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The most unreliable class of computer hardware...

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  • User profile image
    cbae

    ...is networking equipment. It's not even close. I can't recall how many times I've had to replace a network switch or WiFi router over the past several years. I don't understand how something with absolutely zero moving parts can fail so regularly.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    , cbae wrote

    ...is networking equipment. It's not even close. I can't recall how many times I've had to replace a network switch or WiFi router over the past several years. I don't understand how something with absolutely zero moving parts can fail so regularly.

    my top bets are:

    made really cheap.

    on 24x7

    almost no UPS protection used.

    cheap surge strips are junk , and will not protect much.

    add the three things together and it means they will fail faster then other stuff.

    I run all my gear on a set of UPS boxes and have had no switch / router failures for a long time.

    if you have a good UPS it can log power events, it can be a real eye opener how many times each week you get short brown outs and spikes that over time can fry stuff.

  • User profile image
    Ion Todirel

    bad software is my guess, the fact that it has to run 24/7 will probably surface most of the bugs; I never ever had any issues with switching equipment, probably because the software on these devices tends to be much simpler than what you'd find in a wireless router

    I still hate Wi-Fi very very much, too much interference in the area I live in, and the connection is too slow; I use a wired connection

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    So Comcast upgraded my network speed. And I spent a couple of days trying to figure out why I got no extra speed when going through the wireless access point. Turns out that when it initially configured itself it figured out the top speed of the connection and set the upstream connection speed limit to that. *sigh* Remove that limit and oh, hello 50 Mbps.

    And this is a flipping Cisco access point/router.

  • User profile image
    elmer

    , cbae wrote

    ...is networking equipment. It's not even close. I can't recall how many times I've had to replace a network switch or WiFi router over the past several years.

    I think you perhaps need to qualify that with the equipment quality and environment.

    All of the networking equipment in our server room is either HP or CISCO, is all a minimum of 3 years old, and is all totally reliable.

    I even have 3 x HP 10/100 switches that are now 12 years old, but I can't bring myself to throw them out, because they just keep doing their particular job perfectly.

    Of course, this is all expensive equipment (or was when we bought it) and is running in a controlled environment.

    However, even at our remote home-offices, I've only had one failure over many years - and even that was caused by a lightning strike on the comms link to the cable-modem.

    Where possible, I prefer to use SOHO equipment with metal chassis, as I believe it dissipates the heat better for environments that are typically not air-conditioned.

    For our remote offices we typically use Cisco-800/900 and Netgear-ProSafe equipment, and always install an APC UPS with comms surge-suppressor options. None of it's cheap, but it all just keeps working, so I don't have support issues with it.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @elmer: I had a SOHO-type router until it died. The hard part is trying to find something good that isn't ridiculously priced and full of enterprisey features that nobody ever uses. Newegg reviews are fun because no piece of networking gear gets higher than 3 eggs.

    At one company I worked for, we used SonicWall gear SOHO gear for Doctors' offices. They were good when they were good, and brutal when they weren't good.

    I'm happy with my Asus RT-N56U. It's pretty much been up for two years.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    I have a 20 point  Netgear switch that has been reliable for over 5 years and has just started failing in the last week.  Power reliability here is dire so I guess maybe I have been lucky (it's one of the few items I didn't have on a UPS)

  • User profile image
    Bas

    Consumer-grade networking hardware is terrible, especially wifi. I've had various wireless routers for many, many years and every single one suffered from the "Hey, your wifi network is up but I won't let anything connect until you unplug the power cable for a couple of seconds for no reason" problem. Along with battery technology it's a mystery to me why this stuff just doesn't get any better.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    My Netgear wireless router (WGR614v2) also work reliably for over 5 years too... even after I give it to my neighbour.

    Too bad my new ISP doesn't support it and I have to change to a new one.

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  • User profile image
    Heywood_J

    [quote], figuerres wrote

    *snip*

    my top bets are:

    made really cheap.

    on 24x7

    almost no UPS protection used

    Those certainly are true, the but the root problem is little or no QA on cheap products.  That means it's all luck.  Maybe you get a good one, maybe you don't.  Linksys has a fairly poor reputation but my 5 year old Linksys router still works perfectly.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @Heywood_J: That's the frustrating part. Those little WRT54's last for decades, but when you buy the good stuff it dies after a year. Mad

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , kettch wrote

    @Heywood_J: That's the frustrating part. Those little WRT54's last for decades, but when you buy the good stuff it dies after a year. Mad

    I don't recall ever having a Fast Ethernet switch go bad on me. Gigabit switches, OTOH...

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    Got a replacement 8 point switch on order, may have to cut back on those connections a little ....

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @jinx101: I had a paper clip stuck into the side of my router to keep the fan from spinning because it started grinding 10 seconds after the warranty expired.

  • User profile image
    Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @jinx101: It was a SOHO-class device that was made with the capability of going in a rack.

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