Linksys / Cisco e4200 problems & Customer Support FAIL
Linksys / Cisco e4200
I went out and grabbed a Cisco e4200, supposedly the flagship router offered by Linksys/Cisco for home/small business use. I had done some rudimentary reviews online before grabbing it and looking at it from it’s fancy product shots, I thought the router looked damn sexy.
I picked it up at Fry’s, and if you’ve read my other blog post about my experiences with Fry’s and there orange labeled “Reduced Price” items, you should know to steer clear of them. Well to my surprise there was 5 e4200 that were on the shelf at Fry’s and all of them were reduced price, meaning that ALL of them had been returned…not a good sign right?
I convinced myself that the reason they had been returned was most likely because:
- It’s much pricier than other router’s from a “Average Joe” perspective
- The purchaser expected higher INTERNET speeds from a pricier router
- It was bought as a gift and someone returned it
Bringing it to the office I plugged it in, set it up, and quickly went back to working on
taking over the world some projects that I should have been working on instead of putzing around at Fry’s. As I set off into my “zone” and started typing away I get a call from the break room… “Hey David…umm..Netflix isn’t working in the break room, know what’s up with it, I’ve tried restarting but it can’t connect?” At first I didn’t put one and one together, so I spewed out some random things to try to keep the guy busy and went back to work.
About ten minutes pass and I finish an article and hit PUBLISH, and whatdyaknow… I have no connectivity. Luckily I had saved a draft because simply hitting the “back” button wasn’t going to bring my work back in the correct fields.
I went to the horrible Linksys / Cisco support website and looked for a firmware upgrade, thinking along the same thoughts that the other “average Joe’s” were probably just not smart enough to attempt or know of a firmware upgrade. Looking at the comments that populate the page where you can navigate to different sections of Linksys support for your product I notice a Forum post about the exact same problem, so instead of going directly to the Firmware download page, I decided to continue reading what this user had said. I’ll spare you the whole back and forth comments but you can read the comments yourself HERE.
So obviously it’s a known problem, or to be technically correct, we can assume that it’s not an isolated incident. With something like this, a failing router, this works it’s evil in two ways. One… Typically when you replace a router it’s because your old one was going bad and giving you problems, so when someone goes out and buys this piece of shit (the e4200), and continues to have problems, they are going to naturally assume that it was something other than their old failing router…and most definitely NOT think it was the brand new e4200. Two… Most individuals are not aware of the steps and small variables to consider when diagnosing a loss of connectivity, they would call their ISP support and simply say “my internet isn’t working”.
I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and thought “ok maybe they released this prematurely before thorough testing and the firmware update to 1.0.02 will fix this for sure”. Again…I was wrong. It made the problem WORSE, now dropping connectivity several times within just a couple minutes. The what-was-supposed-to-be nice white LED Cisco logo flashing in a slow fading fashion as if dying then re-animating back to life but without bringing life back to my f*******g internet, the entire reason for it’s existence.
The customer support is obviously pretty bad as well and as of today (7/21/2011) have not made a single comment in the forums regarding a possible upcoming fix or solution, instead you have a bunch of “newbies” chatting about shit like old women at a book club. This isn’t helping Cisco.
So if you’ve purchased this uber piece of fancy advertising piece of shit e4200, and are experiencing internet connectivity problems, and you are able to actually get here to read this… Take it back, or throw it away and go buy yourself a nice new Asus Router, or Netgear…(stay away from Belkin)
I thought I should mention that I tried both static and dynamic IP addresses, and was using DHCP, typically though I run STATIC ip addys to the computers, however I had absolutely NO luck getting this to work with the router from the get go…
This issue has been duplicated several times, with both version of the firmware. Steer clear of this router, it tends to drop signal regularly and randomly.