Works well once you work out any configuration kinks., June 10, 2003
Reviewer: An electronics fan
I bought my WRT54G and WPC54G back in Jan/Feb. I had a wired Linksys 4-port router for YEARS and it was a SOLID performer.
Setup for the WRT54G required some aches and pains. Granted they tell you right on the box that it is based on draft protocols, but I would have straightened a few problems myself with clearer communication or documentation from Linksys. Registration for this product should include subscription to a technical e-mail list notifying users of firmware and driver updates as well as the lates technical articles and an 802.11g ratification update. I don't mind that the product is based on "draft" protocols, but proactively notify me about updates! You can even use the .NET Alerts to IM me about new firmware!
It was after I performed a firmware upgrade that I started to encounter problems maintaining a connection with the router. I upgraded to enable the SocketCom 802.11b CF NIC for my iPAQ to use the WRT54G. The upgrade is mandatory for many 802.11b devices to hear the WRT54G and I believe it's the standard shipping firmware now.
Anyways, after I upgraded, my WPC54G started dropping connection every 4-5 minutes. I could manually force XP to reconnect only to find myself disconnected 4-5 minutes later. It was HIGHLY annoying and made the wireless useless.
I just got off the phone with LinkSys support (yes, at 2am EST Wednesday and a 1-800 number!) and they recommended unchecking the "Enable IEEE 802.1x authentication for this network". Voila! I've been connected continuously ever since.
A previous technician told me via LinkSys online support chat, that I should try changing channels. But he could not tell me why this would fix the problem. Of course, it did not work. But I believe that chat support for complex technology products can get tricky.
Other than this annoyance, I have been very happy with Linksys hardware. It gets the job done and is rock solid once you get it up and running. I can't remember the last time I had to reset any LinkSys router.
I recommend that everyone do a security lock-down on their wireless hardware. Disable SSID broadcast, enable 128-bit WEP, and refrain from enabling remote administration.
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