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View Full Version : wireless router question - is this true?


nina
Aug 21, 2004, 08:27 PM
Hey, guys! I was wondering if you could give me some advice.

I just bought a new Netgear wireless G router from Best Buy the other day. The sales guy tried to sell me the extended warranty for the router. I turned it down, as always, since I know what a cash grab extended warranties typically are. However, he told me that if you let wireless routers broadcast constantly, they eventually break. This is the first time I've ever heard this - was it just a bunch of marketing schtick? Or is there some truth to this?

Thanks!

hotwire132002
Aug 21, 2004, 08:37 PM
Hey, guys! I was wondering if you could give me some advice.

I just bought a new Netgear wireless G router from Best Buy the other day. The sales guy tried to sell me the extended warranty for the router. I turned it down, as always, since I know what a cash grab extended warranties typically are. However, he told me that if you let wireless routers broadcast constantly, they eventually break. This is the first time I've ever heard this - was it just a bunch of marketing schtick? Or is there some truth to this?

Thanks!

It's BS. I've never heard this before, anyway.

Well, I guess it could be true--that is, if you have it on for 50 years straight, it'll get old and die. But who uses a router for 50 years? In 50 years, we'll have 10-terabit-super-ultra-mega-WiFi!

Powerbook G5
Aug 21, 2004, 08:45 PM
I've never heard of that, either. I have had a Linksys router for a year now and an Airport Express for a month now and never a problem with either. I have never read anything or heard anyone say that their wireless router has "fried" from constantly working. Best Buy tried to sell me an extended warrantee on a second Xbox controller 3 years ago insisting that they can break easily. I laughed at the thought of a $15 warrantee for a $40 controller. They seriously just want your money, don't worry.

beatle888
Aug 21, 2004, 09:36 PM
thats a load of BS. ive had my wireless router on for about a year now. its CONSTANTLY ON. thats the point of DSL. to always be connected...well its one of the benefits. I guess thats beside the point but still. i dont know anyone that turns their router off.

i think i'd actually talk to that guy for trying to scam me if i were you. what a lowlife.

aswitcher
Aug 21, 2004, 09:45 PM
Never trust sales people...

Powerbook G5
Aug 21, 2004, 09:48 PM
Yeah really, Sears tried to sell me a $390 extended warrantee on my new tv last month. It already has a one year warrantee from Sony and I have never had a problem with them. If there is a defect, it would definitely show before then.

beatle888
Aug 21, 2004, 09:53 PM
Yeah really, Sears tried to sell me a $390 extended warrantee

:eek: what was the cost of the tv.....over a grand? thats just too much. ive had my sony for three years and it works fine. it will probably last six more years. my girlfriends tv is at least twenty years old.


we dont like to spend money :p, let me rephrase that, she doesnt like to spend HER money and i dont like to spend MY money ;)

Powerbook G5
Aug 21, 2004, 09:59 PM
The tv was about $1500. I have an older Trinitron that has lasted me for 8 years without a single problem. It still even has the original Sony batteries in the remote, too. So far the only two Sony products that I have ever seen flake out were my old Playstation that had to be tilted sideways to spin up correctly and my roommate's Vaio laptop that had its display break right off the base. Overall, I trust them not to need a warrantee. The same goes for the router, just don't believe that excuse. If they "broke" from constant use like the salesmen said, there would be so much outrage out there from every tech site imaginable. Even if there is a chance, wireless routers are so cheap these days that you can pick one up from Wal-mart even for about $35 so I don't see how it could even be justifiable to spend money on a warrantee.

nina
Aug 22, 2004, 12:31 AM
Wow - thanks guys! I thought I smelled marketing BS there, but I wanted to make sure.

Hehe - I remember when I bought a wired router from Staples last year. The guy offered to sell me a 3 year extended warranty to extend the manufacturer's "1 year warranty" to 4.

I laughed when he offered this to me, and made sure to point out the LIFETIME manufacturer's warranty to him, clearly advertised on the product box. That sure shut him up quick!

superbovine
Aug 22, 2004, 01:31 AM
thats a load of BS. ive had my wireless router on for about a year now. its CONSTANTLY ON. thats the point of DSL. to always be connected...well its one of the benefits. I guess thats beside the point but still. i dont know anyone that turns their router off.

i think i'd actually talk to that guy for trying to scam me if i were you. what a lowlife.

http://www.securitytechnique.com/2003/11/wsc.html

a 40 bit or 56 bit WEP encryption key can be cracked in less than and hour with luck. 128 WEP encryption key can be crack in 24 hours or less with luck. WPA the newest level is a lot harder to crack, and should be used rather than WEP.

kismac will crack WEP on the Mac. Apparently the new verison has a proof of concept for WPA now.
http://binaervarianz.de/

the PC verison is: http://www.kismetwireless.net/

just because no has bothered to do it, doesn't mean it isn't possible.

Horrortaxi
Aug 22, 2004, 11:17 AM
Sure it will eventually break! Eventually the materials that the router is made of will break down. And you don't even have to have the router turned on for this to happen. However, this won't happen in the time frame of Best Buy's warranty...or even Best Buy's corporate lifetime. Or even your lifetime. You see, eventually you will die. Eventually we will all die. But that's okay because eventually the sun will swell in size and destroy all life on Earth.

Eventually is a nice vague word to scare people with. Scaring people to make a sale is the lowest thing a salesman can do. Unfortunately it works.

Hoef
Aug 22, 2004, 11:56 AM
I just bought a new Netgear wireless G router from Best Buy the other day.

Maybe not the right thread but I have same router and the thing has an annoying tendency to reset itself at 2pm every day. It is driving me nuts (since internet is out for at least 10 minutes .... not handy if you are running a webserver). I do have the latest firmware etc... Let me know your experience with it. Oh yeah... forgot to mention, it started doing this resetting after a week or so.

N10248
Aug 22, 2004, 12:17 PM
My airport extreme base has been on for over a month and my router even longer, they have yet to mess up. its in constant use because i use an IP phone which is useless without a permanent connection.
but the router gets hot and i expect it will die long before my airport base (cheap dynamode dsl router).

also your reseting router/ modem may be your DHCP lease expiring, or could be your isp doing it.

Mr. G4
Aug 22, 2004, 12:37 PM
The better to do this is to allow only known MAC address to access to your Router that way you don't have to enter any key, and when someone try to connect to your router and (of course) since their MAC address is not listed they cannot login.

http://www.securitytechnique.com/2003/11/wsc.html

a 40 bit or 56 bit WEP encryption key can be cracked in less than and hour with luck. 128 WEP encryption key can be crack in 24 hours or less with luck. WPA the newest level is a lot harder to crack, and should be used rather than WEP.

kismac will crack WEP on the Mac. Apparently the new verison has a proof of concept for WPA now.
http://binaervarianz.de/

the PC verison is: http://www.kismetwireless.net/

just because no has bothered to do it, doesn't mean it isn't possible.

Bruce Lee, PhD
Aug 22, 2004, 01:10 PM
However, he told me that if you let wireless routers broadcast constantly, they eventually break. This is the first time I've ever heard this - was it just a bunch of marketing schtick? Or is there some truth to this?

Thanks!

And if you never even turn it on, it'll eventually break too. :-)

Actually, I bet you could make a good case that turning it on and off every day is more stressful to the circuitry than leaving it on all the time. I think the only components in a PC or router which benefit from being turned off are those with moving parts, like hard disks.

EDIT: this turn-it-off/leave-it-on question is an old and fruitless debate and i don't mean to advocate any position here. i just meant to show that the salesguy was making a phony claim.

Gizmotoy
Aug 22, 2004, 01:15 PM
The better to do this is to allow only known MAC address to access to your Router that way you don't have to enter any key, and when someone try to connect to your router and (of course) since their MAC address is not listed they cannot login.

This would be true if it weren't exceedingly easy to spoof MAC addresses. And when you're using WEP your MAC address is sent plain-text over the network. Any packet sniffer could determine your MAC address and use it as their own, so MAC filtering really provides no increase in security when using WEP, and provides no security whatsoever when the router is left completely open.

However, WPA encrypts the MAC addresses, so I'd imagine MAC filtering with WPA would be more effective.

seamuskrat
Aug 22, 2004, 01:44 PM
We have had some old 802.11b routers online 24/7 for YEARS without a failure. We had some original airport basestations fail, but that was a known defect and problem.

Overall, any electronic device will fail over time, but any name brand product should last for a standard use at ;east a few years, and by then its obsolete anyhow.

Lincoln
Aug 22, 2004, 02:23 PM
I've had an Airport Extreme Basestation for over a year and all though it isn't on constantly it goes on when I get up in the morning (that means 6am Mon to Friday and later at the weekend) and then gets switched off when I go to bed. As the BS and the Cable modem are in my room the constant flashing lights keep me awake. If it wasn't for that it would stay on all of the time. And now for the point: I have had no trouble at all!

I always take what salespeople say with a pinch of salt - particularly if they are selling cars - but that's another story.

Finally, on the subject of extended warranty. EVERYTIME I buy anything from Dixons, PC World, Currys, Comet, et al I, get the do you want an extended warranty? question , they don't like NO! They try all sort of reasons, payment options, lying, etc. One guy in Dixons was in total disbelief that I didn't want an extended warrnty on a Palm Tungsten T3 - he just couldn't believe I didn't want it. The money I have saved over the years in NOT having extended warranties will more than pay for something IF it breaks after the first year warranty runs out.