Author Topic: WiFi routers riddled with bugs  (Read 2196 times)

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Offline ivan747

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WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« on: January 06, 2018, 07:58:53 pm »
Why does every single WiFi router or repeater I look at on Amazon has some kind of software bug that ruins the entire thing?


Take for example the Linksys RE1000, a WiFi repeater. If you set a fixed IP for it, the DNS will report all websites as 0.0.0.0 after a power cycle, in my experience. So screw my nice network planning. Also, if you turn off WPS it will lose connection to the main router after some time. So screw my security, since WPS security has been cracked many many times before.


I work testing network equipment similar to WiFi routers, before rebranding them. -Same thing, we find bugs. Hey, at least the company I work for has the purchasing power to force them to fix their crap. The average Joe on Amazon is screwed. Today, I am this average Joe. I was looking for a WiFi router that didn't have reviews reporting bugs that ruined the product. Fuck me, right? Even worse, the problem is well described and can be recreated. They just don't care. Years and years later, they still don't care. I have to walk on a minefield of buggy products.


 :palm: fml

Btw, any suggestions for a WiFi router/access point with PoE and that is wall mountable at or under US$50? Needs to be 802.11n, no need for 802.11ac or 5GHz support. I want to replace a WRT-54G.

Also, I noticed this doesn't seem to happen with network switches. I guess that happens because the only thing that's "programmed" is the ASIC. They actually get it right, since ASICs cost a truck load of money to prototype.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 08:01:32 pm by ivan747 »
 

Offline daqq

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 08:03:08 pm »
You can try looking at routers that are supported by OpenWRT.

http://wiki.openwrt.org/toh/start

Basically it's fixing bugs that the manufacturers don't give a damn about by replacing the firmware completely.
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Offline amspire

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2018, 09:37:32 pm »
If you want to look at using OpenWRT, the Gl.inet products are an excellent way to go. They come pre-installed with OpenWRT, but you can also load them with the fully open source version from the OpenWRT website. They tend to come with more ROM and RAM then many of the equivalent commercial routers.

http://www.gl-inet.com

For example, the $20 GL-MT300N-V2 comes with a 580MHz CPU, 300MHz 2400MHz WiFi (b/g/n), 128MBytes of Ram and 16MBytes of ROM.

Basically, with OpenWRT, 8MBytes of ROM is the minimum to be able to comfortably have the web interface and still have room to load packages such as OpenVPN. 16MBytes allows you to really add a lot of packages. 16Mbytes RAM is the minimum I would look for, so 128MBytes is very generous.

The devices use 5V MicroUSB power, so if you want battery backup, you can just connect a battery power pack between your 5V USB supply and the router.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 09:54:35 pm by amspire »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2018, 12:14:03 am »
Why does every single WiFi router or repeater I look at on Amazon has some kind of software bug that ruins the entire thing?
Any product that has a software stack will eventually have bugs that are not fixed by the manufacturer for a number of reasons.  Think wifi routers are bad, wait for the IoT devices.

Quote
Also, I noticed this doesn't seem to happen with network switches.
Network switches also have bugs.  You may not be finding them because you may not be testing in that area.  For example, SNMP, SSL/SSH, undocumented backdoors, TCP/IP stacks suspectible to a number of known CVEs or future unknown CVEs.

Hardware/firmware also has bugs as well.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 12:26:06 am by retiredcaps »
 

Offline retiredcaps

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2018, 12:17:08 am »
With openwrt/lede, at least you have the option to contribute software fixes to any bugs you find.

I run lede on my wifi router.  KRACK was fixed within a day or two with lede.

I get my wifi routers free from people who deem them too slow and old.  I only keep the ones that have at least 4MB flash and 32MB DRAM.  I prefer 8MB flash and 64MB DRAM, but beggers can't be choosers.

With 8 and 64, I can run simple adblock on my router to help my android and IOS devices.
 

Offline Vtile

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2018, 12:46:34 am »
Exact reason I avoid to buy anything electronic these days or if I buy I surely do not buy premium for any reason. 100% of products that are designed after early '00 have been utterly crap so far were it "quality brand" or not.   :--
 
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2018, 01:03:59 am »
There's a good reason why a router that supports DD-WRT and/or OpenWRT is highly recommended.
Network switches also have bugs.  You may not be finding them because you may not be testing in that area.  For example, SNMP, SSL/SSH, undocumented backdoors, TCP/IP stacks suspectible to a number of known CVEs or future unknown CVEs.

Hardware/firmware also has bugs as well.
Never heard of "dumb" switches having any sort of vulnerability apart from those that affect switches in general. Now the managed ones can certainly be affected just like any other "smart" network device.
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Offline Halcyon

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2018, 03:54:11 am »
any suggestions for a WiFi router/access point with PoE and that is wall mountable at or under US$50? Needs to be 802.11n, no need for 802.11ac or 5GHz support. I want to replace a WRT-54G.

At that sort of price point (I assume you mean US Dollars), you're going to be pretty limited in what you can get.

If you're willing to spend a little more, I would look at something like the Draytek VigorAP 710 which retails for about AUD$88 for a Wi-Fi Access Point only. For a router with Wi-Fi you're probably going to need to spend upwards of $100 even for entry level consumer gear.
 

Online Mr. Scram

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2018, 04:08:14 am »
At that sort of price point (I assume you mean US Dollars), you're going to be pretty limited in what you can get.

If you're willing to spend a little more, I would look at something like the Draytek VigorAP 710 which retails for about AUD$88 for a Wi-Fi Access Point only. For a router with Wi-Fi you're probably going to need to spend upwards of $100 even for entry level consumer gear.
I think that's the root of the problem. Pay peanuts, get nuts. If you want dependable and reasonable maintained gear, it pays to look at prosumer or pro gear. It won't look like it just came from Mars, but it should provide you with a stable and no nonsense feature set.
 
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Online cdev

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2018, 04:18:38 am »
You could use many of the new small SBCs as a wifi AP, with a wifi dongle or some have it built in.

Many of them support Lede, openWRT, etc, or you can just use a generic Linux distro and configure it that way.
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Offline coppice

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2018, 04:38:35 am »
Btw, any suggestions for a WiFi router/access point with PoE and that is wall mountable at or under US$50? Needs to be 802.11n, no need for 802.11ac or 5GHz support. I want to replace a WRT-54G.
US$50 means you are looking for a consumer product. PoE means you are looking for a professional product. Also, most Wi-Fi kit with PoE is an access point, rather than a router.
 

Offline ChunkyPastaSauce

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2018, 05:02:57 am »
Have you looked at Ubiquiti equipment?
 

Offline HwAoRrDk

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2018, 05:50:17 am »
Network switches also have bugs.

I remember the time I found a serious bug in a major-brand rack-mount switch. After a lengthy period of uptime (about 100 days) it would start corrupting packets traversing the switch. We only noticed it because of occasional visible JPEG image perturbation when web browsing, and that a couple of file-based databases frequently needed their indexes rebuilding. Turned out to be some kind of memory-related bug in the switch firmware.

By the time I figured out what was going on, the manufacturer had issued a fix, but incredulously only deigned to give it the briefest of mention in the release notes for that firmware update - just a single line of "fixed memory corruption issue" or thereabouts.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2018, 05:59:18 pm »
If you want to look at using OpenWRT, the Gl.inet products are an excellent way to go. They come pre-installed with OpenWRT, but you can also load them with the fully open source version from the OpenWRT website. They tend to come with more ROM and RAM then many of the equivalent commercial routers.

http://www.gl-inet.com

For example, the $20 GL-MT300N-V2 comes with a 580MHz CPU, 300MHz 2400MHz WiFi (b/g/n), 128MBytes of Ram and 16MBytes of ROM.

Basically, with OpenWRT, 8MBytes of ROM is the minimum to be able to comfortably have the web interface and still have room to load packages such as OpenVPN. 16MBytes allows you to really add a lot of packages. 16Mbytes RAM is the minimum I would look for, so 128MBytes is very generous.

The devices use 5V MicroUSB power, so if you want battery backup, you can just connect a battery power pack between your 5V USB supply and the router.

I would like to get one of those (gl-inet), but the antennas don't look good enough. I am trying to reach a WiFi doorbell that's in front of my house (up against the sidewalk). There's no line of sight since the doorbell is mounted to a concrete post that probably has a handful of steel rods through it. The WiFi access point is installed in my house, 1 meter away from the window. The house and the concrete post are about 20 meters away, and the access point has line of sight to the concrete post but not to the doorbell, because the doorbell is right on the other side of the post.

I should use good antennas with as much gain as legally/morally possible, because the doorbell has a fixed transmit power. And it's transmitting video. Lots of transmission power on the access point isn't very useful because the access point isn't going to be transmitting a lot. Lots of gain on the antennas, on the other hand...

I do like the product you suggested, I wish they made something in a more traditional format, with connectors for antennas.


I am settling for the Asus RT-N12 D1. Support for OpenWRT isn't quite there... WiFi doesn't work. But at least there aren't reviews stating any type of serious bug.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2018, 06:03:49 pm »
Btw, any suggestions for a WiFi router/access point with PoE and that is wall mountable at or under US$50? Needs to be 802.11n, no need for 802.11ac or 5GHz support. I want to replace a WRT-54G.
US$50 means you are looking for a consumer product. PoE means you are looking for a professional product. Also, most Wi-Fi kit with PoE is an access point, rather than a router.

Yes, PoE is probably why I am having a hard time. I think I'll use some type of extension instead of PoE.
Yes, I said router to make it a bit less technical at the expense of being technically correct. Turns out there are lots of people with networking knowledge on this forum! :)
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2018, 06:05:22 pm »
Have you looked at Ubiquiti equipment?

Yes sir. It's a bit out of budget, and I know the budget is low. It's consumer budget. But I still think consumer gear should work as advertised. If you offer a feature, that feature should work properly.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2018, 06:08:57 pm »
Network switches also have bugs.

I remember the time I found a serious bug in a major-brand rack-mount switch. After a lengthy period of uptime (about 100 days) it would start corrupting packets traversing the switch. We only noticed it because of occasional visible JPEG image perturbation when web browsing, and that a couple of file-based databases frequently needed their indexes rebuilding. Turned out to be some kind of memory-related bug in the switch firmware.

By the time I figured out what was going on, the manufacturer had issued a fix, but incredulously only deigned to give it the briefest of mention in the release notes for that firmware update - just a single line of "fixed memory corruption issue" or thereabouts.

Hahaha. I can imagine the IT guys on many offices looking frenetically but never noticing the pattern. Then these guys fix it as quietly as possible so that the IT guys don't get charged with murder.
 

Offline ivan747

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2018, 06:36:53 pm »
Just found something:

https://www.amazon.com/GL-iNet-GL-AR300M16-Ext-Pre-installed-Performance-Programmable/dp/B07794JRC5/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1515350110&sr=8-8&keywords=openwrt+wifi

It's GL-iNet with two external antennas. Looks promising, I'll be researching.

Edit:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K6MHRJI/ref=ox_sc_act_title_5?smid=A364119SDJA4QG&psc=1
This is better, with a bit more ROM and with reviews. I'll get this one I think. The USB port looks interesting too. I might also use it for some other things as well, it's nice to have a general purpose embedded computer in your network after all...

Edit 2:
I went for the Asus RT-N12 D1. In the end it is better suited for this job. The other unit would have cost me more and offered me less for this application (I still like the idea though). I really do need the higher gain antennas and the ability to mount on a wall (the RT-N12 provides slots for nails on the wall). Multi SSID is also nice, and supposedly you can assign bandwidth limits to each one. I might use it to isolate the doorbell or give it priority or whatnot. I am sure the other product can do some of those things but I just cannot find enough documentation on it to feel confortable.

 I wish I could go for Ubiquiti but the equivalent AP is twice the price. It looks really nice. Dominican pesos are not a strong currency, guys  :-//

Edit 3:
There's some guy that flashed DD-WRT into the Asus. Halleluiah.
https://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=275902
Might try that if the stock firmware ends up sucking. It's good to have two choices.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 09:31:18 pm by ivan747 »
 

Online cdev

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Re: WiFi routers riddled with bugs
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2018, 11:42:28 pm »
This is probably not what you mean.

"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 


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