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Huge failure of home routers: Here’s how to get back online

Huge failure of home routers: Here’s how to get back online
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

UPDATE: Belkin has released the following statement as to why their routers went down on October 7.

“One of our cloud services associated with maintaining router operations was negatively impacted by a change made in our data center that caused a false denial of service. Normal operations were restored by 3PM PST, however, some users might still be required to reset their router and/or cable modem to regain connectivity. Moving forward, we will continue to monitor, improve and validate the system to ensure our routers continue to work properly in the event connectivity to our cloud environment is not available.”

If you were unable to connect to the Internet yesterday, you may have been part of the Belkin router outage that started around midnight on October 7.

Connectivity to the Internet is such an important part of people's everyday lives, it's almost impossible to imagine what it would be like if you couldn't connect at all. But for Belkin router owners, that's exactly what happened yesterday.

Some experts are speculating that a glitchy firmware update from Belkin caused the routers to disconnect from the Internet and remain disconnected. The problem seemed to be that the routers couldn't resolve the domain names.

Basically, it's like trying to look up a person's number in the phone book, and it has the wrong number listed or no number listed at all. But the real reason is still unknown.

This connectivity problem happened across several Internet Service Providers, including Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Some folks on reddit found a temporary workaround that involved setting the default DNS setting to Google's public DNS  - with addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4.

Belkin has since issued the following statement:

Starting approximately midnight on October 7, Belkin began experiencing an issue with a service configured in certain Belkin router models that causes a failure when it checks for general network connectivity by pinging a site hosted by Belkin. We know this issue has affected select older Wireless-N Belkin router models including F9K1102, F9K1105, F9K1113 and F9K1116. We are continuing to investigate other possible routers that may have been affected. We are working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Until there is a fix in place, we have identified a workaround for customers that are using the F9K1102 and F9K1105 routers to regain internet connectivity. That work-around as well as ongoing updates can be found at our outage status page for more information: www.belkin.com/outage

Belkin has also released a "fix" for these older model routers, which seems to involve nothing more complicated than unplugging it and plugging it back in again.

We have confirmed that the internet connectivity issue is now resolved.

If your service has not yet been restored, please unplug your router and plug it back in after waiting 1 minute. Wait 5 more minutes and the router should reconnect. If you have any further issues, please contact our support at (800) 223-5546.

We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience to our customers. We are taking a number of actions to eliminate this sort of incident from reoccurring.

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Source: Ars Technica
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