Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Linksys WRT54G3G Mobile Routers

A Post from the Tech Department @ 3Gstore.com

I am sure many of you have used a Linksys product at some point in your life. Linksys has become a household name for people looking to share an internet connection across a network of computers. It is for this reason that many customers initially want to try the Linksys WRT54G3G-ST or WRT54G3G-AT. It's easy to think, "Linksys makes it, they are a great
company with a known name and a good reputation, heck, it's even backed by Cisco for goodness sake! Why would I have any problems with a product from a reputable company like that?"

We here at 3Gstore have several reasons of why you may want to reconsider before making that leap of faith with your next Linksys purchase, especially if considering any of their mobile routers.

- The firmware revisions have been few and far between (releases happening only once or twice a year). On top of that, they have been far from good. Each update has been worse than it's predecessor.

- With many firmware revisions, data cards, when inserted into the PCMCIA Card Slot, lock up the Administrator configuration pages/GUI once power is applied to the router.

- The last firmware released added support for the Sierra 597 ExpressCard, BUT it would only work with cards with older firmware, newer 597 ExpressCards would NOT work.

- There has been only one version of firmware released that has proven to be somewhat stable. As a result, if your data card is not supported on that particular firmware, you will likely have little success in using this router.

- It seems that when the power light is blinking rapidly, there is no alternative procedure used to get the router working again according to the highest levels of support at Linksys Support Center. If there is no alternative to the blinking power light, and the router will not respond, what other options do you have other than calling Linksys and asking for a warranty replacement? After all, you just purchased this product, and there has to be a manufacturer's warranty, correct?

- Once on the line with support at Linksys, just how many times do they plan on passing you around like a cigarette? And with each person you speak with (last count 4) comes the opportunity to explain the situation over again. Just how much time do you have to waste here to speak with someone who can resolve the issue?

- An interesting lapse in common sense - A Verizon PC5750 works in the Sprint version of the WRT54G3G-ST BUT does NOT work in the Verizon version of the WRT54G3G-VZ. Guess how many customers will turn bitter at Verizon and LinkSys when they waste hours of phone calls and replaced routers.

- These routers sometimes fail to power up. When calling into Linksys support, they spend time assessing how the router was plugged in, as if there were multiple ways to plug an AC adapter into the wall. Or they ask what card is being used in the router, but if the router does not power up, the card being used with it is irrelevant.

It seems perhaps that the Linksys support center representatives know of better way of powering up a router. Please do share with us, Linksys. We would love to hear how there is another way to plug the router into an electric outlet. Don't hold back! Divulge your secrets!

- A statement was made by Linksys to one of our customers claiming that 3GStore is being investigated for using the 2.00.9 firmware and supposedly hacking it to work with a Verizon PC5750 EVDO card. An investigation? For informing the public that a card that wasn't listed as supported actually does work? Seems unlikely that an investigation of that sort would get very far. 3GStore has done nothing except insert an available Verizon EVDO card into a Linksys router and inform our customers that the combination works (see above, how the Sprint Linksys works with the Verizon PC5750 and the Verizon LinkSys doesn't).

It is for these reasons we felt that this post was in order. Be sure to do your homework, and decide to work with experts (that's us!) from the very beginning. While the Linksys name is well-known and reputable in the networking arena, in the world of 3G routers, the EVDO experts at 3GStore.com will be up to date on the latest innovations and releases from all available manufacturers.

3Gstore.com Recommendations:

If you have a PCMCIA 3G Card, go with the Kyocera KR2 (which is made by CradlePoint). If you have an ExpressCard or USB, go with one of the CradlePoint Routers, like the MBR1000, PHS300 or CTR350

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