27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
The RE1000 is a network killer!
, January 7, 2012
In general, I have been very pleased with Cisco/Linksys products as evidenced by the many items of theirs I have purchased over the years.
I have been a software developer for 35 years with a log of those years spent designing and specifying hardware as well.
As far as I can see, the RE1000 has a single fatal flaw which, if fixed would immediately catapult my rating to a 4 or maybe even a 5. Sadly, the software design for the RE1000 was poorly thought out and the oversight is one which makes the use of this unit a daily nightmare, especially if you using it with a Linksys router and utilizing all of its features.
What's the problem? Simple. When the RE1000 sees any computer on the network, it assigns it a phantom Mac Address, using the first three parts of its own Mac Address and the last 3 parts of the client's Mac Address for the phantom Mac Address.
If you the Mac Address to assign clients an IP with DHCP, their IP will change and there is no way to allow the router to know that there is a client with 2 different Mac Addresses. If you use the Mac Address to filter wireless clients, your wireless clients will no longer be connected to the wireless network.
You can set up an additional IP for your wireless clients, but if filling the DHCP and MAC filter tables on your was the only problem, it would be merely be an inconvenience and not a fatal problem.
But what i see in my network is that all of my wireless clients periodically lose connection and I am often forced to reboot both router and clients to get it resolved. Sometimes I can just boot a client and when it reconnects I see it has been assigned a different IP from the one it was before I booted - since there are 2 possible IPs for each, one for direct connection to the router (a Linksys E4200) and one for connection through the RE1000. So the clients will try to bounce to one or the other connection if traffic is slower through the connection they have. This reaults in their losing communication. Yet when I look, often the client will report that it is connected to the network.
And this is the only way I have been able to set up my network so that it even works! Now, there is one fix.. but it is unacceptable to me since it means I must lower the security of my network to implement it.
If I disable MAC filtering and accept random DHCP IP assignment (or go to fixed IP assignment, turning off DHCP) , I can then dispense with the changes I had to male above. But this means that my wireless network is no longer as safe from a wireless attack as it is when using MAC filtering.
Patches I would like to see:
1) Allow the user to turn off wireless connection through the RE1000. My initial purchase of the RE1000 was to allow me to connect a printer to the wireless network. The printer did not have wireless capability and the RE1000 works fine for this.
2) Patch Cisco/Linksys routers to allow the user to recognize two different MAC Addresses in DHCP assignment. Obviously this would mean only 1 IP would be assigned. The user would still have to add a second entry to the MAC table, but the filtering could check for the existence of a 2nd MAC assigned to the same IP before refusing the client.
3) Patch the client software (obviously, this would only work for Cisco/Linsksys drivers).
Only option 1 would be practical since it patches a problem at the source. As for those of us wishing to use the RE1000 as a repeater (range extender), Cisco needs to come up with a better way to deal with the problem, Unfortunately, as someone unfamiliar with the code and hardware, I can only surmise that the real solution requires a change in both their router and RR1000 software and this solution would make the RE1000 incompatible with other manufacturers' products.
By the way, this client, which was somewhat stable before the addition of the RE1000 has disconnected from the network 3 times while I wrote this review.
Do NOT buy this product if you use or intend to use DHCP and MAC address filtering on your router (of whatever make).