Had it with Cisco E3000 router, what's Better?

Every time I introduce anything new into my network, I wrestle with the peculiarties of the Cisco E3000 N router — the master browser anomaly.  What is a better router that doesn’t have this problem? (N).

Curmudgeon:   I don’t know if you and I already discussed this particular peculiarity…  But on MY two E3000’s, I set the workgroup to something totally different than the rest of my network.

Never had a problem again.


Change Workgroup Name from the default of “Workgroup” to something like “DIEROUTERS”

Yes, we did talk about this and I had everything running fine; learned a bunch thanks to your  good feedback.  But then I replaced my Media Link wireless adapter with the Cisco 600N job, and tried testing some wireless streaming.  I noticed a big improvement over the Medialink piece, with a video file that previously stuttered out at about three minutes going almost full term (15 minutes).  Once the video stuttered out, I shut down the Player and was doing other stuff; satisfied that the new wireless adapter worked.  BUT, just before installing the repeater I just bought, I thought I would recheck the configuration of the player and wireless adapter one more time.

There, I encountered all the old familiar problems with master browser — connected to internet, recognized media libraries existed, but no access to network shares, “no media in folder,” etc.  I had changed nothing in my system but the wireless adapter on the media player.  So upstairs to the router and PC where I saw the standard master browser problem in the Explorer/Network view — WD player listed as media device, pingable, etc., but not listed as computer.  So I changed the router workgroup name to “Testgroup,” applied the change, closed the router app, and shut everything down (no ac).  Waited two minutes,  Fired back up — where I found the router workgroup name had on its own been reset to WORKGROUP.  I’ve seen this before, it’s baffling.

Anyway, I changed it back to Test Group, applied the change, etc. and didn’t reboot or do anything else.  I refreshed the Explorer/Network view, and pop – everything was right in the world.

But here’s the deal — if I suffer a power interruption, or if I decide just to save a few bucks, and extend the life of my equipment by shutting down the AC (particularly in summetime, where my little loft office does not need more heat sources), I run into this problem.  This time it was either the introduction of the new wireless adapter, or the jammed up video, or who knows?  It’s annoying. 

I believe you identified the E3000 being rather unique in this master browser issue, so I’m  wondering if I can eliminate just one source of aggravation in  my life (I have PLENTYof others) by going to a different router.  Thanks again for your assistance.

Don’t mean to sound too obvious, but Cisco’s released two FW updates on the E3000 since they came out.  Are you up to date?   Mine don’t shut down often (they are on UPS’s) so I don’t think I would even see that problem if it’s still there…

Perhaps I’ll stick with the thing and see what happens since I am in a good mood — just set up the HWREN extender, and now my test video file that used to stutter and bog down streams all the way through without a problem.  If the fix after a power outage is simply to reboot everything and change the workgroup name on the router (since the router apparently resets to a default “Workgroup’”  after a reset/power removal) then I can live with it.

Wow, you opened a can of worms with that question.  I DID go through the router update cycle about two weeks ago, and guess what?  The download froze at 20% and I ended up with a “bricked” router.  Before that, I didn’t even know what a “bricked” anything was.  This was also when I learned that the documentation that came with my router on the install disc was just a hyperlink to Cisco’s site.  That’s pretty good thinking — when your router goes down, you connect to the internet to find out how to get it workng again.

Anyway, there were a couple of very good descriptions of how to reflash the router on the Internet (not at the Cisco site, however), and I was able to breathe life into it again.  It does have the latest firmware now.

Since I’m not that sophisticated a user, but know enough to be dangerous, that episode with the bricked router didn’t do much for my opinion of the E3000. 

Yeah, and it’s a real shame, too…  Cisco is *THE* world leader in network equipment.   My career depends on their success.  ;)  … but the reliability of their Linksys line…  well…  that’s questionable…

Read the FAQ.  Search board for “master browser.”  Rename the E3000’s workgroup to something other than the workgroup your computers and devices are in.  Stay with it; you’ll get there.