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Belkin Fixes Bug that Caused their Routers to Disconnect your Internet

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 (2:20 pm) - Score 1,118
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Owners of broadband routers made by Belkin, an American manufacturer of consumer electronics, recently found themselves unable to get online after a silly flaw in the kit meant that related customers couldn’t connect to the Internet because the device was unable to ping one of the manufacturers own remote “heartbeat” servers.

The problem, which seems to be almost as crazy as it sounds, effectively boils down to Belkin using firmware in several models of router that would stop your ability to access the Internet unless it could communicate with a single remote servers IP address on the manufacturers own network.

Apparently this relates to the hardware’s “self-healing” feature that attempted to download an update on Tuesday and couldn’t because the server was offline. Good beta testing right there. The official update offers some additional details, while admittedly masking the absurdity of it all (note: a smaller update was published later to confirm that a fix had been released).

BELKIN UPDATE: Oct. 7, 2014 at 1:27 PM PDT

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

It should be noted that owners of other Belkin models have also reported problems. Customers that continue to experience issues might wish to consider switching the device off for 5 minutes and then back on again so that it reboots (some IT advice never changes).

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Patrick Cosgrove

    When questioned about slowing broadband speeds yesterday, a Plusnet customer adviser told me that switching on and off repeatedly causes Dynamic Line Management at the exchange to reduce speeds as a means of improving line stability.

    • Yes it does, assuming it’s a DSL line. But doing a single reboot isn’t usually too much of a problem and in this case the problem is rather different.

    • Avatar adslmax

      Not really. If you powered down for at least 30 minutes then DLM will not happen. But, if you kept rebooting it within 15 minutes x 2 then u are more likely to get DLM.

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