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It seems it's normal for routers to just lock up every few days, and people just powercycle them to fix it. That's ok for a home computer, but there's a server behind the router at work, so it's quite important that the router is reliable and doesn't just lock up randomly. We're currently using a cheap Linksys router (WRT54GH) and experiencing such problems (as described by other people on the web too).
Should we get some sort of more professional brand? Or another, higher-grade model line from Linksys? What would you recommend?

For the record, here's a question that describes my exact problems fairly accurately.

Our router is under a very light load (about 3 simultaneous users max).

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To rule out power problems, is it on a UPS? –  Andrew Aug 6 '10 at 5:33
    
it's not on an UPS. Do you think a power blackout can actually lockup the router, while a powercycle (which seems the same as a power blackout) can, reversely, fix it? –  Stefan Monov Aug 6 '10 at 5:46
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The concern is that devices may be sensitive to fluctuations in voltage. Clean power can be every bit as important as reliable power. –  Skyhawk Aug 6 '10 at 6:03

8 Answers 8

It seems it's normal for routers

Do not buy crap. I did not have any router lock up regularly in the last 10 years or so - various brands.

I now use an AVM 7270 for my office routing. Not sure when it did the last reset (we have power outages here every couple of weeks), but I never ever had it hang on me.

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note that a power outage is essentially giving you a router reboot for free. It's extended up times that seem to give routers problems, perhaps due to some form of resource leak/exhaustion over time. –  xenny Aug 6 '10 at 11:19
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Hardly. "every couple of days" and "3 months between power outages" is still a LOT of difference. –  TomTom Aug 6 '10 at 17:51

Cisco is (in my opinion, but a lot of people agree) the best, most professional and most reliable brand when it comes to routers or networking equipment in general.

A bit more costly than other brands, yes, but definitely worth it.

There are of course lots of cheaper solutions; but remember than you're always going to get what you pay for.

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yes but I find Cisco overwhelming for most of the purposes. The learning curve is HUGE and if you are not working with Cisco every day you get more troubles than advantages. I'm giving up Cisco because of that but I have hard time to find something better than home devices and less overwhelming than Cisco. Suggestions? –  damko Jun 17 '13 at 19:36

Have you considered upgrading to a well known, custom firmware such as DD-WRT or Tomato? It may simply be a firmware issue with the current Linksys router you're running.

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I would never suggest using a cheap SOHO router over a professional one in a business setting. However, since you already have one, I would suggest trying DD-WRT since it's a free option. I use it at home, and I never have to power cycle the router. –  churnd Aug 6 '10 at 12:05
    
Ah, well, just glanced at the DD-WRT router database, and the WRT54GH isn't there. At this point, I would get a commercial/business grade router from Cisco. –  churnd Aug 6 '10 at 12:09

We use HP ProCurve 7102 routers for all our offices and I have never,ever had one of them lock up on me. They might be a bit of an overkill for you, but they are very good value for the money. In general I would agree with other posters: you get what you pay for. Don't expect a $50 piece of kit to do the same job as a $500 piece of kit. There is a reason why it only costs $50.

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Get a cisco. I replaced a linksys with one for the same reason a few years ago and have never looked back.

My short term fix was to put the linksys on a lamp timer so it power cycled the thing every night for a few weeks until the cisco was in place.

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Currently at home I have a wrt54g that the last time it restated was due to power being cut off. Now it is not running stock firmware but using tomato, and I would advise you run that or dd-wrt. They just work better for the most part.

But if you want an hardware upgrade you can roll your own router using something like pfsense but then you must select the hardware and make sure it's not going to cause downtime.

Also you can just go out and drop money on a pro class router like cisco, juniper and etc. I used watchguard at a small company and it was ok, tho even that would hang once a year. There is other out there, I suggest checking http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/ as they have some good reviews on small biz network.

Linksys is consumer grade and that is all you should expect from it.

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I've heard a lot of good things about Zyxel products but never tryed them.

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If not dd-wrt or other open firmware, why not a linux server with 2 NICs and iptables for your routing/filtering? Should be rock solid and easily upgradable in the future (if need be). Other advantages include letting you do fancy stuff like log/analyse traffic and provide other services (like dns and dhcp) on the same box.

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