I got a phone call from one of my associates today -- he was displeased with his new Linksys router. I asked him why on earth he bought a Linksys after all the problems I had with the one I bought -- apparently I didn't scream loud enough for him to get the message, so I've decided to post my experience for others in hopes that they might avoid wasting their time and money.
I made the mistake of buying a Linksys solely based on the fact that Cisco is the parent company of Linksys. I do a lot of consulting for medium to large scale businesses and I used to always recommend Cisco because I've found their products to hold up well in environments that demand excellent performance. Cisco is for businesses that want to drop $50K on a device; Linksys is for the home user that wants a small scale, reliable device, right? Wrong.
Where do I go when I want a cheap deal on something? Ebay. I quickly located a vendor selling "Brand New Shrinkwrapped Linksys" routers. I bid on one of these and got it for $60 -- only about 8 dollars savings than if I had purchased from a local retail outlet. This was the worst MISTAKE ever! If I had purchased from a local vendor, I could return the POS Linksys and get my money back without any hassle.
Instead, I receive the Linksys -- just as described -- brand new in orginal shrinkwrapped box -- straight from the Linksys factory. I hook up the device and it runs like absolute garbage! BTW for those wondering this is a Linksys WRT54G Version 6. We're talking about a router that can barely stay online for more than 2 minutes -- it constantly locks up, requires manual disconnection of power...wait 2 minutes, reconnect power. Virtually none of the most basic features you would expect from a router work. I contacted Linksys Support and though they spent several hours working with me, they were of no help. Finally one tech told me the router I bought has many known problems and that I should stop wasting my time trying to get it working. It's then I discover that I've been had. I google for "WRT54G Version 6" and discover a barrage of other users who are experiencing the EXACT same problem as me!
That was the moment that demonstrated to me that Linksys had lost the integrity that I had once known it for. For those of you not familiar with the Linksys WRT54G product line, prior to Version 6, their routers operated under a Linux based kernel. Beginning at Version 6, they started using a proprietary VxWorks based operating system. It was obvious that Linksys was shipping brick routers, taking customers money, and just planning on "fixing" the router via firmware patches when they got around to it.
I demanded my money back, but of course Linksys isn't going to refund anything to a customer -- they just tell you to take it back to the place you purchased it. A slight problem for a customer who purchaed from eBay, based soley on the brand name Linksys. The guy that sold me the router wasn't misleading me. He probably knew the routers he was selling were complete junk, but he shipped me exactly what he advertised -- "Brand New Shrinkwrapped WRT54G Version 6".
I gave up with Linksys and decided if they didn't care about their customers, this customer wasn't going to care about them -- or Cisco. To date, I have given over $6 million in orders that I would normally give to Cisco to competing vendors. I will never again recommend a Linksys or Cisco product. Linksys may have screwed me out of $60, but it came back and bit them in the butt.
I am pleased to say that a year after purchasing the router, a firmware patch was released and now the router works fairly well. Unfortunately its a year late and I've seen the greedy nature of Linksys/Cisco.
In summary, I will never buy another Linksys or Cisco product again. If you choose to, you may get something that works, but don't hold your breath based soley on the brand name. Also, always purchase from a local vendor so you can return garbage and get your money back.
Good luck! Mike