by postbreak

Linksys WRT54GAny computer user who has worked with wireless routers should like this story. About a week ago I went to a friends house to work on her wireless router. One of the millions WRT54Gs in use it refused to work on the ethernet ports. I’ve seen just about everything when it comes to these black boxes but no ethernet access? Strange. So sure enough I plug my Macbook into this thing and I get no where. I can’t even access the web panel after resetting it. So I fire up my Airport and connect to it and log into the web panel with the username linksys, password admin.

“Great! I’m in!” I say. I flip the box over and see that it’s a version 6. I zoom over to the Linksys website and grab the latest firmware build. I update the firmware while on wifi which is risky but I don’t have a lot of patience with these things. It reboots and I’m back to surfing. I kill my wireless connection and slam that ethernet cord into my Macbook again. Nothing.

I can’t even get an IP address or ping the router. I grudgingly get back on wifi and look at the ethernet settings. I even turn on WPA2 security for the time being. Back to ethernet, no dice. *%&#. I have my choice words with the box and try to reset it. This is the point where I notice my failure in my logic.

I’m holding the router in my hand, no cords plugged in. My Macbook is still connected to wifi. Could it be?

It turns out I had not only secured someone else’s Linksys router, I had even updated the firmware without even knowing the version they had which could have bricked it. I quickly hop back on that router, turn off all the wireless security, and plug the router in my hand back in.

Needless to say I figured out that the wireless router I was supposed to be fixing had an SSID of “e-home” which is something new apparently. Kinda hard to notice that when there is dozens of other SSIDs in the apartment complex but I digress. I saved the day and updated someone else’s firmware.