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Scott Shepherd
04-24-2012, 7:10 PM
We have a linksys (Cisco) router. Wireless N, but we don't use the wireless part. I noticed our internet getting slow a couple weeks ago and just ignored it. Then I finally ran a speed test on it via speedtest dot net and saw a whopping 1.5Mbps. I called our cable company and she ran some tests from there end and said she was seeing issues and a packet loss issue so she sent out a tech the next day. While here, he determined the line was bad from the pole, and he replaced it, ran some tests and said it was screaming fast (which I saw on his computer tests). He left and I noticed we were still slow. Rats. So I restarted the router and the switch we use and nothing changed. I logged into the router and did a total reset. When I did, it popped up to almost 50Mbps. Cool, problem fixed.

Next day. Same thing. Check speed, running at 1.2Mbps. Go to the router, poke a paperclip into the "reset" button, bam, back up to 45-50Mbps.

So now it appears to be a daily thing.

Is the router going bad? Is there a setting I need to change or look at? Or just trash it and put a new one in it's place. I think it's about 2 years old.

Any suggestions?

Todd Burch
04-24-2012, 7:42 PM
I had a hub go bad not too long ago. It seems it went bad slowly, over time, and I never noticed it until it got down to the 1.0mbps range, in which case it was unbearable.

They are cheap.

Steve knight
04-24-2012, 8:05 PM
I have had more bad routers then any other piece of computer equipment. I had a bad linksys that needed to be unplugged once or twice a week to keep the wireless working. so I bought another one that was this years model but at the same price range and it would go about twice as long before it needed unplugged. bought a used airport extreme and end of problems.

JohnT Fitzgerald
04-24-2012, 8:10 PM
I also had a linksys that needed to be cycled every few days or so to keep the wireless running. It was many years old at that point so I had no complaints. Bought a new one and it's been trouble free since.

Phil Thien
04-24-2012, 9:21 PM
Do you have the latest firmware for your router? You should be able to check at the linksys website.

Routers are actually pretty complicated little computers. Many of them (especially Linksys) run Linux kernels. It isn't unusual for them to develop hardware problems, and firmware compatibility issues are not unheard of.

I really push routers w/ DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. The DD-WRT and Tomato firmware is about as bulletproof as it gets for a low-cost router.

Many of the Linksys units can be flashed w/ DD-WRT or Tomato. What model # is your Linksys?

Scott Shepherd
04-24-2012, 10:02 PM
I don't have the latest firmware. I downloaded the update to do that, told it to install it, it went through most of the process and then crashed and said their was a failure to update the firmware.

It's a WRT-160n, I think. I'm saying that from memory, since I'm not at work at the moment.

I don't mind buying another one, but I'd hate to buy another one and have the same problem because there's some setting I've got wrong.

paul cottingham
04-24-2012, 10:17 PM
Those routers often just flake. If it won't update I would be even more suspicious. Try a new one. I'll bet that fixes it. ( if that wasn't an inadvertently obvious bit of advice....)
Btw, both dd-wrt and tomato are both fantastic, and bulletproof. I've even got one runnning asterisk, the open-source pbx.

Phil Thien
04-24-2012, 10:35 PM
Well, there is DD-WRT firmware for 160N's v1.0 and 3.0, but not for 2.0.

BTW, when you downloaded the firmware, you were sure to download the firmware for the exact right version of the router, right?

Anyway, if I were you, I'd try some DD-WRT or Tomato firmware. Don't have much to lose, you are prepared to replace the unit anyhow.

Paul is right. Routers do tank all the time, BTW. So a new router may be in your future.

Myk Rian
04-26-2012, 10:11 AM
D-link. Been using them for many years. No problems, and they are secure.

Curt Harms
04-27-2012, 9:33 AM
I think Phil is on the right track. I have an old Linksys WRT54g that would lock up. At the time we used Vonage so we also lost our long distance. A firmware update fixed it but if you're using the correct firmware file and it's not working, uh oh. Depending on how fast your broadband connection is and what else you use your wireless network for, you might be able to get by with an older G speed model if you want to save a couple $.

Steve Meliza
04-27-2012, 9:47 AM
I had a Linksys wireless access point, WAP54g I believe, that would need reset about once or twice a week or the wireless side of it would stop working. I eventually found a beta version of its Linux based firmware tucked away in some dusty corner of a global version of their website and once that was loaded on it gave years of trouble free service. However, I find all routers and modems of consumer quality usually benefit from being unplugged for a few seconds once a year or so just to ward off any firmware related issues. I've also had a Netgear router go out on me, but it was hardware related and would die once it warmed up. I've not had a chance yet to try D-link, but the Apple Time Capsule we've got now has been trouble free for a year.

Sounds to me link it's time for a new wireless router.

Larry Browning
04-27-2012, 10:06 AM
We have a linksys (Cisco) router. Wireless N, but we don't use the wireless part.
Did you guys read this part of the OPs post? ....... Just askin.

I think you can get a wired router for a bit less that the wireless versions.
http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-EBR-2310-Ethernet-Broadband-Router/dp/B000GVTX6U/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1335532552&sr=1-3

Myk Rian
04-27-2012, 10:33 AM
Did you guys read this part of the OPs post? ....... Just askin.
Yepper. I did.

Steve Meliza
04-27-2012, 11:41 AM
Good point Larry, dropping the wireless that isn't being used will make the router cheaper and more robust. For many years I used an old Pentium-75 PC with a pair of network cards in it and ran Coyote Linux off of a 3.5" floppy as my wired router to go with the aforementioned WAP. Talk about dependable, that thing never hiccuped and only went down when the power outages exceeded my UPS, which was about once every 2 years.

Scott Shepherd
04-27-2012, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the help guys. I spent quite a bit of time looking at the thing Phil mentioned. I'll be doing that shortly. It's been a busy week and this is a work router, so last thing I wanted to do was mess with it during normal hours. My plan is to give it a whirl after hours today, and if it doesn't work out, then I have plenty of time to go get another one and start over. In fact, I have a Time Capsule from Apple hooked in the loop, not using it for routing, but I suppose I could just unplug the linksys and change a few plugs around and have the Time Capsule running it all.

So we'll take a whack at it this evening and report back.

Thanks for the help!

Scott Shepherd
04-27-2012, 7:35 PM
I just did the update. Went as smooth as it could go. Took about 15 minutes total. I REALLLLLLLLLLLY like DD-WRT's options and interface. Finally, I feel like I can actually use things inside my router. You really seem to have a lot of control of things and they are explained well from what I can see.

Thanks for the tips, I'll take DD-WRT for a test drive from now until Monday morning and see how it does.

Thanks again!

Scott Shepherd
05-02-2012, 5:44 PM
Just an update on this. The router is running great, no issues of slow downs at all after installing the DD-WRT software on it. I'm really impressed with it so far.

One thing I did note, I'm getting much higher upload speeds than download speeds. I'm getting a ping of 7, and 25Mbps download and 45Mbps upload. I don't think I've ever seen that be reversed like that, but it's been like that since I did the install. Nothing to complain about, 25Mbps is fast and we don't do a lot of uploading, so the 45Mbps is just wasted, I guess.

I wish I knew about this earlier. I'm really impressed with the controls you have, and the ability to actually make your wireless signal stronger. That's something I could have used many times in the past. Who knew you could do that to your signal? I certainly didn't.

Thanks again for the tip to use it!

Phil Thien
05-02-2012, 9:20 PM
I'm really impressed with the controls you have, and the ability to actually make your wireless signal stronger. That's something I could have used many times in the past.

Don't go overboard on the signal boost. It can lead to premature hardware failure, I believe.

Curt Harms
05-03-2012, 8:49 AM
Don't go overboard on the signal boost. It can lead to premature hardware failure, I believe.

Uh huh, heat related. There's been more than 1 router running 3rd party firmware with a hole cut over the radio circuitry and a heat sink kludged on. Not much different than overclocking a P.C.

Scott Shepherd
05-03-2012, 9:20 AM
Don't go overboard on the signal boost. It can lead to premature hardware failure, I believe.

No problem. I have no need to do it, we don't use the wireless part, but I thought it was pretty cool to be able to really tweak the router like that. I did read about frying it by cranking up that, but I would imagine there are lots of people out there that could use just a wee bit more from their signal and this would let them do it.

Still pretty cool stuff compared to the factory stuff you get.

Larry Browning
06-04-2012, 3:05 PM
This thread has inspired me to try to turn an old router into a wireless access point for my shop. My shop sits about 120' down a hill from the house. Wireless from the house does reach down there, but the signal is very weak, if fact it is pretty much unusable. However, I did run one Ethernet wire down there in a buried conduit when I built the shop. I have thought it would be nice if I could get wireless setup down there. I really don't have anything that I actually "need" it for, I just thought it might come in handy some day. With that said, I have never been willing to spend any actual money on this project. I have an old Linksys wrt160n V3 that I replaced with a new gigabit router a few years ago just sitting in the closet. I really had forgotten that I even had it. This thread got me to reading up on dd-wrt and I discoverd that indeed this router could be flashed with dd-wrt and that there were also instructions on how to set it up as a wireless access point.
Cool! this sounds like fun for a nerdy guy like me! All this met my primary requirement of spending zeros dollars. SWMBO was out of town, so I needed something to occupy my time that would not get me in trouble.
This past Saturday I took it on and I had SOOO much fun doing it. Not only did I get it working exactly as I had envisioned, It now works as a WAP and a 4 port switch. The signal is extremely strong. It occurred to me that my iphone has Pandora installed on it. I also found an RCA to 3.5mm jack laying around. I was able to get my iphone to connect to the WAP and play Pandora thru the shop stereo easy peasy. How cool is that! Who knows, I might even install a wireless web cam down there just for kicks.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this with someone who might appreciate it. SWMBO just thinks I'm weird for getting such a kick out of doing this.

paul cottingham
06-04-2012, 3:59 PM
Good stuff! Now all you have to do is install asterisk on it. Then you will be a real computer geek. Oh and you'll get a cool compact pbx in the deal as well.
glad it worked so well for you.....

Larry Browning
06-04-2012, 7:27 PM
Good stuff! Now all you have to do is install asterisk on it. Then you will be a real computer geek. Oh and you'll get a cool compact pbx in the deal as well.
glad it worked so well for you.....

I am almost afraid to ask... asterisk????? What's that?

paul cottingham
06-04-2012, 9:27 PM
Sorry. It's an open source pbx (phone) system that is extremely scalable. I have installed it on a linksys router along with wrt.
I get totally carried away by the coolness factor.