SpeedStream/Efficient Networks/Siemens – you suck!

I have never had so many problems with a single piece of computer equipment.  Worse than just a being a POS, the manufacturer (SpeedStream which is really Efficient Networks which is really Siemens) is quite possibly the absolute worst company when it comes to customer service.  In fact, I’m confident they call it "customer disservice" specifically because they want nothing more than to royally screw you.

I purchased a SpeedStream 2623 Wireless DSL/Cable Router just over a year ago.  My roommate and I needed to get the DSL shared between our two computers and wanted to share some resources between the PCs.  Wireless seemed the way to go since neither of us wanted to run Ethernet cable all over the house.

Based on the review in and recommendation by PC Magazine, I went with the SpeedStream 2623.

What a terrible mistake!

From the beginning, the thing was nothing more than a progressively worsening headache.  From deficiencies in WEP support to continuous problems with lockups to an inability to reconnect to the DSL service after a reset or reboot, the list of problems grew by leaps and bounds with each passing day.

My roommate, connected wirelessly, continually had problems with connections dropping.  Anytime the router was reset or rebooted (firmware upgrades and solving problems being the two main reasons this happened all the time), it would take several subsequent resets/reboots and continuous massaging of the PPPoE settings to get it to reconnect.  It constantly lost its mind and would grind to a slow crawl (so far as network traffic is concerned).  Take my word for it — the list goes on.

Since I was well within the original 24-month extended warranty period, I contacted SpeedStream for support.  A month later, I had still received no response whatsoever.

So I contacted them again.  Another month went by and I was still waiting for some kind of acknowledgment.

I work in the technology field and am quite comfortable with getting computer equipment to work.  In this case, however, that simply wasn’t going to happen.

I contacted SpeedStream again and asked to have the hardware replaced with the same piece of equipment (I was naive enough to believe that I had purchased a lemon and that another router wouldn’t have all of these problems).

Would you believe that, to this day, I have yet to hear back from this sorry excuse of a company?  The little router that couldn’t is still under warranty, but it’s going in the trash now.  It locked up this evening and not even the external hardware reset button can get it to work.  It’s dead, and that’s a good thing.

And don’t get me started on the DSL modem problems…  Yes, we’re still talking SpeedStream, but I’d rather not suffer through the torment of reliving those problems just so I can tell the story.  Suffice it to say that the company and equipment seem to be religiously consistent.  Take that for what it’s worth.

As for SpeedStream/Efficient Networks/Siemens and the sorry excuse for network equipment they’re pumping out, I recommend you stay as far away from them as possible.  They have no intention of supporting their products regardless of promises like extended warranties (as I’ve learned the hard way), they’re not interested in fixing the problems that are inherent in their equipment (many of the various problems I reported in my messages to them are still unresolved), and my experience seems to indicate that they want nothing more than to take your money and run away.

Take my word for it — stay away from them at all costs.  There are plenty of other products out there that are better supported and less troublesome.

As for PC Magazine and their empty-headed review, they can piss off.  Before you open your mouth and recommend some product, I strongly suggest you actually use the thing for a while so you get an idea of what you’re talking about.  This plugging it in for a day and calling it reviewed is a disservice to your readers.

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