations? Hit me up and we’ll commiserate over a pint.

UP! Fair update: I’m now only $50 shy from my goal! Thank you for all the generous support!!



-Krishna

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • AnyaReply
    September 3, 2010 at 3:48 am

    I’ve been using my Belkin router for over 3 years, and never had problems with it. Well there’s a weird problem of when I open uTorrent my internet browsers can’t connect to the internet (but IM clients can), but that might be a software issue on my computer.

  • Gareth ComptonReply
    September 3, 2010 at 4:13 am

    Ha ha1 were you aware that in the UK there *is* a company called Misco, and they sell IT equipment, including routers?
    http://www.misco.co.uk/

    • krishnaReply
      September 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

      oops! I had no idea that was a real company (shoulda googled it first, I suppose…)

      I meant Cisco. :)

  • BartimaeusReply
    September 3, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Our old router (dependable wireless) died recently. Now, we’ve got a new router (let’s say… variable wireless, though I did find the sweet spot lately). It isn’t quite as good (see above), though I have no horror stories.

  • ReneReply
    September 3, 2010 at 5:17 am

    How much support can one expect for a $30 (or even a $130) appliance if a call with a trained technician costs well over $60 per incident? Right, that’s when you put people with no education and a script there to answer calls. You get what you pay for.

    Just saying.

    • krishnaReply
      September 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

      Rene, you are sadly correct. Hardware is not built to last and router companies don’t care if they lose you as a customer because you’ll be back at some point (having few options).

      Thus far, I’ve been through 2 Linksys, 1 Netgear and 1 Cisco router, all in the span of 5 years.

  • JackBReply
    September 3, 2010 at 6:21 am

    Build your own from an old PC! Yes, it is more expensive, but guess what – it just works. Use easy to run open source software like pfSense http://www.pfsense.org/ It’s very easy to set up and maintain.

  • Jakk FrostReply
    September 3, 2010 at 6:49 am

    Honestly, that sounds like a case of “planned/built-in obsolescence” to me, you might want to look into consumer reports on various routers to see if there are any good ones with good reviews regarding how long the hardware lasts past warranty.

  • Kurt SassoReply
    September 3, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I’m dealing with one of the largest DSL / phone providers here in Canada. I have a Router/Gateway 2WIRE 2701HG. This is my second one and I’ve called up support and they always say, “Well, you have to reset your router” or “Oh, you can’t have your router any closer than 6′ for your wireless to work?” Wait, what? At what point of: “Your router is a pos and my hardwired devices aren’t working properly…” did I mention wireless?

    Anyone that’s done tech support knows how to logically troubleshoot their own equipment… sigh, it’s like they just don’t care anymore. Where’s the pride in solving an issue rather than just transferring to another department.

    I’m typing this as I’m on hold with Sales.

  • ZakReply
    September 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I feel your pain. My last 2 DSL routers (Siemens and D-Link) died respectively, 1 and 20 days after the warranty expired. I am now with a Thomson and 3 more warranty months left.

  • GJBReply
    September 3, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I’ve been using a Linksys (by Cisco) router for three years with no problems. Before that I was using an SMC router for six years. I only replaced the SMC router as it was no longer fast enough to keep up with the speed my ISP was providing and it didn’t do wireless.
    But, with the Linksys, I installed dd-wrt on it. While there’s been a few glitches with that, it’s been better software than what came with the Linksys. A few times it has locked up and rebooted itself. And the fewer times it hasn’t worked has been solved with a restart.

    • GJBReply
      September 3, 2010 at 10:00 am

      Apparently links aren’t allowed in the comments, but a google search on dd-wrt brings them up first.

  • SteveReply
    September 3, 2010 at 10:03 am

    You didn’t mention what model Misco, er, Cicso router you had, but the older Cicso-Linksys WRT-54GL is a very modable model if you don’t care about N WiFi. I’ve been using a couple with the DD-WRT firmware for years, and they’ve been very reliable.

  • NickReply
    September 3, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I’ve got a Linksys WRT610N and it’s working pretty well for the last 2 years. Of course, I put the DD-WRT firmware on there, so that might have something to do with it…

  • SerondrychReply
    September 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I had 3 routers in 4 years, first two had big problems (Encore & Trendnet). The third one is the winner, an Apple Airport Extreme (dual band), it works perfect!

  • wdwillisReply
    September 3, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    after going through netgear/linksys routers like candy, i finally got annoyed enough to say to heck with it.
    i use a pc with ipcop installed connected between the modem, and a 24 port rackmounted hub.it just works better for me.

  • gjain81Reply
    September 4, 2010 at 6:36 am

    actually i have a netgear wireless router working for past 3 years and the problem u are experiencing so did i, but a firmware upgrade solved the problem

Tell me what you think!