My sixth router this year has died — no amount of hard resetting will revive it — it was a highly rated Asus RT-N56U, four months old. Before that I had a series of four MediaLink MWN-WAPR150Ns — the company sent me three replacements in succession, but none of them worked properly — and before that I had a Linksys WRT400N that failed a week after the warranty ran out. MediaLink worked hard to help me, and in the end I didn't ask them for my money back. But I'm not going to try them again soon.
What makes routers die so quickly? Is it my bad conscience, after all? More likely, bad capacitors and air circulation. I can improve the latter a little (open the case, leave open space under it, even aim a low-power fan at it) but not the former. Bad capacitors even undermine my willingness to pay for a more expensive and possibly better piece of equipment, since I suspect the manufacturer may still be using the same cheap parts. I swoon at the thought of a Peplink Balance, but I doubt I can justify the cost, and for only four ports.
I've managed to get one computer connected directly to my modem (shields up, Mr. Sulu) with an ethernet cable some five times as long as I am tall. There are cables everywhere in my life now — it is beginning to look as though I live in the movie Brazil.
Worse than the cables, and worse even than the expense of buying hardware that fails so quickly, is the waste of time as I try to track down the problems.