Tag: Linksys

NAS200 Trouble and My Run-In with Linksys/Cisco

Posted by – November 20, 2009

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

As I posted what seems like forever ago, I had bought a Linksys NAS200.  Well, I’ve been having some trouble since I upgraded the firmware from V34R75 to V34R79.  This caused the media server to pretty much become useless.  Not only did it have problems giving a directory listing on my XBOX 360, but if I did manage to get something to play, it’d timeout about about five minutes of watching and I’d have to reboot the media server to get it working for another brief five minute interval.

So I did what I normally did, google around looking for a solution, but it seems a lot of people have this issue yet nobody has a solution.  Well, I have one for you!  If you don’t want to read about my adventure to simply rollback the firmware, skip down!

So after reviewing the changelog that talks about how they fixed the,  sorry “fixed” the media server to work with the PlayStation 3.  I dug around and it appears they went from Twonky Media Server to PVConnect.  Which for whatever reason was crashing or terminating which lead to having to restart it’s process.  The solution to me was clear, simply rollback to the V34R75 firmware, right?  Well My backup of it was missing in action, and the Linksys website didn’t offer the download location of old firmware.  So I decided to contact them.

So I decided to poke around the Linksys website and I eventually found a live chat support, which I felt was fine since all I needed was a download location of the old firmware.   However, upon connecting with a live representative I was informed that I wasn’t entitled to help for free because my warranty is over.  This irked me a bit, but I continued to say I wasn’t asking for troubleshooting just the firmware.  I was then told:

Daphne L. (10116): Inferno, this product is listed as being out of warranty and is no longer eligible for chat support. However, I do have a couple of support options that may be of assistance to you. First, we have our complimentary award-winning online support tools OR I can give you the 800 number to connect with our phone support staff where they can offer you technical assistance through various fee-based support options.”

Daphne L. (10116): Which option would you prefer, Inferno?

Me: Umm, well I just want you to offer to download the old firmware. The software that worked and didn’t turn it into a brick.
Me: I’m not asking you to help troubleshoot

Daphne L. (10116): Sorry, but we don’t have available firmware on our download site.

Me: Warranty or not, your ‘update’ destroyed my product you sold to me.

Daphne L. (10116): I understand, please also be informed that it is not advisable to upgrade the firmware of a device if it is working fine since it may corrupt the firmware.

Uhhh, what?

Me: Wait wait
Me: Your saying NOT to upgrade firmware for my products?
Me: I Don’t want to gets bug fixes and additional features?

Daphne L. (10116): Wait let me verify first, your only concern is to get the old firmware, right? We can double check if we still have it available.

Me: That would be wonderful.

So they eventually said they’d have someone call me back within 48 hours.  So I waited…and two days later I get an email from Celo Deavilla, who asked me to call his office or reply to his email.  So I did both, upon calling his office he wasn’t there, so I responded to his email with my contact information and when I’ll be available, and also offered to have the conversation via email if he wished.  I got no response all week, and I kept calling him daily and he was always away from his desk.

Finally on Friday I replied stating how I was disappointed in Linksys as I had waited for a week and received no help for my problem which was pretty simple, I just wanted the V34R75 firmware.  Which fortunately, got a response quickly, Cello pulled through and emailed me NAS200_V34R75.bin which was exactly what the doctor prescribed.

So I reinstalled the old firmware and everything works smoothly and cleanly again!  Problem solved.

The Solution: Install NAS200_V34R75.bin!

I’ve uploaded it and the full chat log.  I hope this will help someone else and they won’t have to waste over a week on tracking down the firmware.

NAS200_V34R75.bin

Linksys Support Chat Log

Review: Linksys NAS200

Posted by – December 6, 2008

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

while ago but only a few posts ago I discussed how I had ordered a Linksys NAS200, and I had high hopes, which were a bit downed by poor reviews by others but I was pleasantly surprised with it’s performance.  The price is a bit more than an external USB encloser but I wanted storage that would be network-wide and easily upgradable.  The NAS200 is just that, it supports two drive bays, with SATA2 and SATA backwards compatibility (be sure to move the jumper on your harddrive, as most are set for just plain SATA out of the box).

Some Cool Features (The Good):

  • Network attached, so you don’t need to find some crazy way to hookup a USB network or filesharing through another PC that has to stay on in order for your storage to work.
  • Supports the addition of USB2 drives, for additional storage to be added to your network.
  • Supports FTP and HTTP protocols over the network and Internet for easy off-site filesharing.
  • Built in media server, so you can share media to UPnP AV digital media adapters  (like the Xbox 360, so I can access my movies, music and pictures).
  • Web based management for easy setup and the less technically inclined.  Also worth noting this can be managed off-site, great if you need to add storage to your parents network that you can safely watch over and backup.
  • Price is very competitive.
  • Supports individual, JBOD, RAID 0 and RAID 1.
  • Comes with client backup software.

The Bad:

  • Seems slow to wake-up, when opening windows explorer it’ll hang for about 5 seconds while the NAS’s drive spins up.
  • Slower data transfer rate than I expected from Linksys.  People have clocked it at 3.9mb/s at best.  It’s never really been an issue for me though, but just FYI.
  • During disk scans and power up the NAS will be unresponsive for several minutes.  Not a big deal if you don’t power it off regularly, or schedule disk scans at bad times.
  • Additional USB disks need to be reformatted before they can be mounted.

That’s about it.  Overall I’m quite happy with my purchase, I do feel Linksys dropped the ball though on not adding polish and fixing that data transfer rate.  I use to think Linksys was a good name for quality consumer networking appliances but since their apparently lack of effort on the NAS200 and their failure to update the Linksys router firmware which lead me to using Tomato firmware I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve never had issues with my D-Link hardware.

But I digress.  If you need an affordable backup NAS and don’t mind the slower speed of the transfer rate and the minor kinks, you really can’t go wrong with using the Linksys NAS200.  If you have extra cash to burn for no other reaosn than to get something shiny, or you need quick write-speeds then maybe it isn’t for you.

More Images:

Linksys NAS200 Front Panel.

Linksys NAS200 Front Panel.

Linksys NAS200 Back Panel.

Linksys NAS200 Back Panel.

Review: DD-WRT Vs Tomato

Posted by – December 5, 2008

Linksys WRT54GL: New Heart of My Network

Linksys WRT54GL: The new heart of my network.

Since I bought my new Linksys WRT-54GL router (one of the three new goodies I picked up, reviews and news coming soon) I’ve been using DD-WRT. Originally I was a bit worried about mucking around in the firmware, since the router was working quite well. That was until I tried to grab some stuff off bittorrent, and noticed the speed was incredibly slow, which turns out to be a linksys firmware bug they never fixed. Instant courage.

I was quite overwhelmed with all the cool new features of my router, and was even thinking about setting up an free (possibly ad-sponsored) wifi hotspot. However I was still disappointed in the performance of the router, and DD-WRT seemed large and bulky.  However I had it working to the point where I rarely had an issue, and was pretty happy with DD-WRT unless I thought about it too much.

A few weeks ago though, I’ve found Tomato.  It was in some unrelated Reddit discussion about bittorrent destroying the Internet because they’re using UDP instead of TCP now, you know, garbage.  Upon reading up on Tomato firmware though it seemed to be much more sleek and performance orientated than it’s DD-WRT cousin.  It contained all the basic features you’d need to run a nice personal network or even a small business network (depending on your needs) and not really any useless filler.  This was precisely what I wanted, I’ve always been a performance over features sort of guy anyway.  So I downloaded the firmware AFTER reading the manual and FAQ which is a good idea if you’re upgrading from DD-WRT, it’ll save you a headache when you attempt to login for the first time.

Tomato's basic network settings.

Tomato's Basic Network Settings

Tomato's Bandwidth Monitor (Realtime view)

Tomato's Bandwidth Monitor (Realtime)

As you can see, bittorrent is working.

As you can see, bittorrent is working.

So after installing the Tomato firmware (which was extremely painless, just a straight firmware upgrade through the web GUI) and a reset to default settings then  I was up and running.  I was giddy at this point, scrambling through all the pages admiring the awesomeness of the power I had (I’m sure any geek who gets a new gadget knows what I mean; never lingering on any one feature till you’ve seen them all).  After I calmed down a little I started configuring options, including Quality of Service (Qos), Port Forwarding, DNS addresses and Access Restrictions (to block sites I waste time on when I should be working) etc.  Then I was done.

I’ve now been running Tomato firmware for a few weeks, I have yet to have any issue.  I’ve setup a samba share for it to save it’s bandwidth logs, because I love graphs and it has a built in Common Internet File System Client (CIFS) built-in making it easy.  I’m in love with this firmware, and anybody using anything else really has to give it at least a shot, and if you like it donate to them.

Download Tomato Firmware.

More screenshots:

Tomato's Wireless Survey Tool.

Tomato's Wireless Survey Tool.

Tomato's Qos Graphs. Mmmm...

Tomato's Qos Graphs. Mmmm...

Tomato's QoS Classification Settings

Tomato's QoS Classification Settings.