Sunday, April 03, 2005

Linksys Support

So, I decide that I want to split my home network up into 2 discrete networks. Call them N1 and N2 for now. So N1 is my current setup: one router, a switch, an AP, a bunch of nodes assigned via DHCP. Pretty simple. I decide for various reasons that I want to segregate some of the equipment like print servers and the AP on the N2 network. I don't need to do this for any reason, but I'm bored and running out of room on my switch.

So I dig the old Linksys BEFSR41 from the closet (I bought this thing before I had a cool Linux box doing my routing) and set it up to route traffic between the 2 subnets, letting it be the N2 gateway and forward all needed services to my N1 gw, like DNS, AD, etc. So I get it all set up and routing, i have good connectivity, and RIPv2 (tho I have no intention of actually using it in a 2 router network) even works, score! Well, guess what doesn't work? DHCP. I can do everything on the N2 net except DHCP.

So I get Linksys on the phone, and the nice Indian (dot, not feather) man named "Bob" (yeah, they need to talk to the Dell people...grr) tells me that when I switch the router into "router" mode, it disables the DHCP entirely. They put this in the firmware because idiot users were playing with the router and fucking up their settings, and they wanted to decrease the call volume on the issue. So, after I finish laughing, I ask him what I can do about it. He tells me to downgrade my firmware on the router. Now, anyone who's worked with linksys equipment knows that you can't do this...the firmware won't let you. I remind him of this, and he's like "you should buy a new router, because yours is defective." I tell him there is nothing wrong with the thing, then he tries to convince me that I'm doing it wrong, and he'll walk me through how to set up my network. I figure, what's the doesn't work to a useful state as it is anyway. Can you guess what he wanted me to do? He walked me through plugging everything into the LAN side of the router. Yep, he had me reduce my router to a switch. A switch. When I asked him why, he told me that what I wanted to do what impossible, and this was the next best thing.

I asked to speak to someone who does the engineering work on their firmware. He transferred me to a dead end...that is, a line that goes nowhere.

If you someday happen to read this, Linksys, fire that just lost a customer because of the stupidity of your offshored technical support.


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