Checkpoint: Router Life Expectancy
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Checkpoint: Router Life Expectancy

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There was a time in the early to mid-2000’s where I expected wireless routers to just die after a year or so. It happened to my Linksys and D-Link routers. However, after purchasing ASUS routers, a new expectation was set; routers are supposed to last half a decade or more. I owned two RT-N16 and an RT-N66U and two of the three are still alive with only the RT-N16 finally biting the dust last year. 

I replaced my gateway router with a NETGEAR R7000 Nighthawk router in August 2015 and while it impressed me initially with its feature set and wireless range, its sudden collapse Friday did not impress me at all. I was already planning to demote it from gateway router to access point because of a UPNP issue this weekend but my plans were accelerated when the router inexplicably stopped accepting connections.

Trying to access the admin console was met with slow response and repeated disconnections. I tried clearing the NVRAM but it was a fruitless effort. It took a complete reinstall of the firmware to restore functionality but I’m not confident in the router’s stability whatsoever.

NETGEAR R7000 Nighthawk’s UPNP issue with TitanFall 2 & multiple consoles

My brother and I were unable to play TitanFall 2 together without one of us failing to connect to the match. We never had issues with other titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 or Overwatch so I didn’t put much stock into it being a router issue. 

I found suggestions to reduce the “NAT Filtering” from “Secured” to “Open” and sure enough that allowed the two consoles to join games without a fuss. This revelation points to the possibility of the router not opening ports properly through UPNP. I conducted a Google search to include the words “titanfall 2 upnp 2 consoles nighthawk” which produced a couple of threads from the official forums including “Matchmaking with another player on the same Local Area Network” where people narrowed it down to a Nighthawk issue. Ten there is this other thread where a forum member detailed the fact that TitanFall 2’s multiplayer works by “registering external IP addresses as opposed to just using port mappings“. Isn’t that just grand? It doesn’t even bother trying to work via UPNP.

Welcome Back ASUS

Despite TitanFall 2’s shortcomings, I need a router that’s flexible enough to deal with said shortcomings. I also need a router that works reliably which is why I’m happy to welcome the ASUS RT-N66U as top dog in my network.

I’m loving my time with The Last Guardian. Trico is a delight to interact with and I’m continually amazed by how lifelike he reacts.

Along with the usual, I returned to Overwatch to do my placement matches for season 3. Going solo is such a fruitless and empty experience. I don’t even get upset over losses due to questionable hero picks; it’s just part of the crapshoot. I placed 2911.

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