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Vonage, a VT2142 and a RTP300, My Experiences - A Detailed Review



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Salt Lake City: impressions after several months




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Vonage Let me preface the discussion with the fact that I was a network administrator



Let me preface the discussion with the fact that I was a network administrator for about 8 years and have continuing experience with networking products since transitioning to application development.

The following are my experiences with attempting to get the Linksys WRTP54G router to function. I originally purchased it at Best Buy because the rebate program seemed to make it almost a no brainer with the rebates totalling more than the cost of the device.

After opening the box:
I read the agreement. An item to note is the nearly $40 cancelation fee that is charged by Vonage unless you send the router back to Vonage.
I read the rebate requirements, which state A WIRELESS router must be sent in, whereas Best Buy stated that any router could be sent in.
I read the manual cover to cover before attempting anything.
I used the installation software to configure the router, however, the internet could never be reached at the end of the configuration process when using the configuration software.

After a lot of trial and error attempting to manually configure the router using the built in administrative web pages, I realized that I could not use the administrative pages unless the router was disconnected from the internet. Every time I connected the WAN/Internet port, I would receive an "internal communication error" message when trying to access the administrative pages. This occurred with both a wired and wireless client. I also disabled all firewalls to eliminate all potential points of conflict. Once I got that error on the router, I would have to restart the router to get it to work with the internet again.

When trying to configure the wi-fi portion, I was not able to configure the router to disable SSID broadcasting and have a client (a Linksys WPC54GS) connect. Whenever the SSID broadcast on the router was disabled, the link lights on both the router and the wireless adapter card would flash extremely rapidly. It seemed as though some sort of flood was occurring. A wired connection would not work at this point either.

I called Linksys support. I spoke to an initial call taker, was transferred to a supervisor and was then supposed to get an expert. Instead I sat on hold for an hour. All this on my cell phone since my "land line" was supposed to be implemented by this device.

I browsed the internet some and saw that some people had been provided updated firware revisions. I was running on 1.00.18 and it appeared that there might be versions as high as 1.00.29, yet there were no firmware updates available for device on the linksys web site. Currious.

I decided I would give Linksys a call again and give them one more chance to resolve the issue. This time, the wait times were shorter but was stil transferred up to a third person. Rather than try to go through a long resolution on a marginal cell phone connection to India, listening to the echo of my voice, I simply asked if there was an updated firmware version I could try to resolve my problem. The tech said that if there was, it could only be provided by Vonage. I explained that I was concerned by the fact that they did not provide firmware for the device that they manufacture and he said. "It would be easiest to exchange the device for a new one since it is only two days old and should function out of the box."

Experience has taught me to never purchase equipment where you are unable to obtain firmware from the original manufacturer. Linksys/Cisco have been in business for a long time, I trust that I will be able to get firmware for some time to come. Vonage is a completely new company, if they go away, support for the device goes away. With two companies, it is too easy for the customer to be caught in the middle of finger pointing when there is a problem.

My personal opinion is that this device was an endeavor poorly executed by both companies. Either the manufacturer should provide all support for the device, or both companies should provide equal support (ie. firmware obtainable from either company). The product, from my perspective, was also brought to market before it had been adequately tested. All considered, I have no confidence in this product and I am returning both of my wireless products and will research my options more carefully.

I am a longtime owner of a Linksys BEFSR41 router that has met my needs well for the past 4 years or so (it's been so long I can't recall when I specifically started using it). This isn't a case of any prior dissatisfaction with Linksys.



Read The Full Thread:

WRTP54G No manufacturer firmware support and cancelation fee


Linksys does not provide firmware updates for any of the Linksys/Vonage routers.

BEFSR41Usr posted "Let me preface the discussion with the fact that I was a network administrator" on 07/04/2005

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

2Shipping and activation fees waived with 1-year agreement. An Early Termination Fee (with periodic pro-rated reductions) applies if service is terminated before the end of the first 12 months. Additional restrictions may apply. See Terms of Service for details.

HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

** Certain call types excluded.

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