The Outage – and a Rant

We’ve had record heatwaves here in London, apparently even beating the droughted summer of ’76. This sparked some pretty ferocious thunderstorms on Thursday evening, which caused me to get soaked to the skin on my 26km ride home from work (I was also worried about getting hit by lightning in Richmond Park). When I got home there were house alarms going off all over, and in my house half the circuits were blown. And worst of all my ADSL modem was fried. No internet!

There was nothing I could do that night, but Friday evening after work I dashed down to Tottenham Court Road in search of a new ADSL modem. No-one stocked what I was after – a Linksys – so, as it was getting near closing time, I plumped for a Netgear DM111P. More fool me. Could I get it to work? To cut a long story short, the instructions said if you run Linux or Mac, stick the CD in and run “index.htm”. Ha ha. That particular file was nowhere to be found on the CD. The only HTML files I could find related to a wireless gateway, not an ADSL modem. OK, I thought, I’ll wheel out the XP machine and set the router up with the supplied Windows software. That little bundle of fun got half way through then stopped with a syntax error in some .inf file. OK, I thought, I’ll just http onto the router and set it all up manually. After quite a bit of headscratching trying to remember VCIs, VPIs, mux types, etc, I got a clean connect to the ISP. But could I get any traffic to go from the router to the outside? Even telnetting onto the router and pinging the DNS server from there just timed out.

I spoke to Netgear this morning about all this (I was on hold for like a couple of hours in total, to both what sounded like Bangalore AND the States) and they couldn’t even find the model in their database, so after suggesting a few lame things that I’d done anyway they said they couldn’t help. Absolutely incredible.

OK, rant over. The short of it is, I advise you to avoid Netgear products like the plague. I now have a blacklist of several shit hardware companies: Asus, DLink, and now Netgear.

I took it back this morning and got a refund, and, because getting a Linksys ASDL modem with no extras seems hard these days, I had to go for a combined everything: ADSL modem, wireless AP and Router all in one. It’s a very neat unit.

Plugged it in just now and Everything Just Works.

So, sorry about the break in service – hopefully everything should be back to normal now.

2 Replies to “The Outage – and a Rant”

  1. Thanks for the above rant – It has just confirmed that I am not the most stupid person in the world.

    Having spend 3 hours trying to get online with my BT Voyager 105 I threw it down the garden and went off to my local branch of Novatech to get me a brand new modem. I had read some rave reviews of the Netgear DM111P, admittedly from the people who are trying to sell them, and so that is what I got. I spent 14 hours in total trying to work it out. As you rightly commented there are no files on the CD to run the product and when I got throught to AOL they didnt recognise it either. Furthermore when I contacted Netgear they took me through the pinging route and then told me it must be broken and to take it back and get another – which I did. That dont work either. I have since retrieved the much loathed BT Voyager and am back on line again. For how long? who knows.

    Nasty old bit of kit and Netgear are definitely off my Christmas card list.

  2. Thanks for the comment Erika – I’m surprised they’re still selling what seems to be an unusable product. Incredible.

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