Using the Fritz!Wlan 1160 repeater to increase my wifi range [review]

Why I need a repeater and perhaps you as well

Recently with the hot weather we wanted to sit in our garden, but nowadays we take a tablet with us instead of a book.

Unfortunately the telenet router is all the way on the other side of the house, so the range is about nil and zilch once you go 2 meter further than our backdoor. So I needed a repeater, which is basically an extension for your wifi and is normally totally transparant to your tablet or laptop or smartphone.

In detail: your router talks to the wifi repeater (via wifi, no develo in sight here!) and the repeater is just a client on the network.
The repeater broadcasts the exact same wifi access name as your router (hence the name of the thing), and as it is closer to the devices that want to connect to the wifi, those devices use the more powerful radio of the repeater. Invisible to them, the repeater relays all those requests back to the router.

This is of course not optimal for speed but at least a slower connectivity is better than no connectivity. And it really depends on where you put the repeaters (yes, you can install multiple ones that connect to each other!). One caveat is that they need to be somewhere close enough to the router so that there still is a reasonable connection, but far enough that your devices farther away can still reach them.

So I recently purchased the Fritz!WLAN Repeater 1160, which I read some good comments about on tweakers and can be had for about 70 euros or slightly less.

It’s a stylish flat box with some red on it and some symbols so it is not the most un-noticable item in your room. If you can tuck it away in some powersocket nobody is using but still have good wifi connectivity, the better. On the box it says “Gigabit Wifi” but that all depends on how you configure it and how far away it is from the router (see above for more detail).

The front is actually quite well thought out.

You have a WLAN symbol, with below it the WPS button and under that status lights for power, WLAN and info.

The WLAN symbol lights up bars according to how strong the connection is to the router. In my case, I get about 3 bars, which is very good.
As such it gives you a rough estimation of how good the repeater can reach the router.

SETUP

Setup was so easy that I was actually doubtful that I done it :
1) plug it in somewhere close to the router
2) press the WPS button on your router
3) press the WPS button for 5 seconds on the repeater
4) done !

Connections can be either on 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz, or a combination of both, where you receive 2.4 and send on the 5 Ghz. This can help with the throughput speed, if you set it up right.

You can configure it manually if you don’t have a router with WPS, but for me WPS worked immediately. I actually reset it to factory settings just so I could try the other way as well. There are actually only 3 actions you can do with the device without going into the config screen :
– press the WPS button for 1s to turn the WIFI on or off
– hold the WPS button for more than 5 seconds : start the WPS handshake sequence
– hold the WPS button for more than 15 seconds : reset to factory settings

There was one problem that I had : once connected via wps to the router, I could not connect to the local fritz.repeater admin page that is described in the manual for further configuration. The only way I could access it was right after resetting it to factory settings. Once connected to the router the page was no longer accessible.

Performance

Surprinsingly good performance, and very stable. Both in seamlessly connecting to it and in the throughput to the router.
Absolutely no problem to watch youtube on the tablet all the way in the back of the garden !

So I heartily recommend this device if you want to extend your wifi for a low price !

G-Sync setup not showing in your menu ? Colors on your Dell S2716DG not right ?

I just bought this sweet, sweet new DELL monitor : the S2716DG monitor with G-Sync. This monitor has a TN panel that’s very good and can run at 144hz in G-Sync mode with selected nvidia cards like my GTX970.

G-Sync mode allows your card and your monitor to synchronize display refresh rates to the GPU in your GeForce GTX-powered PC, eliminating screen tearing and minimizing display stutter and input lag. The result in a game is no tear or blurry images, just buttery smooth gaming experience with crisp detail. I’ve tried Battlefield 1 before and after G-Sync and the experience is incredible.

One thing that bothered me was that when I initially searched on how to enable G-Sync, I could not find the menu entry in the nvdia control panel. I reinstalled all drivers and did a clean install of them just to be certain, but nothing changed. No “Set up G-SYNC” menu option. This really vexed me.

The solution seems to be a simple one, too simple really : just take out the displayport cable out of your screen or graphics card (you did use the dp cable to connect your screen, right?), then wait a moment, and plug it back in. After a second of hesitation, the “Set up G-Sync” menu option suddenly appears in the nvidia control panel. Problem solved !

The build of the screen itself is great, with small bezels, and can easely be lifted or lowered to the correct setting, as well as tilted or turned. The foot it connects to is solid and has a quick-release button.

But the default factory settings make the screen somewhat bright and harder to read than it should be. And the menu panel of the monitor doesn’t allow you to change the gamma settings, however with the nvidia control panel you can set it up correctly.

I found some settings on Reddit that I tried and quite liked. They are here for my own recall and perhaps your help should you want to try them out :

Nvidia Control Panel>Adjust desktop color settings:

  • Brightness-50% SAME
  • Contrast-50% SAME
  • Gamma-0.75% DIFFERENT
  • Digital vibrance-60% DIFFERENT
  • Hue-0 SAME

Click APPLY to save the settings.

DELL Monitor settings:

  • Brightness-30% DIFFERENT
  • Contrast-75% SAME
  • Color > Custom Color: R-97% G-99% B-96%

This definitely made the screen colors more vibrant and noticeable. The screen is a bit pricey, but not as much as the others, and the results are very good.

Moving from Android to iPhone 6S : First Impressions

I recently moved back from using a Samsung Note 2 for almost 3 years to a brand new iPhone 6S plus phone. Before my Note 2 I had a iPhone going back all the way to the original iPhone.

Why did I originally move to Android ?

Mainly because of the big screen and me being a voracious ‘binge sf reader’. iPhones didn’t offer large size screens at that time, and my eyes are having more and more difficulty reading tiny texts. Using a large screen and larger sized fonts on the Kindle app solved that problem for me and converted me to the big phablet phones.

Also, I became bored with my iPhone. Everything I could want was in there, but all the settings have been pre-selected by someone else. I wanted to see what I could do more with an Android.

While I definitely enjoyed tinkering with every Android setting possible, there came a time when I wanted to move back, especially when the iPhone 6 came out with the large screen variant.

The reasons why I moved back to an iPhone 6S Plus

  • The slowness of my existing phone: After using my android phone for almost 3 years, it became so very slow that I wanted to throw it at the wall. Having your phone ring and not being able to answer the call because the swipe you make takes 20 seconds to be recognised (and the caller has already hung up) is a major issue for me. Starting up your camera and waiting 10 seconds for it to come up ? Too much. I know that I could get some speed back by reinstalling, but really, this is not how it should work.
  • Not getting the 4G network: only 3G was possible. This is slowwww when you know that 4G is out there if you have the right phone.
  • No upgrade : almost every iphone gets an upgrade to the latest iOS for several years after. Not so with Samsung phones, which, due to the extra stuffing Samsung puts in, gets -maybe- one OS upgrade, and then almost a year after the upgrade originally came out. Then they promise another one, but never deliver. Anybody wanting to go for an Android phone, take a Motorola or Nexus phone, they upgrade easily.

Things that I noticed immediately on my iPhone

I’ve put a positive or negative score next to each item, to indicate how ‘bad’ I feel this is.

  • (–) No individual sound levels for sounds are available (eg. the alarm clock and the ringer share the same volume) !
  • (—) Worse, a bug that makes it that when you select ‘no sound’ for the alarm, only vibrate, the vibrate does not work!
  • (+++) The blazing speed of the new A9 chip !!
  • (+) Using 4G instead of 3G is nice, but to my surprise it is only a little bit smoother.
  • (+++) Integration with iTunes and Mac OS X in general is just so smooth and it. just. works. Photos sync, music syncs…
  • (-) Still no sd card integration, you must pay a premium for using the integrated memory, but I knew this already
  • (+) “Hey siri” works, but I don’t use it too much, not yet integrated in my old mind.
  • (++) Logging into your phone with the touch of your finger – nice !
  • (+++) Quickly checking the picture you have just taken – bliss !

Honestly, the thing that I could hardly believe was the alarm clock volume that is not separate from the ringer volume.

This new phone of mine can do just about anything, yet the alarm clock sound is stupidly fixed to the same volume as the ringer sound ! I kept looking for a setting that I missed, but no, forums confirm that this is not possible with the default alarm clock. It’s linked to the ringer volume.

I’m definitely not the only one having this problem… and meanwhile, in Android each app has it’s own volume setting.

Sure, there are plenty of third party apps out there that do, as well as workarounds. But really, for this expensive piece of integrated hardware and software to not have a user-optimised ‘John Ive’-fixed-it-for-you-way of doing this is beyond the pale.

Conclusion

I’m quite happy with my new iPhone 6S, it has wondrous new features and incomparable speed to my old phone, yet at the same time I’m stumped that basic things like individual sound volume didn’t get fixed or better said, *still* haven’t been fixed. All in all, it’s still a big improvement over my old phone and I enjoy using it every day, hopefully for the next few years !

UP24 and why I will buy a Fitbit next time

TL;DR The design flaw of the UP24 makes for a product that breaks easily and cannot be repaired. It is too expensive for what it delivers.

Last year, the second of July 2014, I bought an activity tracker from Jawbone, called the UP24. It was very stylishly made in matt black plastic. It performed well and has made me realise I need to move more. So far so good.

But now, less than a year later it is broken. The plastic is deforming at both ends, the small status light no longer works, battery charging is nearly impossible because the connector is loose and the button on the other end no longer works.

It has become just a piece of dark plastic that I will probably have to throw away. 150 euros down the drain (it currently sells for 129 euros, fyi).

My colleague, who has a Fitbit, recently broke his plastic bracelet. Rather than buying a new activity tracker, he just bought a new bracelet for about 30 euros. Still a lot of money for a plastic bracelet, but a whole lot cheaper than buying a new Fitbit.

The Fitbit itself is just a small device inside the bracelet, so he transfered it into his new bracelet. While he paid 30 euros for the bracelet, at least his is still functioning. At least he had the choice to replace it whole or in part.

I love the app, I love the functionality. But I don’t like throwing money away.

The next activity tracker will need to be sturdier, and/or be able to be repaired or have similar functionality like the Fitbit. So the next activity tracker unfortunately for Jawbone, won’t be anything from them.

Surface Pro 3 Review

I’ve been using a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 ( a 2in1 hybrid tablet/laptop pc ) for a few months now, and I thought this would be a good time to share some feedback.

The Surface Pro 3 I bought is equipped with an Intel Core i5 CPU, 256 GB SSD and 8 GB ram. I chose this version because I wanted a good CPU that will last me a year or 3, and enough disk space to comfortably store stuff. It’s the laptop that I tote with me just about everywhere.

Here are some bullet points that capture my feelings towards it:

– WEIGHT : it’s incredibly light, my backpack feels almost empty, especially compared to when I take my (2011) Apple Macbook Pro. The current Macbook Pro weighs a lot less, and against a Macbook Air the weight difference is almost negligible ( Surface 3 is 2.42 pounds (with keyboard) against the Air’s 2.96 pounds). It’s a handy carrying size.

– SCREEN : the screen is big enough and with a high enough DPI to really make your pictures and movies ‘pop’. I love it.

– DRAWING : I originally bought the Surface Pro 3 for the included N-Trig pen, as I wanted to take notes, and I always wanted to learn how to properly draw. I’ve found out that I’m not using it as much as I want to, although note taking works fine it’s something that I will have to get used to. I’ve bought Clip Studio Paint to draw with, which works fine if you want to freeform draw. But what I’m really looking for is a ‘webdesigner’ vector drawing program that is usable with gestures and touch. On the mac I would go for iDraw, Artboard or Sketch. On Windows 8 I can’t really find a similar program except for Inkscape and the now-defunct Microsoft Design which isn’t fully touch-compliant. Adobe Illustrator or the now defunct Fireworks seem good alternatives, but they cost too much for my limited usage of them.

– WINDOWS 8.1 : using it with Touch it now makes sense. Suddenly everything is much more intuitive. I didn’t really understand how to work Windows 8.1 until I started using it on a touch-capable laptop. It all makes sense : the charms, the swipe up or down, swipe from left to get to your previous app – it all works beautifully. I even started swiping the screen on my mac (to my great frustration). Touch really adds an intuitive dimension, and I for one am waiting for Apple to add it to their laptops.

– HARDDISK SIZE : 256GB for an SSD is plenty of space. Although it is filled up for about half of it’s size already, now that most programs are installed, there should not be a lot of extra disk space needed, bar a few games now and then. I’ve bought a Sandisk 128 GB memory card from amazon on which I store music, movies and some less-frequently used software. If I need the soft I move it first to the SSD – launching from there is very slow, but that is probably more due to the micro sd card.

– PERFORMANCE : I really can’t fault the performance of the Surface, there are no hiccups, everything runs smoothly, even QGIS and a few games on it. The i5 Surface has a Intel 4400 graphics card. While some older graphic-intensive games do work (Fallout 3, Divinity Original Sin), in general they make the fan go on and the Surface gets really hot. You can certainly play games (a few of the best can be found in the Windows store AND are adapted for touch), but it’s best to limit yourself to some less graphic intensive games.

– KEYBOARD : the clip-on keyboard really should be integrated in the price – without one, you are buying an over-priced tablet. With one, the ensemble of tablet + keyboard is still pricey but you suddenly have a good laptop as well. The keyboard is ok, the keys have a bit of a good give and I would not want to work on this keyboard day and night like I would with my macbook pro, but they suffice well for travelling.

– BUGS: there were some initial bugs (not sleeping, not waking, iffy wifi connectivity) that were not immediately solved which garnered quite a bad press. Since then there have been several firmware releases that have solved the majority of the bugs. I only experienced the limited wifi issue in the beginning, but after an update this bug went away. However, it still (very infrequently) comes up and the only solution is to reboot the system (which goes fairly fast, but is still a hassle for such a pricey beast as this one).

My current conclusion :

All in all, I’m very happy with my purchase. It is a very fine fully featured travelling computer with enough space to store all your stuff in. I absolutely love the intuitive way of working with a touch display and hope that Windows 10 will keep this functionality (or I won’t be upgrading). I like Windows 8.1 in it’s Touch-enabled version quite a lot more than on a regular laptop, but in all honesty I still prefer the Apple desktop as I have more experience with that and it makes more sense to me.

If Apple would add a touch screen to their new or future macbook (one that I can draw or write upon with a pen) that would probably be my next buy instead of a Surface 4. Since that won’t be the case for quite some time or maybe for ever, I will continue using my very nice 2-in-1 hybrid tablet / laptop.

Google ChromeCast : nice but limited (in Belgium, for now)


Last month I was passing through France and had the opportunity to buy a Google Chrome Cast doohicky for 35 euros; since then you can now also buy it in Belgium.

For those not in the know : the Chromecast dongle allows you to ‘cast’ things from your smartphone to your tv. So for example you can show Youtube clips or the latest snaps of your kids on your tv.

Setup is a breeze, really the easiest setup ever for such a complicated interaction of software and hardware – just install the hardware on your tv and install the chromecast app on your smartphone, the app gets you up and running in minutes.

Behind the scenes it must be quite complex: the app disconnects your smartphone from your wireless network, searches for the Chromecast dongle which is on it’s own default network, and asks your wifi password so it can pass it on to the Chromecast, updates it with the latest firmware, reconnects to your network, and it’s working ! I was fairly impressed with the ease of setup.

Once the setup is done, you can start ‘casting’ pictures, home-videos, etc from your smartphone to the chromecast. Each app that can do that has a chromecast icon somewhere that you can tap, and then select your chromecast dongle.

The data you are casting is actually not directly sent to the chromecast, but first goes up to the internet, and then back down to your dongle.

  • Disadvantage : your casted picture/video travels out of your local network, to make a detour on the internet – more distance makes it slower
  • Advantage : Google Movies / Netflix movies / Youtube clips stream at a decent resolution for your smartTV, and probably come ‘directly’ from the Google/Netflix/Youtube servers instead of traveling via your app.

I played around with it for few days, and here is my feedback :

  • It makes any tv with a spare HDMI and spare USB port a ‘Smart TV’ so you can upgrade your TV for a low low price of 35 euros
  • It plays well with your smartphone and any apps that can cast data (I use Android, YMMV on an iPhone)
  • In our world where our mobile phone is becoming more and more a centerpiece of our live, this integrates very nicely
  • If you could just use it for casting your own pics and (silly YouTube) videos, then the price of 35 euros is just right to make your tv smart, but it will be sitting mostly unused behind your tv: unfortunately out-of-view is out-of-mind
  • However, when you can use it to control your NetFlix account (or other similar streaming service)and order movies from your mobile to stream to your TV, *then* it becomes much more interesting !
  • Netflix has announced that it is coming to Belgium sometime this year. Meanwhile Google has quietly opened Google ‘Play’ Movies in Belgium as well… in the same week as they announced that their Google Chromecast is available in Belgium as well…

    Hmmmm… smells like a strategy to me 🙂

TP-Link, D-Link, Devolo with HomePlug AV are all compatible

I just bought a new TP-Link starter kit to replace my last Devolo device (since I’m not a fan of Devolo anymore). Cheap when compared to other devices, especially as it has 2 ETHernet ports, which is what I was looking for.

The title on the box of the TP-Link starter kit, however, is a bit misleading : 300Mbps AV500 Wifi Powerline Extender Starter Kit.

My eyes just skimmed over the first words (300Mbps) and I immediately went looking for another device than this, because I was searching for a *500* Mbps AV device. Not a 300 Mbps.

I took me a few times to actually completely read the description on the device (after looking at more expensive devices). Turns out that it is actually a 500Mbps AV device, and the 300Mbps is for the WIFI part of it !!

TP-Link, you might want to change that… Customers might think like me that this is a 300Mbps device and go for another device.

The devices itself are small. The plastic does not feel perhaps as sturdily made as Devolo or D-Link, both of them seem like big blocks compared to the TP-Link device. However, that is not what you buy it for… So far, the TP-link devices certainly work, with almost zero setup.

Using WPS on the router I activated the Wifi-Cloning at the TP-Link device, a few blinks, done, and then it automatically repeated my wifi. Where the wi-fi reception in the kitchen was guaranteed to be close to non-existant, due to the router being behind multiple walls with different angles all the way at the other side of the house, suddenly reception of my network is now between 3 and 4 bars ! ETHernet ports work as well, as I can stream video from my NAS to my tv.

I can also confirm that TP-Link, D-Link and Devolo all happily talk to each other – as long as it states on the box that they are AV Homeplug compatible they should work fine together !

Devolo Support Sucks.

There. I’ve said it and I mean it.

Their products, when they work, do work fine. But when something goes wrong, you can’t count on support. So I’m steering clear of their devices AND their support, and I’m sharing my feelings in this on my blog.

 

Here’s the rant (quite a long read, got a lot to get out of my system) :

Devolo support seems to consist entirely of first-level support people that only know how to provide support by sending you a pdf with ‘things you can try’. At no stage did I feel that I reached second-level support or that I talked with someone that actually *read* my emails and asked me further technical info based on previous emails.

The overall feeling I got from the emails was that they wanted to get rid of me, but didn’t know how or that they were obliged to follow the rules, i.e. always respond to a customer request, even if it is to resend the same pdf with the same info you sent previously.

As you can read in my other blog posts, last year, about 7 months ago I needed a solution for routing my ethernet signal to my new work room on the first floor. Having used Devolo Dlan Duo devices before without any problem whatsoever I went out and bought 3 Devolo DLAN AV500 devices : 2 with just one ethernet port, 1 with 3 ethernet ports for the various devices (even my TV now has an ethernet port).

From the start, something went wrong with the device that was connected to the router. Every so often it would hang and I would need to go downstairs and unplug and replug it. Then it would work again. Later I found out that it’s actually the ethernet port itself that shuts down, it can still be reached via the power connection so you can actually do a reset from the DLAN cockpit software without needing to unplug it.

So to restate the fact :

  1. The device works, and works fast, no slowdowns, no short dropouts, it just works
  2. Suddenly it stops working, usually when transferring a large amount of data
  3. You ‘reboot’ it and it works again, just as fast as before
  4. It will -days or hours- later suddenly stop working again
  5. See 3…

This didn’t look to me as a typical hardware problem : it’s solved when you restart the device or reset it to factory settings. To me, it looks like a software problem, one or other counter is going haywire and a reset is needed.

So I contacted Devolo support via email in October 2012, and began a very long email back-and-from conversation that lasted until last month June 2013. To be honest, there were usually a few weeks between the answers what with work and family, so not every day a mail was sent.

I also wrote 2 blog posts about this problem that got quite a bit of reaction from other people who are having a similar problem. At the moment I’m writing this, at least 20 people have expressed that they are having the same problem. There have been 1172 visits to that particular blog post already, and unless they do something to fix their product it will only go up.

In the end, after numerous tests (update of the firmware to the latest dev build then, plugging 2 devolo’s in one extension cord to see if they have a good connection, having to confirm and reconfirm and then again reconfirm that no there is no slowdown AT ALL, switching one device in for the other) Devolo software support decided  that my device had a hardware fault, based on the fact that when it crashed, there is no visible indication that it has done so. And then it told me to sort it out myself by going back to the shop and asking for an exchange.

Tell me how YOU can explain to a shop attendant that you want to exchange the device because it is faulty when it shows NO VISIBLE indication that it is faulty ? I don’t know about shop attendants in your country, but the ones I know in Belgium are quite aloof and suspicious when you want to return hardware after 7 months of use.

I have several times told Devolo support that I am not the only one with the problem, please see my blog and read the comments. At no time did they respond to this. Probably because then they might have to actually investigate it, spending time and resources to actually solve the problem for everybody affected.

In the end I bought a new device to replace the Devolo DLAN 500AV+ but this time a Powerline device from D-LINK. Since both the devices use the same common “Homeplug” standard, they just recognise each other and start working together immediately together.

Problem solved, at my expense of course. But at the expense in the long run of Devolo as well. I’m no longer a customer of theirs, will buy other devices than Devolo, and I am making the world know of this so other people know what happened.

I love iFixit ! Highly recommended !

Last week the HD in my mother-in-law’s hand-me-down iMac went the way of the dodos and crashed, loosing all the information on it.

Did you know you can burn a copy of Ubuntu (I used 12.10) to a CD and it will load and boot on a mac, even with EFI firmware ? This helped me verify that the disk was indeed dead and non-salvagable (it was the /Users directory that was totally destroyed !).

The 24 inch screen is still great, the CPU (an 2,16 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo) is a bit slow nowadays but still more than good enough for surfing and showing photos and playing music, so I figured why not replace the hard disk and save some money ?

I visited iFixit.com and checked if they had a repair guide for that particular iMac model and sure enough it was there. I bought the necessary hard drive and Torx screwdrivers, and I have just now succesfully replaced the failed 500 GB disk with a 2TB disk.

When I subsequently booted from the Snow Leopard disk, it couldn’t see the drive, but a quick trip to the disk utility made it show itself, and I was able to format it and continue the installation – everything is just fine, thanks to those iFixit people !

Note that iFixit is a free service, but you can help them out by buying repair tools or hard disks from them, or writing your own guide.

I figured I could help point some people in the right direction – they have an amazing amount of DIY repair manuals !

PS – for those who break the temperature sensor on the HD or the wires (I didn’t) : there’s a software solution for that !

Devolo Powerline AV500+ network problems (2)

In a recent post I wrote about the persistent network problems that I had with my Devolo Powerline and that I solved it.

Wrong ! Turns out that the firmware update was not the answer – I now have anywhere between 1 and 4 days before I have to pull the devolo plug. I have contacted Devolo support, but they only sent me a faq about what to do when you have a slow network connection and how to solve it.

But this is not my problem – everything works fine, at reasonable to very good speeds, when *suddenly* the network connection drops. Bam, no more network connection. Usually when I’m copying something to the NAS. Like I’ve suddenly reached a limit on file size or file transfers and everything is cut off.

The only way to solve it is to remove the devolo powerplug (that is downstairs and connected to the router) from the mains, wait 10 seconds or so and reinsert it. That does the trick just about every time (sometimes it is the Telenet router that hangs, but that only happens once in a while).

Update : in the comments on this post people have found an alternate solution : using the devolo management software, you can restart the device remotely, and then it works again (the connection over the powerline keeps working so you can reach the device that way).

I’ll try and keep a count here on how many times I have to restart the devolo plug.

20121118 : reset devolo powerplug
20121125 : reset at least 4 times (doing heavy moving of content to NAS)
20121128 : reset 2 times (telework today, only citrix connection)

Update December 29 2012 : this problem has kept on appearing intermittently – either after a week or several times a day. It seems to indicate that there is a problem with the amount of data throughput.

Update April 09 2013 : I’ve received a new firmware from Devolo to test out, and applied it to all the Devolo AV500 devices I have. The problem is *less* when the network is stable (ie low usage, mail check and such) but worse when actually *using* the network. I now need to reset the AV device about 5 times on a work-from-home day instead of 1 or 2 times.

Update April 14 2013 : received another mail from Devolo to test out the devolo boxes. The test consisted of plugging in 2 devolo boxes on an extension cord so that they are connected via the same socket. A good linkage apparantly is that both the “power” and “home” icon on both devices give a “green” light. I’ve taken a picture of this and added this to the mail I sent back to them. I honestly don’t think I’ve gotten to the second level support as yet, all the things I’ve done until now have been the basic “check this, do that, there is a bad connection, you must be doing something wrong” type of answers that a typical first level support tends to give. I am persisting in keeping in contact with them, and hopefully I will get some more technical requests…

Update April 28 2013 :  I’ve received a few more questions about how my devolo boxes are setup, what type of modem that I use (a eurodocsis 3.0) and so on. I’ve sent those on, and they have now asked me to switch the devolo’s about to see if the problem is located in one physical devolo item or if this problem is caused by a network situation. I have yet to do so, but will do that in the following days. The questions have become more technical, the solution (switch em around) not yet, but it’s a logical thing to test.

Update May 19 2013 : on request of devolo support, I’ve switched my dlan AV500 plus around with my dlan AV500 Triple plus. So the dlan device with the 3 ports is now connected to the router and the single-port dlan which was connected to the router  device is now on the other end. For two weeks I have not had a single crash !  For me that confirms that the problem lies with the single-port AV500 plus. Maybe it has to process all the other traffic and can’t cope while the 3-port device can ? I don’t know.
I’ve informed Devolo of the results and am awaiting their reply. I hope they take this serious and do an in-depth investigation and fix this with a new firmware release. After all, I’m not the only one that is having these problems, seeing all the comments below this post. And putting a 3-port dlan switch on your router where only one port can be used is a bit useless to me.

Update June 9, 2013 :   Devolo support thinks that it is just one faulty device and have asked me to reswitch back the devices to the original locations to confirm that this is the case. I’ve done that and do have the same problems again. This is on the latest published firmware. I’ve also pointed them to this blog and have asked them to read the comments in this post. It seems very unlikely that it is just one faulty device when all the people below leave comments with a “me-too” message – or perhaps there is a whole batch of them ? I still hope a firmware update will solve the problem.

The problem evidently still has not been solved. And there are now 5 6 11 19 people who have left a comment saying they have a similar problem…

Update August 4, 2013 : Devolo support has concluded that the device has a hardware fault and that it needs to be replaced. They told me to bring it back to the shop and ask for a new one. They determined that it was faulty because when it crashes it does not show it on the device (!) as all the lights stay green. I’m disgusted by this lack of customer support and have written a (long) blog post about this. I’m also solving my problem at my expense by buying another device from D-LINK to replace my faulty devolo with.  No more devolo or devolo support for me.

Update November 12, 2013 : in a comment below, Arturo has found that the devolo 500 units have a cooling problem – they shut down when too hot. Removing the cover as he did so they can get more air (or alternately, perhaps drilling holes in the cover) could also be a solution for you. But be careful – don’t get electrocuted !