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Netgear Problems
2003-11-02

So, when I moved into my latest apartment about 10 months ago, I bought a netgear firewall/dsl router, the FR114W. After being an idiot (its actually wireless ready, not wireless, so I had to buy a wireless pcmcia card for it. I just didn't read the packaging well enough), it worked fairly flawlessly. Ok, so the stupid sign-up process for SBC's "Yahoo" DSL sucked ass, with the stupid installation process forcing you to use their version of IE6 (since I was installing on my girlfriend's work laptop, she was less than thrilled, as was her IT dept, sorry it didn't work on my Linux laptop). Anyways, besides all that it worked fine.

Eventually, I got a new laptop, and then my girlfriend got the new T40 Centrino Thinkpad, and that's when our troubles started. It appears that using the T40's internal Intel wireless card causes the Netgear to lose the PPPoE connection, and not be able to get it back. She turns on her computer, and we lose internet connectivity. No problem with using the wireless, just no external connectivity. Huh? Isn't modern hardware fun? Tried upgrading to the latest beta firmware, no joy. So, she's been using my old Lucent wireless card, and having to reboot the router every time she comes home (since she uses the built-in card at school). I tried using the web-form on the netgear site to register a bug (they use eGain, btw), and it didn't work on Mozilla (huh?), so I ended up sending a blank report, and then I filled one out in IE just fine.

Two days later, I get a "huh, your email was blank" message for the first one, and nothing to the second. I pointed them at the second one. I've never heard back from them again (its been months at this point). So, I bought a new Linksys wirless dsl router, and it doesn't have a firewall (probably overkill anyways), but it only works for about 5 minutes, then it stops working. So it goes back, and they didn't have another in stock, so I just stuck with the one I've had. More time passes.

Finally, today, I was at Best Buy (Courtney had to buy a floppy drive for her laptop... it appears that Santa Clara has the students take their tests on the computer... but the test software requires a floppy drive, which almost no computers (especially laptops) have today... it would almost be cool if the used something like the USB keychain drives...), and I picked up a new Netgear WGR614 (I know, I'm a sucker to buy another one when the last one didn't work), and set it up in about 2 minutes, and everything works fine. I even suckered myself into the 802.11g version, even though all of the cards and laptops I own are only 802.11b.... But, it works.


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