Avoid Linksys like the Plague

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

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Reply to
Warren Oates

Megadittoes..I told ya so!!

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So, what you're saying is that you are a penny pincher, and your cheapness backfired on you, so the rest of the world should buy any other cheap brand of router . In this world, you're lucky if you get what you pay for. Typically cheap electronics are a crapshoot. Linksys is one of the largest manufacturers of cheap electronics in the networking industry. They must be doing something right for an awful lot of people

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No Kidding. I have bought alot of Linksys boxes and have never had the stated problems. I've never bought a version above v5 and everyone that I have ever bought I upgraded to DD-WRT. But before I knew about DD-WRT I had a v3 that ran stock fimware just fine. I have never seen a v6 or v7 router but I have seen a v8 and yes they are crap (software and build quality and all) since I know they are crap I refuse to buy them. I however regularly buy WRT54GL's and Buffalo WHR stuff.. All get's loaded with DD-WRT. Sorry you were cheap and didn't do your research and bought a crappy router. Doesn't make all linksys crap it just means you need to do your homework

btw, if you have all this access to cisco why don't you have a cisco router? Seems like a PIX 501 would do you well. Are you not smart enough to configure one? Adair

Reply to
Adair Winter

Sheesh, whats with all the top-posting in this group? A bunch of newsgroup n00bies. Yes, trying to save a few bucks did screw me -- but I don't consider it my fault because I was purchasing the product based soley on the Linksys brand name. I had used Linksys for many years and never had to interact with their support staff -- hence the reason I was willing to buy based soley on their name. After interacting with their support staff, I've determined I will never purchase from them again. Anyways, my post was just a warning to those who don't want to get involved with unecessary headache. As I stated before, Linksys may have screwed me out of my $60, but they screwed their parent company, Cisco, out of millions as I no longer purchase any of their products for my clients.

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First, let me congratulate you on not top posting. You have obviously used Usenet before. I also have purchased a lot of Linksys products and have not experienced any problems with them -- however my last experience with their deceitful business practices (selling routers that didn't work with plans to upgrade and fix the problems at a later date) has forever changed my view of their products. I admit that I am at fault for not "doing my homework" ahead of time

-- I just never would have imagined that Linksys, a brand I once trusted and preferred, would release such a pile of sh!t product. The whole purpose of a brand name is to be able to trust it -- so I shouldn't have to "do my homework" before every purchase. Anyways, yes I can understand your confusion because I too would have sworn my life on Linksys years ago, but all that has changed now. I will never purchase or recommend a Linksys product again.

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I missed the last half of your post -- the reason I do not use a Cisco router is because I no longer recommend Cisco OR Linksys. Furthermore, it would be overkill to use that router in my residential environment -- we're only talking about a standard broadband connection. As for configuring Cisco products, it is very simple. Even if you have never done it before, you will find it easy if you have even a minimal understanding of networking infrastructure.

Regards, Mike

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Cyron hath wroth:

Welcome to the reality of buying bottom of the line. It's not just Linksys that has problem products and marginal service. Literally every one of the bottom of the line networking vendors have a few products that should never have escaped from engineering or manufacturing. That also applies to automobile manufacturers, appliance vendors, and computer system conglomerators. All of them have lemons.

You made a few minor mistakes along the way. The WRT54G v6 was not the first of the series of lemons sold by Linksys. What apparently happened is that the V1 thru V4 mutations were becoming too expensive. There was also the "problem" (depending on whom at Linksys you ask) over alternative open source firmware. To solve these non-problems, Linksys shot themselves in the foot by releasing a downsized product with admittedly marginal VxWorks firmware. It seems that the excellent reputation of the WRT54G line was based primarily on recommendations from hackers using these as Linux platforms. The first mistake was the V5 followed shortly thereafter by the V6. The V7 changed the wireless chipset from Broadcom to Atheros. The V8 went back to Broadcom. See:

for some clues as to what's inside. I won't touch a v5 or v6. I have successfully setup v8 routers and had no problems. I haven't even seen a v7.

Then the V5 was initially introduced, there were numerous reviews citing problems.

The one you probably haven't noticed yet is that it can barely handle

6 active wireless connections before the CPU starts to choke. See charts at:

and notice how the v5 and v6 appear near the bottom of the lists.

There were also numerous complaints and problems cited in the Linksys support forums, various mailing lists, and this newsgroup.

Altogether, you're no better than Joe Sixpack buying a vehicle based on "faith" in the manufacturer. Purchasing such a complex machine based on color would have been more consistent with you selection method. To be fair, I've been guilty of the same thing. I once owned a Kenwood TM-731 ham radio. Great radio, but it was stolen from my car. So, without the slightest bit of research, I purchased the TM-732 (allegedly a replacement model of the TM-731) and discovered that everything had changed and that I had purchased a piece of junk. Ok, so I'm not perfect but I also try not to repeat my mistakes.

The basic problem is over generalizing. On the basis one bad router, purchased from a non-authorized dealer, you declare the entire product line, the company, and it's owners, to be equally defective. I can see the logic, but the real world doesn't work that way. I usually give vendors and suppliers a 2nd or even 3rd chance on the basis that it's difficult to cross over burned bridges. You may need them some day. For example, I'll continue to purchase Buffalo products even though they cheated me out of a $10 rebate.

Incidentally, you'll find that there's only minimal interaction between Cisco and Linksys. Unlike other Cisco acquisitions, Linksys has been largely left to run things themselves. Also, why stop the blame for your purchase at Cisco? Perhaps the owners of Cisco should also be considered at fault. Here's a list:

So let's see if you're going to repeat your mistake. What brand are you going to recommend in place of Cisco? By your logic, it's acceptable to purchase solely by brand name or manufacturer. I'm curious as to which brand you find acceptable in that they don't sell any lemons.

Reply to
Jeff Liebermann

Bottom line is you are probably as likely to get a bad cheap router and bad cheap router support from any of the major cheap router manufacturers. Furthermore, I prefer to top post. ymmv

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I buy alot of computer parts from CPU.com locally and I have ended up with both bad hard drives and memory that they were more than happy to swap out for me. Does not mean I will never shop there again. I also just did a VoIP install using Cisco Express 500 PoE switches and was not overaly impressed. Everything is configured via the web interface and offers limited functionality. Doesn't make cisco a bad switch it just happenes to be what the customer bought. Personally I would rather have some HP Procurves. Linksys is doing what everyone is trying to do, save money.. They have made some bad router versions but they also have some that work very well. These days I lean more towards buffalo for SoHo routers running DD-WRT.


Reply to
Adair Winter

scale, reliable device, right? Wrong.

Not for some...

Your first mistake...

I find this fascinating. That's the EXACT router that I have been using with no problems [after the installation] for over a year. Considering I'm a senior citizen who had never owned a router before, I'd say the fact that I managed to install it, and I've had no problems since, means the router is a good choice for many people at $50.

I think a lot of people don't have enough patience, or they want something for nothing. It does what Linksys advertises... for me. bj

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As a Linksys dealer that has installed more than just a few, I can say its not obvious they are shipping bricked routers.

I don't think Cisco is going to loose any sleep over that.

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