A New Router, And Problems out of the Box – Linksys WRT160N

I have used a D-Link DI-624S storage router for a couple of years now. I received a lot of criticism, much of it well founded. The ability to share printers and USB drives was a good idea, but it lost something in the implementation. Recently it died completely overnight. In the evening, the internet was offline, but the internal network was functioning. In the morning, I rebooted it, and it just did not come back. The same day I replaced it with the well reviewed Linksys (Cisco) WRT160N Wireless Router.

The WRT160N is a thing of beauty, looking more like a jet or flying saucer than a wireless router. But it also performs most impressively. It has outstanding wireless coverage. I walked around with my Asus Eee connected to the wireless network. I could get two doors down the street, or out into the back yard and to the back fence with full wireless network speed. And with 802.11n it is faster than any WiFi card I have at present.

It seems there is a problem though. It began to drop out, with DNS errors (site not found, etc) and I had to do some research. It appears the the router has a security vulnerability, and in an attempt to fix it, Linksys upgraded the firmware and introduced a bug. here I go again. I seem to buy the lame ducks!

The vulnerability is reported by Secunia here

Then solution was to install the older version of firmware 1.2.02_008. A web page showing how to do this has been posted here . Once the firmware was downgraded, and the DNS settings changes, the router began to work fine.

I will watch Linksys for a firmware upgrade, and hope they post one soon. In future I will spend more time reading the newsgroups associated with these products. It was a quick decision because I needed to get back on the air.

I am very pleased with the Wireless performance of the WRT160N, but not with the lack of comment or action by Linksys. I know it takes time to produce and test firmware, but there should at least be some comment on the problem.

How about it Linksys, are you taking any responsibility for this? The issue has been documented and discussed endlessly on your OWN FORUMS and still, four months later this defective product is still in the stores.


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