Hey Linksys! Not everybody runs Windows!

My two and a half year-old router decided to give up the ghost last night. I can’t complain too bitterly about that. One of the big “Office” stores has this particular router on sale (some sort of instant rebate - not sure why they don’t call it a sale) this week for $40.

No problem, I think, and pop down to grab a replacement. I get home, snap it into the wall-mount bracket annd plug in the cables after peeling off a big sticker that says “Run CD before connecting cables.”

This isn’t the first one of these devices I’ve had. What’s the software for? Eh. Without reading anything, I know how to access the admin page for the thing via a web browser.

So, I go back upstairs and launch the admin page. Plug in the this and thats like DNS servers and IP ranges, and no joy. The network is working. My MP3 server’s playing tunes, I can print to the network-connected printer. Just can’t see the outside world. I fiddle and futz until I’m annoyed, then remember the CD. I pop the CD in. Clever Linksys has created something that only works on Windows. My home is an all-Mac shop. :mad:

So, I drag out an old Windows PC, plug it into the net and fire it up. Run the CD, which doesn’t really seem to do anything obvious. But it does do something, and as if by black magic, I can access the internet again.

My gripe is this: A router should be OS-agnostic. It should not make one bit of difference to the router if it’s plugged into the middle of a bunch of Windows PCs, Macs, Unix servers or Playstations. Yet, Linksys requires you have at least one Windows PC to run their stupid activation software.

Whatever the software actually does, would it be so hard for them to make it work with other kinds of computers? Or, just have the device work like the one it replaced (the same model#, by the way) - it was configured via a web page in any web browser, with no activation nonsense needed.

FWIW I’ve found running the Linksys CD does nothing for XP based systems and can sometimes screw up the default XP settings. At least 50% of the time someone is complaining about a router setup config issue re Macs or Wintel PCs the problem can be solved with a group hard reset of the cable modem, PC and router where all are shut down then rebooted. Using the CD will sometime accomplish this by (effectively) resetting the router but the same thing could (sometimes) have been achieved with a simple group re-boot.

Tried that. All of my networking gear is on a single powerstrip, so it’s mindless to bounce it all at once. I’ve actually got it set to bounce every night via a digital lamp timer - planned outages at 3 AM work small wonders at keeping the DSL running smoothly.

As for screwing up the XP box, it was expendable. If it never boots again, I don’t really care as it’s going to get a full nuke and pave before I give or sell it to anyone.

Whatever that CD did is black magic. I already had my IP ranges, DNS servers, etc plugged into the router setup. But before I ran it, I was getting zero connection to the outside world - after it ran, the world was back.

I’ve had this same complaint. It drives me crazy- most peripherals work just fine between OS platforms, as do Linksys’ routers. Why can’t they just tweak whatever needs to be tweaked to allow it to be set up with a Mac? It’s not like the Mac OS is some young upstart unproven technology- like it or not, it’s here to stay, folks.

Fortunately, we keep an eMachine for the kids’ computer games, so I do all my Windows-based setups on that. But it’s still annoying.

It is all about Market share. Linksys does not need to consistently care about non-Windows OS so they do not. If Mac was even 10% of the market, you had better believe that they would ensure the CD included Mac software.
Of course the Irony is, knowing Linksys they have added Mac config software after shipping the router and the software could be downloaded from their site, if only the router was letting you onto the internet.
For future reference, if you do not have a Wintel Machine available, plug one of the Macs directly to the cable/DSL modem and go look for the software or get a Wintel friend to download and burn them for you. I have done this for a Mac friend.

Jim

I have set up countless Linksys routers and I have never “Run CD before connecting cables”, so I’m not sure what that CD did to help. My home network has 2 TiVos, 1 XP PC, 1 W2K PC, a Mac running OS/X, and a couple PocketPCs without problem, and I never ran the software on the CD. AFAIK, it’s just Linksys’ wireless management software that replaces XP’s, and it’s not at all necessary.

I do know that when my power flips off that I have to turn off the router, reboot the cable modem, wait for it to acquire signal, and then flip the router back on. If I don’t do it in that specific order, I’ll have the same symptom you did – no outside connectivity. I’m willing to bet that the CD just reset the router after its install process.

Huh. One more in the “didn’t run router CD” camp.

Can’t imagine how it would matter, honestly… :confused:

I recently bought a Linksys wireless gateway to get our home LAN & internet back up. This gateway doesn’t have anything useful on the CD except for the manual and USB drivers!

I’m just as flummoxed. It’s not just a reset sequencing, as my net’s working fine this morning after that nightly scheduled outage.

The first of these units I bought way back in 2004 didn’t have a CD or any warning stickers covering the jacks. I can only assume it’s some sort of voodoo involving the wireless - while the model number of the router is unchanged, the device ***is ** * changed - there’s now some sort of quick setup buton on the device for quickly adding WPA-secured connections. (typing in an SSID and a password is so HARRRRD!)

What’s really odd about all of this is that Linksys is owned by Cisco - if Cisco ignored *nix servers, mainframes and all of those other industrial-grade things that don’t run Windows XP, they’d be out of business by the end of the week.

Just thinking that what I should have done is called Linksys tech support and had them explain what’s needed to make the thing work without a Windows PC.

I tried that. They basically told me that they don’t support other platforms and if I’m running anything but Windows, I’m pretty much on my own. They don’t offer workarounds, suggestions or help of any kind.

I ran in to this last week while setting up a newish WAP54G for a friend-of-a-friend. I had to run the setup CD, which apparently probes the local subnet for active Linksys gear and makes you set up the IP, SSID, WEP/WPA, etc, before it’ll start up the web server.

I can almost understand it for an AP, since it’s basically a hub, where having a default IP address isn’t intuitively obvious, but for a router? That’s dumb.

I didn’t look in to it too closely, but I’m almost willing to bet that the web interface doesn’t select pppoe by default. If you’re on DSL, see if that’ll work.

Vote with your dollars. Take the thing back and buy a different brand.