How To Get The Most Out Of Your Dead Home Router...

Cheap home routers. Linksys, Dlink, Netgear and Belkin. The Big Four of home networking.

Either as routers or access points, I've used several of each over the last 10 years. I've also had one of each brand bite the dust, sometimes quickly, sometimes not.

On this last Belkin router failure, I was able to buy a couple weeks by resetting to defaults and reconfiguring it. But eventually, it stopped routing, stopping administering DHCP and the web page could no longer be reached by wire or wirelessly.

I was about to throw it in the graveyard when I was bothered by the fact the Ethernet lights were still blinking. A few tests confirmed that it was indeed passing traffic on the wired ports.

Have you ever noticed that although it might take two minutes for a home router to reboot, that the Ethernet ports will pass traffic within 2 seconds of being turned on? Or have you noticed that the router might be glad to give you a list of connected devices, but in fact they are only DHCP leases, and any client that didn't get a lease is nowhere to be found?

Possible explanation for all these behaviors? That the wired Ethernet ports are in fact a seperate, independent device from the rest, probably their cheapest unmanaged switch module, only connected to the main router board by a local Ethernet port, same as anything else.

I dug out of my graveyard the other three fried routers. All of them pass traffic on their wired ports. So I am now in the process of pairing them up with my 16 port mid span that I never used.

Hello 16-port POE! Anybody else noticed this failure mode?

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