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Linksys wrt160n SERIOUS Issues! And their Twitter PR people are INCOMPETENT!

March 15, 2010 6 comments
I have loved using Linksys routers (made by Cisco) for a long time now and recently we bought a new router from Linksys to replace our old wrt54g – the wrt160n version 3.
A bunch of months ago – this goes back to at least Oct. 2009 – we began to notice that every so often our wrt160n would start redirecting us to weird places – going to http://www.Twitter.com would redirect us to some random “About Me” blog on blogger (and our browser would still think we were @ twitter.com). An example of this can be seen as recently as the writing of this post when I tried to find something on Twitter and this screenshot below was my result (obviously edited for privacy reasons) notice the address in the address bar):
Then in December Linksys-Cisco released a new firmware update for the router. I was overjoyed thinking that FINALLY they were going to be fixing this issue in the new updated firmware…Alas, it was not to be.
I found out recently that I am not alone! There is in fact a 7 page thread on the Linksys by Cisco forum all about this issue. The posters also talk about how they have spoken to Linksys tech support who denied knowing anything about the issue (and these instances even happened after other people had posted on the forum talking about talking to tech support and describing the problem). For the forum thread go to http://forums.linksysbycisco.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Wireless_Routers&thread.id=146716&view=by_date_ascending&page=1
There have also been a number of other blog posts about this issue – see the blog posting by Jacob Friedman from Jan 28, 2010 on thenextweb.com @ http://thenextweb.com/us/2010/01/28/linksys-to-customers-enjo-our-new-random-page-function/ (he also says there is the same problem with the Linksys WRT310N version 2) and a post by Bill Gerrard from Feb 9, 20190 http://www.billgerrard.com/linkSys-by-cisco-wrt160n-wireless-internet-router-dns-resolver-flaw/
Someone on the LinksysByCisco forum also posted a feed of the redirect happening to them @ http://screencast.com/t/MzgyZmVhYzgt
These blogs and on the above mentioned forum thread all have suggested answers to the problem which include loading the DD-WRT firmware (found @ www.dd-wrt.com/) or switching your computer to a Static DNS so it doesn’t use the router’s DNS (which is obviously corrupted). The problem with the solutions above is that with DD-WRT is a firmware that is made by people other than Linksys and Cisco and while I know it is often seen as being a better option I don’t think I should be forced to go download firmware not covered under my Linksys Cisco warranty to make my Linksys Cisco product work properly. To the other solution, a Static DNS, what happens when other people are trying to use our network or we take one of our netbooks or laptops out of the house? What a pain that will become on both ends. Especially living with non-tech oriented people and being their sole tech support option and being blamed for any and everything that “goes wrong” with technology in the house even if it isn’t your fault!
When I tweeted about the issue a number of times on Feb 25th one of the first tweets reading:
“Serious DNS fubar w/ linksys wrt160n v3 & cisco unresponsive! See 6pg thread@ linksys forum http://is.gd/8LlJg- @theiprgroup @LinksysCanada

as you can see I tagged both @LinksysCanada (described on their own Twitter page as – Linksys by Cisco; Location Toronto, Canada; Bio News, conversation and updates from Linksys by Cisco Canada. Find us on Facebook – Linksys by Cisco Canada. Maintained by the PR peeps at the @theiprgroup) and @theiprgroup I got this nonsensical reply from them:
“I’m sorry you are having problems. What tool bar are you using?”

…Huh? tool bar? What tool bar am I using? I was so confused by this response I replied:
“not sure I undrstnd ur questn as to “What Tool Bar” Im usin. U mean Router FirmWare Version? The latest 1! Ver 3.0.02 B”

They then gave me this sage advice:

I think the best option to fix your problem is to go to http://www.linksysbycisco.com/CA/en/support
REALLY??? Great call PR group! You suggested I go to a site I have clearly already been to…or didn’t you follow the link my first tweets and read the tweet in its entirety…tweets are only 140 characters, they do not take a long time to read! But being the nice guy I am I decided I would respond to their ‘advice’ and explain to them again that:
I have already & so have many others discussin the issue on linksys’ forums See 6pg thread@ http://is.gd/8LlJg

No response from them.

So I sent two more tweets on the topic:
c the forum thread post #30 on 01-18-2010 thru #46 on 02-17-2010 4 diff ppl had linksys phone supp deny knowledge of the prob

consider thats just 4 ppl who posted on forum AND mentioned they calld tech supp prob many more calld linksys & heard denials

And still not a word from them til this day!
Also to this day Linksys-Cisco Tech Support is still DENYING that the problem is on their end – here is one of the latest posts by Ossmo02 posted at 2010-03-15 12:37 PM on the LinksysByCisco forum in the thread linked above and @ http://forums.linksysbycisco.com/linksys/board/message?board.id=Wireless_Routers&thread.id=146716&view=by_date_ascending&page=7 if you are feeling lazy:
just got off the phone with the tech support, they had me change the laptop DNS back to automatic & reset my router, it seems to be working, but we will see for how long. They said if it happes again it could be my ISP or browser, seems that has been ruled out here though.

Tsk, tsk.
Linksys and Cisco I think it is about time that you dealt with this issue! Release an upgraded version of the firmware already! OR admit that there is a problem with these routers and issue a recall. You also might want to look into the PR group you have hired who are taking care of your online presence and the level of incompetence with which they represent your company…you guys are a tech company remember? A tech company whose business is getting people online, networking, and using the internet.
UPDATE: More examples of the Twitter.com redirect which just happened again after a router reset – yes, this is how often it happens, within HOURS.
Here is the blog I am redirected to – notice how my address bar still says I am at http://www.twitter.com
And here is the “About Me” section from that blog. Who is this person? Notice how the “My Web Page” link which I have highlighted goes to some Twitter? Blogger? account with the name “yonemans”. Weird!
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