A reader wrote recently that he was havig problems with his router on his DSL connection:
I have been using Linksys DSL wireless router (4 data ports and 2 analog phone ports) for over one year. Lately, I can’t access to the internet (via this router). I did run a quick DSL speed tests, the download speed was good ~2340Kbps, but the upstream test had problem to finish the test? As long as I bypassed the router, then I can connect to the internet, but I could not use my Vonage VoIP phone.
Please advise and thank you so much in advance.
I wrote back to suggest how he might solve the problem.
He could try logging into the router’s administrator control panel and writing down his customized settings. Then, he should use the Reset To Factory Settings reset button. With the Linksys models, this is the same button as a simple reset, but you have to hold in the button 10-15 seconds. A quick press-and-release does a reset, while a hold-and-release resets back to factory settings.
Then, the next step would be to log back into the router and change the settings that he needs to change to make the connections work — at this testing stage, I would want to make sure it worked, not make sure it was secure (if it’s wireless). After you know it works, that’s the time to lock down the security…
BE SURE TO CHANGE THE ROUTER PASSWORD — there’s malware live on the Internet that changes the DNS settings in the routers in order to set up a man-in-the-middle attack on your transmissions. It even tries a table of possible passwords to see if they work (I think just about everyone knows that the Linksys default password is "admin".
Read more on that subject Malware Silently Alters Router Settings – Change Your Router Passwords!.
Even if that’s not the problem, returning to factory settings can solve other issues.
Of course, his router could have failed from an electrical surge or other reason — it may actually be a hardware failure. But, unless you’ve got money to burn, or have other indications of a hardware error (such as the power transformer is very hot to the touch), trying the Factory Settings Reset route first is a great idea.