I have had 2 wireless routers and I doubt either has lasted 12 months. The 'wired' connections work fine, but the wireless is sporadic. I thought is was the wireless card for my laptop, but a brand new wireless USB adapter does the same thing: it does not see my wireless router. The new card does find my neighbors wireless connection, but not the router sitting 2 feet away.
I had a Linksys and now a Dlink and the wireless parts have died while the wired ports are fine. Am I doing something wrong? Is there anyway to test the wireless connection to confirm that it is working?
Linksys and D-link I think have a 2 yr warranty?. Most cases I have seen residential wireless routers hange and need rebooting (cold) on a regular basis. I have traced some of the problems to the loging filling up all available ram. I recomend loging only errors and/or attacks. A cold boot generally clears the buffers. On linksys there is unix firmware availabe.
I have seen some users stuff the routers in places that prohibit cooling. Over heating is the main cause of failure. These transmitters run hot and need cooling. Some of the radio cards use PCMCI slotted radio cards, and can be replaced.
On all make sure you are using the latest firmware.
I use a seperate AP alone with a larger 8 port vpn router. Gives more flexability. I am using a USR 5450 along with their PCMCI 5410 card. It's been trouble free for 1 3/4 yrs now. And doesn't have the lockup problem like others do.
I use APC- UPS units on all equipment including All incoming lines, Cable and cat5 cables. Have never had a hardware failure due to a power spike or dip in 25 yrs. You will be suprise on how much the power fluctuates.
I used a wireless AP for about 4 years and replaced it so I didn't have to have both a wireless AP and separate router. These components are solid state (no moving parts) and should last longer than your hard drive. The most common defect should be firmware corruption and this would be caused by power surges. I would suggest getting a good power strip or if you are using one maybe try a power strip that has Power Conditioning.
Keep in mind all devices directly connected (lan cable not wirelessly connected) to the wireless router need to have power strips on them since a surge can still hit the router through another device.
EDIT: Also most people don't think about adding protection on the phone lines or cable lines. I ran a large coax/rj11 surge protector since those lines originate outside of the house and could produce slight surges.
I had a D-link for over 6 years now 802.11n that I purchased at Best Buy. The only time I have had any serious problems connecting to it was when we had a real bad storm. Now I am starting to see more connection problems because I think now it is just time to replace it. The best thing is to keep it on a power strip and in an area where kids and pets can't tamper with it.