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03-29-2011 05:57 AM
Routers are a difficult technology area. Providing ease of use for the majority of customers while providing capability for those that need it is certainly difficult to do well. Given the business Verizon is looking to do with FIOS they certainly need a world class router solution. After using two Rev F routers and one Rev G router I've concluded Actiontec routers are far from a world class solution. While they have the feature/function I need, they lack ease of use, performance, reliability, support and tie into other Verizon solutions (web based set top box control). I would give the devices failing grades for the following reasons:
-Difficult to use because of numerous panels, difficult to find icons, etc.
-Performance issues plague the router. It often needs to be rebooted to improve performance. I've seen 20/6 drop to as low as 2/.6 then I reboot the router and I'm back to 20/6.
-Router config panels are very slow to respond once the router config is changed ... DHCP range is changed, static DHCP devices configured, etc. Basic changes .... no filters.
-Router configs can only be saved and loaded to the same device from rev D on which making backing your config up of limited value
-Even the slightest change to the config results in Verizon support deeming the router unsupported which is a bit strange
-Verizon support seems to be confused on the capability of these devices and make numerous false statements ... devices configs can be saved and loaded on different devices, you cannot change the DHCP range, cannot configure static DHCP, etc.
-The devices are poorly supported as Verizon support seems to have limited access to Actiontec support which they obviously need
-Verizon Customers have no access or limited access to Actiontec support. You can't call Actiontec directly you need a Verizon rep on the phone.
-Upgrades seem very problematic. Verizon support says router configs are updated monthly but the update signature is for Rev F is Oct of 2010.
-G rev routers have "Status: Bad upgrade file signatures." which implies no updates are being applied.
-Brand new current router keeps resetting itself randomly which means I have to start with the router set up panels to get my network running again.
Add this all up and it's a frustrating experience for users. Verizon gives me the impression it's just me. Is there anyone else having similar experiences?
03-29-2011 08:46 AM - edited 03-29-2011 08:47 AM
I will say that even before I upgraded, and I was using the router, I had little to no trouble navigating the menu, it was different than that of a linksys or a Belkin etc... but different doesn't mean bad in some cases. a lot of it was not very intuitive so it took a lot of point and click to find where things were, but once found it was easy to get back there.. To me, it performed about as well as I would expect any "g" router to perform.
I had more advanced needs, and so I went out and purchased something to satisfy those needs. It's like buying a car. you may not like the stock radio, but you can always put in your own.
I have heard of people succesfully loading DDWRT on their actiontec routers, I am not sure how that would play with the MOCA and TV functionality, but you may want to just consider turning off the wireless on the actiontec, and piggy backing your own router.
I picked up a trendnet on sale for 25 dollars, its off sale now and 35 dollars, and I loaded DDWRT and I left my actiontec as primary, and haven't had trouble since.
Verizon provides a general use router, and if you need something more robust, you should buy one.
DDWRT turns a 30 dollar router, into a world class 300 dollar router easily and it's free open source. Tomato is also excellent firmware.
I used this walk through
05-20-2011 09:23 AM
I've just upgraded to FIOS two days ago. I have heard many horror stories about Actiontec routers, along the lines you outlined, at DSLReports.com forums. My past expirience with wireless routers include Netgear and Buffalo models, with my current router being Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 running DD-WRT v24-sp1.
The problem I had this morning with my brand new Actiontec Rev F router just blew my mind. On the night when FIOS was installed I decided to connect my MacBook Pro over wireless to Actiontec router to test performance. I've done it several times over the past 36 hours and was getting test results of about 20/20 Mbps using Verizon speed test, that is a very decent speed. None of my other computers are connected to the FIOS yet.
This morning, I ran the same speed test on the same machine that was not shut down or sleeping in the past 36 hours. The speed test result was 6/0.6 Mbps... I've tried it several times over the course of three hours, with same exact result every time. I decided to go downstairs and connect to the router directly via Ethernet. The wireless connection on the computer was shut down. The speed test result was 30/26 Mbps, same as it was back when the router was just installed. I did not have to shut down router or do anything else. After I came back upstairs and turned the wireless connection on the computer back on, the test results were 17/16.5 Mbps.
I also have to agree with you completely on the issue of shortcomings of Actiontec router's Web Configuration application. While the Actiontec router could potentially be upgraded to a special version of DD-WRT firmware, it would disable its MoCA port and will make your TV set-top boxes loose all of their advanced features, such as caller ID, widgets, guide, VOD, etc.
Here's another thread that list more of the serious Actiontec router shortcomings. It would be really great if Verizon would come up with a supported way to have a simple MoCA bridge connected behind a customer's router configured so that the set-top boxes are assigned IP addresses in the router's DMZ that would enable us to keep all existing TV services yet use the router that is stable and fits the customer needs.
05-20-2011 11:15 AM - edited 05-20-2011 11:23 AM
Remember that Verizon only provides basic internet connection. The router that they provide is meant only for wired connections and the features and services provided by Verizon. The wireless is only there because they cannot purchase wired routers in sufficient bulk. Verizon does not support any type of internal networking or wireless systems at all. Therefore those systems are not even a consideration for Verizon. Now for those of us that need more than what the Verizon routers are capable of, we have the option to connect our own equipment to the system. Simply put, if you dont like the way the Verizon router works, get your own and add it in. There are many ways to either replace the Verizon router completely (loosing a few of the Verizon provided services) or just adding our own router in place and relegating the Verizon router to being a modem.
It would be really great if Verizon would come up with a supported way to have a simple MoCA bridge connected behind a customer's router configured so that the set-top boxes are assigned IP addresses in the router's DMZ that would enable us to keep all existing TV services yet use the router that is stable and fits the customer needs.
There is actually a way to to this for the most part. Its not really supported, but simply adding a moca bridge to your own router will allow you to do just this. The only things that you would loose are the remote dvr funtions, caller ID on TV, and a couple of the web page TV systems. But your guide and VOD would still work fine.