Linksys WRT55AG (Sucks) Review
July 20, 2005
I hate it when I don’t do my homework on a new piece of hardware, and it comes back to bite me in the ass. Particularly when it’s from a company that I’ve sworn I’d never buy from again, like Linksys.
For several years I’ve been living happily behind a little Linux box, running IPCop as a firewall and router. It worked excellently, even on the old last-legs box it was running on. Unfortunately, it had gotten to the point where it was out of legs, and I’d need to actually drop some money into hardware to keep it running much longer.
At the same time, I was trying to fix my problems with Windows Media Center by making sure all of my hardware was on the “certified” list. Although I wasn’t looking to solve any network problems, I happened to notice that the Linksys WRT55AG was on the list, and so figuring to kill two birds with one stone, I purchased one (along with some other more on-point hardware), and sat it off to the side.
In due course, the little IPCop box finally expired, and I dug out the WRT55AG and plugged it in.
What a nightmare!
I’ve had trouble with Linksys routers in the past, but this was a new low. It had plenty of problems, but the absolute worst was that if the upstream side of the connection got busy, the damn thing would just die. No response to ping, let alone an actual connection to the internet.
It’s bad enough when this happens during an FTP session, but this thing would die when you tried to press your luck and open a new web page while on a VOIP call.
Forget about running anything like bittorrent, or multi-player games.
Digging around online looking for a solution — a setting, or a firmware upgrade, or third-party firmware perhaps — I found that I was far from the only person with this problem.
Folks who didn’t have this problem had problems with WEP encryption killing the wireless, poor wireless range, non-working MAC address filters, and a myriad of other problems.
Unfortunately, I left it sit too long to make returning it practical, so I’m now the proud owner of another useless Linksys piece of crap.
If you’re shopping around for one of these routers, take my advice and run. On the other hand, if frustration is your thing, and you still want one, let me know — I’ll make you a hell of deal.