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Updated: Mysterious bug in Belkin routers (now fixed) kicked people off the internet

This morning a lot of people who own Belkin routers woke up to find they had no access to the internet. While their devices were connecting to their Wi-Fi networks and their modems were connecting to their ISPs, the router and modem seemed to be suffering from communication breakdown. After dealing with angry customers all day, Belkin said late Tuesday afternoon it had solved the problem and restored internet service to all of its customers.

Belkin said customers who don’t already see their routers working normally should try a reboot — unplug the box, wait a minute and plug it back in. If service isn’t restored in five minutes, Belkin asks customers to call its customer service line at (800) 223-5546 in the U.S. (Here’s a list of customer service numbers in other regions of the world.)

After numerous reports of internet outages surfaced this morning, [company]Belkin[/company] acknowledged there was a problem with at least four of its older routers: the F9K1102, F9K1105, F9K1113 and F9K1116. It gave those customers a temporary workaround this morning, basically telling them to manually configure their devices’ internet settings to connect to Google’s DNS servers. But it took it a lot longer to find the cause of the problem, which involved a communications failure between the affected routers and a site Belkin uses to test internet availability.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

At around 3:15 PM PT, we got notice from Belkin that it found a cure, though it didn’t provide any details on what steps it took. “We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience to our customers,” Belkin said in a second statement. “We are taking a number of actions to eliminate this sort of incident from reoccurring.”

This post was updated at 1:41 PT to add Belkin’s statement and provide details on the affected routers. It was updated again a 3:50 PT to note Belkin had restored service.

8 Responses to “Updated: Mysterious bug in Belkin routers (now fixed) kicked people off the internet”

  1. Criticizer

    I found this article online via search engine today. Companies should “apologize” for things like this by issuing checks. “…involved a communications failure between the affected routers and a site Belkin uses to test internet availability.” Quote “a site”, gosh, Belkin, hire an engineer or two instead of “microsoft” “certified” technicians. Single-point failure is never a good thing. These entertainment-class companies could never make it in the real world such as with military, laboratory or life-support devices.

  2. OK-Belkin

    Lost me as a current customer, for sure — this is plain sloppy. Missed several important web meetings and presentations yesterday due to this. And — talk about frustration (!)

    If Belkin has this type of design issue, how many security issues are there lurking around? Who wants to find out?

    Also, as stated above, they are lying (or just stupid) when they say this was OLDER products — no — it affects newer products also. I returned my four week old Belkin product yesterday to Walmart. The tech guy mentioned there was an “epidemic” of returns, and they had pulled Belkin products from their shelves.

    This will hurt Belkin’s bottom line pretty badly, I predict.

  3. Stone Max

    I spent 5 hours with this fiasco. Nice reps, but that doesn’t make it better. Charter Cable joined 3 way call with me & Belkin and hour. After fix with 8888 & 8844. We hung up. Internet connection failed again. I don’t have an old router 2 mos old. Paid $150. Had last Belkin 1yr and it failed. I’m done with Belkin. We were loyal. Need new people to make & bake better products.

  4. They are not “OLDER MODELS”! I have one that I bought a few months ago, it failed today (though I found the work-around), and it is still listed as a current model on Belkin’s website … as are the other 3!!! Why do people not check facts before reporting? Belkin is, well I was going to say they obfuscated, but they lied! Look up the N600 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router, N450 DB Wi-Fi Dual-Band N+ Router, AC 1200 DB Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC+ Gigabit Router, and AC 750 DB Wi-Fi Dual-Band AC+ Router and you will see that their F9K numbers are listed below the retail monikers (F9K1102, F9K1105, F9K1113, and F9K1116 respectively).