07 February 2017

reliable routers?

these are the horror stories you only hear about in other blogs but your own.

i have an asus rt-ac87u router which i have been mostly happy with for over a year now. middle to late last year, the firmware update on the router caused it to just drop the internet connection randomly. not the whole network or a restart, but just the connection to my internet modem.

last night (or early this morning, rather), i woke up for other reasons, but i watched as i was browsing on my phone the network switch from my 5GHz network to LTE. ugh! but i'll deal with it in the morning. 

i woke up and started a few things around the house. i rebooted the router to find no restoration of that band. (the 2.4GHz band was fine.) i didn't have time to deal with it then, so i set aside for when i got home. i was thinking it was the radio for 5GHz.

and upon entering my house, i started the effort to replace the router with a backup device of exactly the same make and model. needless to say, the results were exactly the same. after upgrading to the latest firmware, the 5GHz band disappeared. i am now not thinking it's hardware. so, i flash an earlier version. same problem. i flash the latest merlin image. i do get a new option to enable the radio, but the 5GHz led just flashes at me like it's confused about what to do. it shows up on the available wifi lists, but you can't really connect to it.

i pull out my linksys wrt-1900acs, which i had purchased when the firmware problem on two asus routers was dropping my internet connection. it seemed like it would work for the foreseeable future. oh, look! a firmware update. i update...and it started a reboot cycle which is worse than the asus.

i plugged the asus back in, pulled a copy of dd-wrt down for the linksys, and installed it. after the configuration was good, i thought i was set. all seemed to be working. i fired up the xbox and midway through my second crucible match in destiny, the router reset. seems the cycle persisted through the dd-wrt image as well.

three routers of two different brands go belly up in one night. i think these are high odds, but i have lost respect and confidence in both these companies. i mean, asus: if the firmware is to blame for the 5GHz radio failing--and it think that it is--then why? how could this not somehow come up in testing? there is a whole thread about asus routers suffering from this problem. and no remedy?

and linksys: the reboot cycle is a known problem for you too. why is it not fixed already? all the info about how to deal with this is about six months old. why is there not a solution?

i guess the solution is to buy another router. this has been a very expensive lesson in product review. and it's not even over yet! i am normally very loyal, to a fault even. but in an age when a good network connection has become a dependency, i need to find one that will be there for the long haul.

i am disappointed.