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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Linksys Wireless N Bad, Netgear Wireless G Good

After a week of tweaking with the Linksys Wireless G WRT160N router, I gave up and returned it to our local Best Buy store.

The folks at Best Buy were nice about it, even though I lost the receipt. They swiped my credit card and their system produced a shiny new sales slip. When the clerk at the return counter saw the box she said, "yeah,we get a lot of those, sometimes they just don't work". On both my visits to Best Buy, the employees were pretty knowledgeable and helpful. If you must buy cheap Chinese-manufactured electronic crap, I recommend you consider Best Buy.

The "hiccups" in the Linksys router refused to yield to my fix attempts. I suspected I was in real trouble when I researched Linksys's help forums and read sagas of woe and despair like these. The real kicker was that the SNAFU usually slows down and occasionally cuts off all computers, even the one I had wired in. This model works about half the time, in my conversion scale, 50% reliability =100% crap. Interesting and a little disturbing that Linksys is Cisco's brand of wireless routers. This is not very far from what should be the core competency from a corporation who claims to "power the Internet".

Anyway, now more about me. In the intermittent periods when the Linksys router was working, I checked the signal and found it was performing at 54mbps, which is well in the range of the previous and now more stable Wireless G technology. So, I was putting up with all these reliability issues, and my slow computers weren;t even using the extra speed.

Side comment, when I took programming classes in high school, our modem handled about 35 bps. 54mbps is approximately eleventy gazillion times faster. Seriously, the factor is near 1.5 million.

So, after I got my money back I bought the Netgear WGR614 Wireless G router. It was about $40 cheaper than the first router, and, did I mention it works? I had almost bought this last week, but, alas, I fell to the allure of the newest technology.

The set up disk for dummies had a very cool feature, after each step, it ran a diagnostic and sent the user back to repeat the step if necessary. Everything worked the first time,and as I write this I'm streaming Zappa Radio on one machine, and youtube silent movies on the other. No problems, no hesitations.

For the sake of fairness, the Linksys model was only version 2, and the Netgear model is version 12. All I know for sure is that Netgear got it right on the 12th try.

I guess the lesson learned is that in our modern world, it takes more than two failed attempts to finally get it right. The usual Baseball analogies don't apply here.

Now that's all straightened out, can continue evolving toward my greatest potential.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Anonymous said...

Reading this makes me so happy that I don't deal with hardware. The problems you're encountering at home are not that different from what I hear the desktop support staff at work discussing. I follow the rule of the old programmers:
Q-How many computer programmers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A-None - that's hardware

Your sister

Steve said...

I agree this counts as hardware,but I suspect the SNAFU lives in the software living inside the device.

One of the hackers that fixed his similar problem had gone intothe device and edited the code. Not my cup of tea.

PS. After a day's testing,the Netgear G is flawless. I wonder if ersion 11 worked?

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I must enjoy shouting into a vacuum, but I think about getting my act together one of these days. My mom says I am very handsome and intelligent.

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