Here’s some depressing news for your morning: even if you set up your home network yourself and followed all of the best practices for doing so, it’s probably got some big fat vulnerabilities in it.
Retailers generally don’t price-match their own websites. Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, Gap, Home Depot… they’re separate operations. Lee didn’t know that, though, and tried to get Walmart to match its online price for the router he wanted. They refused. That’s not worthy of publication on Consumerist, but what happened next is. He whipped out a smartphone and ordered the router sitting on the shelf in front of him for in-store pickup. Hurray! He beat the system! Until an e-mail from Walmart arrived telling him that he could expect to pick up his new router sometime next week.
Visiting a beach town on business, Dontel stayed in a condo building that’s oriented more toward tourists. When he checked in, he learned that some guests were having intermittent Internet connection issues, and was told to report any problems he had to the front desk. Okay. He didn’t have any problems. When he returned home, he learned that the condo management had conducted an investigation, and blamed the outage on…Dontel. They claim that he tampered with his unit’s access point, messing up Internet access for that whole part of the building. They’ve billed him $120 for their trouble. He says that he didn’t touch the access point, and didn’t even know that there was one in the room. He asks the Consumerist Hive Mind for help: is there any way that he can prove he’s not behind the fateful hard reset?
Marvin is experiencing a very modern problem, one that our great-grandparents would probably be unable to wrap their brains around. His new video baby monitor for his new baby doesn’t get along with his Verizon FiOS-issued wireless router. They use the same frequency. That means that when his baby goes to bed, so do his Internet speeds. There’s a potential solution to this issue: get a newer router that operates on a different frequency. Verizon has them in stock, but not for Marvin. They’re only for new customers, not for him. His best option right now: to pay $130 to upgrade to one of the new routers. Which he still won’t own.
Jessica is a network engineer, so she has some idea of when a piece of networking equipment isn’t working properly. Her Netgear router isn’t working properly, so she called up their tech support. She patiently sat through all of the normal troubleshooting procedures that are used for people who can barely tell a router from a toaster. Then she learned that they weren’t going to accept the router for repair or replacement after only eight months. So she did the only sensible thing: went out and bought a router made by a different company after being loyal to Netgear for more than a decade.
Stressed out because your WiFi is too slow to get your work done? Crack open a cold one. Then dry it, slice it, and mount it on your router’s antennae. That’s right, you can boost your wifi just by doing some simple surgery on a beer can.
What should you do when you have trouble with your Internet connection? N. tells Consumerist that his combination DSL modem and wireless router from Netgear simply won’t work. According to the ever-helpful technical support team at Netgear, there’s nothing left that they can do, and his only option left is to call the Geek Squad to perform a house call. If it didn’t require a $139 house call to troubleshoot a $79 device, N. might go along with this plan.
Someone named Jennifer called in to the Leo Laporte show a week ago and asked for help on how to get back online. She’d been able to access a Wi-Fi hotspot for over a year and a half from her apartment, but “that’s disappeared now for three weeks.” She bought a wireless extender and that didn’t solve the problem at all. Laporte gently tries to point out that she’s being a freeloader, but she’s not buying it.
If you cancel your Vonage service before the end of the first year, you’re going to need to pay $70 for Vonage’s proprietary router on top of a $29.95 cancellation fee. Don’t even try to return the soon-to-be useless router because that’s simply not an option.
Verizon Breaks Your Router With An Unrequested Firmware Update, But Won't Replace It Because It's Out Of Warranty
They acknowledge the router got an upgraded firmware image automatically (forget the fact I had explicitly disabled that feature for this very reason), but I’m shit out of luck. Even though the fact my formerly perfectly working 6100 is now bricked because of something Verizon did without my approval or knowledge, they will not provide me with a new one for free because the router is out of warranty.