Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

A lifetime of router failures

Last response: in Networking
Share
January 20, 2011 3:10:07 AM

What am I doing wrong? In the last 5 years, I have been through at least 6 routers. I keep buying more expensive routers each time, but they keep failing even quicker each time.

In each case, the routers have functioned flawlessly for a period of 2 to 8 months, then suddenly begin to require daily to hourly reboots to keep the speed up, and often times fail to respond to any web activity whatsoever. Ping tests are intermittent, sometimes failing but other times succeeding while web sites remain unresponsive.

For three years I lived with two or more room mates at a time, each of us with our own computer (or 2) and all doing a lot of peer to peer downloading. I realize a router can overheat during heavy use like this, so buying new routers so regularly has seemed vaguely understandable. However it doesn't seem like that is the case in my most recent failure.

I've lived alone for the past 3 months, and have owned the Belkin Play Max N600 HD since. I have NOT been P2P downloading or putting a heavy load on my router in any way (or so it seems). Yet as of about two weeks ago, it has suffered a major slowdown just like all of its predecessors. Yet my 30 mbps internet connection roars to life the moment I plug the modem directly into a computer.

My desktop remains on 24/7 but like I said before, I do not do constant downloading/uploading. Both wired and wireless connections are effected equally, and I have always kept all my routers WPA encrypted.

When websites become unresponsive on my Belkin today, it is usually after everything has been sitting idle for some time (overnight, or all day while I am at work). Speaking of work, today is a perfect example. I remoted into my home desktop and was able to interact just fine, yet when I would launch a browser and try to load any website at all, I get absolutely nothing. I had to transfer a text document through DropBox (which also still worked) because I couldn't get Google Docs (or gmail) to load on the remote computer. How does that make any sense?

Is there anything I can do to save my three month old $100 router?
Anonymous
January 20, 2011 3:22:03 AM

Do you have a dodgy mains supply in your area, or house ? Is the temperature excessive ? Does other stuff die prematurely ?

We've been running a Netgear router for nearly 5 years without issue and I installed an identical unit bought secondhand at another location 3 years ago. Belkin routers have had a bad rep in certain quarters over the years.
m
0
l
January 20, 2011 3:36:28 AM

Quote:
Do you have a dodgy mains supply in your area, or house ? Is the temperature excessive ? Does other stuff die prematurely ?

We've been running a Netgear router for nearly 5 years without issue and I installed an identical unit bought secondhand at another location 3 years ago. Belkin routers have had a bad rep in certain quarters over the years.



I've lived in a different location each year for the last 5 years; jumping around Chicago during college and after. During that time my room mates and I went through two Linksys, a Netgear, an older Belkin, and now I alone have apparently killed this brand new Belkin.
m
0
l
Related resources
Anonymous
January 20, 2011 3:38:48 AM

Students, eh ? Wouldn't you just know it ! Get your friends to stop pouring beer in the things.
m
0
l
January 20, 2011 8:21:05 PM

Quote:
Students, eh ? Wouldn't you just know it ! Get your friends to stop pouring beer in the things.


Haha. You're talking to a digital animation major here who has lived with nothing but web developers and graphic designers. Every apartment has been filled with computers and laptops, and I've often kept my workstation out in the living room. We know how to treat our equipment. Routers have always been stored in secure locations away from other warm electronics.

Not that we didn't do our fair share of beer drinking, though.
m
0
l
January 22, 2011 7:55:50 PM

I've went through 5 routers in my 4 years of college and 1 more since since graduating. They were always in safe locations and no tampering to them occurred.

I'll never get another linksys router because of all the failures. Once I graduated I bought (what I was told was nice) a NETGEAR WNDR3700. Not only was the gigabit ethernet a noticeable improvement but it also had great wireless. After 5 months it stopped letting me port forward, wireless range went from 3 floors up to 5 feet and it would stutter loading pages. Thankfully it was still under warranty and they sent me a new one that now works fine.

But now I'm moving out of this house and will need to get a new router. The new place will primarily have 3 wired computers and one wireless that may never get used. A gigabit wired router would be perfectly fine. However it seems there are wireless ones that run for about the same price as say the DGL-4100. Anyone have comments on the Netgear WNDR3700 vs the D-link DGL-4100. Or any other routers? The cheaper the better but I will not sacrifice quality. I'm assuming I'll have to pay at least $80 regardless but would like to keep it under $150
m
0
l
January 23, 2011 1:11:43 AM

I've been through a few routers myself. My last router flaked out then a month later my LAN was taken out by lightning. I built a Linux box with a 1.5 ghz P4 and 256mbram to route, Nat, port forward, etc. Speed instantly increased to full speed on each PC.

I added a cheap Bellingham router from Walmart and configured it as a switch and wireless access point, not a router, to provide wireless. If you have outdated equipment this would be a great way to go.

I read a few years ago the routers typically had a Linux based os,but that they created log files that eventually filled internal storage. When that happens, unstable operation results.
m
0
l
January 23, 2011 11:01:29 PM

I just cleared my Belkin router's log and upgraded its firmware. I'll keep you guys posted on the results this week.
m
0
l
January 24, 2011 5:05:13 PM

I would recommend a small UPS and a nice surge protector on all electrical inputs/outputs on your router. Also make sure the room doesn't get too hot or humid.

Electrical damage is the more likely culprit.
m
0
l
January 25, 2011 12:23:07 AM

Kewlx25 said:
I would recommend a small UPS and a nice surge protector on all electrical inputs/outputs on your router. Also make sure the room doesn't get too hot or humid.

Electrical damage is the more likely culprit.

Electrical damage would explain a no-link problem, as the 5v Ethernet chips are fairly sensitive. More sensitive than the cable side of a cable modem, or power supply side of a router board. But for slow intermittent connections I'd say that the hardware is less likely the culprit as the firmware is at bogging it down, especially when its a degradation over time.
m
0
l
!