More WRT54G woes

In a previous blog entry I described Linksys as my preferred source of SOHO router, then went on to rant about them changing specifications whilst retaining the same model number. Today I’ve uncovered yet another example of the mess they made of the WRT54G model.

I’ve been suffering issues with SSH disconnects on just one of my routers, a WRT54G(v5). This is the version that was a disaster from the moment it hit the shops. Linksys in their infinite wisdom completely changed the underlying OS on the device but kept the same (WRT54G) reference. This resulted in me having a few of them lying around in their boxes because I couldn’t flash them with the firmware I wanted to use. But I digress.

After some Googling I find I’m not alone with my SSH disconnect problem. This blog describes the problem exactly, as does this forum thread. It turns out Linksys claimed to fix the problem with their most recent firmware (v1.00.9) but in reality they increased the timeout from 10 to 30 minutes. Thanks Linksys, that was truly great thinking.

Once again I find myself in a position of owning a number of WRT54G model routers, all with different functionality, firmware and issues but all sold as the same product. How on earth do they get away with this shady practice? Bring out a model, let it build a solid reputation, then change (downgrade) the specification.

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2 Responses to More WRT54G woes

  1. jay joffe says:

    I think Cisco bought Linksys to kill it. They didn’t like that people were able to do as much with a fifty dollar router as they could do with a 600 dollar cisco product.

    This will be a good opportunity for Buffalo, which also supports 3rd party firmwares and is cheaper and more reliable.

    Cisco is behaving normally given that corporations are people. They are psychopaths.

  2. Apoch says:

    Just bought a WRT54G with firmware version 8.0.0 from Best Buy. It still has an unconfigurable TCP disconnect time of 30 minutes.

    I called Linksys phone support and got a lady who asked me a lot of useless questions and who did not seem to understand that disconnected SSH sessions did not mean that my internet connection was dropped. She ultimately told me that engineering says I should wait for the next version of firmware that is supposed to fix this problem, but I did not believe here (I’ve seen people complaining of this since version 1.x)

    I also contacted the livechat support on their site and talked to another tech who had me change MTU down to 1300, disable “Block anonymous internet packets,” and fill in port “22” in 4 columns on the “Port Triggering” admin page, all to no avail. My router still disconnects established TCP sessions like ssh after 30 minutes.

    I will be returning this piece of crap to Best Buy tomorrow and exchanging it for a Buffalo WHR-G54S which is around the same price, but I cannot turn up any chatter about this problem with that device with Google searches.

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