[CentOS] Problem with WRT54GL router

Thu Sep 18 08:27:47 UTC 2014
ken <gebser at mousecar.com>

On 09/17/2014 09:54 PM Fred Smith wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 07:49:32PM +0200, Timothy Murphy wrote:
>> I have a curious problem with an old WRT54GL router,
>> which I use as a WiFi access point on my LAN:
>>    Internet->ADSL modem->CentOS-7 computer->WRT54GL router

Don't you mean:

Internet->ADSL modem-> WRT54GL router -> CentOS computer


>> The router has always had a slight problem
>> of losing connection every so often -
>> it used to be every couple of days,
>> but recently it has become much more often.

Yeah, I've had this problem with my android phone connecting to my 
home-brewed access point (a Raspberry Pi with wifi dongle and running 
Raspbian, a Debian derivative).  The problem I was having however-- what 
I discovered from pinging the router from the phone over several-minute 
periods-- was that increasing numbers of packets were being dropped, so 
many that android would eventually declare that the connection was lost.

So you might want to try pinging the router... continuously for ten 
minutes at a time to  see if packets are being dropped, as this can lead 
to a "connection lost" error message.

This problem was resolved after some software on the phone was upgraded 
and the phone was rebooted... at least I haven't had the same  problem 
now for several months.  I can't say which of those two actions fixed 
the problem as I did both at effectively the same time.

The odd thing was that I never had a connection  problem between the 
phone and a variety of other access points-- public APs.  This might 
have been because the phone was never connected to them for days on end 
like it often was to my home AP (the RPi).  So the "connection loss" 
might have been due to bad code which only very gradually led to packet 
loss, then to increasing packet loss, and that to Connection Lost.

>> My cure was always to disconnect the power from the router
>> for 10 seconds or so, and then re-connect it.
>> Recently I discovered that running the following script
>> on the CentOS computer seems to solve the problem (for a while)
>>    sudo systemctl restart dhcpd
>>    sudo systemctl restart network
>>    sudo systemctl restart shorewall
>> (I suspect the first, dhcpd, is irrelevant.)
>> Incidentally, I am able to ping laptops on the LAN
>> (but not the other way round)
>> even when the router is in its "bad" state.
>> I wonder if anyone has had a similar experience,
>> and can offer advice?
> I have to say that though I hear other people speak of their
> routers needing frequent rebooting, I've never had such a problem,
> though I have to admit that I've only ever owned two routers.
> The first of th em was a WRT54GL, and it ran fine. It would run
> for months, and only get rebooted after a power failure, or when
> changing things in its UI that required it reboot. I ran the factory
> firmware for a year or two then switched over to DD-WRT, and again
> never saw that kind of problem.

Did you switch to dd-wrt *after* heartbleed was fixed?

> Just wondering if you've ever done a firmware update? sometimes
> even the manufacturer will issue a bug fix firmware update, shocking
> as that may seem! :)

I'd agree with this, especially considering heartbleed.  And for-profit 
companies normally don't expend resources (which reduce profits) to 
issue software updates without good reason-- "business reasons".

> After five or six years, it suddenly decided it didn't want to retain
> any of my settings across a reboot, and it was a huge pain to reset
> all the settings I had made, without notice, whenever it decided to
> drop them all. So I bought an ASUS RT-N16 and put the Linksys aside
> for a while.
> Subsequently, someone else I knew needed a router for guest network
> access, and I fired up the WRT54GL and reinstalled latest Linksys
> firmware and it has been running fine ever since (couple of years,
> more or less).
> Wish I could offer some actual help! :)