Bad Wireless Routers

At Martin Luther College we allow students to bring wireless routers into their dorm rooms so that they can connect their devices to our network. One thing we have seen creeping into more and more routers is the interstitial landing page and “helpful” software from the router manufacturers getting in the way of using our network.

Belkin and Netgear are the two worst at the moment but if history repeats, it will work its way into everything. The routers will ping out to some server (or a number of different servers) and if it doesn’t receive a response, it will throw up its page and keep you from using the network.

Awesome.

Even better is that some Belkin routers coming in recently have had some “content filtering” turned on which means that the router cannot get the proper DNS servers to allow them to register the device.

Awesome-er.

Defaults matter. Software matters. Hardware that might work just fine otherwise is broken by poor software with poor defaults. It isn’t helpful.