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My Experience with the LinkSys WRT610N Router

Sunday, December 7, 2008
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So, I got a LinkSys WRT610N to replace my dead Airport Extreme Base Station (AEBS). It wasn’t fair and rosy. I got it for the dual-band, USB hard disk sharing and draft 802.11n, just like my previous AEBS. Well, I wasn’t expecting it to work out-of-the-box, but what I didn’t expect was how crappy the Linksys Easy Link Advisor (LELA) was. It does help new router users easily try to set up their home wireless network, but the key word here is ‘try’. For me, LELA brought nothing but trouble.

The first thing I did was to connect the Ethernet cables properly, from my modem to the router and from the router to the various computers. Next, I inserted the CD into my computer (connected to the router via an Ethernet cable). I ran the setup program, and it walked me through the cables connecting process. I skipped that, and was prompted to enter a new router password, wireless settings (SSID, password, wireless encryption security), after which I let it scan for a properly working Internet connection (for a very long time).Needless to say, after waiting for so long, I still wasn’t connected to the Internet.

Okay, I thought, maybe it’s just a fluke. My AEBS didn’t start working immediately either. The next thing I did was to try the web-based configuration. I hunted high and low for the IP address of the router, but I couldn’t find it. Linksys didn’t provide much documentation except for a Quick Installation Guide which guides you through using LELA (teaching you how to click ‘Next’ and follow instructions on-screen), and two pieces of paper, one with FAQs and the other with the website to download firmware updates for the router. I found the default IP address of the WRT610N online, and realised it was on the second page of the FAQs, contained within one of the answers, after doing so.

Web-based configuration was a snap. Much, much easier and faster, and the good thing about this router is that for most configuration changes, you don’t have to reboot the router. I tried playing around with various settings and configurations, but I still could not get my router to connect to the Internet. I finally found the router’s PDF manual from the LinkSys website, even though it is supposed to be provided in the CD, according to LinkSys. Scanning the PDF manual yielded nothing enlightening, so I decided to call tech support.

The tech support guy was friendly and helpful, and after he walked me through a lengthy reset process (hold down the reset button with a paperclip for about a minute, and then unplug the router’s power cord for 10 seconds before plugging it back in), I could finally connect to the Internet! Hallelujah! He was quite funny, saying that he had to clap his hands because he was so happy for me. He then asked me if I had any other questions for him. So I asked him about the USB hard disk sharing; whether it would support a hard disk formatted in HFS (Mac format) as I wanted to use it for wireless Time Machine backup. Unfortunately, he told me that the phone hotline did not offer support for this feature, but only for the main functions of the router. I was puzzled, so I asked him if there was another hotline to call for support for this feature. He replied no, and left me feeling a little miffed even though the main problem I had was solved.

When I did manage to connect to the Internet, the hard disk sharing feature stopped working (I managed to get it to work earlier, when I couldn’t access the Internet). I then tried to use LELA again, and when I got tired of waiting for the software to ‘detect’ my Internet connection, I force quit it (there wasn’t any other way to stop the process and quit the app). Then I realised that LELA had disabled all my network adapters in the background, without an easy way to reverse this process. In the end, I had to delete all my network adapters from the Service sidebar in Preferences, and re-add them.

Today is Sunday, and I bought the router on Wednesday. My Internet connection is non-existent again, and hard disk sharing still does not work. Resetting the router using the same process that tech support walked me through does not work anymore. I e-mailed Challenger (the retail store where I bought it) and I have 7 days after purchase to return it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Thursday, December 2, 2010 10:23 am

    ehternet cables are still the ones that i use for my home networking applications `:”

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