Short, personal rant about the vagaries of technology and my position relative to such: I decided to switch DSL providers recently, and chose my incumbent telecom Qwest, which can underprice competitive DSL carriers. I've given in to that notion, as I could have twice the speed for half the cost. The process goes rather well, from ordering online, getting a telephone plus DSL bundled price, and receiving a modem in the mail. Then it goes downhill. That's not unusual for me. I've discovered hitherto unknown bugs in many common pieces of hardware, including the latest Apple AirPort Base Station.
The Qwest modem, which combines DSL handling with a Wi-Fi gateway, seems to work perfectly at first. It's a 2Wire 2700 HG, which turns out to be in the field for about a month. It trains up fine, handles the PPPoA (PPP over ATM) login, and tests show a healthy set of rates close to the raw 3 Mbps/640 Kbps that the modem's reporting. (The service is "up to 7 Mbps," so 3 Mbps is the best it trains to at the moment.)
Things start to go south. The modem stops routing. Every time I connect to it from a browser, it reboots. I call tech support and get the single most knowledgeable tech guy I've ever spoken to. We go through a ton of troubleshooting, all reasonable stuff (not "sir, did you power up the unit?"), and it seems to be back in shape after a factory reset. Then a few minutes later, it all happens again. I call tech support again, and once again get a phenomenally good tech on the phone. He determines it must be a defective unit. We're thinking bad Flash memory or something. He gives me an RMA and has another one shipped out.
Two days later, the new router arrives, I plug it in, and after a little bit of happiness, same thing. Hello, tech support! Another great techie. After some remote testing, and his own ability to restart the router by simply accessing it over their internal network, he's thinking it's a firmware bug that hadn't been uncovered. They're sending me another router so we can make sure it's not two bum units (the behavior is slightly different betwen the two).
The third tech had some suspicion that Apple's Bonjour networking, a form of multicast DNS on a local network, might be involved, as they had a different problem that was equally mysterious with an Actiontec modem model that turned out to be caused by the Bonjour network name of a networked computer having characters in it that the modem couldn't parse.
The third modem showed up today, and I disabled the Wi-Fi gateway entirely. It's working fine with an external access point. I figure I'll get the use of the network over the weekend wait until Monday to see the modem fails when I punch in my regular settings.