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ADSL Router problems

Sep 28, 2009 | Blog, Technology

Since the start of 2009 I have had endless problems with my ADSL line at home. It must have been down at least a week per month. I followed the ‘patience testing’ route of logging a call. In some cases the calls were closed without anyone showing up to test the line or phoning me to inquire about the symptoms. I decided that the only way to convince Telkom that something is seriously wrong with my line is to have a “record” of calls. So I persist. Saturday a Telkom technician showed up and patiently tested all connections and the quality of the line. He gave it a green light.

We chatted about the symptoms. He looked at the router (refer to the images). It is a D-Link DSL-2640U. He asked me when last I did a firmware upgrade. A what?! He suggested that I update the firmware on the router and see if that solves my problem. Apparently many changes (updates) are made to the exchange infrastructure all the time and it will help to keep the subscribers-side equipment updated too.

So I looked up http://www.d-link.com/ . This D-Link site referred me to http://www.d-link.co.za/. Progress !

I patiently searched the site for a firmware update. However, I firstly checked the router for its firmware revision. All I could see was a very cryptic string of characters and numbers which made no sense whatsoever. The ZA D-Link site listed an update for the software. It is impossible to tell though, whether it is an upgrade or downgrade. The file date-stamp dates back to 2007. I suspected that it would be an upgrade. Unfortunately the download link for the firmware update is broken. Fortunately the site lists a URL for the support FTP site from which you can manually retrieve updates. But, sadly, the file in the download folder differs from the one in the download link. I suppose that explains why the link is broken.

I dug out the dusty router packaging from the store room to find the CD or manual for the router. Both were there, but both only in Russian. I decided to see whether there is a D-Link support site in Russia. Yes, there is such a site indeed. And it hosts several firmware updates. I downloaded the latest one and tried to update the flash image. To cut a long story short, and after reading up quite a bit on the net, it appears that you can only do an upgrade with IE and I used Mozilla Firefox. Lots of time got wasted in the process but I had little else to do. It was a cold, miserable and windy day, best spent indoors.

After the upgrade the router was rebooted and fortunately retained its configuration. It worked marvelously for about 12 hours after the upgrade and then died. Late yesterday it showed a red power light only. I an unable to access its configuration interface. I will read up on the web today to see if there is a fix to this problem but don’t have high hopes. Perhaps you, the reader, can tell me what ADSL router (brand) you recommend. It may be time for an upgrade. I have had a Telkom branded one in the past (until lightning toasted it). I’d prefer something that is not a Telkom branded appliance.

What can you recommend ?

Please reply to this post or email me at: Hennie.Rautenbach[at]gmail.com

Best regards

Hennie