Buh Bye Netgear, Hello Linksys

I’ve been a Netgear fan for many years, mainly for their high hardware quality. The small, metal cases with signature LED-lit ports of their business-class ProSafe routers has always impressed me, and still does. Having packed, stacked, dropped, and even stepped on the many routers I’ve owned from Netgear, the strong metal cases really make the unit rock solid.

Unfortunately the software hasn’t kept pace with the hardware. Over the years of running various network configurations (sometimes rather exotic), usually with multiple Netgear products, a single problem has continued to show up over and over — the infamous Netgear lockup issue. This problem crops up with normal traffic flowing through the router and when triggered, immediately stops all inbound and outbound traffic. Only remedy is to power-cycle the unit. I’ve gone months without a problem and have seen it happen multiple times in a day. Recently my FVS114 has been locking up fairly consistently, making my net experience rather frustrating.

After doing some online research into this problem, going through multiple Netgear ProSafe routers, I’ve concluded it’s a software bug that they have had for years and either don’t care to fix or can’t fix. Regardless, it’s a problem that has forced me to consider alternatives. This morning I’ve replaced my “front” Netgear FVS114 with a Linksys RVS4000 . I say “front” because I’m obsessively paranoid and all my network is double-firewalled across three subnets :)

The Linksys RVS4000 is a “business series” VPN router, so it probably has a more extensive configuration than their standard home routers, but regardless, I am impressed with the configurability. Being able to setup multiple VLANs across multiple subnets is a rather cool feature, and port mirroring is something I haven’t seen on other similar products.

Hopefully this will make my net experience more reliable.