Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Consumer Grade

I've been frustrated for the last few months as our router at home has steadily gotten less and less reliable. In typical fashion it hasn't exactly stopped working, it's just stopped working intermittently. As in, you're surfing the web along just fine and all of the sudden the next 5 pages you try to load all time out. And then randomly everything becomes operational again, or perhaps you reboot the router and everything comes back. And not every day, but just frequently enough to remind you that yes, one of these days, you have to do something to replace it.

This is at least the third router in about the past 6-8 years, and since it is approaching 4 years old it is actually statistically better then average. What is mystifying is the venerable cable modem sitting right next to the router, still going strong after those same 6-8 years. Since both are plugged in all the time, do more-or-less a similar function, and sport similarly cheap plastic+circuit board construction I am at a loss as to why all my routers seem to crap out after a few years while the cable modem keeps going strong.

On the plus side, I guess whatever I buy to replace the router will likely have a port for making a cheap NAS out of the external USB backup hard drive. If Linzy's laptop got more use that would arguably be useful. Since the new house is fully wired, the wireless doesn't get much use anymore except for the iphones and the aforementioned laptop they rendered obsolete.

Unfortunately these types of situations, where something is not actually fully broken and I don't have a good excuse for why I 'need' to upgrade, tend to be some of the hardest for me to admit that I have to spend what seems like unnecessary money. Similar to the car replacement issue, I suppose. At least this one will be infinitely cheaper when I do admit defeat and buy a replacement.


Bill Roehl said...

I only use a router for wifi. I should really just put a PCI wifi card into the server and doing NAT like I do for the wired connections as it would solve my similar problem.

Steve Eck said...

We actually have an extra computer, extra network cards and wireless cards so I guess it is conceivable that I could make my own router. But man, that seems like it would be hassle, even if zeroshell looks pretty easy to setup. $100 every couple years to not have to deal with much other then periodically rebooting the router seems worth it.