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Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to VikingBob

Re: New PC Advice?

I think your suggestions are quite good except for the last one about using a Linksy BEFSR41. I have that router..version 3 (ver 4 is really horrible I have read). The router is ok for the paltry price except for one gigantic problem: DHCP. It is a disaster in that regard. But I do not wish to use my ISP's DHCP and get a lease renewal every 12 hours as that is also a disaster. So, I use the router so I can set the lease time for one week. I will very happy to get a new Linksy router (or another brand) that handles DHCP properly and I will just turn off the wireless part. There is another nasty problem with the BEFSR41 and that is the password lockout bug that Linksy knows about and refused to fix and there is a third problem...some applications like Ping Plotter will not work with this router unless WinPcap is installed and a beta version of the firmware that was never on Linksy FTP site is used. Linksy also refused the request of the author of Ping Plotter and people like myself to issue an official firmware upgrade to fix this problem.

I can see recommending using wired rather than wireless for the router..that I agree with but recommending an ancient router like the BEFSR41 after Linksy demonstrated little interest in fixing any of its problems (recall the 1000+ posts thread in the Linksy forum a few years ago about the BEFSR41 all versions and begging Linksy to fix the problems ..and finally after a year they did sort of fix a bit of the problems but their response was far from really satisfactory) I disagree with. You should be recommending something like the WRT54G with Tomato or DD-WRT firmware.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


chrisretusn
Retired
Premium
join:2007-08-13
Philippines
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Reviews:
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There is nothing wrong with the BEFSR41. I have a version 4 Firmware Version: 1.04.09

DHCP works just fine.

I have never had any problems with password lockout.

I don't see how a router would affect an application like PingPlotter. Hmm... just downloaded and installed PingPlotter Pro, works just fine.
--
Chris
Living in Paradise!!

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

2 edits
Well you have ver 4. I have ver 3 which was introduced by Linksy in June 2003 and I purchased it in Nov 2003 after getting a new computer and I wanted to network the older one and the new one. Linksy evidently decided to fix the problems in ver 3 in ver 4. They refused to fix the problems in ver 3 by issuing new firmware. The last OFFICIAL firmware was dated Aug 2004. There were about four beta versions after that but none made official and one beta version was never uploaded to Linksy's USA FTP site but it was on their European site. When I asked them why it was not on the USA site they told me that Europeans were much more knowledgeable about firmware upgrades and had demanded it. They said Americans were dummies and didn't need it. I installed it from the European site and was told I had voided my warranty. That is how bad Linksy support became after Cisco bought them. I later installed the beta firmware that enabled Ping Plotter Pro to work properly with the router. The BEFSR41 was only 14 months old from the time I bought it when I encountered the Ping Plotter problem and 18 months old from date of original issue yet Linksy refused to issue official updated firmware to fix the problem.

Pete Ness bought the router I had to see what the problem was when I told him about the problem (I was a beta tester for Ping Plotter then). He found the beta firmware that worked. Linksy refused to send it to me and refused to fix the problem until, from what you have said, they fixed it with version 4 of the BEFRSR41 router. Did you try putting Ping Plotter on TCP engine? It is by default set on ICMP. There was no problem with ICMP engine and the router. With the TCP engine (you will have to install WinPcap also) and the last official firmware from 2004, in Jan 2005, the router Ping Plotter Pro beta was showing only the first and final hops on the graph to any target. The beta firmware Pete found on a forum about Linksy routers (only place it was ever posted) enabled the router to list all hops and associated information when using the TCP engine (which was a huge advance for Ping Plotter and only in the beta Pro version at that time).

I am glad they fixed the blocked password problem. You don't have to type the password twice anymore after enabling UPnP? In my version if you don't type it TWICE, and there is nothing to indicate that you must type it twice, you get locked out of the router interface (as it reverts to a random password that cannot be guessed..believe me...I tried every suggestion at every forum where BEFRSR41 users were posting about the same problem. For a very few users one of the passwords suggested to try worked but for most of us nothing worked). The only solution is to do a factory reset which removes the beta firmware that Linksy tried to keep you from using anyway and that makes the router incompatible with Ping Plotter Pro. The firmware that fixes the problem is hard to locate now if you didn't keep a copy of it on your hard drive. I haven't been able to get into the router interface for a couple of years now.

I had read that ver 4 still produces a ton of DHCP errors on XP in Event Viewer. You are saying that is incorrect and there are no errors now on XP with ver 4? If so, that is wonderful. I wonder why, if this is true, it took Linksy until version 4 to fix the DHCP problems. Of course, I know why Linsky refused to fix ver 3 Ping Plotter incompatibility problems (and probably the same is the reason for not fixing the DHCP problems) with a firmware upgrade. They told me that they do not support any router more than two years old and they do not issue official firmware upgrades past the time of the introduction of a new version of the router which was one year after ver 3 was offered for sale. The told me to buy version 4 when my router was only 14 months old then after it became two years old refused me any support.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


chrisretusn
Retired
Premium
join:2007-08-13
Philippines
kudos:1
Reviews:
·PLDT
·Comcast
said by Mele20:

The last OFFICIAL firmware was dated Aug 2004.
Actually for version 3.0 it's Ver.1.05.00 dated 04/01/2004

quote:
Did you try putting Ping Plotter on TCP engine? It is by default set on ICMP. There was no problem with ICMP engine and the router. With the TCP engine (you will have to install WinPcap also) and the last official firmware from 2004, in Jan 2005, the router Ping Plotter Pro beta was showing only the first and final hops on the graph to any target. The beta firmware Pete found on a forum about Linksy routers (only place it was ever posted) enabled the router to list all hops and associated information when using the TCP engine (which was a huge advance for Ping Plotter and only in the beta Pro version at that time).
Of course it requires WinPcap, but not for the reasons you are implying. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Linksys router. It's a limitation of Windows XP and Vista. This is well covered on PingPlotters Using WinPcap with PingPlotter page. Again it has absolutely nothing to do with the router.

quote:
I am glad they fixed the blocked password problem. You don't have to type the password twice anymore after enabling UPnP?
If you are referring to UPnP Forwarding, no I do not have to type the password twice. I have never gotten locked out of my router. Except once when I fudged my password. A hard reset to defaults fixed that. BTW, a hard reset does not clear firmware.

quote:
I had read that ver 4 still produces a ton of DHCP errors on XP in Event Viewer. You are saying that is incorrect and there are no errors now on XP with ver 4?
When I use DHCP I get no errors in Event Viewer.
--
Chris
Living in Paradise!!

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
said by chrisretusn:

said by Mele20:

The last OFFICIAL firmware was dated Aug 2004.
Actually for version 3.0 it's Ver.1.05.00 dated 04/01/2004

quote:
Did you try putting Ping Plotter on TCP engine? It is by default set on ICMP. There was no problem with ICMP engine and the router. With the TCP engine (you will have to install WinPcap also) and the last official firmware from 2004, in Jan 2005, the router Ping Plotter Pro beta was showing only the first and final hops on the graph to any target. The beta firmware Pete found on a forum about Linksy routers (only place it was ever posted) enabled the router to list all hops and associated information when using the TCP engine (which was a huge advance for Ping Plotter and only in the beta Pro version at that time).
Of course it requires WinPcap, but not for the reasons you are implying. It has absolutely nothing to do with the Linksys router. It's a limitation of Windows XP and Vista. This is well covered on PingPlotters Using WinPcap with PingPlotter page. Again it has absolutely nothing to do with the router.

quote:
I am glad they fixed the blocked password problem. You don't have to type the password twice anymore after enabling UPnP?
If you are referring to UPnP Forwarding, no I do not have to type the password twice. I have never gotten locked out of my router. Except once when I fudged my password. A hard reset to defaults fixed that. BTW, a hard reset does not clear firmware.

quote:
I had read that ver 4 still produces a ton of DHCP errors on XP in Event Viewer. You are saying that is incorrect and there are no errors now on XP with ver 4?
When I use DHCP I get no errors in Event Viewer.
Yes, it was April...it isn't the first time I have gotten April and August mixed up.

If I mislead you regarding the reasons needing WinPcap, I am sorry. What I thought I said was that you needed it in order to use the TCP engine so you could test and see how the BEFSR41 VERSION 4 works with the TCP engine. You can't test that without first installing WinPcap. That is ALL I was trying to say about WinPcap.

Obviously, as I already stated, and you seem to not be able to accept, the reason that ver 3 of this router did not work with the TCP engine of Ping Plotter Pro beta in early 2005 was because it needed new firmware. There was NO new OFFICIAL firmware. A beta firmware that Pete found on the net, not at Linksy, fixed the problem. Linksy was informed and blew it off because according to them ver 4 of this router was released one year after the release of ver 3 and that meant no more official firmware for ver 3.

My Linksy manual states that a factory reset is exactly that. It resets the router to exactly how it was when it left the factory and puts it back to the original firmware. I confirmed this by phone to Linksy support after I got locked out. It is very nice that Linksy changed that and so many other problems in ver 3 were fixed in ver 4. But, somehow, I am not convinced by what you are claiming as I have read the complaints in the past about ver 4, both in our Linksy forum, and official, and unofficial Linksy forums on the net. You are the first person to say that you get no DHCP errors on XP. have What service pack do you have? It could have to do with SP3. I use SP2 and when I was reading about ver 4 SP 3 was not out so all those complaining were using SP2 or even SP 1.
--
"The same ferocity that our founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic". Al Gore, The Assault on Reason


chrisretusn
Retired
Premium
join:2007-08-13
Philippines
kudos:1
Reviews:
·PLDT
·Comcast
said by Mele20:

If I mislead you regarding the reasons needing WinPcap, I am sorry. What I thought I said was that you needed it in order to use the TCP engine so you could test and see how the BEFSR41 VERSION 4 works with the TCP engine. You can't test that without first installing WinPcap. That is ALL I was trying to say about WinPcap.

Yes I did misunderstand your reason, sorry; but your post is hard to read, much less understand. To be honest your first paragraph was a complete turn off and hard to believe (italicized part below). I will concede and accept that the problem could have been in the LinkSys firmware. At least now I know who in the heck Pete Ness is.

said by Mele20:in a previous post :

Well you have ver 4. I have ver 3 which was introduced by Linksy in June 2003 and I purchased it in Nov 2003 after getting a new computer and I wanted to network the older one and the new one. Linksy evidently decided to fix the problems in ver 3 in ver 4. They refused to fix the problems in ver 3 by issuing new firmware. The last OFFICIAL firmware was dated Aug 2004. There were about four beta versions after that but none made official and one beta version was never uploaded to Linksy's USA FTP site but it was on their European site. When I asked them why it was not on the USA site they told me that Europeans were much more knowledgeable about firmware upgrades and had demanded it. They said Americans were dummies and didn't need it. I installed it from the European site and was told I had voided my warranty. That is how bad Linksy support became after Cisco bought them. I later installed the beta firmware that enabled Ping Plotter Pro to work properly with the router. The BEFSR41 was only 14 months old from the time I bought it when I encountered the Ping Plotter problem and 18 months old from date of original issue yet Linksy refused to issue official updated firmware to fix the problem.

Pete Ness bought the router I had to see what the problem was when I told him about the problem (I was a beta tester for Ping Plotter then). He found the beta firmware that worked. Linksy refused to send it to me and refused to fix the problem until, from what you have said, they fixed it with version 4 of the BEFRSR41 router. Did you try putting Ping Plotter on TCP engine? It is by default set on ICMP. There was no problem with ICMP engine and the router. With the TCP engine (you will have to install WinPcap also) and the last official firmware from 2004, in Jan 2005, the router Ping Plotter Pro beta was showing only the first and final hops on the graph to any target. The beta firmware Pete found on a forum about Linksy routers (only place it was ever posted) enabled the router to list all hops and associated information when using the TCP engine (which was a huge advance for Ping Plotter and only in the beta Pro version at that time).
said by Mele20:

Obviously, as I already stated, and you seem to not be able to accept, the reason that ver 3 of this router did not work with the TCP engine of Ping Plotter Pro beta in early 2005 was because it needed new firmware. There was NO new OFFICIAL firmware. A beta firmware that Pete found on the net, not at Linksy, fixed the problem. Linksy was informed and blew it off because according to them ver 4 of this router was released one year after the release of ver 3 and that meant no more official firmware for ver 3.
I'd say not so obvious and I am able to accept that the firmware was the problem (see above). I if you had been a little more direct and understandable in your response I might have accepted your reason a little more readily.

said by Mele20:

My Linksy manual states that a factory reset is exactly that. It resets the router to exactly how it was when it left the factory and puts it back to the original firmware. I confirmed this by phone to Linksy support after I got locked out. It is very nice that Linksy changed that and so many other problems in ver 3 were fixed in ver 4.
Well LinkSys Support either misunderstood or was wrong. A hard reset will NOT, clear firmware. Why do you think it is called firmware? A hard reset changes all of the routers settings back to their factory default values. Were do you think the router gets those factory default values? They are stored in the firmware. There are basically two ways to change the firmware; using the Firmware Upgrade page or using the TFTP upgrade tool provided by LinkSys. A hard reset does not do it.

For what it's worth this is what the LinkSys BEFSR41V3 Manual states:
said by BESFSR41V3_UG :
IMPORTANT: If you reset the Router, all of your settings, including Internet connection and security setting, will be deleted and replaced with the factory defaults. Do not reset the Router if you want to retain these settings.
Nothing there about firmware.

said by Mele20:

But, somehow, I am not convinced by what you are claiming as I have read the complaints in the past about ver 4, both in our Linksy forum, and official, and unofficial Linksy forums on the net. You are the first person to say that you get no DHCP errors on XP. have What service pack do you have? It could have to do with SP3. I use SP2 and when I was reading about ver 4 SP 3 was not out so all those complaining were using SP2 or even SP 1.
Fine with me, don't believe me. I am only stating what is fact with my LinkSys BEFSR41V4 Firmware Version: 1.04.09 Router. I do not get any DHCP errors in the System Event Log. You want a screen shot? Nah, you'd probably believe I just edited it to prove my point.

You make it sound as if everyone is having these problems. I did a lot of searching and failed to find "a lot" of complaints regarding these specific issues. Yes I did find some, but nowhere near enough to essentially label these routers as junk. Have you even stopped to consider how many folks out there are not having these problems and not complaining. There must have been thousands of these routers sold, they are still being sold. I'd be willing to bet the vast majority of LinkSys BEFSR41 users are quite happy with their trouble free router. I know that I am.

For what it is worth; I am using Windoz XP w/SP3; however, I have had this problem free and excellent little router since August 4, 2006. (Not convinced? I can scan the receipt.) So this router has been in use with Windoz XP w/SP2 systems since that date until I installed SP3 on May 7, 2008.
--
Chris
Living in Paradise!!