Belkin WURE F5D7132 as AP for NetGear Gateway RouterRT314, WinXP-sp2
I]Preamble to current situation re Belkin F5D7132[/I]: Several years ago, my son, his friends,etc., started using our basement as a retreat and requested Cable ISP Wireless access via my attic located LAN, structured around a 2003 Netgear RT314 Gateway Router. Using the one last available Router ethernet port, I installed, successfully, without help, a Belkin WAP F5D6130 /b speed, on my then current WinME, and provided secure Wireless access using MAC Access Control. The WAP's Utility Software was stored entirely on the WinME PC, until two years ago, when I recycled it as a Ubuntu desktop, bought a new Dell WinXP DeskTop (now SP2) as its replacement, and installed a copy of the Belkin WAP/b Software Utility on the Dell. I subsequently added a FreeSpire Linux Desktop to the 4th (last available) ethernet port. All was well, until early this year, when my sign on "guests" complained about the "slow surfing" and requested I upgrade to N wireless AP, or replace my RT314 with a Wireless Router N speed. Ha! Fat chance.
We compromised by settling on a $30 Belkin WURE F5D7132 (g Speed) to substitute for the Belkin WAP/b, (which had always worked flawlessy,even after accepting Control from its new command post, the WinXP. I personally saw no virtue in scrapping my cabled LAN and going all Wireless.
Installed my new Belkin F5D7132, early March 2008. Much hassle, need for assistance, gnashing of teeth, (discovered I had to make IE my default browser, e.g.) but finally configured F5D7132 as an Access Point and successfully configured MAC Access Control as my preferred security. (I copied the MAC addresses from the WAP/b before disconnecting it, then installed the WURE as AP.)
Up to 2 or 3 weeks ago, this new setup worked flawlessly. I kept track of my son's new friends, by inserting their MACs via the Belkin F5D7132 WURE Utility; they, in turn got faster Net access and all was well.
Last week another new friend showed up and requested that his MAC also be recognized. The WURE Utility program opened to make this change,as previously, but wouldn't accept the default "blank" password to access its basic & security options, such as MAC Control. (Different from the WAP/b, which still has its Utility Software stored on my PC). Whenever I hit "submit', it couldn't access the Net and open/access the web-secured Belkin Utility and permit me to modify the MAC List.
To make a long story not quite so long, the many hours spent with Belkin techs, involved changing IPs, pinging, resetting, etc., and only resulted in wiping out the WURE/AP's stored MACs, per their advice, over-riding my concerns. Prior to Default Resetting, I couldn't add new MACs, but I could still allow my stored guests, wireless access. AFTER Default Reset, the AP provided access to any and all, but now without security. Belkin suggested I return the unit for "in warranty" replacement. I did. It took 2 days to arrive. At last, kudos to Belkin.
While awaiting a replacement, I reinstalled the slower Belkin WAP/b that, thankfully, I had shelved, and immediately restored, slower, secure wireless access with its remembered/retained MAC addresses and also subsequently added 1 more new MAC to the list. To further clarify the picture, no more than 4 or 5 wireless devices (son's friends + wireless HP + grandson's Nintendo) are wirelessly surfing at any one time.
Replacement arrived 4 days ago, June 10. Installed on the 11th. Threw in the towel, late PM, on the 12th. Same results as "defective" previous unit. (Firmware is hinted as the culprit but can't access it and transfer to the WURE/AP. This time , after 5 or 6 sessions with lower level tech clones, managed to finally get a 2nd level guru. Very knowledgable, but inevitably, doomed to defeat. "Ask for a replacement", he said, in final frustration. and bid me adieu.
I'm in process of eMailing a request for an RMA to return the current replacement; re-installing Belkin WAP/b and hope to arrange for a 2nd replacement. Unless, in the interim, I'm saved by this forum. Any suggestions, advice, etc. would be highly appreciated. The one ray of sunshine in this gloomy scenario, is I'm getting additional exposure to wireless networking, IPs, DHCP, ipconfig, and all that jazz.
Aside: My attic computer LAN with its WAP/b is several hundreds of feet away from my neighbors' homes. I know they have their own ISP access and in-house wireless LANs. Just what am I risking if I use my AP without WEP, MAC or other security? I have NIS 2008 on my XP desktop; Linux, on my other two desktops is inherently intrusion free, I'm informed.
Thank you. This is my first thread submission on this site. Hopefully my future questions will strike a better balance between being concise/informative and long-winded.