Networking & Wireless

Question

Need to replace Linksys WRT54G router

by Big Steve / November 14, 2012 4:50 PM PST
I had an issue yesterday with no internet access on my desktop computer; the message said "Network cable unplugged" so I called AT&T tech support for assistance. I have 2 Dell computers; a desktop and a laptop which I use wirelessly in the house.

After doing several things from disconnecting the router to try and determine if the problem was with my router or an ethernet cable AT&T determined a port on my router which is 6 years old could be going bad and recommended I replace my router.

I contacted Linksys yesterday; spoke to tech support for my WRT54G router and was given 2 model recommendations. One was a Model E900 N300 and a more expensive model; an EA2700 N600. Are either one of these good?

There is a price difference of $40.00 USD between the 2 models. I could probably get by with the E900 N300 for $49.99 but the guy at Linksys was putting the pressure on me to buy the more expensive one for $89.99. I told him I'd have to think about it.
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All Answers

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Answer
Re: replace router
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 14, 2012 5:22 PM PST

Review of the second: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403745,00.asp
That seems more than you need. I'd stick to the cheaper one. A nice consumer-oriented model.

Just to be sure it's the port of the router that's the culprit (and not the port on the desktop or the cable), did you try:
1. The other 3 ports on the router?
2. To connect the desktop directly to the modem (plug the cable that now goes from the modem to the router directly in the desktop)
3. Another cable?
4. Connect the laptop wired in stead of the desktop to see of that also says it's unplugged?

It would be a pity to spend $50 if it isn't necessary.

Kees

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Re: replace router
by Big Steve / November 15, 2012 12:49 AM PST
In reply to: Re: replace router

To answer your first question I did move the blue cable from the first of four available ports which are located on the back of my router; four extra ports which are located next to another port where a larger cable; a yellow one is connected in a port labeled ethernet; I moved the blue cable from port #1 to port #2 after AT&T's tech support rep had me do everything else you had mentioned in your post above and after I moved the blue cable to port #2 that seemed to have worked for now . I did connect the desktop PC directly to the DSL modem; a Westell and I got my internet connection back when I did that.

I was then told to disconnect my laptop from the Linksys WRT54G router and connect it directly to the modem and after doing that I still was connected to the internet so the last thing the AT&T rep suggested that I do was to connect everything back the way it was originally with one exception; I was told to connect the blue cable which had been plugged into port #1 of #4 on the back of my router and connect the blue cable into port #2 of #4 which for now seems to have worked because both computers are now connected to the internet again.

If it had been the port on the back of my Dell computer tower that would have been a more serious problem? Would there have been away around that if the port on the back of my Dell desktop PC had been bad? My Dell Dimension 3100 desktop computer too is over 6 years old. I got the computer at the same time I got the Linksys WRT54G router. If the port on the back of my computer's tower had been bad would that mean I would have to purchase a new computer or not?

I didn't check to see if there was another port on the back of my Dell computer tower but I will check. The tower does have several USB ports on the back and 2 on the front. Some of the higher end model routers I looked at on the Cisco-Linksys website yesterday did have a USB port on the back; what would that USB port be used for? Thanks for the post.

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Hookup problems
by pgc3 / November 15, 2012 1:05 AM PST
In reply to: Re: replace router

I have seen similar issues locally and it has hearkened back to the Westell unit that was likely furnished by the DSL server(s). What I have seen fix the issue(s) commonly, is to opt for the DSL Gateway (modem router combination) and is usually procured through the server, a sort of "GOTCHA" because they generally want you to lease the hardware. There may be nothing wrong with your router it may be incompatible with THEIR firmware, again another "GOTCHA" This may sound hokey but I have seen this locally more than once, the local server having been Frontier DSL (the old Verizon group). There are workarounds as a prior poster mentioned but can be a bit more involved.

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Re: replace router
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 15, 2012 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: Re: replace router

If (a quite unlikely thing, by the way) that Ethernet-port in your PC would go south, you have 3 options:
1. Install an Ethernet card with a new port on it (the cheapest if you can do it yourself).
2. Go wireless
3. Use a router that connects via USB in stead of Internet.
But as long it everything works, I shouldn't worry.

Maybe the port you saw on the higher model routers yesterday works for that, but I suspect it's meant to connect a (shared) printer or maybe a (shared) external hard disk. If you really want to know, go back to that site and find the user manual of such a router.


Kees

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Re: replace router
by Big Steve / November 15, 2012 1:40 PM PST
In reply to: Re: replace router

To answer your questions:

#1. I wouldn't be able to install an Ethernet card because I lack the knowledge to do so.


#2. What do you mean by going wireless? Purchasing a new desktop computer with a wireless card built
into it?

#3. A router that connects by USB like some of Cisco/Linksys higher end models that have USB ports on
the back?


I went to the Cisco/Linksys page on Facebook tonight just to check it out and there were many and I mean many negative feedback comments posted there from owners of the newer Cisco/Linksys products ranging from the new routers weren't any good to their company's terrible tech support. Since my problem with my older router is solved for the moment I think I'll hold off on purchasing a new router at this time.

If I do decide to purchase a new router would one of the higher end models which Cisco's website states are faster than the $49.99 model I was considering to replace my 6 year old WRT54G model; would a faster router make surfing on this Dell laptop wirelessly go faster and smoother because tonight everything is running slow and I have AT&T's DSL Extreme 6.0 which according to AT&T is their fastest DSL speed and at $47.95 a month it should be but tonight it isn't.

AT&T has been trying to get me to switch to their new Uverse high speed internet service; a Uverse 12.0 service which they claim is twice the speed of my current 6.0 Extreme DSL service. I can upgrade to Uverse for an extra $5.00 a month from my current monthly charge for 6.0 of $47.95 a month but I would have to use a different kind of modem; one which they say has a router built into it and I would not need to have my own separate router like I do now. The modem costs around $150.00 to $200.00 USD. I told them thanks but no thanks.

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